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06.22.13

John Dvorak Complains About Microsoft AstroTurfing Intended to Shape Vista 8 Perceptions

Posted in Marketing, Microsoft, Vista 8 at 11:05 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Rigging debates

Children

Summary: Comment AstroTurf alleged by an industry veteran who has observed and studied this phenomenon for decades

A long time ago, about half a decade into the past, Mr. Dvorak wrote about so-called “Munchkins” and we cited/quoted him on it. He saw these tactics going back to the days of OS/2 and "Barkto". Now that Reddit-planted Xbox AstroTurfing comes to light we should point out a Dvorak article from the end of 2012, around the time of the release of Vista 8 John Dvorak suspected Microsoft was “planting” comments in support of Vista 8:

While following the recent hirings and firings at Microsoft, the presence of Microsoft Munchkins is more obvious than ever to me. I cannot prove their existence, however, unless someone finally steps forward and admits everything. If you are one, please do so!

Munchkins are commenters who I believe work directly for Microsoft or for its public relations agency. They scour the comment boards and rebuke with high authority all criticisms of specific Microsoft products. The reality of these people was well-documented during the Windows versus OS/2 days and I can only suspect that the practice continues to this day.

Once in a while, one of these characters shows up on my blog with a long and seemingly thoughtful post about some Microsoft product. The piece manages to condemn everyone who is critical of something Microsoft did. When you go back into the admin section of the blog where you can look at all postings by that person, the IP address, and other details, you always find that this person has not been on the blog before, and has never posted any prior comments. I can assure that anyone who is long-winded in the comment section posts a lot of comments.

Microsoft and crime are almost synonymous, so it would not be shocking if many or most pro-Vista 8 comments were indirectly funded by the company of crimes as ‘norm’.

Thanks to the reader who showed us the article above; somehow we missed it (we are no longer watching Microsoft closely).

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A Single Comment

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    June 27, 2013 at 5:43 am

    Gravatar

    Here is the key part: “unless someone finally steps forward and admits everything” There is a treasure trove of information about astroturfing and other dirty tricks waiting to be told. But it can’t happen until someone finally changes sides. So far no one is talking and one of the trade secrets that needs to be broken is how M$ is able to enforce silence. One of the problems is that people never really leave M$. They might be removed from the payroll and start taking money from a new employer, but they still continue working for M$ even against the interests of their new employer. Spencer and Elop are two recent examples, but the phenomenon goes way bay. The first high-profile case gave a name to the phenomenon, a belluzzo:
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=belluzzo
    We need one of them to come clean about what goes on in and after M$.

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