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Microsoft Operating Systems Software The Media Windows

Microsoft Taps Bloggers to Promote Longhorn 415

Tim writes "With Beta 1 of Longhorn less than two months away, Microsoft is looking at a new marketing tool to help promote its new Windows: bloggers. According to BetaNews, Microsoft's "Team 99" evangelism effort will be composed of bloggers that will become Microsoft's voice to the masses. Robert Scoble said Team 99 was once secret, but has been revived and Microsoft is now accepting nominations. It's nice to see Microsoft recognizing the power of blogs, but the move is likely going to draw accusations that Redmond is trying to buy off bloggers to hype Longhorn."
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Microsoft Taps Bloggers to Promote Longhorn

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  • Weird names (Score:5, Funny)

    by maotx ( 765127 ) < minus threevowels> on Monday May 02, 2005 @01:33PM (#12409502)
    ...Longhorn...Team do they come up with these unusual names?
    My favorite quote FTA (and I'm not making this up):

    "Longhorn got its name from the bar that's between Whistler and Blackcomb up in British Columbia. 99 is the road you drive from my house to get up to the Longhorn bar. So, Team 99 is the team that'll take us to Longhorn's launch," he said.

    And people make fun of Linux names!
  • Are they handing out shares of stock? I'll gladly make up a few favorable reviews for a hundred shares.
    • by MisanthropicProgram ( 763655 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @01:47PM (#12409739)
      You know, you have to wonder. If you gave a shitty review, would they let keep your Longhorn 99 or whatever status? I'd be more than happy to start a blog to promote MS products if they paid me! Then I can buy that Mac I've always wanted!
    • Bloggers? (Score:3, Insightful)

      They could well employ a million of them, but what good are they if I never read their prose (that is if you could call it that)

      I may well be the only one doing it, but I seem to automatically tune out to anything mildly looking like a 'web log' - in the new age sense of the custom at least. CTRL-w.

      Same old story really, if I want it, I'll look for objectivity, not the rational (or insane) ravings of an opinionated and payrolled microsoft voice. (or any other corporate entity)

  • by Raul654 ( 453029 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @01:36PM (#12409533) Homepage
    Microsoft doesn't have the best record [] in this area, having been caught astroturfing numerous times. At least when you read an 'official' blog, you are aware that you are getting cooperate propaganda.
    • Yep, Astroturfing [] is what came to my mind as well. Just business as usual at Microsoft...
    • Yup (Score:5, Informative)

      by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @02:06PM (#12409972) Homepage Journal
      Back before Linux hit it big they were caught paying reporters to write favorable articles for Windows in the face of competition by OS/2. Particularly amusing was their attempt to look like they had a grass roots movement like Team OS/2 by bringing Microsoft employees to the '95 Atlanta COMDEX to pose as "Team Microsoft." I don't know what's more amusing; the fact that Microsoft has always had to pay people off to try to appear like they too have grassroots support or that they've been caught at it pretty much every time they've tried it.

      Microsoft marketing, if you're reading this, these marketing ploys just make you look pathetic. Stick to what you're good at and play up the heartless corporation aspect of your corporate image. Honestly...

      • Microsoft marketing, if you're reading this, these marketing ploys just make you look pathetic.

        Remember, it only looks pathetic to the people who know their geeky stuff, and well, it's not like those kind of people are really influenced by those marketing ploys...

    • At least when you read an 'official' blog, you are aware that you are getting cooperate propaganda.

      Heh, a somewhat appropriate typo. I think you meant "corporate" propaganda, but "cooperate" points to the conspiracy involved.

  • Shills (Score:5, Insightful)

    by teiresias ( 101481 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @01:36PM (#12409537)
    Whoever is part of this "Team 99" will be consider shills and rightly so. There's one thing using the Internet to express your point of view. It's quite another to extol a companies product for their backing.

    If this group was treated as an unbiased reviewers, I'd have more sympathy but as it is, it seems just another corrupted media.
    • I agree. Reading this: ...the move is likely going to draw accusations that Redmond is trying to buy off bloggers to hype Longhorn.

      is like saying "going out and shooting people is likely to draw accusations that you're a murderer."

