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 in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2008/11/09/bribe-for-vista-7-review/

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. IRC Proceedings: Friday, February 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, February 26, 2021



  2. Links 26/2/2021: Wine 6.3, Genode OS Framework 21.02

    Links for the day



  3. Links 26/2/2021: GNU Poke 1.0 is Out and Rocky Linux Leaves Microsoft GitHub

    Links for the day



  4. Microsoft's Status in Web Servers is So Bad That It Has Fallen Off Charts, is Now Partly Delisted

    In several categories or criteria Microsoft is no longer even listed by Netcraft; the share has become rather minuscule during the pandemic, which convinced more companies to explore expense-cutting moves



  5. We Take Away Your Freedom for Your Own Safety...

    People are herded like cattle and protest/dissent will be demonised as part of the new norm; what will be the cost of the pandemic and will resistance to the status quo ever be permitted to resume?



  6. EPO President Pushes Illegal Software Patents in South America (Over the Telephone With a Misleading New Puff Piece)

    The EPO's "news" section has become worse than a form of distraction (from the EPO's internal rot); it celebrates illegal and unlawful practices, spreading them to other continents



  7. The Free Software Foundation Warns Against Using Twitter

    Richard Stallman said Twitter was OK because it was possible to use it without proprietary software; that's no longer the case, so the Free Software Foundation (FSF) speaks out against it. It speaks about it more than 3 months after the problem became a known one and also an irreversible one (maybe Twitter would have reversed the decision if the media or the FSF actually spoke about it early enough).



  8. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, February 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, February 25, 2021



  9. Stéphane Bortzmeyer Explains Gemini Protocol (February 2021)

    A recent talk from Stéphane Bortzmeyer about Gemini and what it is for (or why)



  10. Links 26/2/2021: Istio 1.7.8 Announced, Blender 2.92, Firebird 3.0 Language Reference, FSF Against Twitter

    Links for the day



  11. Special Thanks to Mogz

    Credit where it's due to Mogz



  12. Modifying WordPress to Include Gemini Links in All Articles (Assuming a Canonical URL Form)

    In order to promote the departure from the World Wide Web (where possible and suitable; sites with text don't typically need Web-like features) one can promote the analogous pages in one's Gemini capsule; we suggest a way of doing so in WordPress (the most widely used CMS)



  13. Links 25/2/2021: RHEL for Open-Source Infrastructure, GNOME 40 Beta, LXPanel 0.10.1

    Links for the day



  14. IBM and Qt Don't Understand Free Software and They Now Impose Terms and Conditions on Who Qualifies for Use of Free Software Free of Charge

    IBM and Qt Don't Understand Free Software and They Now Impose Terms and Conditions on Who Qualifies for Use of Free Software Free of Charge



  15. Techrights Gemini Capsule, Now With Over 35,000 Pages and Files

    Blog posts combined with static (plain text) files are now 36,000+ in number, just for Gemini protocol alone; that number keeps growing as our conversion proceeds and evolves (our software will be released under terms of the AGPLv3)



  16. Eventually, or Hopefully, Many People Will Come Back to What the Web Used to Be (Or Web Alternatives More Like the 'Old' Web)

    With RSS feeds making a comeback and a resurgence of personal blogs we can take back the Web from a cabal of tech/Internet giants and social control media, censored, curated and spied on by oligarchy



  17. If Wikipedia is Controlled by Corporations and Mobs, It Needs to Be 'Cancelled'

    Facts have never truly mattered in social control media sites; it certainly seems as though Wikipedia now suffers the very same issue/deficit, allowing oligarchs and their companies to define what goes on in the world and which people Wikipedia should regard as persona non grata



  18. GNU/Linux Reaffirms Its Status as the Universal and Inter-planetary Operating System

    The operating system made for and by scientists (not business sharks and marketing cults) is winning the battle, and not only in this planet



  19. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, February 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, February 24, 2021



  20. Links 25/2/2021: Kali Linux 2021.1, Wine Launcher 1.4.46, and Google's Security Posing

    Links for the day



  21. Links 24/2/2021: MariaDB 10.5.9, Krita 4.4.3 Beta, and Debuginfod Server for Debian

    Links for the day



  22. Self-Host Your Videos, Take Full Advantage of HTML5 and Video Attributes

    For self-hosting of videos over the World Wide Web (Gemini too can handle videos; its clients/browsers can, for example, link video files/URLs to external media players) it's worth reviewing the full set of features made available by the standards because a lot can be accomplished without JavaScript and without unnecessary bloat/complexity



  23. Trying Out NoiseTorch to Reduce Background Sound/Noise in GNU/Linux

    An introduction to noisetorch (or NoiseTorch), an application that helps create virtual microphones/devices with reduced background noise



  24. How the Big Banks and OIN Can Whitewash Software Patents and Do Nothing Concrete About Patent Trolls

    Response to the puff piece entitled "How the Big Banks and OIN Can Lock Out Patent Trolls with Enabled Publications"



  25. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, February 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, February 23, 2021



  26. How to Set Up a Gemini Server of Your Own, Even on a Simple Single-Board Computer

    Using Agate to start one's own Gemini capsule (self-hosted) is a lot simpler than one might be inclined to believe; this is a detailed HOWTO, hoping to encourage more people to join Gemini space, which is fast-growing and free of garbage



  27. Links 23/2/2021: Tails 4.16, Libinput 1.17, Fwupd 1.5.7, Firefox 86, NeoChat 1.1

    Links for the day



  28. The Word Master is Not Problematic in Most Contexts and Its Origin Hasn't a Connection to Slavery

    Slavery is to the word "master" mostly disconnected; it might, however, be closely connected in the minds of racists or the agenda of highly racist corporations (profiting from racism) that look for ways to distract from their racism



  29. On Misapplication, Misuse, Overuse and Abuse of Words (to Suit False Narratives)

    It is looking like the word "abuse" has been extended to basically mean all sorts of things including the act of actually exposing real abuse



  30. The Administrative Council Needs to Fix the EPO While It's Still Possible

    EPO staff and former staff (pensioners) aren't happy and the it's the responsibility of the Administrative Council to do something before it's too late (the reputation of the Office is already severely harmed and it's unable/unwilling to recruit suitable and qualified people, both as examiners and managers, respectively)


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

Recent Posts