EditorsAbout the SiteComes vs. MicrosoftUsing This Web SiteSite ArchivesCredibility IndexOOXMLOpenDocumentPatentsNovellNews DigestSite NewsRSS

11.09.08

Tim Anderson Received Bribe for Vista 7 Review

Posted in Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 8:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Kid with laptop

THIS is part of a series of posts. For context, see:

Yes, it’s another laptops giveaway bonanza, designed and intended to seed a media blitz which has Vista 7 reviewed under unrealistic conditions, as well as with the expectation that journalists will repay for this $2,000 gift. According to IDG News Service, literally “several dozen of reviewers and analysts” received this schwag from Microsoft. The company gave it away under the disguise which is “loan” (no obligation to return it). It has been called “permanently loaned” in some places.

First in our series we have Tim Anderson, who has been writing in many publications, including The Register.

His review of Vista 7 does mention somewhere along the way that he is among those ‘VIP‘ laptop holders.

A day spent with a Windows 7 preview build – Milestone 3, running on a laptop loaned for the purpose (Dell XPS M1330, Core 2 Duo 2.3Ghz, with 3GB RAM) tends to confirm that view. Windows 7 feels more polished than Vista, even in the preview, and performance is good.

Positive review. What else would you expect from a bribed reporter?

Who is Tim Anderson?

A freelance journalist since 1992, Tim Anderson specializes in programming and internet development topics. He has columns in Personal Computer World and IT Week, and also contributes regularly to The Register. He writes from time to time for other periodicals including Developer Network Journal Online, and Hardcopy.

It was also spread around quite a bit, so Microsoft gets a lot of good publicity in exchange for that almost-negligible $2000 expenditure (not to mention future coverage too).

Vista 7 was preinstalled on a powerful machine and optimised for performance. It’s the same old story.

Tim has gone a little further already. Here he is writing in his personal Web site:

Here at PDC in Los Angeles, Microsoft’s Chief Architect Ray Ozzie and Windows VP Steven Sinofsky are introducing Windows 7. A couple of days ago, journalists were loaned Windows 7 laptops to try and I’ve been using this over the last day or so.

This also appears here, so the ‘story’ quickly finds legs. Other people haven’t the opportunity to contradict Tim or saturate the Web with information because Vista 7 is a super limited edition, handed out selectively only to ‘obedient’ reviewers.

From the comments in The Register:

There were other problems, but those two took the wind out of Vista’s sails very early on, and were the major cause of the perceived performance problems. So a “Vista Test” should check an OS against marginal hardware and to pass, the OS would have to perform well. But you played with it a little bit on a laptop “loaned for the purpose”. FAIL

From Slashdot:

Based on the announcements on Windows 7 and the reviews I thought too that they had improved the performance of Windows 7 vs. Vista. Then I found an article by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols that might explain the “glowing” reviews at Microsoft’s PDC. It seems that Microsoft may have permanently “loaned” $2,000 laptops with 2.4GHz Intel dual cores + 3GB ram to the “reviewers” to review Windows 7. If so, that’s not the first time they tried that stunt (Vista was the first that I recall). So in the answer to the question, “Can a leopard change its spots?” if the above is correct then the answer in Microsoft’s case seems to be “No.”

Here’s the url:
http://blogs.computerworld.com/microsoft_bribes_again

Tim received a $2000 gift from Microsoft. Expect him to write nice things about Microsoft in the future. He sold out.

“I’ve been thinking long and hard about this, and the only conclusion I can come to is that this is ethically indistinguishable from bribery. Even if no quid-pro-quo is formally required, the gift creates a social obligation of reciprocity. This is best explained in Cialdini’s book Influence (a summary is here). The blogger will feel some obligation to return the favor to Microsoft.”

Former Microsoft manager

Share this post: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Reddit
  • co.mments
  • DZone
  • email
  • Google Bookmarks
  • LinkedIn
  • NewsVine
  • Print
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Facebook

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

7 Comments

  1. DOUGman said,

    November 9, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    Gravatar

    Hummmmmm..

