Goodbye Mr Wilcox

This is one of the posts Ive written on OpenBytes where Im genuinely saddened.  Today (highlighted by Roy from Boycott Novell) marked the end of Joe Wilcox on Eweek.  Please see the article here:http://www.microsoft-watch.com/content/corporate/thank_you_and_goodbye.html

“Ive been reporting about Microsoft since 1997 and specifically blogging about the company since May 2003. I took over Microsoft Watch in November 2006. It has been a joy to write this blog, and I want to thank regular readers for their commitment. But my warmest regards go to the blog’s regular commenters, who have extended the discussion (OK, fierce arguing) beyond the posts. Thank you isn’t enough.”

Ive always held Mr Wilcox’s comments and opinions in high regard.  Speaking as a Linux user and supporter I can say that I found Joe’s Microsoft views balanced and fair.  The shame is (certainly for the MS Faithful) that when Joe said something favorable about Microsoft I took it as honest held belief, unlike many of the MS opinions on the net.  Mr Wilcox has a posting integrity IMO rarely seen on the net.

I wish him all the best in the future although Im sure he will be around on a different mainstream site for many years to come.

I honestly believe Eweek will suffer in popularity because of his departure.  How many reporters who comment on Microsoft news can hold the interest of Linux users?  Not many Id guess.

I  would hope all the “crew” from MS Watches comments section will keep in touch.  Ive made many friends and contacts there.

As expected we have the odious MS faithful taking delight in Joes departure, with a post allegedly by Andre Da Costa which IMO takes a disgustingly sarcastic tone when talking about Joe leaving.  Mr Da Costa a message to you: Your shameless (IMO) Microsoft promotion and series of posts have all been documented.  I will ensure that any readers you may get will be aware of your history.

Mr Da Costa, I believe your previous behavior will come back to haunt you and I think they will prevent you from ever reaching the level that Joe Wilcox has/is.

Now back to Joe, take care, stay in touch and Ill ensure whatever site (including your blog) you post on is mentioned and kept in the fore.

You can visit Joes blog on:http://www.joewilcox.com/

Regards

Goblin.

25 Comments Add yours

  1. Ralph says:

    I am going to miss Joe’s column and his comments and all the good commentators to the blog.

    I hope Andre doesn’t take it over…if it continue to exist.. They would have to rename it “Microsoft Shill”.

    Anyway…Joe,… we will miss ya…

  2. openbytes says:

    Hi Ralph!

    I am sure Joe will be back on a site far bigger than Eweek. Joe has a great skill in his journalism IMO, he was not only able to bring many different users and backgrounds to a site called “Microsoft Watch” but he (IMO) wrote his articles in such a way that made them accessable /interesting to all and a great platform for debate.

    I hope people visit his site, and show support and respect for him publically it will be a great shame if he doesnt appear on another site and share his views.

    I dont believe Andre Da Costa will take over the site anymore than the “international Zune” will be a best seller. Andre will always have me (and others) highlighting any readers he may get to his appalling (and disgusting) behaviour IMO that he has engaged in and even his fellow shillers (IMO) are learning that if you follow Andre Da Costa on Twitter, your behaviour gets watched closely.

    The majority of exposures and highlighting here comes as a result of looking at the people who follow Andre.

  3. Will says:

    I respected the fact that Joe never censored the alternative view. I also don’t think Andre is much to worry about. I’ve seen his posting on other sites as well. I’m not sure about this, but I suspect that he also uses the handle “Mr. Dee” at times, due to very similar (and characteristic) posting style. And there too, usually not long after the first post there are two or three comments about how ridiculous and/or uninformed the statements are.

    Personally, I don’t mind him copy-pasting MS press releases all the time. I doesn’t take long for most people to see right through that since no one talks that like in normal conversation. Truth be told, due to that style of posting, I was on MS Watch for a couple of weeks before I figured out that Andre was a person and not some kind of spam-bot auto-generating the posts. The only time I really went after him was to correct blatantly false statements he made about non-Microsoft products.

  4. openbytes says:

    Agreed Will.

    Andre IMO has lost all his credibility, I think when even a Microsoft employee wanted to distance her views from sounding like him was when I really saw that he was no issue whatsoever.