      Likely. Duh!
    • Re:Shills (Score:5, Insightful)

      by JPelorat ( 5320 ) * on Monday May 02, 2005 @01:58PM (#12409884)
      Eh.. anyone with a positive outlook on Longhorn is gonna get called a shill (especially here), their contract status with Microsoft notwithstanding.
      • Re:Shills (Score:5, Funny)

        by tbone1 ( 309237 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @02:15PM (#12410082) Homepage
        Eh.. anyone with a positive outlook on Longhorn is gonna get called a shill (especially here), their contract status with Microsoft notwithstanding.


    • I can just imagine the spam now:

      Dear Internet User!
      To celebrate the upcoming launch of Longhorn, we are asking bloggers to talk favourably about it in their blogs.
      Microsoft has some cool technology (Google) that will enable them to find your entries, and the best one will win $1000000!

      Bill Gates

      PS. This is not fake! A friend of mine tried it, and got a check
      PPS. If you don't forward this email in the next 60 seconds, you will have bad luck all day, and your crush will hate you forever.
    • Re:Shills (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @02:05PM (#12409969)
      If this group was treated as an unbiased reviewers, I'd have more sympathy but as it is, it seems just another corrupted media.

      If you RTFA, it appears that they're well aware of the drubbing they took from their last showing to a handful of bloggers, and are expecting the annointed "team 99" crowd to expressly do more of the same, as they get feedback from the wider community. If the software is crap, what possible good will it do MS to pump up demonstrably false notions about the presence or absence of a feature, only to have it turn out not to be true when everybody gets to look at the release? They seem to be going to a lot of trouble to announce, well in advance, that they're going to skip over certain features, or delay others. The bloggers will be an echo chamber for some of that, and a feedback channel. Other than the NDA (which presumably these folks will actually read before signing!), I don't sense any means by which MS would be able to make someone convey a better impression of the OS than they've personally experienced. I work with an MS partner (our firm sells accounting apps and does large scale systems integration, among other things), and we play very much the same role - we scream at MS when end users scream at us, and we preach the solutions when we're comfortable with them ourselves.
  • Mistake (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dtfinch ( 661405 ) * on Monday May 02, 2005 @01:36PM (#12409545) Journal
    It's a good idea to recruit bloggers to advertise your product.
    It's not a good idea to publicize that you're doing it.
    • Re:Mistake (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ssj_195 ( 827847 )
      It never ceases to amaze me how, despite its vast wealth, Microsoft somehow manages to hire the absolute worst PR department in the world. Whether they are threatening to sue penniless Biochem students who have broken none of their laws or EULAs, flagrantly inventing people and their pro-microsoft testimonials, or making thinly veiled threats to whole countries about what will happen if they switch to Linux, their cack-handedness and lack of any kind of sophistication, subtlety or sensitivity simple boggle
      • Re:Mistake (Score:4, Insightful)

        by drsquare ( 530038 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @03:00PM (#12410661)
        Worst PR department? They've managed to keep a relatively clean reputation despite releasing countless shitty, worthless operating systems. Even their latest and greatest XP is full of flaws, and needs constant service packs to prevent it falling to pieces. Yet people will be queueing up to buy this next one. Sounds like a great PR department to me. This blogging thing will probably be a success.
        • Re:Mistake (Score:3, Insightful)

          by fafaforza ( 248976 )
          People will be queueing up to get Windows because there is still no other alternative, not because of marketing. Macs, albeit having a great OS, come at a premium price, and are still slow in comparison (try as he might, my boss just couldn't use for email - way too slow, and locked up trying to handle to load).

          And Linux is not desktop ready yet. If most people think configuring Windows should be left to the experts, what will they think when they're faced with arcane version numbers of this thi
      • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 02, 2005 @03:04PM (#12410707)
        Now, before today, Team 99 was secret. I've learned from my messups with Jim Allchin's dinner not to do secret stuff anymore. Make everything transparent. Transparency is good. [...]All will need to sign NDAs cause there are things in Longhorn that we don't want to leak out, but they'll be your proxies.

