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11.19.08

Waggener-Edstrom Behind the 2008 Laptop Bribes, Edelman Behind 2006′s

Posted in Marketing, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7 at 12:24 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Kid with laptop

“I receive an e-mail from Julie McCormick at Waggener Edstrom in which she extends a “special save-the-date” invitation to attend a “unique, invitation-only” event being hosted by the Windows Client team. She labels the subject matter as “confidential”…”

Randall C. Kennedy

AS we stressed many times before, Microsoft’s interference with Web coverage is rarely done directly. Microsoft hires one of its several marketing agencies that are not tied to Microsoft, which makes them look relatively innocent [1, 2, 3, 4].

In the case of Waggener-Edstrom, we have already seen how they “plant” stories in the news. This is well documented, with court evidence in fact [1, 2].

It has just come to our attention that this year's laptop bribes (for Vista 7) came from Waggener-Edstrom, not Edelman like the last time (bribes for Vista reviews). Edelman was almost boycotted by PCWorld for that incident, so why not Waggener-Edstrom?

“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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17 Comments

  1. Gentoo User (and proud of it) said,

    November 19, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    Gravatar

    Why do you keep calling Joel Spolsky a “Microsoft manager”? Because it’s convenient in this context? Why not just call him by his name?

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

  2. Gentoo User (and proud of it) said,

    November 19, 2008 at 3:53 pm

    Gravatar

    Why don’t you just delete my posts or block my IP address then, instead of doing this childish thing of appending your little flames to them?

    Or – here’s an idea – why don’t you answer the question I asked?

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

  3. Goblin said,

    November 19, 2008 at 6:22 pm

    Gravatar

    “Why don’t you just delete my posts or block my IP address then”

    I would guess because unlike the people you have sold your soul to. Boycott Novell doesnt want to censor you, merely expose. For your info “Gentoo non user” I (and I would guess most other readers) could care less about what his name is. Maybe as a “xmas special” Roy could do a MS hall of shame, would that make you happy?

    Roy, thank you. You’ve opened my eyes with your site. I went from simply switching to open source to actively promoting it where-ever I can, thanks to the work you done highlighting and exposing the rather distasteful practices of certain companies.

    Youre efforts are appreciated, and certainly collegues who I introduced to your site are starting to think differently as well.

    Regards.

  4. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 19, 2008 at 6:33 pm

    Gravatar

    Thanks, Goblin,

    Someone has just pointed out (in IRC) that “Gentoo user” is acting innocent, portraying self as a victim. Another vile troll, who typically goes by the name ‘eet’, tried the same thing and began using open proxies to launch his attacks that broke Godwin’s law. I neglected to add that in order to see “Gentoo user”‘s real colours, one has to look at older comments.

    There are only 2 people, “Gentoo user” being the second, that ever get flagged and it’s only because of repeated complaints from other readers, who suggested we either delete (we won’t) or flag the comments.

  5. G. Michaels said,

    November 19, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    Gravatar

    @Gentoo User: A word of advise here. Walk away. Roy has complete control of this website and can do anything he wants. Attaching little comments in red to your posts might very well be the least of your troubles. Seriously, just let it go. You can email me at gordy/dot/michaels at gmail/dot/com if you want specifics on why you should stop posting the way you are posting (or just stop altogether). I don’t think you realize what you might have gotten into here.

    @Goblin: I’m sorry you need BoycottBoy to tell you how to think.

    @Roy: You wrote up a whole post about Gentoo User, then proceeded to mark all his comments with your infantile red warning, but after all that effort you are still incapable of posting a single example of his “slander” and “insults”? That’s truly amazing, I say. Instead of behaving like a petty vindictive child on Prozac, why don’t you answer his comments or his request for proof that he’s been trolling you? I would also like to see these complaints for “readers”, if you don’t mind. Would I be able to find them in your IRC logs? I hope you’re not referring to your pet nymshifter though, that would be pretty bad.

    A site search reveals maybe about 20 comments from him/her, not including the ones he posted today defending himself. I can post the links if you want. I mean, you obviously don’t have time for that sort of thing and can’t be bothered. Let me know. I always try to be helpful. This one for example:

    “”””””
    Ok… this is just weird. Can you explain why you consider offering something for less/better service, etc. to be “predatory”? Predatory or abusive implies leveraging a position of strength, which Novell certainly does not have in this case.

    Please, explain.

    Also, are you going to post retractions to your libel of journalists you accused of being “bribed” by Microsoft? Can they expect that soon?
    “”””””

    Boy, that’s certainly hovering right there between insult and slander.

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

  6. Jose_X said,

    November 19, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    Gravatar

    G. Michaels, I know this is ..um.. off-topic.. but the predatory question is easy to answer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dumping_(pricing_policy)

    Not even 20 minutes ago on irc, right before turning in for the night, roy brought up ms actions to starve competition. The predator takes a hit because he knows he can handle it. MS monopoly money comes in to save the day while MS buys market share. That’s market share the competition won’t have. The lost money is quickly made up later and multiplied once control is seized.

