11.09.08

Tim Anderson Received Bribe for Vista 7 Review

Posted in Microsoft, Vista 7, Windows at 8:22 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Kid with laptop

THIS is part of a series of posts. For context, see:

Yes, it’s another laptops giveaway bonanza, designed and intended to seed a media blitz which has Vista 7 reviewed under unrealistic conditions, as well as with the expectation that journalists will repay for this $2,000 gift. According to IDG News Service, literally “several dozen of reviewers and analysts” received this schwag from Microsoft. The company gave it away under the disguise which is “loan” (no obligation to return it). It has been called “permanently loaned” in some places.

First in our series we have Tim Anderson, who has been writing in many publications, including The Register.

His review of Vista 7 does mention somewhere along the way that he is among those ‘VIP‘ laptop holders.

A day spent with a Windows 7 preview build – Milestone 3, running on a laptop loaned for the purpose (Dell XPS M1330, Core 2 Duo 2.3Ghz, with 3GB RAM) tends to confirm that view. Windows 7 feels more polished than Vista, even in the preview, and performance is good.

Positive review. What else would you expect from a bribed reporter?

Who is Tim Anderson?

A freelance journalist since 1992, Tim Anderson specializes in programming and internet development topics. He has columns in Personal Computer World and IT Week, and also contributes regularly to The Register. He writes from time to time for other periodicals including Developer Network Journal Online, and Hardcopy.

It was also spread around quite a bit, so Microsoft gets a lot of good publicity in exchange for that almost-negligible $2000 expenditure (not to mention future coverage too).

Vista 7 was preinstalled on a powerful machine and optimised for performance. It’s the same old story.

Tim has gone a little further already. Here he is writing in his personal Web site:

Here at PDC in Los Angeles, Microsoft’s Chief Architect Ray Ozzie and Windows VP Steven Sinofsky are introducing Windows 7. A couple of days ago, journalists were loaned Windows 7 laptops to try and I’ve been using this over the last day or so.

This also appears here, so the ‘story’ quickly finds legs. Other people haven’t the opportunity to contradict Tim or saturate the Web with information because Vista 7 is a super limited edition, handed out selectively only to ‘obedient’ reviewers.

From the comments in The Register:

There were other problems, but those two took the wind out of Vista’s sails very early on, and were the major cause of the perceived performance problems. So a “Vista Test” should check an OS against marginal hardware and to pass, the OS would have to perform well. But you played with it a little bit on a laptop “loaned for the purpose”. FAIL

From Slashdot:

Based on the announcements on Windows 7 and the reviews I thought too that they had improved the performance of Windows 7 vs. Vista. Then I found an article by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols that might explain the “glowing” reviews at Microsoft’s PDC. It seems that Microsoft may have permanently “loaned” $2,000 laptops with 2.4GHz Intel dual cores + 3GB ram to the “reviewers” to review Windows 7. If so, that’s not the first time they tried that stunt (Vista was the first that I recall). So in the answer to the question, “Can a leopard change its spots?” if the above is correct then the answer in Microsoft’s case seems to be “No.”

Here’s the url:
http://blogs.computerworld.com/microsoft_bribes_again

Tim received a $2000 gift from Microsoft. Expect him to write nice things about Microsoft in the future. He sold out.

“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

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2008/11/09/bribe-for-vista-7-review/

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

7 Comments

  1. DOUGman said,

    November 9, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    Gravatar

    Hummmmmm..

    I obtained a copy of “Vista 7 Ultimate” build 6801, installed it in vmware and activated it. After some clicking around and general review, I basically labeled it Vista SP2, Mojave, whatever…etc… No innovation..

    *YAWN*

  2. Tim Anderson said,

    November 10, 2008 at 2:44 am

    Gravatar

    Microsoft loaned journalists attending its Windows 7 briefing with laptops running the OS. They are labelled as Microsoft property. We had a couple of days to file stories on Windows 7 before the expiry of the NDA on Monday and getting the OS pre-installed with working drivers etc for the devices on the laptop made it easier to preview. The loan was not a secret and I mentioned it in everything I wrote about it; you could speculate that it was somehow optimized for Windows 7 but as far as I can tell it is a standard Dell, albeit relatively high-spec. It is of no value to me other than for reviewing Windows 7 and is not used for any other purpose.

    What was unfortunate is that the build of Windows 7 pre-installed was not the same as that shown in the keynote; it was an earlier build that lacked some of the key UI changes. I am not sure what was the reason for this; possibly to avoid leaking the details early; possibly the practicalities of pre-installing; possibly because the new UI was not stable enough – although it was installed on many other machines at PDC and seemed solid enough.

    The practice of loaning hardware for review is commonplace. Loaning hardware for a software review is less common but does happen where there is good reason. It doesn’t influence the review one way or the other; and if you read what I have written over the years you’ll see that I’m not shy about writing negative as well as positive comments about any company and its products. Some of the negatives have even been referenced on this site. Windows 7 does look, at this point, more satisfactory than Vista, whether or not it is running on a loaned machine.

