01.28.10

Apple Sent iPads to ‘Important’ Writers Weeks Before Launch

Posted in Apple, FSF, Marketing, Microsoft, Vista, Vista 7, Windows at 8:03 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“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

Summary: How Apple’s hype machine was helped by a strategic distribution of its products ahead of its heavily-embargoed release details

MICROSOFT bribed influential bloggers and journalists for positive early reviews of Vista 7 and Windows Vista. It worked. Both operating systems were praised prior to their release. Yes, even Windows Vista got some rave reviews; it’s hard to criticise someone who gifts you with a $2,000 item. Microsoft bribes AstroTurfers in very much the same way [1, 2]. Based on the example of Andre Da Costa, they pretend to be fans of Microsoft’s products while approaching Apple at the same time to find out if they too can bribe, in which case they would “switch teams”, so to speak. Watch how Don Dodge changed his tune after Microsoft had stopped paying him to be a professional, full-time AstroTurfer [1, 2, 3, 4, 5].

“This generally shows that Apple’s and Microsoft’s marketing strategies are similar.”The fake hype company might be up to similar tricks. Yes, it turns out that Apple secretly gave tablets to famous reporters (probably for free) in advance. Why? In order to generate buzz and “receive feedback” (nice cover-up). It’s not as though the product can be re-manufactured within weeks. One of these people was Cringely, who has been writing about tablets recently, only later to reveal that he had been “beta testing the Apple tablet for the past two weeks…”

Of course he would generally be cocky towards them. They sent him this product in advance because he has influence. This generally shows that Apple’s and Microsoft’s marketing strategies are similar. We also wrote about Apple and AstroTurfing last year.

Anyway, here is a satire about the Apple iPad, courtesy of our reader David. “Defective by Design”, an FSF campaign, was there at the announcement in order to educate attendees about the harms of Apple products. There is also this petition protesting against the iPad.

Microsoft’s own tablet disappointed at CES 2010 and here is a new article about it:

HP shows off its slate computer while revealing a key disappointing detail (Windows)

[...]

That’s sort-of why Windows Mobile never really left the nerd market and Palm had great early success. Winmo required computer skills with layers and layers of OS until just recently when companies started to skin the GUI with a more friendly interface. Palm OS on the other hand was simple , but yet robust enough for most mobile computing tasks ten years ago.

Microsoft will report its financial results later on today and it will try to distract people by talking about Vista 7 sales (compared to a year of Vista and no release). It’s a decoy. Chips B. Malroy wrote last night: “The money report on the quarter should come out soon. The figure I seen was an 7% increase over last years same quarter which was really bad, and an increase over same quarter of 24% in general of new computer sales with windows on them. It was the Xmas season, and the small increase of profits, compared to the total increase in sales, relates to Netbooks (cheaper computer sold) with low cost XP home or Seven Starter be dumped on them.

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/2010/01/28/ipads-hype-machine/

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

4 Comments

  1. Yuhong Bao said,

    January 29, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Gravatar

    “beta testing the Apple tablet for the past two weeks…”
    AFRIK beta testing new software is common practice for Apple. In fact, Apple has been sending pre-release software to developers for years.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Yes, but that’s beside the point.

    your_friend Reply:

    Be careful not to confuse the sharing of ideas, software, with the sharing of physical things. If they were a free software company, they would not need “beta testers” because everyone would have the software at the same time. This is the miracle of ideas, they can be reproduced by everyone at no cost to their originators. On the other hand, we can’t expect a for profit company to give away physical devices.

    Reviews are a difficult business. Gifts might look like bribery if it are not done in a transparent way. Even if it was transparent, we have to worry if we worry about the influence such a valuable gift might have over the receivers. Gifts to established review agencies like Consumer Reports and established journalists are less suspect than gifts to students and bloggers who have little else to pay the bills.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    This is especially true when it comes to Microsoft. If it wants people to review Windows, it can just send software for people to actually install (that’s part of the test). They don’t require a $2000 machine with preinstalled and optimised software.

What Else is New


  1. Video and Transcript of Julia Reda's LibrePlanet Keynote Talk

    "A European Open Technology Fund: Building sustainable public funding for free software” — a talk by Julia Reda; transcribed by Techrights associate and ripped by Linux Reviews



  2. Video: “Unjust Computing Clamps Down” by Richard Stallman

    12 days ago the FSF uploaded the video above, in which current threats to software freedom are explained by the FSF's founder



  3. FSF Web Site Now Lists the Seven Voting Members, Including Alexandre Oliva, Former Acting FSF President

    The FSF is now in good and reliable hands, which we're told are all supportive of the decision to bring back the FSF's founder to the Board; Oliva remains involved as a voting member



  4. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 11: The Rapporteur Who Once Was Vice-President

    EPO‘s former Vice-President of DG3 will be the person to decide on the EPO’s (mis)conduct



  5. [Meme] Captured EPO

    Put the EPO back in the hands of people who do all the work and actually understand the real goals of a patent office



  6. An Urgent Need to Fix the EPO, Which is Becoming Rogue at Every Level (Even the 'Legal' Level)

    Helpless examiners are being put in a grave dilemma: violate the EPC or lose the job; it's meanwhile clear that internal appeals, including referrals to the Boards of Appeal, are also hopeless because these courts or tribunals obey tyrants, not the EPC, and moreover they cover up past abuses of the tyrants



