MS accused of telling staff to spam ZDNet

Woman says 'verbal' memo ecouraged staff to pose as pro-MS students

A woman claiming to be a former Microsoft employee has accused the company of encouraging its staff to post pro-Microsoft messages on ZDNet. It is of course perfectly possible that Michelle Bradley is an anti-Microsoft zealot seeking to blacken the company's name further, but her case has been supported by a second individual, signing himself "Tom Thumb" and claiming to be a current MS employee. Says Bradley on ZDNet: "I can safely tell this now, since I 'retired' from Redmond last week. A verbal memo (no e-mail allowed) was passed around the MS campus encouraging MS employee's to post to Z-Net articles like this one. "The theme is Microsoft is responsible for all good things in computerdom. The government has no right to prevent MS from doing anything. Period. The memo suggests we use fictional names and state, and to identify ourselves as students." Bradley says it's interesting "to count the postings [on ZDNet] that do exactly this". Pity the poor pro-Microsoft ZDNet poster who really is a student. "Tom Thumb" says he can confirm her claims, and adds: "I have heard something very similar to what she talked about. But frankly, I did not interpet the thing as 'encouraging us to post.' It was more like 'Do it! And do it a lot!' "A lot of people around here [Redmond, allegedly] are very unhappy about this. And we are increasingly embarrassed by what is going on. We employees with any remaining shred of integrity and honour are getting as much BS piled on us as the outside world is. And very few of us any more are getting stock options to shut us up." ® Complete Register trial coverage

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