Microsoftmas come early?

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This is allegedly one of the laptops that was sent out to bloggers.  How much is your integrity worth?
This is allegedly one of the laptops that was sent out to bloggers. How much is your integrity worth?

I would hope its simply a coincidence that after the FTC announced it may be looking at the gifting and paying of bloggers, I find one very happy puppy who doesnt mind leting us know about some gifts he has received.

Have a read of this blog: http://vasudevg.blogspot.com/2009/07/thank-you-gift-from-windows-7-starter.html

Here the recipient seems very happy with his Windows 7 notepad and ball game.  A little thank you gift from Microsoft? I’m sure, but the next part of his post makes for disturbing reading (IMO):

“But the big one, which I had received from Windows 7 team, a couple of months back is yet to be posted about. Will blog about it soon  :)”

Which makes you wonder how much of this persons opinion has been based on “the big one” to date?

In the past I’ve covered the blogger who recieved a laptop from Microsoft, and breaking from the norm (since I havent seen many similar disclosures) he was more than happy to mention it.  You can read that blog here:

http://laughingsquid.com/microsoft-sent-a-free-laptop-with-windows-vista/

Heres another user who recieved an offer of one and decided to disclose it:

http://www.problogger.net/archives/2006/12/29/microsoft-under-fire-over-laptop-giveaways-to-bloggers/

So lets for a minute forget about Microsoft.  What do you think the average computer blogger would do with a free gift.  Would they a/ Post honest held views about the companies products or b/ Post favorably about the company out of gratitude and the hope that more gifts would be forthcomming?  I will leave you to decide which you think is more likely.

Here, the concept of Microsoft giving away free laptops is covered: http://www.istartedsomething.com/20061227/microsoft-free-ferrari/ and the author comments:

“But if you write about Microsoft, they might even give you one for free. Is it ethical? Probably not. Is it worth something to hard-working sweat and tears bloggers? Hell yeah.”

Having said that, there are others who appear to have the same opinion as me, David Flynn said at the time:

“Any blogger with pretensions of being considered an independent voice and a ‘professional’ in their field or even their attitude, not to mention a sense of ethics, should be returning this ‘gift’ laptop to Microsoft.”

Now what are you thinking about that glowing praise a blogger is showering on Microsoft?  Its not rocket science, the enticement of something for nothing and the hope that you may get more is a very tempting offer is it not?

In my opinion, this practice has got to stop and if the FTC can do something about this in the US then that is a start.  When I exposed the Optionetics imposter (who was trying to promote Microsoft Stock) I was offered a token of their thanks which I refused (you can confirm that with them, you have my permission for full disclosure) I don’t post here for any other reason than honest held belief in what I say.  I am not interested in gifts/payments/offers and if I received any I would refuse and then highlight them here.  If you notice, I have no adverts on my site (a pet hate of mine) and I don’t believe in trying to sell you anything.

That, in my opinion is what a blog should be about, people should be able to trust that the opinions expressed are that of a user who has similar needs and expectations as themselves.  It should not be a means for proprietary firms to pimp their products under the guise of an honest opinion, no matter who that proprietary company is.

Goblin – bytes4free@googlemail.com

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