Does Microsoft pay research firms to side with i?

My spin: There’s a lot of research firms covering all sorts of issues – politics, to health, to technology, to transportation and more.
Does Microsoft’s sponsoring (paying) of research firms on certain topics, like if Microsoft operaitng system(s) are better than Linux or not, cloud the research firm’s judgement.
Microsoft Corp. is touting the results of “independent analyses” in its latest effort to show corporate decision-makers the merits of its Windows operating system vs. Linux, its biggest open-source competitor.
The studies were, in fact, performed by well-known, independent research firms such as IDC, Giga Research and Meta Group. But the reports themselves tell the rest of the story: They were conducted “at the request of Microsoft,” “commissioned by Microsoft” or “prepared under contract from Microsoft.”
Microsoft, in other words, paid for the studies to be done.
(full story)