Get involved with any community and before long you’ll see the statistic rocks hurled back and forth.

Recently it was announced that most Netbooks are purchased with Windows installed. As you would expect there has been the usual rumblings of “Rhubarb rhubarb” heightened by the revelation that the statistics have been gathered via general High Street PC outlets which in turn gained the response “Huh that’s not a true representation, what about the on-line stuff like Dell?”.

This is the thing with statistics and forecasts you can pretty much make them say whatever you want the fact of the matter is Microsoft is not going to include any sources that may diminish the desired result. Of course you may be thinking “Well what’s the point?” the ‘point’ is those charts and graphs are read by the general public even open source users read them so which ever way you slice it Microsoft is getting a result and possibly winning the propaganda war, the only group that can smell a rat is the OSS people.

Given that there is still a large number of people who are totally unaware of Linux and OSS the Smoke and Mirror trick works well as the general public do not know any difference, what is even more worrying is that large portion are probably not aware of the OS community have no access or contact to information that could discredit or at the very least reduce the supposed market share results.

Rather than standing around shouting “Ya Boo” every time we hear “MS sells more copies than…” we should start getting our own statistics out there.

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