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Microsoft and free laptops…Ohhh the drama

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So Just before Christmas Microsoft sent out emails to several influential techy bloggers and offered them a free new laptop loaded with Windows new operating system Vista. Then a few other bloggers who didn’t get one complained it was unethical. Now Microsoft wants their laptops back.

Now how do I as a non techy let alone techy blogger react to this bit of blogodrama? /yawn.

I am no huge fan of Microsoft. They are a big company so it’s cool not to like them, but in their defense, I along with most computer users in the world have never used anything other than some form of Windows. Sometimes it crashes, sometimes it gives me problems but all in all Microsoft and Windows have made my real job, and my internet surfing, and play time a lot easier and more enjoyable that it was before they came along.

When it comes to techy bloggers most use Macs. It is very cool for them to hate Microsoft but for some reason love Apple (another very big company) who I have been predicting will go BK for the last 15 years. (If you read this blog for any length of time you will find out I am often wrong.)

Getting back to the topic at hand; something struck me while attending the recent Blog Business Summit. Nearly everyone in the room was using a Mac. Nearly every speaker was using a Mac. These are the “influential techy bloggers” that Microsoft is trying to get to review their new Vista software.

Now if you are a PC user and you have ever met a user you know it’s like a cult. (Trust me I have been to Macworld it is weird). How does Microsoft get any kind of fair shot being reviewed by an army of Mac users?

Well a really nice gift that even the most devoted Microsoft hater would find hard to turn down is a damn good start. This give away was a damn good idea if you ask me.

I agree with Robert Scoble as long as the bloggers disclose they received the gifts, the ethical hurdle has been crossed and readers can keep that in mind when reading the review. Is it going to buy Microsoft great reviews from devoted acolytes of Apple?

I doubt it. I would guess at best it would tip the scales back to almost dead even with a little bias still weighing against the mighty Microsoft. Need proof?

How about Marshal Kirkpatrick’s post when Microsoft asked for their laptop back?

Microsoft and AMD sent out a pile of very expensive (yet trashy looking) laptops to a number of bloggers over the past week. We were told we could keep them – now after a day of minor outrage by some people they are emailing us back with the following request that we not keep them after all! And to think, I almost smashed mine in the middle of the street 10 minutes into trying to use it! I did figure out some of the basics after awhile, but it’s still nothing life changing.

Does that sound like a guy who just got bought off by the man for a good review?

Like I said I am often wrong but I think I am right on this one. Here is another snippet from Marshall’s post:

Ha ha ha – the snazzy laptop I got in the mail from Microsoft yesterday was the only way I was ever going to use Vista anyway.

Case closed.

Rick is the CEO & Co-Founder of BlogWorld & New Media Expo. He lives in Canyon Lake with his wife and two dogs Abby and Thor.


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