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11.09.08

IDG/IDC (Yardena Arar): Bribed by Microsoft

Posted in Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 10:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Kid with laptop

FOR several weeks now, over at the IRC channel, I have been complaining that someone called Yardena Arar, who never ever appears in IDG, yet suddenly she shows up with weird articles that look like commercials for Microsoft.

Realising the importance of headlines and summarising it as “A big fix for Vista,” Arar and Harry McCracken have published a joint advertisement coverage for the next iteration of Vista, which they reviewed on their gifts from Microsoft. The disclosures portion gives some numbers.

Along with several dozen other reviewers and analysts, we got our first real look at the OS, preinstalled on loaner notebooks, over the weekend at a workshop on the eve of the Microsoft Professional Developers Conference.

There are no disclosures everywhere one goes. So, although we can never obtain the names of these dozens of people, we gradually accumulate intelligence and we make a plea to readers who can help expand it. What we have so far is:

The article from Arar and McCracken was spread all over the many domains of IDC/IDG (see list of Web sites here). It appears in so many sites that are owned by IDG and I could find about 10. Even TechWorld, which turns out to be theirs, has a copy of it. They even put as a permanent review page. Same in “PC Advisor”, which sounds formal and reliable to an innocent errant reader.

IDG even had this ‘exported’ (sold) to other sites (and networks) like itbusiness.ca.

Microsoft and its cronies are still seeding the Web with their gifted-for disinformation, which is based on high-specced and optimised machines, accommodated by pro-Microsoft bias. Be careful out there.

“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

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6 Comments

  1. Yardena Arar said,

    November 10, 2008 at 8:03 pm

    Gravatar

    This post was just brought to my attention.

    I’m sorry that my 12 years at PC World (during which I have written and/or edited numerous stories about various releases of Windows) have gone unnoticed by you, but a Google search does turn up a number of my articles. I was not conjured up out of thin air to provide free advertising for Microsoft.

    As for the loaner notebooks Microsoft provided to myself and other reviewers, I’m at a loss as to why anyone would think they are different from any number of products PC World receives on loan (and returns) for review–or are you suggesting that we’re on the take for everything we cover and don’t purchase ourselves?

    For the rest, please see my colleague Harry McCracken’s comments on a similar post devoted to him: http://boycottnovell.com/2008/11/09/harry-mccracken-bribed-by-ms/.

    Yardena Arar
    Senior Editor, PC World

  2. Gentoo User said,

    November 10, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    Gravatar

    I think Schestowiz is going to have to do some serious damage control and all-around apologizing very soon. Talk about being desperate to push the party line.

    Note: comment arrived from a witch hunter that does not even use GNU/Linux.

  3. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 10, 2008 at 8:53 pm

    Gravatar

    I think Schestowiz is going to have to do some serious damage control and all-around apologizing very soon.

    I think “Gentoo User” is going to have to do stop serious site-trolling and all-around stalking very soon. Are you not tired yet? You’ve sunk quite low, have you not?

    Yardena, the stories told after an incident are not always the original stories. Many people are keeping these laptops. If you return yours, you’ll be doing the right thing.

  4. Gentoo User said,

    November 10, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    Gravatar

    “Sunk quite low”? I don’t quite get you. What are you referring to?

    I specifically was commenting on your choice of title “BRIBED BY MICROSOFT” when you have no proof whatsoever of that, at least three of the journalists you’ve slurred have given you the courtesy of an explanation and it seems all you can do is make pithy comments about what you think people should go about correcting their “mistakes”, instead of just owning up and apologizing for what is clearly libel based on an incorrect premise.

    Again, BRIBED BY MICROSOFT. Your words. If you consider that “trolling” then I suggest you limit the ability to post to those people who think exactly like you. That always makes things easier, I guess.

    For someone who has spent the past few years (at least that I can tell) bemoaning alleged libel, nymshifting, sockpuppetry and insults, you sure seem unimpressed by what happens in your own blog.

    And I would appreciate a clarification about the “sunk quite low” part, if you don’t mind.

    Note: comment arrived from a witch hunter that does not even use GNU/Linux.

  5. twitter said,

    November 17, 2008 at 2:06 am

    Gravatar

    The “GeekPI” and others boasted to the world and told Roy privately that the “loaners” are “compensation” or “indefinite.” If we were dealing with a normal company it would be reasonable to infer that all of the loaners were gifts. Either way, the GeekPI’s unintentional irony is not lost here:

    I really think the GeekPI coverage is going to put the rest of those ‘tech’ blogs to shame.

    Shame indeed, but M$, not Roy, is the author of it. M$ created this situation by either playing favorites or not making their intentions clear. Just how much influence M$ has over journalists will become clear when Windows 7 is finally delivered. Many journalists publically regretted their praise of Vista, which was a complete failure despite the performance of their loaners. Windows 7 looks like more of the same, but who knows. Perhaps your tweaked out “loaner” is going to be just like what everyone else will see and your glowing reviews will be justified. The overwhelming odds are on Windows 7 being a embarrassment to everyone involved.

  6. G. Michaels said,

    November 17, 2008 at 2:11 am

    Gravatar

    Watch out for this ‘twitter’ fellow, his job on BN is to insult anyone who tries to discuss issues or clarify things. twitter is a well-known Slashdot troll and nymshifter:

    http://slashdot.org/~SockDisclosure/journal/214377

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

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