    I obtained a copy of “Vista 7 Ultimate” build 6801, installed it in vmware and activated it. After some clicking around and general review, I basically labeled it Vista SP2, Mojave, whatever…etc… No innovation..

    *YAWN*

  2. Tim Anderson said,

    November 10, 2008 at 2:44 am

    Gravatar

    Microsoft loaned journalists attending its Windows 7 briefing with laptops running the OS. They are labelled as Microsoft property. We had a couple of days to file stories on Windows 7 before the expiry of the NDA on Monday and getting the OS pre-installed with working drivers etc for the devices on the laptop made it easier to preview. The loan was not a secret and I mentioned it in everything I wrote about it; you could speculate that it was somehow optimized for Windows 7 but as far as I can tell it is a standard Dell, albeit relatively high-spec. It is of no value to me other than for reviewing Windows 7 and is not used for any other purpose.

    What was unfortunate is that the build of Windows 7 pre-installed was not the same as that shown in the keynote; it was an earlier build that lacked some of the key UI changes. I am not sure what was the reason for this; possibly to avoid leaking the details early; possibly the practicalities of pre-installing; possibly because the new UI was not stable enough – although it was installed on many other machines at PDC and seemed solid enough.

    The practice of loaning hardware for review is commonplace. Loaning hardware for a software review is less common but does happen where there is good reason. It doesn’t influence the review one way or the other; and if you read what I have written over the years you’ll see that I’m not shy about writing negative as well as positive comments about any company and its products. Some of the negatives have even been referenced on this site. Windows 7 does look, at this point, more satisfactory than Vista, whether or not it is running on a loaned machine.

    Tim

  3. Needs Sunlight said,

    November 10, 2008 at 3:46 am

    Gravatar

    Ok. So in addition to all that, MS may have faked the presentation. Are you sure it was running the next version and not a Flash app?

    Anyway, it’s a waste of time to play up MS’ hype about the Next Version. Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Fedora, RHEL are all here *now* today.

  4. G. Michaels said,

    November 10, 2008 at 4:31 am

    Gravatar

    @Tim:

    I wouldn’t worry about this too much. See:

    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/11/09/harry-mccracken-bribed-by-ms/#comment-34300

    Credibility level: Zero, pretty much.

    Note: writer of this comment adds absolutely nothing but stalking and personal attacks against readers, as documented here.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 10, 2008 at 5:18 am

    Gravatar

    The laptops were on “indefinite loan”. Only when Microsoft and the recipients got criticised for it did they claim that a return was really needed. It’s 2006 all over again.

  6. stevetheFLY said,

    November 10, 2008 at 11:37 am

    Gravatar

    Just the usual character assasination attempts from Roy here…

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from an incarnation of a known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  7. dwight said,

    November 19, 2008 at 11:59 am

    Gravatar

    Wow

    I am not a fan of microsoft at all, yet in the early 1990s at university the best GUI word processor on the MAC and PC was MS Word, so I used it. I use Unix at work and Oracle, and ever now and then use Linux at home. My notebook has Vista and I expected the worst, but I must say I have no huge negative issues with it. It works and works a lot better than XP ever did ( I delayed moving from W2K to XP for years – stupidly).

    I am disappointed that fan boys of one or other system/ hardware /software loose objectivity about technology. I dont think MS has been the best system ( I bought OS2 !!! ) and in future will not buy another MS operating system as I run multiple machines at home for development ( isnt Linux great when it comes to license costs ). But I wont buy Windows because of the cost of loading on several machines the OS, not because I have a bias against the company. Yet I cannot say Vista is all the nasty things people claim it is, it works, works nicely and runs all my hardware, including some obscure USB devices I built.

    I prefer Unix personally, but MS runs a lot of software I require for development ( anyone know how to run PL/SQL developer for Oracle, on Unix ) so use MS OS often.

