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. MDN – I totally disagree with your take. If Apple wanted to get bloggers to try Mac OS X they would almost HAVE to send them something to run it on like a MacBook. Which they do for most reviews except that they demand them back after so many days of use. If I were MS and wanted people to try Vista with its demanding hardware requirements to get all the bells and whistles to work I would want to give them something to run it on that I was sure would allow it to work well. Additionally, I would like to avoid them having to install it on a machine they use on a daily basis. Thereby taking away many of the reasons someone wouldn’t want to install and try it right away. Beyond that MS IS creating some goodwill with the blogging community by giving them something they can actually keep.

    I totally agree that there should be full disclosure by the bloggers about what MS gave them so that it is all out in the open. However, the fact that MS gave them the laptop should not disqualify someone from giving a fair review. (As long as there is no fine print saying they have to give it back on the basis of a bad review). ;P

    MDN – I like your site and most of your takes but give us all a break. This was actually quite a good idea by MS. Apple could learn something here too. Give some of the PC bigots a laptop and let them try it (and keep it so they would actually think about using it). If they do they will undoubtedly see the light.

  2. I’m surprised Microsoft haven’t thought of designing a skin for OS X to make it look like Vista, so everyone will think Vista is rock solid.

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  3. Microsoft is used to using its money to push its way into a market. They’ve made “donations” of computers running Windows for years and taken the tax deduction from expense while taking credit as philanthropists, so this shouldn’t surprise anyone.

    Just yesterday I was in a Target where the Zune has a prominent spot at the end of an isle while the iPod is in the middle of the isle. You can bet MS is paying for that too. They know they can’t compete on quality, so they take every advantage their monopoly in the corporate market can give them. It’s what makes Apple’s accomplishments so impressive. They’ve stood up to and thrived against a huge monopoly for over twenty years! Very few companies have done as much.

  4. In some respects, it will be interesting to see whether they can actually buy their way to success. It would be awfully strong evidence of how easily manipulatable people can be. <crossing fingers>


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