Prelude to Geneva

,----[ Quote ]
| Earlier, Microsoft had flown foreign journalists—including staff members from
| two local newspapers (not Standard Today)—all the way to Redmond, to pitch
| I drew some belated attention from the local Microsoft office when I
| questioned the wisdom of using OOXML as an international standard earlier
| this month. They didn't fly me to Redmond, but they did want to meet me so
| they could air their side.
| I proposed they type out their response, instead—which they did. In the
| spirit of fairness, I am reproducing their arguments here, edited for clarity
| and brevity. My comments follow in italics.

Now the first time that they are caught twisting journalists' arms. I can
recall other such incidents. They bribe and they ask for good publicity.


[Microsoft keeps dossiers]

,----[ Quote ]
| "It also was strange to see just how many resources are aligned
| against me when I write a story about Microsoft."
| "there were close to a dozen other people involved...Some transcribed
| the interviews I conducted; others kept notes on my every utterance
| for clues about what questions I might ask next and ultimately what my
| story would say; others briefed executives with questions I had asked
| and suggested good answers."

Adverjournalism: The Role of Ad Dollars In Journalism

,----[ Quote ]
| It should come as no surprise that just about every gaming forum on the
| internet is ablaze right now following the news of GameSpot’s termination of
| long-time editor, Jeff Gerstmann. This article, however, is not an exposé or
| look into what really happened at GameSpot this week. Rather, consider this a
| look at the direction of gaming journalism, advertising, and how this all
| plays a role in the content you read.

Living with Vista, one year on

,----[ Quote ]
| To be honest, MS did try to engage me after I wrote that, but the sad thing
| is it was through bribery. I don't use that word lightly, but there is
| nothing else I can call it. I think I explained my differences of opinion
| quite clearly in that article, and the response I got from MS was as follows,
| names removed to protect the sender. * *
| -----------------------------------------------
| Hi Charlie,
| I'm really sorry to hear of your bad impression of Windows Vista, I would be
| very interested in having a chat with you to dispell some of your worries,
| and to provide you with your first contact at Microsoft! *
| I've got a copy of Windows Vista here for you as well if you want to have a
| go with the real deal RTM build!
| (signature)
| ----------------------------------------------------
| Please note that in the original complaint, I never once asked for a copy of
| the software, I had several versions here, and my complaints were about
| activation, DRM and other problems. A copy with all those problems is still
| as unacceptable as the ones I owned. In the following half dozen emails, my
| concerns were not placated, if anything they were confirmed. * *

INQhack survives Vistability test in Volesville

,----[ Quote ]
| The Vole (Microsoft) supposedly invited The INQ over for tea because
| we are notorious "Microsoft doubters" - and we were accompanied by
| other supposed Vole doubters such as the folk from lifehacker and
| a very nice man from Slashdot, as well as some Microsoft MvPs.

Microsoft desperately wants my love -- and yours

,----[ Quote ]
| I spent December seventh, eighth, and ninth in Seattle as Microsoft's
| guest. Microsoft flew me there from Florida at its expense, put me up
| in a nice hotel, provided decent food, and comped me and four other
| invitees to this "special conference" with presentations about the
| marvels of Vista and other recent or upcoming Microsoft products. They
| didn't quite play the old Beatles song "Love Me Do" in the background,
| but it was the event's unstated theme.

Bribing Bloggers

,----[ Quote ]
| This is the most frustrating thing about the practice of giving
| bloggers free stuff: it pisses in the well, reducing the credibility
| of all blogs. I'm upset that people trust me less because of the
| behavior of other bloggers. Don't even get me started about PayPerPost.
| [...]
| Do not, under any circumstances, consider upgrading an XP system to
| Vista... even if it's fairly new and even if it's Vista Supremo
| Premium Ultra-Capable.

Microsoft's Laptop Giveaway Becoming PR Disaster?

,----[ Quote ]
| This thing is starting to feel like a PR disaster. Bloggers are
| starting to smell blood and this thing very well may begin to
| turn into yet another episode of bloggers gone wild.

Bribing Bloggers

,----[ Quote ]
| It's a bribe. Period. You say nice things about us, you get nice
| things from us. Heck, just say neutral things about us-we'll give
| you a killer new laptop and we know that you'll be inclined to say
| better things about us.