    I fully understand how a prerelease OS is loaded on a machine and loaned for review ( you were not seriously expecting me to run Apples latest OS on anything but an Apple machine were you ? ). Yet this bashing of MS all the time is becoming tedious and rather unprofessional. I’m no MS fan but to accuse each and every thing they do begins to make me wonder as to whether emotions are rulling the blogs, sad state of affairs. If the journalists were loaned/ given the notebooks and declared this fact in the review then I think it is unfair to immediately dismiss their reviews. If they did not declare this in their review then they are unprofessional, but to bash them just because they received machines for review is rather childish.

    Start being professional guys!!

What Else is New


  1. Patent Maximalists Are Still Upset at the US Supreme Court (Over Alice) and the US Patent Office Carries on As Usual

    In spite of the courts’ continued rejection of software patents — perfectly in line with what the high courts are saying — abstract ideas are still being covered by newly-granted patents



  2. Links 18/11/2018: Cucumber Linux 2.0 Alpha and Latest Outreachy

    Links for the day



  3. The European Patent Office Comes up With a Plethora of New Buzzwords by Which to Refer to Software Patents

    The permissive attitude towards software patents in Europe is harmful to software developers in Europe; the officials, who never wrote a computer program in their entire life, pretend this is not the case by adopting marketing techniques and surrogate terms



  4. Patent Maximalists in Europe Keep Mentioning China Even Though It Barely Matters to European Patents

    EPO waves a "white flag" in the face of China even though Chinese patents do not matter much to Europe (except when the goal is to encourage low patent quality, attracting humongous patent trolls)



  5. Team UPC Has Been Reduced to Lies, Lies, and More Lies about the Unified Patent Court Agreement

    With the Unified Patent Court Agreement pretty much dead on arrival (an arrival that is never reached, either) the UPC hopefuls -- those looking to profit from lots of frivolous patent litigation in Europe -- resort to bald-faced lying



  6. Links 17/11/2018: Mesa 18.3 RC3, Total War: WARHAMMER II, GNOME 3.31.2

    Links for the day



  7. Links 16/11/2018: Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8 Beta, Mesa 18.2.5, VirtualBox 6.0 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  8. Berkheimer or No Berkheimer, Software Patents Remain Mostly Unenforceable in the United States and the Supreme Court is Fine With That

    35 U.S.C. § 101, which is based on cases like Alice and Mayo, offers the 'perfect storm' against software patents; it doesn't look like any of that will change any time soon (if ever)



  9. Ignoring and Bashing Courts: Is This the Future of Patent Offices in the West?

    Andrei Iancu, who is trying to water down 35 U.S.C. § 101 while Trump ‘waters down’ SCOTUS (which delivered Alice), isn’t alone; António Campinos, the new President of the EPO, is constantly promoting software patents (which European courts reject, citing the EPC) and even Australia’s litigation ‘industry’ is dissenting against Australian courts that stubbornly reject software patents



  10. Patent Maximalists Are Still Trying to Figure Out How to Stop PTAB or Prevent US Patent Quality From Ever Improving

    Improvements are being made to US patents because of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which amends/culls/pro-actively rejects (at application phases) bad patents; but the likes of Andrei Iancu cannot stand that because they're patent maximalists, who personally gain from an over-saturation of patents



  11. Links 15/11/2018: Zentyal 6.0, Deepin 15.8, Thunderbird Project Hiring

    Links for the day



  12. A Question of Debt: António Campinos, Lexology, Law Gazette, and Sam Gyimah

    Ineptitude in the media which dominates if not monopolises UPC coverage means that laws detrimental to everyone but patent lawyers are nowadays being pushed even by ministers (not just those whose clandestine vote is used/bought to steal democracy overnight)



  13. Science Minister Sam Gyimah and the EPO Are Eager to Attack Science by Bringing Patent Trolls to Europe/European Union and the United Kingdom

    Team UPC has managed to indoctrinate or hijack key positions, causing those whose job is to promote science to actually promote patent trolls and litigation (suppressing science rather than advancing it)



  14. USF Revisits EPO Abuses, Highlighting an Urgent Need for Action

    “Staff Representation Disciplinary Cases” — a message circulated at the end of last week — reveals the persistence of union-busting agenda and injustice at the EPO



