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

12.07.09

Microsoft and AARP Join Hands to Spread Propaganda, Other New PR Stunts

Posted in Deception, Marketing, Microsoft at 6:24 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Brighton people

Summary: A look at some of Microsoft’s latest publicity tricks and deceitful moves

MICROSOFT has just found an interesting entity to collaborate with. That would be AARP, which someone once described to me as a politically-motivated organisation. “Keep in mind that there are many “charities” that are politically motivated organizations masquerading as 501c corporations,” he wrote. “Focus On the Family, Planned Parenthood, and AARP are just a few “pet charities” of politicians who encourage would-be “big dollar contributors” to make contributions to these organizations who won’t “tell you who to vote for” but will “deliver a message consistent with our own”.

AARP spends a lot of money lobbying and our reader Ryan mentions the political actions a lot [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] because of their viciousness. He compares AARP to the RIAA.

Here are Microsoft and AARP doing joint ‘research’ and bragging about it. What’s the motive? Well, whenever Microsoft does such studies, there is usually a financial motive (e.g. IDC to help with government lobbying around the world using Microsoft-sponsored surveys, like those which we saw last month [1, 2, 3]). Here is another “Microsoft-sponsored” survey, found only a few days ago:

AccountMate Software Corporation received a PERFECT score on the latest Microsoft-sponsored Net Satisfaction and Customer Loyalty survey in Customer Loyalty Segmentation, Revenue Impact and Net Satisfaction areas.

Microsoft finds other means of cheap PR and it sponsors all sorts of new events.

She has been selected as one of five semi-finalists in a contest sponsored by Microsoft to obtain official press passes to the games and access to all the Olympic skating stars.

Here is a more dubious new example. Microsoft’s Jan Muehlfeit, who last month we described as an “allegedly former communist [1, 2] [...] now the European chairman of Microsoft [...] lobbying in Europe [1, 2, 3, 4]” is now swapping favours and lock-in in Albania, potentially getting access and gaining control of national data.

Berisha briefed Muehlfeit on the government’s Digital Albania plan and welcomed consultancy services from Microsoft in project fields including education and health, the government said in a statement.

Here is some more PR from the company which deliberately tries to produce more waste [1, 2] and sell more bloated software, not just computers. A group of Microsoft employees went to Copenhagen and wrote about it. Hypocritically enough they also participated.

Next week, I and a dozen of my Microsoft colleagues will be in Copenhagen as a delegation of issue and technology experts supporting the UN’s Climate Change Conference (COP15). We are participating in a series of briefings, events, and partnership launches to showcase the power of information technology to help address the daunting energy and climate challenges the world faces.

It is interesting that this Web site is publishing Microsoft material as “news” (see author/source). There are other new examples and Microsoft is now using Copenhagen to “attack” Google based on pseudo-moral grounds.

Microsoft-Backed Green Search Engine Attacks Google

[...]

The Ecosia search engine announced this week in the run up to the UN climate talks in Copenhagen is being billed as an environmentally friendly application which donates 80 percent of the income generated from sponsored links to help preserve rainforests.

Another PR move from Microsoft appears to be this damage control over IE6 [1, 2, 3]. Microsoft recently refused to just kill IE6, which causes a lot of trouble and distress to webmasters. There were protests.

As one last example of PR, in order to keep afloat Microsoft devalues all of its products, including the top cash cow, Microsoft Office. They give something away free of charge (like Vista 7 beta) and then pretend there is huge demand for it. They control the image of the product through selective disclosure of information (PR). This time it’s Office 2010 beta*. Regarding retail price, one of our readers reminds us of “student edition, where everyone is a student.” There is clearly a decline in margins and now that Microsoft is giving away Office, the competitive pressure is clear to see.
____
* There is no Office 2009 as they promised, but they keep delaying, pretending it’s right around the corner (now they say June 2010).

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

A Single Comment

  1. wallclimber said,

    December 7, 2009 at 6:16 pm

    Gravatar

    I’ve refused to join AARP for many years now, in spite of their almost constant bombardment of membership and Life Insurance offers in my mailbox.

    The organization was originally formed to be a lobbying group and have never, to my knowledge, pretended to be anything else. Personally, I think they are little more than shills for the Insurance Industry. Above all else, they love being given access to old people’s bank accounts in order to automatically withdraw insurance payments (it’s ever-so-convenient, don’t ya know?).

    From the experiences of some of my friends, it’s also very, very difficult to get those automatic payments to stop, even after cancelling the insurance. Some people have actually had to close their bank accounts in order to stop the AARP Insurance withdrawals.

    AARP’s ability to lock-in, and suck money directly from, millions of people’s bank accounts must surely make Ballmer’s greedy heart go pitter-pat with pure envy and admiration.