  7. IRC Proceedings: Monday, May 17, 2021

    IRC logs for Monday, May 17, 2021



  8. 6,700 Signatures in Support of Richard Stallman's Return to the FSF's Board

    6,700 signatures will be secured any day now (maybe later today); we thought the graph is worth replotting again, even if only to remind people how badly the defamatory hate letter has backfired



  9. [Meme] The Real Gates Scandal is About Connections to Sex Trafficking (Epstein), Not Infidelity

    Some media is still trying to shift attention (some of the very same media that misdirected focus to Richard Stallman when a Gates-Epstein scandal unfolded at MIT), but people aren't gullible enough



  10. Links 17/5/2021: New GeckoLinux and Kdenlive 21.04.1

    Links for the day



  11. Richard Stallman Refers to Intel's Management Engine (ME) -- or a Back Door -- as 'Master', and the Processor Intel Lets Us Use as 'Slave'

    “The president and founder of the Free Software Foundation will speak about pressing issues in free software today, and will present the winners of the 2018 Free Software Awards,” says the summary (this was 3 years ago, i.e. before the purge of language, with a prominent role played by Intel)



  12. Links 17/5/2021: NetBSD 9.2 and Early Look at Bodhi Linux 6.0.0

    Links for the day



  13. Calle Josefsson as Living Proof That Attacking the Causes You Once Proclaimed to Stand for is Very Profitable

    Some thoughts on the situation of the Boards of Appeal in Haar; they're led by someone who receives a huge salary (a four- or five-fold increase) in exchange for an epic sellout and abandonment of principles; as a de facto legal slinger or imposter/poser he has already done incredible damage on several levels



  14. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 10: A Faustian Pact?

    Benoît Battistelli‘s rubber-stamping judge from Sweden saw his salary growing four- or five-fold and he has meanwhile lowered his public profile, fearing that people will see what he sold his soul for



  15. EPO Staff Representatives Not Amused to See an Office That Steals From Staff and Even From Pensioners

    The heist continues; the EPO isn't just a milking cow of Germany but also of EPO officials who keep the 'lid' or the 'cover' on this whole financial instrument, which would enrage member states if they truly understood what's going on



  16. [Meme] Virtual Prisons for Virtual Hearings (Haarings)

    Today’s EPO has a truly twisted notion of the “rule of law”



  17. President of the Boards of Appeal, the Star of the Haar Show

    It’s best in the metal version; burn in Hell, Lesley Gore



  18. Right To Repair: When You Don't Own What You Buy (and Cannot Even Repair It Legally)

    The second part of preliminary background regarding the Right To Repair; our associate who extracted the videos from YouTube says that both are relevant to “Freedom 0″ (as per the FSF’s definition of Free software)



  19. Right To Repair: What It's About and How That Relates to Software

    A short (less than one minute) video that offers some background or sheds light on the intersection between Software Freedom and the Right To Repair



  20. Brand as Distraction From the Core Issues Surrounding the Right To Repair

    Excerpt of a video from Odysee, in which an important point is explained regarding a very actual and relevant case, more so given a recent ruling that indirectly impacts software freedom, mostly in (but not limited to) the United States



  21. Virtual 'Courts' Aren't Courts and Aren't Suitable Substitutes, Either

    The cheapening of the concept of justice, even as the pandemic that serves to justify that cheapening is gradually being brought under control, is the real issue that should be debated in Haar (or from private homes, probably somewhere around Haar); whether it's compulsory or not ought to be a side question



  22. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, May 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Sunday, May 16, 2021



  23. Links 17/5/2021: Linux 5.13 RC2 and a Lot About Patents

    Links for the day



  24. (All-Time) Archive of Techrights Videos Contains About 1,000 Videos, All Listed in One Place Now

    We're improving access to old material in the site and right now the focus is ways to improve discovery of old video/multimedia files



  25. Haar Song

    The Office in Munich is overseen by “a municipality near Munich,” according to Wikipedia (not inside Munich, so that in itself is a violation of the EPC)



  26. The EPO's War on Justice and Assault on the Law -- Part 9: Squeezing Out the Lifeblood of Democracy?

    The lack of public discourse at the EPO (where tyrants like Benoît Battistelli and António Campinos make up the rules and then have them rubber-stamped by kangaroo courts) helps explain an atrocious policy and moral abyss, which recently led to acceptance of European software patents and mass surveillance disguised as “access to justice”



  27. Luke Smith on Why Free Software Matters and 'Open Source' is Meaningless

    A video just released by a popular YouTube channel



  28. Links 16/5/2021: ExTiX 21.5, Drumstick Multiplatform MIDI File Player Refresh

    Links for the day



  29. EPO.org is a Really Awful Source of Information

    The site that bears a .org suffix is actually more like a private corporation lying about itself in order to save face and attract more money -- or in other words funds that will be squandered and stolen by corrupt administrators



  30. IBM Has Changed a Lot Since 2018, and Not for the Better

    IBM isn't that much of an ally of GNU/Linux as a community-led or community-centric operating system; IBM is in it all just for IBM and we need to treat IBM accordingly


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