    His Twitter account followers is very handy though! I would make a new site, dacosta-watch.com if I thought that there was any danger of anyone taking him seriously.

    Its great to see you guys posting here, I hope we all keep in touch regardless of what happens to the MS-Watch site.

    Regards
    Goblin.

  5. chips b malroy says:

    Great to see some of you posting here, Ralph and Will.

    Now who would be the perfect replacement for Joe Wilcox on MS Watch? My vote would be for Goblin. He has proved to be capable of running his own site as well as being a blogger. Most of all, he has the knowledge of the various operating systems, and software. That was what MS Watch was missing, the competition with Linux, that Joe just did not have his heart into reporting somehow.

  6. openbytes says:

    LOL.

    Thanks, but I think I would be the last person MS-Watch would want.

    That being said, I would do it for free……..

    1. chips b malroy says:

      Goblin says:
      “Thanks, but I think I would be the last person MS-Watch would want.

      That being said, I would do it for free……..”
      ———————————————————
      Its obvious eweek is having funding problems, so your free offer might work.

  7. Ralph says:

    Jess Meats could be a replacement for MS Watch…

  8. openbytes says:

    Agreed. A good choice.

  9. chips b malroy says:

    Ralph says:
    “Jess Meats could be a replacement for MS Watch…”
    ———————————————————-
    Interesting choice. She is polite enough, and there are some bloggers out there working for the big sites, that work at M$, I believe that BN will confirm that. But having an M$ employee watching and blogging about M$, sets a bad taste. She cannot be overly critical towards M$, without fear of losing her job at M$. No, it would just turn M$ into a complete powder puff just the fact type of site. People like THE HAND imght post ugly comments as well, if memory serves me, he did not like Jess much.

    Hey, as a joke, I put in for Joe’s old job myself. So you see Goblin, you are not the last in line either to get that job, I might be next to last, with THE HAND in the very last position. Still, maybe you should contact them, nothing to lose? Why not, you would be a great replacement for Joe.

  10. Ralph says:

    I hate to admit it…I’m going to miss the comedic relief that Andre provides with his “Vista is a much loved OS”.

    On the positive side…I see Fedora 11 is going to be released May 26. Ubuntu 9.04 definitely rocks…my wireless works out of the box now. I have a Compaq 762 NR laptop with Vista and Ubuntu.

    I had 8.04 on there and the only way I could get wireless was with the mad wifi project for the Atheros 5007 card. The only problem with that set up was that it seemed with every kernel update it would kill my wireless.

    I even posted it on the Ubuntu Forums and asked why this is happening..the post seemed to fall on deaf ears.

    (My biggest and only complaint about all this is that they (UF) should at least post a sticky warning new users that updates can kill wireless (or anything else for that matter). Sorry but updates should not kill functionality, if Windows updates killed wireless functionality…you’d bet it would be fixed fairly quickly)

    …enough of the rant….

    Anyway did a incremental upgrade from 8.04 to 8.10 to 9.04 on my laptop. Took some time…but my desktop is the same as 8.04 and I didn’t have to reinstall anything.

    Upon booting into 9.04…the wifi was right there and all I had to do was type in the password again for the wifi. Works great.

    I downloaded Windows 7 RC and I have another computer to test it out on. I did try Windows 7 Beta and that worked good until the mobo died. Right now this computer I will be trying it on has 512 MB ram which is a DDR 400. I do have some DDR 333 ram but with two x 512 MB. I recent check showed that I could mix 333 and 400 DDR ram with no issues.

    So I will see how 7 runs on 512 MB and then 1.5 GB ram mixed DDR. I bought a new 500 GB HD (SATA) to test this on.

    Anyone see where windows is down to 87.9 % now? lol I’m sure Andre’ has some great “spin” on that.

    For those looking for talk about all sorts of Operating systems. Please check out Other OS talk at

    http://grubbn.org/noost/index.php

    There is a fairly lively bunch there and you are all welcome to stop by and join. The forum is a outgrowth of the old “Other OS” forum on the Ubuntu Forums. The UF decided to discontinue the “Other OS” there and as a result “Other OS was reborn.

  11. openbytes says:

    Thanks for the post and the link.

    Andre is a little cracker when it comes to some spin, he will be missed.