    However, I had to chuckle at the use of Ryan’s opinions and quotes regarding the AARP. Ryan, being in his mid-twenties, is surely an all-knowing, authoritative source regarding age-related issues… (If you thought you sensed a slight edge of sarcasm in that last sentence, you’d likely be correct)

What Else is New


  1. More Utter Shame Unveiled at Battistelli's EPO: Intimidation Tactics With Help From 'Control Risks'

    The unaccountable thugs who run the EPO have hired London-based spooks to help silence their opposition and their critics



  2. GNU/Linux Still Under Attack From Apple and Microsoft, Patents Remain the Weapon of Choice

    A timely reminder of the importance of patent matters, for they are being used to eliminate the zero-cost advantage of Free/libre software and make it more proprietary, privacy-infringing, and user-hostile (as a result of blackmail)



  3. Gartner Group and NASSCOM: Will Lie for FUD, on Behalf of Microsoft and Proprietary Software

    Some of the latest arguments against Free/libre software turn out to be arriving from couriers of Microsoft and its agenda



  4. Windows is a Franchise in Demise, Don't Believe the Hype

    Ongoing propaganda about Vista 10, 'cloud', and other buzzwords or brands are put in perspective



  5. Links 21/5/2015: Fedora 22 RC2, CERN Chooses OpenStack

    Links for the day



  6. Microsoft is Again Showing Its Hatred of Free/Open Source Software by Lobbying the Indian Government to Drop a Rational National Policy

    Microsoft decides to attack Free/Open Source software (FOSS) in India, where the corporate media is very much complicit in misleading the public



  7. Links 20/5/2015: Containers, OpenStack, and EXT4 Corruption

    Links for the day



  8. The PATENT Act, Distraction of Trolls, and Lobbying for Software Patents by Protectionists

    Only large corporations and their lawyers are able to formally change the US patent system through public officials and politicians, despite recent rulings from very high courts



  9. Corporate Media and Friends of Microsoft Are Still Lying About the Cost of Vista 10

    In a desperate effort to beat operating systems that are Free (libre) and free (gratis), such as GNU/Linux or Android, Microsoft shores up the illusion of 'free' (gratis) Windows



  10. Links 19/5/2015: Linux 4.1 RC4, Thunderbird 31.7.0, OpenStack Event

    Links for the day



  11. Links 18/5/2015: Russia Chooses Jolla, Many New Distro Releases, Meizu Devices

    Links for the day



  12. Even Converting an Image to Greyscale is Now a Patent

    Simple mathematics becoming patented as Fujifilm claims 'ownership' of photographic conversion to greyscale



  13. Grooming of the World's Biggest Patent Troll, Nathan Myhrvold of Microsoft and Intellectual Ventures

    UCLA and Microsoft-linked media are framing big thugs as heroes, doing a great disservice to both academia and journalism



  14. The EPO's Fight to Bring Software Patents Into Europe is One Step Closer to a 'Victory' (for Multinationals)

    Opposition to the Unified Patent Court (UPC) is being crushed and Italy is one of the latest actors to have fallen in the battle



  15. Microsoft's 'Former' Staff Continues With His Anti-Google Rhetoric at CBS

    A Microsoft intern, who has moved on to journalism, is still showing his affinity for Microsoft with apologetics and spin



  16. More of Microsoft's False Claims About Cost of Vista 10 and More Layoffs

    Vista 10 is still being marketed using lies and Microsoft may be going down the same route as Nokia



  17. Microsoft Remotely Bricks -- Intentionally -- Xbox One

    Microsoft is showing off its kill switches, kills consoles of people whom it doesn't like



  18. IRC Proceedings: May 3rd - May 16th, 2015

    Many IRC logs



  19. Links 17/5/2015: NuTyX Saravane 15.05, Panasonic and Firefox OS

    Links for the day



  20. Links 16/5/2015: MAME Free Software. Rust 1.0, New Wine

    Links for the day



  21. Links 15/5/2015: GNOME 3.16.2, GNU Guix 0.8.2

    Links for the day



  22. Links 15/5/2015: Skrooge Releases, Linux 3.14.42, Linux 3.10.78

    Links for the day



  23. "VENOM" FUD Attack -- Like "Heartbleed" FUD Attack -- Linked to Microsoft

    Why CrowdStrike™ is motivated to smear Free software and establish a stigma of insecurity in Free software-based virtual machines/'clouds'



  24. Spinning Microsoft's Inability to Sell Windows (or Office) as a Strength

    The 'cloud' mindset, which is promoted by surveillance fanatics, increasingly used to pretend that Microsoft has a bright future, despite declining sales



  25. New Windows Ransomware: No Branding, Not Even a Mention of Windows

    New example of media bias which completely omits Windows and spares Microsoft as that may lead to bad publicity



  26. VENOM® is Not a Serious Bug, It's Just a Marketing Campaign From CrowdStrike

    Many journalists bamboozled into becoming couriers of CrowdStrike, an insecurity firm which tries to market itself using a name and logo for a very old bug



  27. Links 13/5/2015: GNU/Linux PCs in Russia, Fedora 22 Freeze

    Links for the day



  28. Does Anyone Still View Cyanogen as Anything But a Microsoft Proxy?

    The marriage of convenience between Microsoft and Cyanogen helps reaffirm CyanogenMod's status as a Microsoft Trojan horse which must be rejected



  29. Open Source Revisionism of GNU and Free Software History

    Media mistreatment of the very roots of Free/Open Source software (FOSS), which is now approaching 35 years in age and increasingly thriving



  30. Microsoft Wants GNU/Linux Users and Developers Addicted to Microsoft APIs by Means of Cross-Platform Proprietary Software

    Microsoft's proprietary software, such as Visual Studio Code and PowerShell, thrown at GNU/Linux users in an effort to promote Microsoft's way of doing things and re-enforce lock-in


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