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05.25.08

Microsoft Shill Watch: Be Alert

Posted in Deception, Europe, Fraud, FUD, Microsoft at 1:54 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

When an animal feels cornered, it gets aggressive

We will shortly show what seems like shills in suits (the more ‘sophisticated’ type) batting for OOXML, but there’s an important new report that has just been brought to our attention. It’s worth touching on it very briefly.

We kindly ask for your attention at the sight of this new BBC article about “AstroTurfing” and “sock puppets” (even the BBC uses these words). We covered this before on many occasions. We showed just how far Microsoft goes in that regard.

The new article makes a good read as a whole, but here is just a snippet.

But there is still plenty of scope for company employees to post bogus evaluations on websites that solicit product ratings from consumers, using multiple aliases – known as “sock puppetry”.

The EU’s Directive on Unfair Business-to-Consumer Commercial Practices, a far-reaching attempt to regulate the whole relationship between firms and their customers, makes all these online tricks illegal.

Many EU countries are already enforcing its provisions, which should have come into effect last year. However, the UK is only now incorporating it into domestic law.

According to this article, come Monday we’ll see some action. The reaction from regulatory authorities first came to light over a year ago because the issue became so severe that it could no longer be ignored. It’s time to crack down on this sordid mess of fake & unethical grass-rooting. More assorted (and recent) examples are appended at the bottom for your reading pleasures.

“Microsoft hires agencies to do this type of work.”In essence, as we pointed out earlier this month, everyone needs to be aware that shills are never paid by Microsoft directly. It’s like lobbying in the sense that there’s a big black/grey industry out there which runs these scams and thus absorbs liability.

Microsoft hires agencies to do this type of work. It recently hired an agency to work on its public image, paying it about $300,000,000 for the job. This means that the checks, or high-end laptops, or whatever form the compensation comes in (sometimes rewards, discounts or favours) arrives from a proxy, which makes it slightly — but not impossible — to know where it all comes from originally and whom it serves.

___
[1]

Mba-Uzoukwu wrote that Microsoft is still negotiating an agreement that would give TSC US$400,000 (£190,323) for marketing activities around the Classmate PCs when those computers are converted to Windows.

[2]

Microsoft Sweden was later found to have offered extra “marketing contributions” to its business partners to encourage them to vote for OOXML, according to e-mails seen by Computer Sweden.

[3]

According to at least six bloggers, Microsoft has been sending out free top-of-the-line laptops pre-loaded with Vista as a ‘no strings attached gifts’. This ‘reward’ for their hard work on covering tech in general is coincidentally right before the launch of Vista to consumers. To be clear, these weren’t loans, they were gifts, and they were top-of-the-line Acer Ferrari laptops. Microsoft blogger Long Zheng broke the silence over the source of the freebies.

[4]

A ROW IS BREWING between a bunch of bloggers who took cash from Microsoft marketing outfit and stodgy old media types who take their bribes in less obvious ways.

The row started on Friday when the ValleyWag revealed how some “star boggers” had taken some cash from Federated Media to repeat some Microsoft sloganeering in copy on their websites.

Michael Arrington tells all how his Techcrunch site became “people-ready”. Gigaom’s Om Malik talks about when a business becomes “people ready”. Others named and shamed include Paul Kedrosky and Matt Marshall of Venture Beat, as well as Fred Wilson, the blogger-investor. Ads with the Volish motto appear on the blogger’s site.

[5]

Mercury News writers Mike Antonucci and Dean Takahashi demo and review the new Halo 3, Microsoft’s much anticipated new gaming title. Nooch calls it “one of the biggest days in videogame history.” And the duo discuss the approximately $800 press kit that showed up in the mail for Dean – a giant, personalized duffel bag filled with Halo 3 schwag.

Ferrari laptop

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