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02.01.09

Andre Da Costa: Profile of a Microsoft Shill

Posted in Microsoft at 3:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“It could be argued that Microsoft’s unethical Technology Evangelism (TE) practices are “old news”—i.e., that Microsoft stopped using these questionable TE practices long ago. This is very unlikely to be the case, for at least three reasons.”

James Plamondon, former Microsoft shill (aka ‘Technology Evangelist’)

We’ve mentioned this chap before, but we never got around to producing much evidence, unlike with others. We strive to map out those whom Microsoft pays (or “compensates”) for their work defending Microsoft on the Web… or anonymously defaming its critics.

This one is not guilty of attacks against Microsoft critics, but mostly for exceptional amount of cheering for Microsoft around the Web; expertise seems to involve a great deal of copying&pasting of Microsoft press releases. If claims are true, he happens to be among people who received laptops from Microsoft because they are influential [1, 2].

“If claims are true, he happens to be among people who received laptops from Microsoft because they are influential.”Many examples have already been accumulated by people who watch this character closely and here is the latest.

One of our readers, who goes by the name “Goblin”, says that “Chips over on Microsoft Watch manag[ed] to find a link to Andre Da Costa and pictures of the laptop he was allegedly given by Microsoft. Look at him, all smiles… I’m not surprised he supports Microsoft, poor lad is probably after more free gifts [...] If the allegation is true, what does it say about Microsoft. Target an impressionable lad in a poor country, send him a gift (which he probably wouldn’t be able to afford) and then sit back and watch him promote your products in the hope of getting more. Sounds like $6000 well spent [...] if its true, is probably one of the lowest acts Microsoft has ever done.”

Another reader remarks: “His face is on his profile page so it is not big news. Target an impressionable lad in a poor country, send him a gift…”

Look at the mouse pad. How can this not be a gift from Microsoft?

None of this should be particularly surprising because he behaves like others who are putting themselves up for sale, e.g.:

# Andre Da Costa May 23rd, 2008 at 10:53 pm

Hi Ashely,

You are linked on my Windows Community based website ‘Teching It Easy’ under the ‘My Favorite Spots’ category.

I am begging please let me win this MacBook Air, I am desperate for a laptop like this. I would appreciate it so much. If you let me win it I can even get additional links at popular websites where you can get to increase your readership. I want an Apple laptop so bad that I have gone as far as emailing Steve Jobs asking for a free MacBook Air, he replied with a polite ‘Sorry, but no’ Sent from my iPhone, LOL!. There are a number of reasons I need this notebook, its slim design, my Dell Latitude 840c died on me in February, I like the look of Leopard and I am just desperate right now.

Just to let you know how much I want this, I am leaving my cell number here: 1-876-421-6545

Microsoft, unlike Apple, feeds these people. We saw similar cases before where bloggers beg Microsoft for freebies (schwag) and Microsoft is happily exploiting this, even inviting this. It may just be part of the policy or strategy. Microsoft also bribes bloggers to attack Apple.

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A Single Comment

  1. Goblin said,

    February 1, 2009 at 4:00 am

    Gravatar

    Whatever the truth regarding the intentions of Microsoft for sending him this laptop, I do have a great deal of pity for him.
    -
    After a little research on the net it appears the average salary in his country is around $3,790 US per year. That makes a $6000 laptop a hell of a gift.
    -
    No wonder he said on Microsoft Watch “Vista is loved” since Im sure he does love it if he on average or less salary.
    -
    Andres case was a simple one, I have others. After the conclusion report on my site, Ill be moving on.
    -
    If people want to receive or Microsoft want to send gift/review copies etc, I have no problem with that, providing people disclose that fact when posting comments so that it can be made clear to the reader who may be influenced by what they say.
    -
    For the record though, its yet to be determined if the begging of the Apple laptop is him. As I said before it could have been made out of devilment, although it does highlight how free gifts may be so appealing to posters that they are willing to “sell their souls” in order to get a freebie.
    -
    I would like to hear an official word from Microsoft about disclosure policy, having read the blog of someone who made an article on the free gift he received from Microsoft, there was no conditions or strings attached to it, which would suggest to me that he was not encouraged to disclose. Since Microsoft is a public company, I wonder if the figures for these type of gifts could be requested?
    -
    Ive always likened the current Linux/Windows issues to the 16bit wars of the early 90′s (Amiga/ST) although I cant remember an allegations of Atari or Commodore sending out free gifts to users (someone tell me otherwise)
    -
    One of the best things Roy of getting involved in Open Source was discovering “gems” like your site. Its funny, whilst you are being accused (by some) of having dubious intentions, its not you being alleged of having received gifts.
    -
    Keep up the good work!

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