  15. Links 14/11/2018: KDevelop 5.3, Omarine 5.3, Canonical Not for Sale

    Links for the day



  16. Second Day of EPOPIC: Yet More Promotion of Software Patents in Europe in Defiance of Courts, EPC, Parliament and Common Sense

    Using bogus interpretations of the EPC — ones that courts have repeatedly rejected — the EPO continues to grant bogus/fake/bunk patents on abstract ideas, then justifies that practice (when the audience comes from the litigation ‘industry’)



  17. Allegations That António Campinos 'Bought' His Presidency and is Still Paying for it

    Rumours persist that after Battistelli had rigged the election in favour of his compatriot nefarious things related to that were still visible



  18. WIPO Corruption and Coverup Mirror EPO Tactics

    Suppression of staff representatives and whistleblowers carries on at WIPO and the EPO; people who speak out about abuses are themselves being treated like abusers



  19. Links 13/11/2018: HPC Domination (Top 500 All GNU/Linux) and OpenStack News

    Links for the day



  20. The USPTO and EPO Pretend to Care About Patent Quality by Mingling With the Terms “Patent” and “Quality”

    The whole "patent quality" propaganda from EPO and USPTO management continues unabated; they strive to maintain the fiction that quality rather than money is their prime motivator



  21. Yannis Skulikaris Promotes Software Patents at EPOPIC, Defending the Questionable Practice Under António Campinos

    The reckless advocacy for abstract patents on mere algorithms from a new and less familiar face; the EPO is definitely eager to grant software patents and it explains to stakeholders how to do it



  22. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is Working for Patent Trolls and Patent Maximalists

    The patent trolls' propagandists are joining forces and pushing for a patent system that is hostile to science, technology, and innovation in general (so as to enable a bunch of aggressive law firms to tax everybody)



  23. Team UPC, Fronting for Patent Trolls From the US, is Calling Facts “Resistance”

    The tactics of Team UPC have gotten so tastelessly bad and its motivation so shallow (extortion in Europe) that one begins to wonder why these people are willing to tarnish everything that's left of their reputation



  24. The Federal Circuit Bar Association (FCBA) Will Spread the Berkheimer Lie While Legal Certainty Associated With Patents Remains Low and Few Lawsuits Filed

    New figures regarding patent litigation in the United States (number of lawsuits) show a decrease by about a tenth in just one year; there's still no sign of software patents making any kind of return/rebound in the United States, contrary to lies told by the litigation 'industry' (those who profit from frivolous lawsuits/threats)



  25. Links 12/11/2018: Linux 4.20 RC2, Denuvo DRM Defeated Again

    Links for the day



  26. Automation of Searches Will Not Solve the Legitimacy Problem Caused by Patents Lust

    The false belief that better searches and so-called 'AI' can miraculously assess patents will simply drive/motivate bad decisions and already steers bad management towards patent maximalism (presumption of examination/validation where none actually exists)



  27. The Federal Circuit and PTAB Are Not Slowing Down; Patent Maximalists Claim It's 'Harassment' to Question a Patent's Validity

    There’s no sign of stopping when it comes to harassment of judges and courts; those who make a living from patent threats and litigation do anything conceivable to stop the ‘bloodbath’ of US patents which were never supposed to have been granted in the first place



  28. Patent Maximalists Will Latch Onto Return Mail v US Postal Service in an Effort to Weaken or Limit Post-Grant Reviews of US Patents

    An upcoming case, dealing with what governments can and cannot do with/to patents (specifically the US government and US patents), interests the litigation 'industry' because it loathes reviews of low-quality and/or controversial patents (these reviews discourage litigation or stop lawsuits early on in the cycle)



  29. Guest Post: EPO Spins Censorship of Staff Representation

    Another concrete example of Campinos' cynical story-telling



  30. Andrei Iancu and Laura Peter Are Two Proponents of Patent Trolls at the Top of the USPTO

    Patent offices do not seem to care about the law, about the courts, about judges and so on; all they care about is money (and litigation costs) and that’s a very major problem


CoPilotCo

RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

CoPilotCo

Recent Posts