Microsoft's 'Get The Facts' Linux Site Replaced

Microsoft has decided to axe its "Get The Facts" site, instead replacing it with a less corrosive "Compare" page that compares Windows and Linux in a less confrontational way.

The former site was quite controversial, as it included parts of a study conducted in 2002 that was later revealed to have been influenced by Microsoft to look at Windows more favorably. Even in light of the controversy, Microsoft kept the site up, using it in the company's increasingly hostile battle with open source.

It is not known specifically why Microsoft decided to pull the site, although its replacement could provide some clues. In the comparison section, most of the negative material is targeted at Red Hat, an open source company that has so far refused to sign a patent agreement with the Redmond company.

Microsoft watcher Mary Jo Foley speculated that Microsoft's open-source partners may have asked Microsoft to tone down the site. "Perhaps Microsoft agreed to do away with the site in order to regain ground it has lost with the open-source community around its patent-saber rattling," she also suggested.

The company had previously said it was not going to take down the site when rumors first circulated earlier in the year. An official response from the company did not provide any extra details, either.

Microsoft claimed that its customers were looking for "credible 3rd party information from other customers and industry experts," and were looking for it in a variety of formats. Although the company did not explicitly say so, it sounded like the move was very much in response to the criticisms that the research on "Get the Facts" may have not been impartial.

News of the site's demise first appeared in Foley's All About Microsoft blog on Thursday.

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