The past day or two the b’sphere has been rippling with news that Microsoft; through their PR company Edelman, has been sending bloggers a shiny new Acer Ferrari with Vista preloaded on it. The response to this has been the typical range of what a cool idea to the usual Anti-Microsoft trying to buy its way into good press.
Of course Robert Scoble; the blogger everyone loves to quote chimes in with an original post that said – “Now that’s my idea of PayPerPost”; which he followed up with a later post of why it was a great idea – as long as the bloggers disclosed the gift:
That is a GREAT idea. After all, how can anyone have a decent conversation about Windows Vista without having put a bunch of time on one of the machines?
Now, regarding blogger ethics. Did you disclose? If you did, you have ethics. If you didn’t, you don’t. It’s that black and white with me.
Did you sell your soul and you disclosed that? Fine. Now it’s up to the readers to decide whether anything you say is worth listening to. But you’re ethical.
Then over at istartedsomething.com you have Long updating the story on an ongoing basis by the looks of it. So far he has posted 8 updates to his original post. Of course this ongoing story is not without a growing list of whiners and doing the usual MS bashing as per the whatsnextblog.com:
The reason is simple. If you’ve ever tried to add a new Microsoft OS to an existing computer, you know you can’t do that without totally fucking up your computer. The only way to switch to a new Microsoft OS is to start with a new computer. And, of course, to wait a year or two while they get the kinks out.
Microsoft wouldn’t chance having dozens of bloggers writing about how VISTA screwed up their computers, so they installed the system on brand new computers. They gave the computers as gifts instead of lending them to the bloggers for review, which is the norm when dealing with traditional journalists.
Now if BL had check she would have found out; and has been verified by many of those that received said gift that they do have the choice to return the laptop after they have written their review (here, here, here).
Personally I think it was a hellva great idea regardless of whether it was an inhouse Microsoft idea or from their PR company. Like Robert and the rest though I do think that it is necessary to keep this above board and that those bloggers who received one must disclose the fact. It’s a matter of ethics regardless of what BL or Dan Warne of APCMag says. I know if I had been one of the lucky ones that would have been stated right from the top and from what I have read so far the majority of those that received have done so.
To equate this move by Microsoft and AMD and Acer as unethical is plain stupid and makes those saying such things look more like a bunch of whiners who didn’t luck out. Besides I didn’t see this kind of furor when Google gave away gifts.
Hey Microsoft if you got anything in the pipeline for reviewing keep me mind okay ….
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