Bonum Certa Men Certa

Writer Who Attacks Anything-Not-Microsoft Received High-End Laptop from Microsoft

Attack GNU/Linux, get gifts

Kid with laptop



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LD NEWS ARE BACK. Our "Vista 7" laptops saga will always be far from complete, but we have just identified another piece of this puzzle. As a recap, Vista 7 received positive early reviews because incentives and well-expected bias were forcibly introduced by the people at the top. Waggener-Edstrom was responsible for this.

For context, also see:

  1. Partial Index: Summary of Bribed Sites, Journalists, and Bloggers (Vista 7)
  2. IDG/IDC (Yardena Arar): Bribed by Microsoft
  3. Gizmodo Possibly Bribed by Microsoft Too
  4. GeekPi/Steve Allwine: Bribed by Microsoft
  5. Ed Bott: Bought by Microsoft
  6. Laptop Magazine: Bribed by Microsoft
  7. Jason Brooks (eWeek): Bribed by Microsoft
  8. Harry McCracken, Technologizer: Bribed by Microsoft
  9. Tim Anderson Received Bribe for Vista 7 Review


Add another one to the list: John Obeto, who was noted even by Groklaw for all his FUD. This one is a little different from the rest of the laptop recipients because of his rabid anti-Linux posts that have appeared for at least a couple of years in a Web site that enters Google News through aggregation (there might be more). Yes, people can find 'strong' content in IDG (with Microsoft connections [1, 2, 3]).

Arbitrary examples include:



It is always refreshing when companies send the zealots on their dev teams to the back of the room, and allow the business-minded execs to do what they are paid to do: provide solutions that benefit the company instead of some yob’s religious zealotry.


Now, behold how Microsoft treats these Linux/FOSS-hostile attackers. It gives them high-end laptops:

On October 26, 2008, I had the opportunity of being part of an exclusive group selected by Microsoft to participate in a Windows 7 Reviewer’s Workshop prior to the public debut of the Windows 7 beta by Steven Sinofsky on Tuesday, October 28, 2008, at the Microsoft Professional Developer’s Conference (PDC2008) in Los Angeles, California.


This came up through the following message about Microsoft Watch:

While looking for information about our Friend Andre, I stumbled upon some that Roy might like. Roy wanted a list of those who got free laptops from PDC2008. While I could not find that list, or even the atendees list, and did come across one name, while searching for something else. John Obeto so thats one name that can be added to the list. http://absolutevista.com/blogs/absolutevista/archive/2008/11/22/4wkw7m3001.aspx The relevant part: "While I don’t believe Microsoft would foist ‘ringer’ laptops on us, I had decided even before getting the laptop, to test Windows 7 against the systems I use for my daily bread." Most likely another clue to who recieved a lot of these freebies came from a post I used of Andre himself, MVP's. I forget the name of the guy who runs activewin where andre posts a lot, but he is an MVP, and most likely got one as well.

[...]

MS Watch is not about fair play, or evaluating software products fairly and evenly. Its about advertising bucks, and that pays the bills including Joe's salary. Now Joe does both Apple and MS watch, but you know he does more, and most likely blogs as someone else too. I say this as he has the time to do so. Joe will never, and has not that I remember, ever compared or mentioned OpenOffice while talking about MS Office. And this I have pointed out as have others, still Joe never responds. Why? Because there is no money in it for eweek, in the advertising.

Don't expect Andre to go for long debates with you, Andre and I already had those about a year ago. He knows now he cannot win. So expect more of just hit and run from him. Everyone jumps on him because we know he is a phony. If people attack him for the FUD things he says, its because some of us remember the old Andre, that was quick to insult, belittle, and plain lie. Moron and idiot were two of Andre's favorite words if I remember correctly. Even Marco got on the receiving end a few times. But you go ahead, and have your fun with our Friend, Andre. Andre is not dumb, not do I truely believe that he is a zealot. Its about the money with Andre, sorry to say.


That remains small potatoes compared to Microsoft's fleet of full-time (and paid) AstroTurfers [1, 2].

"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



"I'm a huge fan of guerrilla marketing."

--Joe Wilcox, Microsoft Watch

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