    Tim

  3. Needs Sunlight said,

    November 10, 2008 at 3:46 am

    Gravatar

    Ok. So in addition to all that, MS may have faked the presentation. Are you sure it was running the next version and not a Flash app?

    Anyway, it’s a waste of time to play up MS’ hype about the Next Version. Ubuntu, Xubuntu, Fedora, RHEL are all here *now* today.

  4. G. Michaels said,

    November 10, 2008 at 4:31 am

    Gravatar

    @Tim:

    I wouldn’t worry about this too much. See:

    http://boycottnovell.com/2008/11/09/harry-mccracken-bribed-by-ms/#comment-34300

    Credibility level: Zero, pretty much.

    Note: writer of this comment adds absolutely nothing but stalking and personal attacks against readers, as documented here.

  5. Roy Schestowitz said,

    November 10, 2008 at 5:18 am

    Gravatar

    The laptops were on “indefinite loan”. Only when Microsoft and the recipients got criticised for it did they claim that a return was really needed. It’s 2006 all over again.

  6. stevetheFLY said,

    November 10, 2008 at 11:37 am

    Gravatar

    Just the usual character assasination attempts from Roy here…

    Note: comment has been flagged for arriving from an incarnation of a known (eet), pseudonymous, forever-nymshifting, abusive Internet troll that posts from open proxies and relays around the world.

  7. dwight said,

    November 19, 2008 at 11:59 am

    Gravatar

    Wow

    I am not a fan of microsoft at all, yet in the early 1990s at university the best GUI word processor on the MAC and PC was MS Word, so I used it. I use Unix at work and Oracle, and ever now and then use Linux at home. My notebook has Vista and I expected the worst, but I must say I have no huge negative issues with it. It works and works a lot better than XP ever did ( I delayed moving from W2K to XP for years – stupidly).

    I am disappointed that fan boys of one or other system/ hardware /software loose objectivity about technology. I dont think MS has been the best system ( I bought OS2 !!! ) and in future will not buy another MS operating system as I run multiple machines at home for development ( isnt Linux great when it comes to license costs ). But I wont buy Windows because of the cost of loading on several machines the OS, not because I have a bias against the company. Yet I cannot say Vista is all the nasty things people claim it is, it works, works nicely and runs all my hardware, including some obscure USB devices I built.

    I prefer Unix personally, but MS runs a lot of software I require for development ( anyone know how to run PL/SQL developer for Oracle, on Unix ) so use MS OS often.

    I fully understand how a prerelease OS is loaded on a machine and loaned for review ( you were not seriously expecting me to run Apples latest OS on anything but an Apple machine were you ? ). Yet this bashing of MS all the time is becoming tedious and rather unprofessional. I’m no MS fan but to accuse each and every thing they do begins to make me wonder as to whether emotions are rulling the blogs, sad state of affairs. If the journalists were loaned/ given the notebooks and declared this fact in the review then I think it is unfair to immediately dismiss their reviews. If they did not declare this in their review then they are unprofessional, but to bash them just because they received machines for review is rather childish.

    Start being professional guys!!

What Else is New


  1. The Unfunny Joke That Microsoft Cares for 'Developer Rights'

    Microsoft propaganda urging software developers to find comfort in a prison of Microsoft (proprietary software monopoly) is a symptom of dying media, or thinly-veiled PR looking for a buck



  2. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, July 27, 2021

    IRC logs for Tuesday, July 27, 2021



  3. Links 28/7/2021: PulseAudio 15.0 Released, World’s Slowest Raytracer

    Links for the day



  4. Links 27/7/2021: New Godot Engine Beta and a Call for Funding of GIMP

    Links for the day



  5. The EPO's 'News' Page Annotated

    From the above: Greenwashing; Offshoring; ViCo nonsense; Openwashing; Patents=space travel? Faking empathy; Patents as monopoly; ViCo whitewash; Constitutional hogwash; ViCo propaganda; Pinkwashing; Whitewashing GDPR violation; Self-praise; Exploiting pandemic for $; More openwashing; Protectionism; Outsourcing; Occupying the legal system; Grifting and PR; 'Legalising' EPC violations; More surveillance; Patents as sharing?; Patents as mere info? Lobbying by litigation firms; Proprietary/MS



  6. Playing With Fire: The Linux Foundation Associates the Linux Brand With Proprietary Software and GitHub (as Usual)

    Racist IBM is once again using or misusing the “Linux” brand (through the Linux Foundation) to promote racist Watson (which is also proprietary software); the ‘Linux’ Foundation is now revisionism as a service (not just in service of its own mythology, e.g. the operating system starting in 1991 rather than 1983)



  7. Links 27/7/2021: KDE Plasma 5.22.4, Libinput 1.19 to Include Hold Gestures

    Links for the day



  8. Recording Videos With Webcamoid on GNU/Linux

    A lot of people use OBS Studio or similarly high-profile Free software that's mostly designed for live streaming; but this video is a bit different as it takes a look at Webcamoid, which not many people even know about, explaining the current setup that's used to record pretty much every video we make



  9. Getting News and Updates Over Gemini (in General and for Techrights)

    Gemini (gemini://) is very well suited for 'consumption' of news; the hardest part is getting past the simple fact that not every article needs to have pictures in it and syndication (for updates) isn't done through social control media



  10. IRC Proceedings: Monday, July 26, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, July 26, 2021



  11. [Meme] Microsoft is Lecturing Us on Security!

