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When Microsoft Wants To Bribe You

written by John Chow on December 28, 2006

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News is all over the Blogsphere that Microsoft is offering free Ferrari laptops for bloggers to review Windows Vista. Well known bloggers, like Darren Rowse, have been receiving the following email.

I’d love to send you a loaded Ferrari 1000 courtesy of Windows Vista and AMD. Are you interested?

This would be a review machine, so I’d love to hear your opinion on the machine and OS. Full disclosure, while I hope you will tell others about your experience with the pc, you don’t have to. Also, you are welcome to send the machine back to us after you are done playing with it, or you can give it away to your community, or you can keep it. Just let me know your opinion on Windows Vista and what you plan to do with it when the time comes.

The resulting press over the laptop giveaway has made Microsoft a little red faced and now it looks like they want the laptop back.

You see, this is the problem with the Blogsphere – no one can keep their mouth shut when they’re handed a nice juicy bride! This is so unlike the Dot Com boom days when everyone knew the rules.

Microsoft Wanted To Change My Mind

John Chow at MS Headquaters

During the boom boom days (September, 2000 to be exact), one of my writers wrote some very nasty things about the then new MS Pocket PC. In a nutshell, he called it an overpriced MP3 player. Apparently the article caught the attention of the MS Pocket PC team and they weren’t very happy with it. So they blasted off an Email to me. My first thought, upon seeing an Email from Beth Goza, Product Manager for Pocket PC Development was, “Oh boy. I’m in trouble now.”

It turns out the Email was not so bad at all. Instead of chewing me out, Beth invited me to come on down to Microsoft (all expenses paid), where she would like to help change my mind about the Pocket PC.

The Mind Changing Begins

The Loot!

To help me see the true power of the Pocket PC, Microsoft gave me a bunch of toys to play with, including not one but two Pocket PCs! There was also a Pocket PC modem and LAN interface card, Sony head phone, software, 128 MB compact flash memory card (the biggest available during those days) and a bunch of other stuff. All in all I made off with an estimated $2,000 of loot.

Afterwards, MS took me on a trip to the Microsoft store where I was allowed to buy $60 worth of Microsoft products at employee prices. I picked up a full copy of Windows Me for $20, MS Streets & Trips 2001 for $15 and a MS Optical mouse for $25. I would have loved to get MS Office 2000 Premium but it cost $80 and was over my spending limit.

EMP

In the evening, Microsoft took me to the Experience Music Project. Located right next to the Space Needle in Seattle, the EMP is one strange looking building. Inside is the Turntable restaurant, where we had a great dinner, and a museum of music. We hung out at the EMP till 10:30 PM then it was back to the hotel.

Microsoft invited me to spend the rest of the weekend to enjoy Seattle on them, but I needed to get home to host my weekly LAN party. The driver picked me up at 7AM Saturday morning to take me to Sea Tac airport for my 30 minute flight home (or was it 15 minutes?).

Death To Palm!

Since my visit to the “Evil Empire,” the only hand held computers I have ever used has been Pocket PCs. I guess you can say Microsoft did a good job changing my mind.

I would like to formally state that Windows Vista is a piece of junk OS that has nothing going for it. You hear me Microsoft? It’s junk I tell you! However, if you want to send me a Ferrari laptop with Vista on it so I can try it out, I may change my mind. :)

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