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Microsoft/Waggener Edstrom Vista 7 Laptop Giveaways Still Paying Off

House gift



Summary: The Register lets Microsoft evangelists write the news and reporters in general show their sheer bias

IT HAS been almost a year since Waggener Edstrom gave Vista 7 laptops to people who were fond of Microsoft. The intention was to generate positive coverage and set the tone for future debates about this incarnation of Windows Vista.



One of the recipients of these expensive laptops was Tim Anderson, whose writings about Windows are always positive. Putting it plainly, he's a "Microsoft guy". He also writes for The Register, which changed a lot since signing that deal with Microsoft. His colleague Gavin Clarke, for example, writes a lot about Microsoft products and even does an audiocast about it (with Mary Jo Foley). Many have argued that The Register changed dramatically after those engagements with Microsoft, but we all digress, eventually.

“The intention was to generate positive coverage and set the tone for future debates about this incarnation of Windows Vista.”The Register has just published this article from Tim Anderson, which is no faint praise of Microsoft's next operating system that Anderson was granted access to ahead of everyone. One of our readers called it a "puff piece on Windows 7 Snow Leopard."

"Is the delay with Windows 7 anything to do with it being a buggy first version," asks this reader. "The whole tone of this advert er... article smacks of nothing but me-too-ism. The not-out-yet Windows 7 is as good-as Snow Leopard and if W7 doesn't impress then blame the OEMs... there... didn't take as long to say..."

To quote from this article/advert:

"Windows works better when properly managed, which is why a skilled business user gets a better experience than the hapless crapware-laden consumer"

"Yet more blame the OEMs/endusers waffle... shame on you El Reg," remarks the reader, who is a long time follower of The Register.

Anderson continues:

"Malware is also a factor, since Windows is by far the most popular target"

The translation of this, argues our reader, is that "Malware isn't caused by any intrinsic defects in the Operating System."

"Could have been piped in directly from Redmond," he adds. "Why not just label this whole thing ADVERTISING?"

The whole thing makes The Register somewhat self contradictory. Yesterday from The Register: "MS warns of forced Messenger update"

Microsoft has outlined plans to push a mandatory Windows Live Messenger upgrade in order to plug a security hole related to a vulnerable code library.


From The Register (two days go): "Malware thrown on California bush fires"

From The Register (yesterday): "Microsoft confirms IIS bug gives complete server control"

From The Register (today): "Microsoft rejects call to fix SQL password-exposure risk"

Microsoft is butting heads with a company that provides software for database security over a weakness in SQL Server that can expose user passwords to anyone with administrative access to the program.


Yes, Microsoft really takes security seriously. Really.

Anderson would also love us to believe that the operating system is secure and it's everyone else's fault if it is not. Well, does it not matter that Vista 7 has already been shown to be critically flawed, e.g. in:



Vista 7 was also found to be vulnerable less than a month ago ("critical"). These are just a handful of examples, so there are more.

According to today's report from Heise, the "cost to council of computers [is] crippled by viral infection."

It seems local government in the UK still has not learned how to maintain effective IT security or to control the costs when things go wrong. A story published today (3rd of September) in the Evening Standard newspaper reveals that the true cost of a crippling infection of Tory run Ealing Council's IT systems which occurred back in May, is only now starting to emerge.


The cost of Microsoft's insecurities may all in all exceed trillions of dollars, far more than Microsoft has ever made in revenue (even combined).

From The Register today we also learn that the publication is concerned about writers who are influenced by schwag. "Beware evangelists," alerts the headline.

In a way, the easiest ones to deal with are those that have 'Evangelist' printed on their business cards. They're being paid by someone to persuade others of the folly of their ways. You'll find these folk in many major IT companies. Others are not so obvious. Perhaps a company has plied them with gifts or other, more subtle, bribes. Recently I was talking with a Toyota (non-employee) iQ evangelist. Turns out she'd 'won' the car for a six month trial, in exchange for blogs and other social media outreach. Others are just total believers in 'the cause' simply because it makes sense to them within their own frame of reference.


The hypocrites. Right there we've shown how reviewers of Vista 7 at The Register are recipients of expensive computers (not just an operating system, which is the actual product to review). If that's the standard maintained by The Register, then its status deserves to diminish.

“They are stupid enough just to mention that "GMail was down" without further investigation.”
      --Tony Manco
One of our contributors, Tony Manco, said today: "I'm tired of reading s**t from these "pseudo-journalists" repeating the same bulls**t over and over again about GMail. They are stupid enough just to mention that "GMail was down" without further investigation. Only the web interface was down, IMAP and POP where always online... why do these "pseudo-journalists" insist that GMail is only the Web interface?"

We wrote about this before [1, 2] because whenever there is a small Google glitch, enormous coverage in the press is to be expected. The same standards are not being applied to other companies and this is quite likely part of the FUD against SaaS in general.

"Two security researchers have developed a new technique that essentially bypasses all of the memory protection safeguards in the Windows Vista operating system..."

--Dennis Fisher, August 7th, 2008



"Acer and Intel, for example, are already complaining that Windows 7 Starter Edition simply won't sell."

--Source

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