    Maybe we should make Dacosta-watch.com to keep tabs on where he’s posting. He certainly was entertaining.

  12. chips b malroy says:

    FREE REVIEW LAPTOPS

    Ok so we know this is an on going story from M$ giving these to bloggers. Joe Wilcox on the other hand said he did not get one, but did get lesser stuff. Some of you my remember the links to comments on various sites of Andre begging for a MAC Air, Iphone, and Mac Office (M$). But Apple does not give away Macs. right?

    Over on Joe Wilcox’s site, is an article titled: “‘I’m a PC,’ Says My daughter.”

    In it Joe says: “My daughter, who online goes by “Morripopp,” had been using the higher-end aluminum MacBook. I knew she would be giving it up. On Wednesday, April 29, I told Apple that Thursday would be my last day as Microsoft Watch editor; I was joining the ranks of unemployed journalists. On Friday, I got the expected but dreaded e-mail: Apple wanted the MacBook loaner back by May 6.”
    ——————————————————-
    I am not dumping here on Joe Wilcox, its not a free laptop from Apple, he did have to send it back. But then again, maybe the folks at Apple Watch and M$ Watch should have been told up front he was using a Mac review laptop. At least his is honest about it. At what point does it become a “free” laptop instead of a “review” laptop? 2 or 3 years, or never? Joe most likely had for the last 3 years he did Apple Watch. In about 3 years or much sooner, you going need a newer one, if you want the cutting edge, anyway. So you sort of sucked all the life and value out of that new laptop anyway, not a big deal to return it and save your reputation.

    The greater point I am making here, is not about Joe, its about the way M$ and Apple game the blogging system. So you see, Andre was not that far off asking for a Mac Air laptop.

    Myself, I have decided not to post on Joe’s new site, and while I was curious and read some of his articles, its doubtful I will do so again.

  13. openbytes says:

    Hi Chips,

    I think the email requesting the MAC back suggests that Apple are acting with a little integrity. They would know Joe would continue to write IT related and leaving him the MAC may ensure a more favorable press.

    By requesting it back, it suggests to me that maybe Apple are convinced of the quality of their products and dont need to rely on gratitude to promote them.

    In regards to Joe, he didnt have to make that announcement.

    The eweek site IMO was mainstream press and just like all the off the shelf magazines, review copies and freebies are commonplace, I think readers understand this when reading the material. Where the freebies are dangerous is when someone representing themselves as an “average user” or “Joe bloggs” gets one, these people send out a much more powerful message, afterall whose word would you take, the mainstream press or someone who appears to be a normal user just like you?

    Ive always supported Joe, not so much in all his views but the fact that he writes his articles in such a way as to almost encourage an alternative view. Thats why I believe Microsoft-Watch became so popular with posters. Everyone likes a good debate, a forum where everyone agrees is a pretty boring place.
    Admitedly Microsoft Watch was somewhat ruined by those who couldnt (or didnt want to debate) for fear of highlighting the shortcomings of their cashcows, but I think during the “peak” of Microsoft Watch we saw the glimmers of some great intelligent debate between posters.

    As always chips, nice to hear from you!

    Regards
    Goblin.

  14. Ralph says:

    Couple of more thoughts…I like the name Dacosta-watch, but “freelaptop-watch” sounds good. “Shill-Watch” is even better…lol

    Hey all…I saw on the Other OS forums that Forbes is running a series of Linux articles…with the latest on Migrating to Linux…cool.

    http://grubbn.org/noost/showthread.php?tid=428

  15. chips b malroy says:

    Ralph says:
    ““Shill-Watch” is even better…lol”

    I agree, and nice to see you posting over here. Your posts were always worth the read too.

    Goblin says:
    “I think the email requesting the MAC back suggests that Apple are acting with a little integrity.”

    More integrity, yes, but still its a freebie for years. Not quite the same thing as a free laptop, but its getting close. BTW, I am not dumping on Joe here, although, my post sounded that way. Joe is just a part of the system, its the system that is corrupt. In fact, Joe might be one of the cleanest of the bloggers out there. At least he had the courage and honesty to admit it was a long-term “loaner” from Apple. I give him credit for that. My reason for not following him or commenting at his new site, is he became too much of a M$ advocate for me, not because of “loaners.” I wonder if BN is aware of the “loaners” from Apple?