    Watch, though this is not dumping, I would not be surprised to see vmware collapse (even beyond the 80%+ price drop it has already experienced since this time last year) and the press write about it in a few years of how vmware couldn’t hold ground against microsoft. Vmware owners of last year have dumped lots of stock on the public, I’d wager. This opened the door for the deals that came with Microsoft. I mean what incentives are there now for vwmare to continue fighting.. especially with the Linux pressure and a sweet deal with Microsoft not far away? [Roy mentioned in irc the lawsuit vmware had against ms.. that's trading leverage I'd say.] Expect some amount of vmware technology/help within MS products (transferred/bought) and wmware to gradually disappear from sight as they lose market share. Expect vmware binaries as trojans and as special vehicles to try and make MSLinux (ballnux, sled, etc) a more “attractive” more interoperable linux proposition. And vmware likely won’t be suing when the blood has finished spilling, at least not if the recent deals were their settlement with microsoft. .. Some of this is a hunch, but why not mention it now? Stock has already dropped a ton and vmware is closed source, run by maritz, and dealing closely with ms.. so anything goes.

  7. Jose_X said,

    November 19, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    Gravatar

    Sorry, this is a much better link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Predatory_pricing . “Dumping” appears to be associated today with specific actions which aren’t quite what I was after.

  8. G. Michaels said,

    November 20, 2008 at 1:12 am

    Gravatar

    @Jose_X: I don’t think it’s predatory, and I’ll tell you why. The same reason Gentoo User mentioned, which is the little fact (missed by BoycottBoy of course) that Novell is *entering* the market as a sort of underdog (if you will), plus my own astute observation that this market is essentially brand new and the rules are still waiting to be written. Think about it. Until now, RedHat has been in competition mainly with Sun, HP and others over Unix-to-Linux migrations, and to a smaller extent, Windows-to-Linux. No other Linux vendor has tried to fight them over that niche, so there really hasn’t been any Linux-vs-Linux competition in the enterprise space so far. At least that I know of. IBM only sells Linux to run virtualized on their mainframes, don’t they? I could be wrong about that.

    So if Novell says “hey, we have Linux expertise, we can support your RHEL installation and migrate you over to SLES and we’ll charge you less”, that’s the beauty of Free Software as encoded by Richard Stallman himself. Hey, everybody has the code, so *everybody* can support and cannibalize everybody’s market. It’s basically a free-for-all if you think about it, and eventually it will come down to who has the best sales organization. It’s not “dumping” in any way. And I suspect (having dealt with Novell’s in the past) that Provo is a bit better than RedHat in that department, though I must admit I’m not 100% sure about that.

    I see your point about virtualization, but it will take a few more years for that to become fully mainstream. In the meantime, I think most companies will continue to buy boxes and install some OS or other on them for whatever purpose they need.

    Honestly, if I were a RHEL customer I’d be excited at this, not indignant like BoycottBoy here, because I might stand to save some money. Maybe he’s pissed off because it’s actually RedHat that pays the bills around here :)

    And who knows, maybe Novell can even pull it off.

    Cheers.

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

  9. Cor said,

    November 20, 2008 at 2:11 am

    Gravatar

    Roy’s behavior on his own blog is really, really childish!

  10. Goblin said,

    November 20, 2008 at 7:30 am

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    Hey,

    I really like the name Boycott boy. Could I be called GNU Girl then?

    Boycott Boy and GNU Girl, could be the makings of a great franchise.

    I find it funny how you insult Roy by suggesting he is childish, then go onto use infantile names yourself. This isnt a school playground, and if you want to play with older people, I suggest you start talking and acting properly.

    Your suggestion that Roy tells me how to think is really rather silly, but even if it was true, Id rather be brainwashed by Roy than MS or Novell.

    Doesnt the way we reason base itself on opinions of others in some shape or form. To me, my opinions are formed through MY OWN research AFTER listening to both sides. If I took a Novell/MS stance, the same could be said of me being brainwashed, so I cant win which ever side I take.

    In regards to “Also, are you going to post retractions to your libel of journalists you accused of being “bribed” by Microsoft? Can they expect that soon?”
    -
    Id expect that should they believe they had a case they would have acted by now. Maybe you could answer why they are not?

    You see Mr Michaels, I would guess that in terms of corporate law, patents etc your knowledge far passes mine. My opinions on the product range of MS come from a coding background, where I believe I am far more qualified to comment on functionality and effectiveness of MS v Opensource. I have extensively used the packages/products I talk about, whilst as always I make it clear they are my own opinions and not fact, I am entitled to my opinions.

    I happen to agree with Roy on his articles about MS/Novell, but make no mistake, even if this site was not here I would still be taking the stance against the practices of all proprietary software firms who want to sell & promote software without informing users that they have a choice and often a free one.

    If wanting users to have a free alternative without any of the issues of proprietary is wrong, then fine, I must be a bad person. But just because I dont agree with your particular stance, do not suggest that I am any lesser a person and am brainwashed by anyone.

    Mr Michaels can I ask, is your stance personal opinion or one of corporate line of MS/Novell?

