Feeds

Microsoft accused of trying to buy bloggers

Generous giving

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

A Microsoft stunt handing out brand spanking new laptops with Windows Vista to selected bloggers has backfired with claims that Microsoft tried to "buy" bloggers.

At least six bloggers each received a sleek, black, highly specified Ferrari machine running the as-yet-to-be released Windows Vista from Microsoft and Acer just before Christmas.

At least one recipient claimed his machine was a gift. Microsoft watcher Long Zheng called the PC a "Christmas present [that was] officially" a review machine. He congratulated Microsoft on its "kudos for thinking about the little guys" - meaning that it is targeting bloggers instead of the usual PC trade publications that make it on the big vendors' gift list.

That was enough for the Blogosphere, which sniffed a crude attempt at bribery and began a debate on the ethics of accepting free gifts from IT companies. Veteran blogger, and former Microsoft employee Robert Scoble summed it up: "Now THAT is my idea of PayPerPost" - the idea of paying bloggers to post, only using cash instead of gifts.

And our favourite tech comment site Slashdot has a barrage of criticism here.

Subsequent postings by Zheng intended to defuse the situation only reinforced the perception the Windows Vista machines are gifts intended to curry favor. "These were review PCs with the option at completion of review to either send back to Microsoft, give away or keep indefinitely. This choice is solely at the discretion of bloggers," he wrote.

Typically, the release of PCs and other gadgets by PR people to journalists working in what bloggers tend to deride as the "traditional media" are tightly controlled, and machines are expected to be returned once review is complete.

Stung by the criticism, Microsoft issued a statement that put the onus on bloggers to make full disclosure.

Microsoft's statement, though, does little to clarify its real motive, as it weaved between notions of "review" and "free gift". Microsoft's Aaron Coldiron said the computers are intended for review purposes.

In its note to the lucky bloggers , Microsoft said: "While I hope you will blog about your experience with the PC you don't have to. Also, you are welcome to send the machine back to us after you are done playing with it, or you can give it away on your site, or you can keep it."®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Google Glassholes are UNDATEABLE – HP exec
You need an emotional connection, says touchy-feely MD... We can do that
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
US court SHUTS DOWN 'scammers posing as Microsoft, Facebook support staff'
Netizens allegedly duped into paying for bogus tech advice
Feds seek potential 'second Snowden' gov doc leaker – report
Hang on, Ed wasn't here when we compiled THIS document
Verizon bankrolls tech news site, bans tech's biggest stories
No agenda here. Just don't ever mention Net neutrality or spying, ok?
NATO declares WAR on Google Glass, mounts attack alongside MPAA
Yes, the National Association of Theater Owners is quite upset
Inside the EYE of the TORnado: From Navy spooks to Silk Road
It's hard enough to peel the onion, are you hard enough to eat the core?
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.