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Fake Windows Expert Unmasked

This story was written by Larry Dignan of ZDNet.

Ed note: We were going to publish this investigation Monday morning after buttoning down a few more key facts. Given the fact that IDG just severed ties with Randall C. Kennedy over having an alter ego, we decided to publish our findings, which go beyond fictional sidekicks.

Devil Mountain Software has been a thorn in the side of Microsoft for years and is adept at garnering headlines. The latest effort is a report claiming that 86 percent of Windows 7 PCs were gobbling up too much memory. Can you trust these findings and the company overall? The short answer: No. Here's why.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes recapped the technical issues with Devil Mountain Software, but frankly the concerns go well beyond mere code. Kingsley-Hughes noted that Devil Mountain Software (DMS) and its Exo Performance Network (XPNet) aren't on his "trusted list." After a discussion with many of our ZDNet experts led by Ed Bott and Jason Perlow in recent days, it's clear none of us trusted Devil Mountain Software.

Here's what we've found from our investigation of the company:

* Devil Mountain CTO Craig Barth is InfoWorld columnist Randall C. Kennedy.

* Devil Mountain's software has potential privacy issues and the company isn't afraid to show off that it can peek into your systems.

* A high-profile customer that "Barth" uses to legitimize Devil Mountain's software says there is no implementation of the application at the company.

* Numerous disclosure issues about the relationship between Devil Mountain, Kennedy and IDG, essentially the only outlet that has quoted Barth. Note: Between Saturday and Sunday, InfoWorld pulled references to Kennedy in its blog roll and said that it no longer offers the Windows Sentinel software, which is a clone of the DMS Clarity Suite.

Indeed, InfoWorld Editor in Chief Eric Knorr just confirmed the first point and IDG has severed ties with Kennedy. In a blog post, Knorr outlined Kennedy's fate. Knorr referred our questions to Kennedy, who isn't picking up the phone. ComputerWorld also said that it didn't know Barth was really Kennedy.

You can read the rest of this piece at ZDNet.

By Larry Dignan

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