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


Apple Sent iPads to ‘Important’ Writers Weeks Before Launch

Posted in Apple, FSF, Marketing, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 8:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“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

Summary: How Apple’s hype machine was helped by a strategic distribution of its products ahead of its heavily-embargoed release details

MICROSOFT bribed influential bloggers and journalists for positive early reviews of Vista 7 and Windows Vista. It worked. Both operating systems were praised prior to their release. Yes, even Windows Vista got some rave reviews; it’s hard to criticise someone who gifts you with a $2,000 item. Microsoft bribes AstroTurfers in very much the same way [1, 2]. Based on the example of Andre Da Costa, they pretend to be fans of Microsoft’s products while approaching Apple at the same time to find out if they too can bribe, in which case they would “switch teams”, so to speak. Watch how Don Dodge changed his tune after Microsoft had stopped paying him to be a professional, full-time AstroTurfer [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

“This generally shows that Apple’s and Microsoft’s marketing strategies are similar.”The fake hype company might be up to similar tricks. Yes, it turns out that Apple secretly gave tablets to famous reporters (probably for free) in advance. Why? In order to generate buzz and “receive feedback” (nice cover-up). It’s not as though the product can be re-manufactured within weeks. One of these people was Cringely, who has been writing about tablets recently, only later to reveal that he had been “beta testing the Apple tablet for the past two weeks…”

Of course he would generally be cocky towards them. They sent him this product in advance because he has influence. This generally shows that Apple’s and Microsoft’s marketing strategies are similar. We also wrote about Apple and AstroTurfing last year.

Anyway, here is a satire about the Apple iPad, courtesy of our reader David. “Defective by Design”, an FSF campaign, was there at the announcement in order to educate attendees about the harms of Apple products. There is also this petition protesting against the iPad.

Microsoft’s own tablet disappointed at CES 2010 and here is a new article about it:

HP shows off its slate computer while revealing a key disappointing detail (Windows)


That’s sort-of why Windows Mobile never really left the nerd market and Palm had great early success. Winmo required computer skills with layers and layers of OS until just recently when companies started to skin the GUI with a more friendly interface. Palm OS on the other hand was simple , but yet robust enough for most mobile computing tasks ten years ago.

Microsoft will report its financial results later on today and it will try to distract people by talking about Vista 7 sales (compared to a year of Vista and no release). It’s a decoy. Chips B. Malroy wrote last night: “The money report on the quarter should come out soon. The figure I seen was an 7% increase over last years same quarter which was really bad, and an increase over same quarter of 24% in general of new computer sales with windows on them. It was the Xmas season, and the small increase of profits, compared to the total increase in sales, relates to Netbooks (cheaper computer sold) with low cost XP home or Seven Starter be dumped on them.

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


  1. Yuhong Bao said,

    January 29, 2010 at 1:02 pm


    “beta testing the Apple tablet for the past two weeks…”
    AFRIK beta testing new software is common practice for Apple. In fact, Apple has been sending pre-release software to developers for years.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Yes, but that’s beside the point.

    your_friend Reply:

    Be careful not to confuse the sharing of ideas, software, with the sharing of physical things. If they were a free software company, they would not need “beta testers” because everyone would have the software at the same time. This is the miracle of ideas, they can be reproduced by everyone at no cost to their originators. On the other hand, we can’t expect a for profit company to give away physical devices.

    Reviews are a difficult business. Gifts might look like bribery if it are not done in a transparent way. Even if it was transparent, we have to worry if we worry about the influence such a valuable gift might have over the receivers. Gifts to established review agencies like Consumer Reports and established journalists are less suspect than gifts to students and bloggers who have little else to pay the bills.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    This is especially true when it comes to Microsoft. If it wants people to review Windows, it can just send software for people to actually install (that’s part of the test). They don’t require a $2000 machine with preinstalled and optimised software.

What Else is New

  1. Links 24/10/2016: Linux 4.9 RC2

    Links for the day

  2. Battistelli Plans to Expand the Social [sic] 'Study' (Then 'Conference') Propaganda Until Next Month, Under the 'Workshop' Umbrella

    Milking his shameless propaganda (paid-for 'studies'), Battistelli wants to rewrite the record by all means possible, then pretend that EPO staff participates in it

  3. EPO and EUIPO Join Hands to Release Propaganda (for European Media to Parrot) Some Time Tomorrow

    EPO and EUIPO in collaboration for the promotion of the notion that they are both necessary (and reinforced speculations about growing overlap between them)

  4. UPC Preparatory Committee Puts the Brakes on UPC Amid Brexit and Growing Uncertainty

    The Unified Patent Court (UPC) preparatory committee recognises that the UPC isn't going anywhere (any time soon) and false job advertisements -- or advertisements for jobs that will never exist -- are withdrawn

  5. Updates Regarding EPO and BoAC: Unrest and Injustice Carry on

    Some of the latest information which is publicly and privately available to us, in particular regarding the case of a suspended judge which represents unprecedented erosion of the appeal boards' independence (and hence lack of justice in the Organisation)

  6. EPO and the “Iberian Connection”: Patricia García-Escudero Márquez - Battistelli's Pet Chinchilla on the Boards of Appeal Committee?