    Dev Kundaliya and 'Hacker' News play along and go along with this laughable lie that Microsoft is some kind of security expert with moral authority/credibility on this subject



  12. [Meme] EPO 2025 (When Most of the Decent Patent Examiners Have Been Chased Away)

    Based on this week's reports (see batches of Daily Links), many recently-granted European Patents are being thrown out by courts, which means it's hardly surprising that demand for European Patents is in fact decreasing (while quality/validity/legal certainty nose-dives)



  13. Funding Sources Like Corporate Sponsors/Patrons/Masters Put at Risk the Freedom of Free Software

    Sources of funding or “sponsors” such as large corporations typically come with some barely-visible or temporarily-invisible strings attached (an expectation of commercial reciprocity, rendering the recipients subservient like ‘slaves’) and we need to understand how to preserve software freedom in the face of such trends



  14. Links 26/7/2021: Nanotale on GNU/Linux and IBM Promoting Microsoft GitHub

    Links for the day



  15. Free Software Projects Should Quit Selling Keynote Speeches to the Highest Bidders (Corporations) and Choose Based on Merit/Relevance

    OSI, SFC, FSF and Linux Foundation are in effect selling time and space (even to Microsoft, except the FSF was never foolish enough to do this). As of today, LibreOffice does the same thing (which might remain benign; just be sure to reject rivals as "sponsors" because it dooms projects and events).



  16. Microsoft Windows Has Lost Another 2 Million Web Sites This Past Month Alone (IIS Floundering)

    The rapid decline of Microsoft, Windows and IIS in servers is undeniable; it's just a damn shame that corporate and so-called 'tech' media never writes about this subject



  17. Links 26/7/2021: Grml 2021.07 and DXVK 1.9.1

    Links for the day



  18. Increasing Focus on Advocacy for the Free Software Community (Putting Control Over Computing in the Hands of People, Not Large Corporations)

    After 31,000 blog posts it's time to add a new theme to our coverage, which prioritises science, computer developers, and technology users; an urgent matter and pressing issue is the passage of control (e.g. over code and policy) to non-practising entities



  19. Video: How to Follow All Our Channels (Interactively) From the Command Line

    We’ve been enhancing the access possibilities/options for #techrights and other IRC channels, partly because we want to encourage more people to wean themselves off the DRM-ready Web, the monoculture, the bloat, the surveillance, and centralisation in general (the Web favours centralisation, which is exacerbated by the bloat and other topological dynamics)



  20. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, July 25, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, July 25, 2021



  21. Links 26/7/2021: Third RC of Linux 5.14 and Beta 3 of Haiku Project

    Links for the day



  22. No, Microsoft Does Not Get to Lecture Us on GNU/Linux Security (or Security in General)

    The corporate media wants us to think (or feel) like Microsoft is some kind of security guru; the reality, however, is the exact opposite because at Microsoft sometimes if not always/by default insecurity is the actual objective (back doors)



  23. Links 25/7/2021: MyGNUHealth 1.0.3 and Lots About Patents

    Links for the day



  24. Links 25/7/2021: LibreELEC (Matrix) 10.0 RC1 and Ubuntu 20.10 (Groovy Gorilla) End of Life

    Links for the day



  25. IRC Proceedings: Saturday, July 24, 2021

    IRC logs for Saturday, July 24, 2021



  26. Following Techrights IRC Channels From the Command Line (or the Web and Gemini)

    The (almost) real-time logs for #techrights have been available in http://techrights.org/irc and in gemini://gemini.techrights.org/chat/index.gmi for over a month; today we extend that to cover all channels (aggregated into one)



  27. Links 24/7/2021: Skrooge 2.26.1 and K-9 Mail Release

    Links for the day



  28. Links 24/7/2021: FreeBSD Report (April-June) and KDE Reporting Its Progress

    Links for the day



  29. Support the Founders of GNU and Linux, Besieged by People and Corporations That Hate Development Communities and Seek Oppressive Monopoly Over Everything

    The founders of GNU and Linux (Stallman and Torvalds, respectively) want to give us free (as in freedom) software by which to control our destiny; the forces looking to demonise and marginalise both of them don’t have the same objectives (to whom they’re antithetical)



  30. IRC Proceedings: Friday, July 23, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, July 23, 2021


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts