Bonum Certa Men Certa

Negative Review of MS Surface Published, Microsoft Contacts Blogger and Has It Removed

How typical

Violence on TV
"You can't say that!"



Summary: Microsoft is going after negative coverage about its products; it eventually gets its way, too

FOR those who do not remember, Microsoft harassed the man who ran the "Boycott Microsoft" Web site by contacting his employer. Microsoft's censorship on the Web and policing of people's views is a well-established fact that Microsoft may try to deny.



Well, here is an interesting new story. As many people may know by now, an area where ISV support is lacking or deficient is what Microsoft called "Surface". Robert Bach wanted to pull the plug on Surface (before birth) knowing that it would fail in the market, but Bill Gates insisted that it should be released to the public. Almost 2 years later, where is it anyway? The answer is, "almost nowhere." Like Zune and XBox, it has become a Microsoft failure at selling hardware. It only generated big losses and now comes this review of Microsoft's Surface, which is rare because this thing is hardly ever sold.

The whole experience was probably best summed up by Amanda who, when asked why it was taking us so long to get the machine up and running, and why we all looked so unhappy, replied “Oh, it’s just so…Microsofty.”

That’s the true cost of a poor approach to usability – it gets you a reputation that’s hard to shake.


Go ahead and read this review. Well, guess what? It's gone.

For those who want to see this review, it's still in Google's cache (at the time of writing). Why is it not there anymore? Well, the followup post probably provides an answer:

My post last week on the poor set-up experience we had in getting our new Microsoft Surface running has struck a chord. Until last week, our sleepy little company blog could count on about 20 hits a day (thanks Mom!), and as of today we’ve gotten over 20,000.

[...]

As the helpful Jason McConnell from Microsoft explained to me on a phone call earlier today, “Your blog post took us all by surprise - it was valid from your perspective, and funny, but it shouldn’t ever have happened.”


So the information about Surface will be there no more. Microsoft may have just pulled this surface review, which vanished overnight (it returns a 404 error now). The guy says Microsoft contacted him, so it seems reasonable to call it "gentle" censorship. Microsoft is still policing coverage about its product.

It could be worse. It could be an attempt to get the poor guy fired. Microsoft sometimes uses its agencies to lean on journalists.

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