    Why the Boards of Appeal Committee has begun showing prominent signs that it is anything but independent and capable of standing up to Battistelli (or his circle at the Office, which includes the “Iberian Connection")

  7. Links 23/10/2016: Alcatel's New Android Smartphones, Another Honorary Doctorate for Stallman

    Links for the day

  8. Open Letter Exposing the Farce Which Was Battistelli's 'Social Conference' Coinciding With Further (New) Attacks on EPO Staff Representatives

    A detailed letter reveals legitimate concerns expressed by staff representatives at the EPO ahead of the so-called Social Conference, in which we have highlighted severe factual flaws

  9. Translation of Latest Rant From French MP Philip Cordery About Benoît Battistelli's Abuses at the EPO

    Philip Cordery crosses horns with Benoît Battistelli, who has become a source of embarrassment for France with his autocratic tendencies and misguided policies that rapidly ruin the European Patent Office (EPO)

  10. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Leaked Document Shows PwC's Dishonesty and Misrepresentation of EPO Staff

    An in-depth analysis (but not comprehensive, just preliminary) of the so-called 'study' from PwC, which basically did what it was paid for (pay to say)

  11. Links 22/10/2016: Deus Ex for GNU/Linux, Global DDoS (DNS)

    Links for the day

  12. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC ‘Study’: Survey Comparison Shows Serious Deterioration and Efforts by PwC to Disguise the Truth

    The latest output from PwC turns out to be even worse than initially thought, indicating that not only did it find a degradation in the EPO but also attempted to hide/obscure it

  13. EPO Teaser - The "Iberian Connection" - Some Photos of García-Escudero and His Royal/Government Connections

    A look at the undeniably close connections between Mr. García-Escudero and the most powerful people in Spain

  14. Disruption to Site's Service

    A technical note about why Techrights has not been publishing many articles recently

  15. Links 21/10/2016: MPV 0.21, Mad Max for GNU/Linux

    Links for the day

  16. EPO Caricature: Battistelli's High Five

    Another cartoon about the sad state of the EPO

  17. Battistelli Ruins Not Only the EPO But Also the Whole of Europe By Ushering in Software Patents That Patent Trolls Love So Much

    Battistelli's bad leadership at the EPO threatens to bring to Europe all the ills and menaces of the patent system in the United States

  18. EPO Spokesman Lies to IP Watch in Order to Save Face and Save the King (Battistelli)

    Rewriting history (revisionism) regarding Battistelli and what was demanded amidst abusive behaviour from him

  19. Unitary Patent (UPC) is Dead, But 'Managing IP' and Selfish Patent Law Firms Still Try to Resurrect It

    The latest attempts to shore up the Unitary (or Unified) Patent Court and who's behind it other than the usual suspects

  20. Links 20/10/2016: Linux 4.10 Preview, ONF and ON.Labs to Merge

    Links for the day

  21. Battistelli-Commissioned PwC 'Study': The Raw Outcome Shows Distortion of the Facts at the EPO's Notorious 'Social Conference'

    Results of the Staff Survey carried out by PwC, in order to provide some propaganda for Battistelli's expensive Social Conference

  22. Addendum: EPO's Alberto Casado Cerviño, WIPO's Francis Gurry, and EUIPO's Archambeau

    Photos taken as part of an IP event which took place in Riga (Latvia) in March 2015

  23. Worrisome Connections Between EPO VP2 Alberto Casado Cerviño and Patricia García-Escudero Márquez

    Exploring the potential conflicts of interests implicating the EPO's Boards of Appeal Committee

  24. Site's Infrastructure Under Attack and Upgrades Ahead of Major New Publications

    Protections for the Web site have been improved and capacity increased in order to avoid or at least prepare for another week of abusive/spam traffic

  25. Team Battistelli's Conspiracy Theory: SUEPO is Behind Everything, EPO Management is Trying to Tell the Media

    Attempts to blame SUEPO, the staff union of the EPO, even though SUEPO has nothing to do with articles that are critical of the EPO while many thousands of EPO employees are disgruntled

  26. Links 19/10/2016: Canonical Livepatch Service, Plasma Plans

    Links for the day

  27. The 'Sarah Sharps' of Microsoft: Not the Kind of Scandal the Media Cares Enough to Write About

    Another example of the large (industrial) scale of sexual discrimination at Microsoft -- a company that tries to advertise itself as diverse or tolerant and stigmatise Free/Open Source software (FOSS) as intolerant and/or not diverse

  28. EPO Caricature: EQE Questions

    The latest EPO cartoon, this time about European qualifying examination (EQE)

  29. The Long History or Seeds of Control by Fear and Punishment at the EPO

    The latest hogwash from Team Battistelli (Pinocchio), the latest instance of software patents promotion by EPO Principal Director, and an old (decade-old) nugget of information from the Forum for Principal Directors

  30. Subject of the European Patent Office's Abuses Raised in European Parliament by Ulrike Müller (ALDE)

    A local copy of a bunch of questions asked less than a month ago by Ulrike Müller at the European Parliament, regarding the unacceptable state of affairs at the European Patent Office (EPO)


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


Recent Posts