Microsoft tries to ‘bribe’ bloggers with free Acer laptops running Windows Vista

“It seems that Microsoft and AMD have partnered to hand out some nice Christmas presents to select bloggers. Microsoft has reportedly sent out new AMD-equipped Acer laptops in an effort to get prominent bloggers using Microsoft’s new Vista operating system,” Michael Calore blogs for Wired.

Calore writes, “If Microsoft were to give away copies of Vista that would make sense and probably raise no eyebrows at all, but giving away a whole laptop understandably strikes some as little more than bribery… Dan Warne a journalist at APCmag left a comment at the site linked above in which he points out:”

It’s bizarre for one of the world’s largest PR companies, Edelman, to think it could get away with this. Perhaps they don’t know bloggers as well as they thought they did… now that some of the bloggers have disclosed the receipt of the gift, the public knows. Whatever the subtleties of the offer were, it comes across as nothing more than a bribe, and that is a very bad look for Microsoft.

Calore writes, “As Warne says, now that the word is out, expect the negative publicity to be every bit as shrill as the positive which means Microsoft’s PR move may well end up backfiring.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: On which planet are OS-limited Acer laptops festooned with Ferrari logos (hello, 1980’s) running Windows Vista considered “nice Christmas presents?” For the record, we did not receive a free Acer laptop with Windows Vista from Microsoft. Go figure. If we had, we’d have sold it on eBay to some random sucker from the planet Delusional and used the money for a new OS-unlimited MacBook Pro running Mac OS X Tiger.

By the way, if Apple ever sends any bloggers gift MacBooks running Mac OS X Leopard, we’ll let you know and call Apple out for attempted bribery, too. Not sure if we’d be able to force ourselves to send it back if we got one, though. wink

Okay, so who’s surprised that Microsoft is seemingly resorting to bribery? And how effective can bribery be when the bribe is the reason for the bribe in the first place?

Oh, look, honey, I got an ugly-ass Acer laptop with a car company logo stuck on it that runs a badly-faked, upside-down and backwards Mac OS X skin atop the same old same old rickety Windows foundation. Joy. Perhaps I’ll blog nice things about it? Are Microsoft’s PR flacks nuts?

Related article:
Bill Gates confronted by glowing Apple logos as every single blogger at meeting uses Macs – December 15, 2006


  1. On THIS planet! To 95% of the people in this world, that constitutes an exceptional Christmas present, sadly.

    Anyway, I think the better thing to do if you received one, MDN, would be to send it right back with a note to Microsoft about how inferior their products are, rather than use the bribe money for a REAL Christmas present. Tsk tsk tsk.


  2. Perhaps it’s a cunning plan to get people to write about using Vista, while conveniently circumventing the problems of finding a PC that will run it and then trying to install Vista on it.

    That’s two danger areas neatly side stepped.

    The big problem is that the recipients don’t have any need to say nice things about Vista and even if they did, any blogger who is known to have an Acer Ferrari laptop will be perceived to be in Microsoft’s pocket if they write flattering stuff.

    All a blogger has is a readership and if that readership believes that the blogger has become another person on Microsoft’s ‘Influencer’ list, their credibility vanishes. There is an obvious linkage between credibility, readers, clicks, advertising and income.

    It’s interesting that at least one of the recipients has explained what’s happening. It would be fascinating to discover what was said about this gift, what it expected in return and what has been hinted at for the future.

  3. I agree with AlanAudio. Did anyone catch the part about the laptops come with Vista pre-installed but do NOT come with installation media? This way, MS gives the bloggers a “complete” testing platform but doesn’t offer installs of Vista on another computer for comparison. Unless, of course, the bloggers go out and buy themselves a copy. How are these bloggers supposed to give a complete review if they can’t easily (and without digging into their own pockets) go from scratch with the OS?

  4. “Are Microsoft’s PR flacks nuts?”

    It’s a non-stop macadamia festival.

    ” . . . random sucker from the planet Delusional . . .”

    I contacted my friend, D3☀!✠φ on Delusional last night. They’re not interested. Computer viruses are deadly on his planet. They are perfectly content writing copy MS PR and advertising. And Rob Glaser’s biography.

  5. ACER

    So, how is that pronounced? Hey, Sir? The French ah-serrr? The Italian: ah-cher? Ah-choo?

    Who on EARTH would name ANY product Acer?

    An Acer Delorean addition would more closely match Microsoft’s cutting edge mystique!

  6. MS can’t just send Vista to people. Chances are, the bloggers’ existing hardware won’t run Vista adequately so MS had to send along hardware so Vista wouldn’t as easily appear to be the dog that it is.

    I just checked the monkey bites wired blog and it seems others there agree with this point. You can’t send out a behemoth of a Service Pack to people who don’t have the hardware to run it.

  7. Acer is not the villain, they build lots of things to a variety of specs, you all are just experienced with the really inexpensive ones.

    Acer does not give anything away.

    Microslop is the company you should be focused on, they’re the ones paying for the Acer laptops.

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