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A Bit Harsh, Don't You Think?

Yesterday, Alex Barrett of TechTarget posted a tweet about her predictions for 2010:

No wishy washy 2010 predictions from me: VMware will cut prices, and Citrix will give up on XenServer:

The link in the tweet corresponds to this TechTarget article in which Alex predicts that VMware will cut prices and Citrix will dump XenServer and focus instead on its management products like Citrix Essentials. Citrix Essentials, as you probably know, already supports Microsoft Hyper-V. Alex’s prediction is not an unusual one; others have made this prediction before. Quite honestly, based on the progress we are seeing on XenServer’s development, I can see the logic behind Alex’s prediction.

Then along comes Simon Crosby and posts a rebuttal to Alex’s prediction, citing XenServer’s growth, industry partnerships, and projected development goals. OK, that’s fine and all; I would certainly expect Simon to be an ardent supporter of Xen and XenServer. I don’t take issue with his rebuttal; what I take issue with is this statement:

I think I’ve concluded that there are a few people whose predictions about the future I will never believe. They are precisely those who are compensated based on clicks and not insight, and who seldom take the time to check for data or accuracy.

To prevent any question of the individual about whom he was speaking, Simon added a hyperlink (recreated in the quote above) to point to Alex Barrett’s author page at TechTarget.

Ouch—that’s a bit harsh, don’t you think? It’s just bad form to say something like that about someone. First of all, a prediction isn’t exactly something you can “check for data or accuracy”; it’s a prediction. No one, including me, begrudges any vendor from defending itself. But there are ways of defending yourself without personally attacking others. There are ways to disagree respectfully and courteously. There are those out there that might want to try this approach.

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