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. UPC: To Understand Who Would Benefit From It Just Look at Who's Promoting It (Like TPP)

    The UPC, which is designed to aid patents trolls and aggressors (and their lawyers), is still being advanced by the EPO and some misinformed (but loyal to these former groups) politicians



  2. Trolls Molestos: Rovi (del famoso Angry Birds) Ayuda al Más Largo Troll de Patentes de Microsoft Intellectual Ventures (Corregido)

    Alguna vez conocido como hacedor de juegos y más tarde como vigilancia en masa en jugadores, Rovi ahora se ESTA ALIANDO CON EL MÁS GRANDE TROLL DE PATENTES



  3. Estadísticas de Invalidación de Patentes y Costos de Litigación de Patentes (incluso si son falsas) Muestran que la Esfera de Patentes y los Estándares de Examinación son un Probleman, No Sólo en Los Estados Unidos

    Demasiadas falsas patentes que no deberían haber sido otorgadas en primer lugar y fraudulentes jucios de patentes que terminan en favor del acusado sirve para mostrar el costo externo (o externalidad) cuando set trata de un bajisímo sistema de patentes que se esfuerza en otorgar muchas patentes irrespectivamente de su mérito.



  4. The 'Offenses' of EPO Staff Representatives Boil Down to Truth-Telling

    Dutch television examined the documents of the mock 'trials' against SUEPO leaders and concluded that whistle-blowing (i.e. exposing abuses by EPO management), not misconduct, is the reason for overzealous dismissals



  5. Rumours About Dismissal of Benoît Battistelli and New Letter From Union Syndicale Federale Blasting Battistelli's Behaviour

    hings have been heating up since the dismissal of staff representatives at the European Patent Office (EPO) and some even spread rumours about withdrawal/dismissal of the EPO's President



  6. VirnetX Case Against Apple Shows Not the Problem With Patent Trolls But With Software Patents

    What the media really ought to be talking about after the high-profile VirnetX case, rather than obsess about the status of Apple or patent trolls in the Eastern District of Texas



  7. Diápositivas de Nueva Charla Explican la Connección Entre la Corte De Patentes Unitarias (UPC) y Patentes de Software

    Benjamín Henrion habló el pasado Domingo acerca de las patentes de software europeas -una presentación que habla de la Corte Unitaria de Patentes, por la que la OEP aboga sin cesar y que es lo que significa para las patentes de software.



  8. Las Políticas de Microsoft Alienan Incluso a los Hinchas Más Acérrimos de Microsoft, Incluyendo Pro-Microsoft Web Sites

    El agresivo comportamiento de Microsoft y su BAJA CALIDAD DE PRODUCTOS dejan algunos de sus últimos restos de ´hinchas´ descorazonados y molestos.



  9. Links 6/2/2016: CoreOS Rocket 1.0, Scientific Linux 7.2

    Links for the day



  10. Maybe It's Time for Class Action Lawsuits Against Microsoft for Forced Vista 10 'Upgrades', Which Were Definitely No Accident

    The sheer arrogance of Microsoft, which silently changes the operating system on people's computers (without their consent), makes lawsuits imperative, not just a possibility



  11. Readers' Article: A Strange Conspiracy of Silence in the German Media (Part II)

    Željko Topić's allegedly dark background, which includes a suicide, a retreat of potential witnesses, German funds in Topić's private bank account and several more interesting bits



  12. Links 5/2/2016: Wine 1.9.3, Slackware 14.2 Beta 2

    Links for the day



  13. Links 4/2/2016: Red Hat Upgraded, Ubuntu Tablet

    Links for the day



  14. The Siege Continues: Patent Lawyers Want More Patents, Including Software Patents, In Spite of Alice

    Lawyers who make money from patent disputes make rather apparent their aspirations, which include patent saturation even in domains that are patents-exempt



  15. European Patent Office Pretends It's Business as Usual and Prepares New Vanity Pieces

    The PR strategy of the EPO, whose destructive patent strategy continues unabated (for now), latches onto Colombia and strives to manufacture mythology wherein the public, patent examiners and patent applicants are all very happy with the EPO



  16. The 'International' Trade Commission Imposes/Reinforces Software Patents to Establish Another Embargo

    The International [sic] Trade Commission is meddling in competition and allowing a US giant, Cisco in this case, to potentially block rivals (no imports from abroad) using software patents



  17. Readers' Article: A Strange Conspiracy of Silence in the German Media (Part I)

    The views of some of our readers regarding reluctance in the German media to challenge the EPO's violations of German law, probably because Germany benefits from being a host nation of the EPO



  18. Benoît Battistelli's EPO: From Show Trials and Mock Trials to a Self-Aggrandising Propaganda Event Later Today in Rijswijk

    A headsup from a reader regarding today's highly misleading event in Rijswijk (e.g. to mislead the media or seed positive media coverage in the Netherlands) and how it was set up



  19. Caricature of the Day: EPO President

    New caricature about Benoît Battistelli, his bodyguards, and the assault on free speech at the European Patent Office



  20. Company Known as European Patent Office Provides Tips on How to Patent Software in Europe

    The European Patent Office (EPO) uses its attendance at CeBIT, which is a corporate expo, to promote software patents in spite of the European Patent Convention (EPC)



  21. Links 3/2/2016: Dell GNU/Linux Laptop, Wine 1.8.1

    Links for the day



  22. The Most Detailed Explanation (Yet) of What's Wrong With the EPO

    The EPO's insistence that it remains above the law is not only coming under fire by the media but is also being challenged based on people who are familiar with the applicability of law to international organisations



  23. Angry Trolls: Rovi (of Angry Birds Fame) Helps Microsoft's Largest Anti-Linux Patent Troll, Intellectual Ventures (Corrected)

    nce known as a game maker and later made notorious for mass surveillance on gamers, Rovi now liaises with the world's largest patent troll



  24. Patent Invalidation Statistics and Cost of Patent Litigation (Even If Bogus) Show That Patent Scope and Examination Standards a Problem in Europe, Not Just the US

    Far too many bogus patents (patents that should not be granted in the first place) and spurious patent lawsuits that end up in favour of the defendant serve to show the external cost (or externality) when it comes to low-quality patent systems that strive to grant a lot of patents irrespective of merit



  25. Es Oficial: Por Medio de Entrismo, Microsoft Ha Convertido a la Pro-Linux Nokia en un Parásito de Patentes Anti-Linux

    Microsoft ha convertido a Nokia en un troll de patentes que ahora ataca a Linux y Android.



  26. Richard Stallman: Patentes Europeas de Software Regresan con la Corte Unitaria de Patentes (UPC)

    Debates acerca de la UPC estan siendo peleados por profesionales de software (entidades prácticantes) y elementos PARÁSITICOS como los abogados de patentes.



  27. SUEPO (EPO Staff Union) Appears to Have Launched a New and Improved Web Site After Attempts to Crush ('Decapitate') SUEPO

    SUEPO, the largest staff union of the European Patent Office, shows signs of strength rather than signs of weakness amidst attacks on the staff and a lot of media coverage, political interventions, and much more



  28. Links 2/2/2016: Chimpbox Quad Core, UNICEF Supports FOSS

    Links for the day



  29. Münchner Merkur Explains That EPO Staff is Defecting to SUEPO, Even The Council Distrusts Battistelli Now

    Press report from Munich, highlighting the crisis of leadership at the EPO, where the President is increasingly viewed as a villain



  30. Microsoft's Policies Alienate Even Microsoft's Biggest Fans, Including Pro-Microsoft Web Sites

    Microsoft's aggressive behaviour and low-quality products leave even some of its last remaining 'fans' disheartened and upset


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