Re: Have they surveyed other groups?
The MS newsgroups I read and contributed to had regular, expert, volunteer contributers who politely and correctly answered basic repetitive questions without insulting anyone,
Must agree here. Back when I was in a small startup ~15 years ago, there was a debate as to whether or not to go with a Microsoft product or mySQL. Mostly the debate came down to which has the best support. So we did a test.
On both an MS newsgroup and an OS newsgroup, I asked the same newbie flawed question: "Is the Microsoft Access database compatible with mySQL"?
The MS newsgroup gave me polite answers that no, Access is not a database, it is an interface to the Jet database. I got a nice descriptions of jet, then my question was answered. Many answers were very detailed, and invited me to ask more questions.
You can probably guess the answer I got from the OS newsgroup, which came down to "You idiot, Access isn't a db, it's jet, you're a moron" and etc. The most surprising response was more than one person wrote "You do not desrve to use open sourc". More than one person just linked to the main page for the online documentation for mySQL. Many answers contained correctly spelled words.
Yes, we went with MSSQL.