  16. openbytes says:

    Hi Chips.

    I think we have always differed in our opinion of Eweek and Joe, but then thats OK. I can see your points in relation to the whole system.

    I think Ive seen Roy quote Mr Wilcox when he made a comment about “gorrilla marketing” (in respect of gifts) although you would have check with Roy himself because I cannot find that quote now.

    So to both Ralph & Chips and all my other online friends from Microsoft Watch:

    When you guys going to submit some of your opinions for an article here? Youre more than welcome. Im sure people are finding simply Goblin articles stale. I think we need some more new blood.

  17. chips b malroy says:

    Goblin says:
    “I think we have always differed in our opinion of Eweek and Joe, but then thats OK. I can see your points in relation to the whole system.”
    ———————————————————
    Sure, sane people can respectfully disagree about things a lot of things. My opinion about Joe and eweek, were not always my true opinions, as others may interpret them.

    While you and I understand that “review” computers are commonly handed out to bloggers like Joe, and that sites like eweek pay the bills through advertising, from sponsors like M$, it still begs the question: is it morally right?

    Now everything is not completely black and white in this world. As I have said before, if M$ sent me the free laptop, I would take it myself. But I would acknowledge it right away in public if I was a blogger. Unlike others, I would say, hey I like the laptop and I am going to keep it. Is it right? No. Is it rationization? Yes. Is it closer to be right than not saying anything? I think it is.

    My focus on the “freebies” when not to chastise Joe, as there were to educate readers on how the system worked, and how companies like M$ was gaming the system with its bribes. The point was also, that even Joe Wilcox and eweek were not entirely clean. And to some extent, even I could be bribed to take the laptop, of course it was never offered, as I am nobody. But I do think that even Joe and eweek, did need to realize that what they did, was also not quite correct ethically. When readers could put the fact that money was coming in some form from M$, it made the articles easier to understand as well, and to use the mind filter to interpret Joe’s posts. New readers to M$-watch needed to be reminded once in awhile of where the freebies and advertising bucks came from. There sure were not coming from GNU were they?

    Goblin says:
    “When you guys going to submit some of your opinions for an article here?”
    ——————————————————-
    Careful what you wish for, you just might get it.

  18. openbytes says:

    I hope you do submit an article Chips!

    I think the moral issue (in respect of mainstream press) has to be balanced by the fact that if the mainstream media didnt get review copies and had to make purchases then they wouldnt be able to cover as many items as they would run out of funds.

    That being said a review laptop is a little different since it may sway a reviewer in favor of that manufacturer or provider for all their articles./

    Great as always chatting with you!

  19. chips b malroy says:

    Goblin says:
    “I think the moral issue (in respect of mainstream press) has to be balanced by the fact that if the mainstream media didnt get review copies and had to make purchases then they wouldnt be able to cover as many items as they would run out of funds.”
    ———————————————————-
    While that is true, and I agree to some point, still if they had to buy RTM windows, would they not be a whole lot more critical reviewing that for which they had to shell out there own bucks on, like the public? It’s still “free” software, just look at what GNU free software has done to corrupt me, lol. BTW, M$ has beta testing programs that are free, to evaluate. Really I have no objections to bloggers getting the free RTM of Windows to write about. My point is that it is still a “freebie,” and still can corrupt ones point of view a bit.

    Yes, we agree about he laptops as going beyond ethical. But I would add “hardware” freebies in with that. If you remember the article that Joe posted about certain bloggers getting free laptops at PDC2008 (I think), Joe was on both sides of the debate, and could not take a firm moral stand either way. When asked about freebies that Joe has received, he finally replied that he did not get a laptop but did get the beta windows software. Later it turned out to be confirmed that he got a USB hard drive with the Beta Windows already on it. Also the Zunes Joe got were free from M$. One has to also wonder about where Joe got his XBox360 from.

    Does it sound like I was “trolling” Joe? Or was I trying to get Joe to come clean, and see that accepting “hardware” freebies was also a bit wrong without admitting it up front. Or maybe wrong at all. But again, myself I would have taken them, and said so up front, if I was the blogger. Doubtful I would have ever got anymore for being honest. Also, I wanted Joe to see that being on both sides of the issue was ethically wrong. Again, I do not think Joe was that bad, and was one of the more honest blogger types. But I think he had done it so long, that he needed a reminder, that what M$ was doing to him, was not completely ethical.

