Microsoft accused of trying to buy bloggers
A Microsoft stunt handing out brand spanking new laptops with Windows Vista to selected bloggers has backfired with claims that Microsoft tried to "buy" bloggers.
At least six bloggers each received a sleek, black, highly specified Ferrari machine running the as-yet-to-be released Windows Vista from Microsoft and Acer just before Christmas.
At least one recipient claimed his machine was a gift. Microsoft watcher Long Zheng called the PC a "Christmas present [that was] officially" a review machine. He congratulated Microsoft on its "kudos for thinking about the little guys" - meaning that it is targeting bloggers instead of the usual PC trade publications that make it on the big vendors' gift list.
That was enough for the Blogosphere, which sniffed a crude attempt at bribery and began a debate on the ethics of accepting free gifts from IT companies. Veteran blogger, and former Microsoft employee Robert Scoble summed it up: "Now THAT is my idea of PayPerPost" - the idea of paying bloggers to post, only using cash instead of gifts.