Bonum Certa Men Certa

Hand Out Presents to Journalists, Receive Positive Reviews

Apple not much better than Microsoft

N

owadays, especially on the Internet, whenever you stumble upon a technical review, you ought to be cautious. Be very skeptical. It's no secret that many companies hand out their products free of charge to particular people and expect flattering publicity in return. Renowned (or notorious rather) for this practice is Microsoft, but Apple is not better off.

THE SULTANS OF SMUG at Apple have been showing just how much clout they have among tech journalists by asking their mates to run glowing reviews of the 3G Iphone.

While we don't begrudge Apple trying it on, we are quite frankly stunned at the ability of the American tech press to roll over when bribed by a gadget sent to them by someone that they want to be their chum.


Apple is not an ethical company, but it's apathetic towards GNU/Linux, as opposed to Microsoft that actively attacks it. So we leave Apple aside -- for now.

We have given some examples before where Microsoft gave gifts to people in exchange for stealth advertising. Such disguised marketing from Microsoft has even 'violated' professors.

“These are just a few cases where the journalists end up snitching, so it's a fact.”Microsoft happens to be doing this a lot, regardless of how prevalent this may be in general (well, that would be their excuse anyway). For example, more recently when the Inquirer had published a very negative review of Windows Vista, Microsoft contacted them and offered freebies. ITWire had its arm twisted by Microsoft for criticising OOXML and it wasn't alone.

These are just a few cases where the journalists end up snitching, so it's a fact. Here we have only a few incidents among many more that actually get reported. The Inquirer once wrote about how Microsoft-hired agencies bombard them with press releases, urging promotion of Microsoft.

The 'promotion machinery' rarely pauses to breathe. It's not single company. Microsoft assigns 'sub-companies', using contracts for advertising [1, 2]. It's doing this for Windows Vista at the moment.

Microsoft's reaction to concerns about out-of-control AstroTurfing (once caught red-handed) would be something along these lines:

"That advertising firm has nothing to do with us. It's independent. (But yes, we are their clients, i.e. we pay them to do this.)"

Remember the excuses about the bribery of Swedish partners for OOXML? Same thing.

Speaking of Microsoft advertisers (and SCO cheerleaders), guess who's likely to have a hard time getting hired? We wrote about it before [1, 2, 3, 4]. Keep an eye open because Microsoft is up to large-scale brainwash. A $0.3 billion budget has just been allocated to Vista alone.

"Working behind the scenes to orchestrate "independent" praise of our technology, and damnation of the enemy's, is a key evangelism function during the Slog. "Independent" analyst's report should be issued, praising your technology and damning the competitors (or ignoring them). "Independent" consultants should write columns and articles, give conference presentations and moderate stacked panels, all on our behalf (and setting them up as experts in the new technology, available for just $200/hour). "Independent" academic sources should be cultivated and quoted (and research money granted). "Independent" courseware providers should start profiting from their early involvement in our technology. Every possible source of leverage should be sought and turned to our advantage."

--Microsoft, internal document [PDF]

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