I received this email yesterday:

You elected to receive this third party message through Survey Direct.


We would like you to participate in a very important survey that is related to current trends within the Software and PC Industry. Several companies are interested in your views about these recent trends, and how you think they will affect the industry over the next few years.

To show our thanks, we would like to offer a $10.00 via PayPal reward if you qualify and complete the entire survey, which will take about 15 minutes.

To begin to process and see if you qualify, please click the following link:

Curious, I took the survey. I was asked what IT position I worked in, whether I was a decision-maker in my organization, and so on; then I was asked what operating systems I worked on. Well, I said, Windows and Linux sound good.

Then the topic turned to indemnification. Did I think it was good or bad? Hmm.

Then software patents. Did I think those posed a threat to the open source community? Well, yes; they're stupid.

Did I think interoperability between Windows and Linux was good? Well, okay. Would I like Red Hat better if it were interoperable with Windows? Sure. Would I be more interested in Red Hat and Windows if I could administer my Linux installation with Microsoft products? - hey, wait a minute...

But here was the kicker:

Given this statement, would you be more or less likely to believe that Red Hat Enterprise Linux infringes patents owned by Microsoft? 1) Microsoft shared a list of 10 of its patents infringed by Linux and documented how Linux infringed the patents. 2) Red Hat indicated that it believes Linux likely infringes a number of Microsoft patents and that in order to resolve the issue Red Hat will step in and license these patents from Microsoft. 3) Independent studies by open source supporters indicate Linux likely infringes at least a dozen Microsoft patents. 4) Several large Linux customers say they think it is important for Red Hat to take responsibility for licensing patents used in Linux by entering into licensing agreements with major software patent holders.
Let's say Red Hat did license the rights to Microsoft's patents. You will now see some statements about the licensing agreement and asked whether you agree or disagree with that statement. 1) I'm more likely to deploy Red Hat Enterprise Linux in my company because I know they have removed the likelihood of a disruptive patent dispute with Microsoft. 2) I would be willing to pay more for Red Hat Enterprise Linux now that I know they have secured the patent rights they need from Microsoft.
A question about forking Linux, and demographic questions

I had heard about Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt being spread anecdotally, and I had read Microsoft press releases that seemed a little bizarre, but this was the first time I had actually seen a push poll in action. Extraordinary!