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04.07.10

Aggressive Marketing for Vista 7

Posted in GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 3:41 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Dog eat dog

Summary: Microsoft is spinning security problems and uses the press to pressure people to buy a newer version of the same operating system while one Microsoft MVP still comments using a pseudonym (multiple accounts)

WINDOWS TRENDS are usually quite telling. In 9 days of news*, not a single headline was about Vista and there were under 20 clusters of headlines about “Windows 7″.

Microsoft’s Seinfeld ads are still being brought up by Microsoft-rewarded 'news' sites, leading to some complaints:

I’m not quite sure what this was important to someone, but Todd Bishop of TechFlash sat down with Microsoft to discuss those crazy Seinfeld ads from way back in ought-8. He essentially asked Microsoft “What were you thinking?” and got some interesting replies.

Seinfeld is said to have dumped Windows altogether [1, 2].

“It’s secure. Really! Our former employees say so.”

Last month we saw Vista 7 falling at Pwn2Own. Mozilla was the first to provide patches.

Mozilla beats Apple, Microsoft to Pwn2Own patch punch

Mozilla late yesterday patched a critical Firefox vulnerability used by a German researcher to win $10,000 for hacking the open-source browser at last week’s Pwn2Own contest.

In a repeat of 2009, Mozilla was the first browser maker to patch a bug exploited at Pwn2Own. In fact, the company improved on its performance by fixing the newest flaw only eight days after Nils, a researcher who works for U.K.-based MWR InfoSecurity, hacked Firefox. Last year, Mozilla took 10 days to come up with its Pwn2Own fix. Nils also successfully exploited Firefox at 2009′s contest.

On the other hand, Vista 7 remained vulnerable, but this would not be the first time. Consider for example:

Microsoft issued an emergency patch which came around the same time as “damage control” addressing Pwn2Own.

Just days after a pair of researchers outwitted major Windows 7 defenses to exploit Internet Explorer and Firefox, Microsoft said the measures aren’t meant to “prevent every attack forever.”

Yes, this is an excuse, but a lot of sites gave that coverage [1, 2, 3] and there were also many headlines about the security PR delivered by BeyondTrust, which is headed by a former Microsoft marketing person. It is almost as though Microsoft hijacked the news for PR purposes. Almost all the headlines about Vista 7 simply brag about it being secure, even though the real news is about the operating system’s defenses being breached. That’s real perception management at work. Over in Asia, Microsoft is said to be reviewing its PR business. As we have shown before, Microsoft typically employs AstroTurfers where laws are weaker and these practices can go on without punishment. Techrights was attacked by a paid Microsoft AstroTurfer from Singapore (he harasses other Web sites critical of his employer from Redmond) and Microsoft is very open about bribing hundreds of Korean bloggers to improve the image of Vista 7. In general, as we have shown before, Vista 7 coverage involved many small bribes. It also benefited from the many Microsoft boosters who present themselves as “journalists”.

“First one’s free!”

Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft Nick, and other Microsoft boosters like Paul Thurrott and Gavin Clarke are advertising an old marketing scheme where Microsoft gives time-limited copies of Vista 7 that ‘self-destruct’ and hold people’s data as hostage. Trial versions have no appeal to wise people, but some people are gullible enough to be persuaded by the proposition of something cheap in the short term. GNU/Linux is free to try and also to keep indefinitely, so why is Microsoft’s 90-day ‘free’ enterprise trial of any use? Microsoft might eventually be forced to give Windows away for free. This has already happened in sub-notebooks because of strong competition from GNU/Linux.

“Upgrade now!”

The aforementioned hostage situation is also being promoted by others [1, 2] who include Ina Fried acting as a Microsoft advertiser (talking to proper Microsoft advertisers) and hyping up an “upgrade deal”. This is also being hyped up by Microsoft Emil and a few others [1, 2] who sometimes provide evidence that Microsoft actively pressures Windows users to ‘upgrade’.

It’s impossible to know for sure, given Microsoft is continuing to decline to comment, but it’s looking like Windows Live Wave 4 — like Internet Explorer 9 — isn’t going to support Windows XP.

Another known Microsoft booster, Harry McCracken, is advertising for Microsoft ‘upgrades’ over at Fox ‘News’ and over at IDG he revisits the past. Ed Bott, who is another extension of Microsoft's staff, makes it seem like some kind of a new Microsoft campaign urging to leave XP and buy Vista 7. Those who participate in this shameless push are assisted by a new ‘study’ from Forrester, which Microsoft is routinely paying for studies (even to slam GNU/Linux [1, 2]).

Yesterday we wrote about the latest "piracy" propaganda from Microsoft (relying on more fake ‘studies’) and now we are seeing more coverage of that. [via]

Another survey gives the break-up of illegal software country-wise. These figures show that most of the software users are criminals or ‘Pirates,’ as Microsoft loves to call those who use their software illegally.

It’s funny that Microsoft also knows that it relies on those people, who it is trying to derive the choice of GNU/Linux.

“Me too!”

Watch this Windows promotion from Ina Fried, one of Microsoft’s most prominent (yet shameless) boosters. The post has just one comment, coming from Andre Da Costa [1, 2, 3, 4] (he is there in the comments, using a pseudonym, “Mr. Dee”). For those who do not know, Microsoft rewarded this guy with gifts and an MVP title. Under this one pseudonym alone he has already left 1774 comments in CNET. Under normal circumstances, that would be just plain Microsoft AstroTurfing, but this chap also trolls other writers in CNET, particularly those who cover Free software. In sites like CNET and ZDNet they create this kind of “theatre” of Microsoft-sympathetic people.

“The author of the email, posted on ZDNet in a Talkback forum on the Microsoft antitrust trial, claimed her name was Michelle Bradley and that she had “retired” from Microsoft last week.

“”A verbal memo [no email allowed] was passed around the MS campus encouraging MS employee’s to post to ZDNet articles like this one,” the email said.

“”The theme is ‘Microsoft is responsible for all good things in computerdom.’ The government has no right to prevent MS from doing anything. Period. The ‘memo’ suggests we use fictional names and state and to identify ourselves as students,” the author claimed.”

Wired Magazine

CNET keeps adding Microsoft people as writers, such as Microsoft analysts that we have shown before. And now there is also Lance Whitney, who says he’s “a contributing editor for Microsoft TechNet Magazine and writes for other computer publications and Web sites.” Over at NewsWeek it’s just as bad, with the likes of Daniel Lyons [1, 2] attacking Microsoft’s rivals and boosting Vista 7. These publications’ selection process is obviously flawed. Identity hijackers have no room in serious magazines and writers seem to be appointed based on advertisers.
____
* Google News search is being used as a reference.

Crybaby

“People everywhere love Windows.”

Bill Gates

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3 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    April 7, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Gravatar

    CNET has kept Ina-Fred around for years and used him to prevent actually covering FOSS. Asay was there, too, playing a similar role. Both are there to keep FOSS out of CNET reporting while still allowing the company to pretend to be covering the topic.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Stephen used to cover FOSS, but he stopped when Asay came (I think Stephen invited him after some conference he attended, I can’t recall which one). They don’t have a single person there who covers F/OSS (with the F).

    At ZDNet there’s Dana for OSS and some anti-Linux from Murphy. There are at least 4 Microsoft bloggers there.

  2. your_friend said,

    April 8, 2010 at 2:08 am

    Gravatar

    Was the so called “Firefox” crack a Windows only thing? If it was, it should be called a Windows crack, not a Firefox crack. It is irritating when non free software people smear the reputation of a Mozilla as if Mozilla were negligent because they are unable to single handedly fix all of the problems of Microsoft Windows.

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