  11. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 20, 2008 at 7:37 am

    Gravatar

    He came to this site chasing “twitter”, just like Gentoo User. He is shilling for Microsoft or attacking Microsoft critics on Slashdot, as people can attest to.

  12. Jose_X said,

    November 20, 2008 at 11:22 am

    Gravatar

    vmware… I wanted to say something else. Microsoft and vmware likely have a technology pack. The way I’d guess that would turn out would be with Microsoft being able to basically substitute in for vmware software. What this will allow for is to give only Microsoft the easy ability to take over all of vmware’s market. The problem with this theory is that I think vmware works without any hooks so that anyone can take over.. well, actually no. I only know a bit about virtual box. There I think the virtualized stuff (everything) is placed inside a file. Whether vmware uses a special file or a special filesystem or something along those lines, the point is that it’s probably proprietary. Thus if (a) much of the market depends on vmware, (b) vmware shares enough with Microsoft, and (c) the formats are closed, then Microsoft will have a fast track path to all of vmware’s market.

    I guess something similar could be said for Xen/Citrix and those that buy the proprietary versions.

  13. Jose_X said,

    November 20, 2008 at 11:49 am

    Gravatar

    G. Michaels, I wasn’t talking about anyone in specific or any specific market.

    I presume you now want to talk on how you think Novell is entering the (some or other) server market… and that this is not predatory.

    I don’t know about predatory because I don’t know about the market. I don’t know what they charge etc. What I do know is that Novell is getting subsidized by Microsoft or call it contracted by Microsoft. I don’t see too much more reason to go further. Sure, they are going after Red Hat. Of course, whom else did you expect them to focus hardest on? Novell is Microsoft’s Linux contractee.

    Anyway, let me point to this link: http://boycottnovell.com/2008/10/11/mono-2-beyond-the-hype/#comment-27135

    Just in case the message still hasn’t gotten through, let me say that I have no problem with there being many Linux commercial companies. ***Naturally these would compete aggressively against Microsoft primarily (this makes most sense because Microsoft is the single biggest threat, the biggest most leveraged force, and the most proprietary by far) and secondarily against each other.*** However, presumably such competition would be healthy if it was independent. The fact Novell is working towards their and Microsoft’s shared goals means that this is not independent competition but a teaming up and leveraging of Microsoft’s existing base+various monopolies. Read the link above if you skipped it to get an idea of how much Novell is helping Microsoft just in the software department (never mind marketing, business strategy, and intelligence).

    I pity Microsoft customers. They could use a lot of money saving. Instead Red Hat customers (according to you) would save a little bit perhaps by going with Novell. We know Novell is a proprietary company primarily. They gain to see Red Hat’s model be pushed way back, than to see the proprietary, leveraged model take a serious hit.. but that’s not even that important now. Perhaps this was a motivation for going to Microsoft. Now, they are working for Microsoft anyway.

  14. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 20, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    Gravatar

    That theory about VMware is interesting. Microsoft has also aligned with Citrix/Xen and Novell is there too. Red Hat bought KVM.

  15. Jose_X said,

    November 20, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Gravatar

    Sun has virtualbox.. anyway, it makes sense for competitive reasons to own virtualization source code if you want to make it proprietary or simply to have control over a very important element of the stack.

    What I would want to keep tabs on is what citrix and vmware do. These are the proprietary companies, and these are the ones close to Microsoft (maritz+deals and of course citrix). Marketshare for these two may drop (stay low), yielding most of it to Microsoft (this might happen eventually even without a deal.. or so these two might reason). But will they play an important collaborative role with Microsoft in colluding to keep as much market share as possible from Red Hat, Sun, and anyone else?

  16. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 20, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    Gravatar

    Citrix and VMware (EMC rather) are both partners of the year to Microsoft (2008). Keep this in mind because Microsoft gives these awards. Xen keeps talking about major announcements. Crosby and the guys totally decided to sell out. In my correspondence with RMS a couple of days ago he said “VMware is fundamentally bad because it is non-free.”

    Yes, the technology I recommend now is KVM, which is GPL-licensed.

    Hyper-V non-free. There are many reasons I can think of to avoid it other than the fact that it’s non-Free software. Hyper-V is a Trojan horse — a ramp if you like — for selling more non-Free software.

  17. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 21, 2008 at 6:55 am

    Gravatar

    Well, look what we have today:

    VMware keeps shedding off key staff, kind of like Yahoo and ISO:

    VMware Security Chief Leaves to Run OpenDNS

    “The head of VMware’s security group has left to join San Francisco’s OpenDNS, a startup that provides Internet infrastructure services.

    “Nand Mulchandani took over as CEO of the DNS (domain name system) service provider on Nov. 5, replacing founder David Ulevitch, who will remain as the company’s chief technology officer, according to a company spokeswoman.

    “Mulchandani is the latest VMware executive to depart after company co-founder and CEO Diane Green was ousted in July of this year. In September another VMware co-founder, Chief Scientist Mendel Rosenblum, resigned. Richard Sarwal, who led the company’s research and development efforts, also left around the same time.”

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/154288/.html?tk=rss_news

    The concern is that Microsoft might be putting its cronies its place.

    Let’s keep an eye on this.

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