    Also, Joe was starting to learn along with the rest of us. One of Joe’s last post, he stated that the market share figures of Linux at Net Apps were wrong, and most likely a lot higher. So I do think we had some influence at least to change the way bloggers are thinking.

  20. openbytes says:

    Quote “….still if they had to buy RTM windows, would they not be a whole lot more critical reviewing that for which they had to shell out there own bucks on, like the public?

    Completely agree. I think this would be a true impartial and realistic review. Unfortunately even in an ideal world I dont think it would happen. Thats why I think personal blogs are so important. When I review Windows 7, it will be as a result of me paying for it and then using it. The trouble with blogs is (as we’ve seen in the past!!!) the bloggers can be very open to gifts and very easily swayed in favour of the company providing them.

    Telling a legitimate blog from a “gifted” one is difficult and I think this is where the greatest danger is. Companies like Amazon and Ebay see the worth in “real” customer feedback, but how can anyone be sure it is honest when at the end of the day all you have is a username making the remarks.

    Quote “Does it sound like I was “trolling” Joe?”

    Not at all, and for me it was one of the reasons why I liked Joes work. He gave you the forum and let others make their own conclusions. It doesnt matter what you or I think.

    Ive always found you fair, polite and certainly not sensationalist (unlike myself on occasion)
    I dont believe you have ever trolled anyone and would challenge anyone who alleged that.

  21. chips b malroy says:

    Goblin says”
    “”Quote “Does it sound like I was “trolling” Joe?”

    Not at all, and for me it was one of the reasons why I liked Joes work. He gave you the forum and let others make their own conclusions. It doesn’t matter what you or I think.

    Ive always found you fair, polite and certainly not sensationalist (unlike myself on occasion)”
    ———————————————————-
    A diplomat you should have been sir. I was harsher towards people was my feeling. You have always been fair, truthful, and polite on your posts, even to those who did deserve it. So I add patience to your list, a mark of a good poker player, BTW.

    As far as Joe’s open forum, was its Joe’s or was it eweek’s that wanting it that way? That we will not know, but I think it was the same way when Mary Jo ran it.

    Think of this, M$ Watch had become more Linux than M$ in the comments. Which to some degree could have spelled its doom. The fact that it was “open,” and one could repond to the article and the comment could be read without clicking on something, meant that the comment was almost as powerful as the article itself. Couple that with the fact that those who shilled for M$ in the comments could not refute the points made by many talented open source and Linux users, may have helped hasten the death of M$ watch. Which is truly sad in a way. Now if one looks at other sites using this same type of comment reply system, like ZDNet and CNET, one sees a lot of similar posts. What is lacking over there is the same knowledge and dedication by the commenter’s that were on M$ Watch. Would it not be awesome to shut down or better, change the M$ type of shilling done on sites like ZDNET and CNET? Not that I am going to do it, its just that it is possible to shut down the shills with logic and truth.

  22. chips b malroy says:

    Fix for a couple of wrong or typo’s in my last comment. The “You have always been fair, truthful, and polite on your posts, even to those who did deserve it.” should have been even to those who did NOT deserve it.

    Also, “Would it not be awesome to shut down or better, change the M$ type of shilling done on sites like ZDNET and CNET? Not that I am going to do it, its just that it is possible to shut down the shills with logic and truth.” It would be possible if all the M$ Watch commentators when there, yes. In a way, this is shutting off the air supply to these sites, as they depend on M$ bucks for advertising. Once the positve comments about linux and the negative comments about M$ cannot be disproved by its supporters, the end is near. It will happen, its happening now, with differnet users, in time more will come there.

  23. openbytes says:

    Hi Chips!

    You just have to look at #microsoft or #windows on Twitter. IMO they display the true feelings. Shiller IMO are easier to spot, since the volume of messages pass through those, they have to be more agressive with their FUD and they stand out a mile.

    The amount of people I have seen using Twitter to complain about Windows and or Microsoft I think tells a very different story to the one or two shillers who claim everyone is happy.

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