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06.16.10

Bribosoft

Posted in Finance, Hardware, Microsoft, Windows at 3:27 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

The gift

“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: Microsoft gives very expensive gifts to many journalists with the expectation that positive coverage will follow; developers too are being paid to target Windows

IT IS no secret that Xbox is having a hard time. As we showed some days ago, there are rumours that Microsoft might rename it (which means it’s failing), but for the time being Microsoft just tweaks the design and then pulls old tricks by giving pricey gifts to many journalists it preselected. One of the sites which previously received an expensive Vista 7 laptop from Microsoft is naming what Microsoft does with a new Xbox 360 “Shameless Bribe” but it adds a question mark to the headline. To quote the first paragraph:

Short on shocking moments and big reveals, Microsoft pulled the trump card at the end of its E3 press conference on Monday: Everyone in attendance would get a brand new, redesigned Xbox 360 for free. For all the journalists in the audience, it was time to make an ethical decision. For the rest of us, it was suddenly clear why Microsoft chose a small venue for the event, forcing many reporters, myself included, to watch via live video feed.

The FTC promised to regulate this type of practice.

“Microsoft reminds me of the joke about the ugly kid,” writes Chips B Malroy, “whose parents had to tie a pork chop to the kid’s neck, so that the dog would play with him. Unless they give away Xbox 360, no one will write nice[ly] about it?”

According to another report, “Microsoft is paying developers to port iPhone games to Windows Phone 7″ and Information Week caught this item.

Microsoft has been throwing around cash lately to help bolster the application offerings for Windows Phone 7. Compared to Android and iPhone application stores. Windows Mobile’s library is at best anemic. To make matters worse, everything has to be rewritten for WP7. Microsoft seems to be taking the “if you want things done right, do it yourself” approach to filling the library.

[...]

PocketGamer is now reporting that Microsoft has been contacting “successful iPhone developers” to front them cash and get their iPhone app in the WP7 Marketplace.

Microsoft cannot pay to have 100,000+ applications ported to a platform whose present is depressing and whose future is uncertain. One of the reasons Microsoft has a stranglehold on the desktop is the abundance of Windows applications; after starting from scratch in the mobile arena, Microsoft put itself in the very opposite position. Those bribe simply won’t save Microsoft, whose history of bribery is partly documented in the posts below (like bribes to vote for OOXML in Sweden).

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