        WTF!!!!! They won't do secret stuff, but they legally obligate their volunteer shills to do secret stuff!!!! That's very funny.

        Remember, you can't spell propoganda without NDA.

    • Re:Mistake (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Halo1 ( 136547 )
      If you read the blog post [] of the Microsoft exec handling this, you can read:
      Now, before today, Team 99 was secret. I've learned from my messups with Jim Allchin's dinner not to do secret stuff anymore. Make everything transparent. Transparency is good.
    • Re:Mistake (Score:4, Insightful)

      by learn fast ( 824724 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @03:11PM (#12410815)
      Oh, how many gmail invites did you request or give out via your blog?

      Just an observation that most bloggers I know or read were ingeniously suckered into giving gmail free advertising.
  • Free Advertising (Score:2, Interesting)

    by afra242 ( 465406 )
    Well, it is free advertising and people would rather read blogs for an opinion on a product, than read some flash-ad. I know I would. Especially with the open-source world, that's how I hear about the latest and greatest Linux/OS X apps...
    • by geoffspear ( 692508 ) * on Monday May 02, 2005 @01:41PM (#12409623) Homepage
      It's not free advertising, and it's not opinion.

      It's paid-for advertising maskerading as opinion. It's misleading and unethical, and incredibly stupid of them to admit they're going to do it.

      I, for one, after reading this, wouldn't trust the opinion of anyone who says in their blog that they like Longhorn; who's to say whether they actually used it and thought it was good, or if Microsoft paid them to lie about it?

      All this does is create an environment where you can assume that bad reviews are probably objective, and that good reviews are quite possibly just advertising.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 02, 2005 @01:36PM (#12409550)
    They just created Astro-blogging!
  • Astroturf, Anyone? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by MrAnnoyanceToYou ( 654053 ) <[moc.smarbnalyd] [ta] [nalyd]> on Monday May 02, 2005 @01:36PM (#12409551) Homepage Journal
    There was an article posted less than a week ago about PR companies harnessing bloggers.... Gee, maybe Microsoft DOES read Slashdot.
    • by pieterh ( 196118 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @01:41PM (#12409637) Homepage
      Hah! Microsoft have been astroturfing Slashdot for ages.

      It's quite noticeable, but not very effective. There are a number of users who post straight-out pro-Microsoft comments without any hint of irony. Such as "people hack IE only because it is popular", or "Microsoft make excellent software".

      Then, there are the astro-moderators, who will mod-down obvious anti-Microsoft comments. These are quite common but usually get hammered out in meta-moderation.

      Lastly, there are the trolls who take delight in disrupting the serious ongoing conversations at Slashdot. I'd not be surprised to discover that some of these are sponsored by Microsoft.

      Yes, Microsoft reads Slashdot.
      • Yes I've noticed this too. Somedays it seems very blatent, that either the (pro Microsoft) person has been totally brainwashed, or is being paid to spin a bad news story.

        Of course, what proof do you have for it, other then the sneaking suspision.
      • by jericho4.0 ( 565125 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @02:40PM (#12410400)
        I'll second this. Some pro-MS comments seem straight out of a brochure, and I have a really hard time imagining someone with technical knowledge actually saying what they say.
        • I know someone who is pro-MS. I sincerely doubt he's receiving any mony from them, given his [lack of a] lifestyle. He hates Linux because he hates people evangelizing it, and beacuse "Life is too short to waste on open-source shit."

          It's amazing that he believes this stuff, and I honestly can't find the motive. It seems that he has actually convinced himself that he likes Microsoft, the company, Bill Gates, and most of their software. He doesn't use any form of anti-virus or firewall, because "no one w
      • by zulux ( 112259 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @03:24PM (#12410996) Homepage Journal
        Such as "people hack IE only because it is popular",

        I'll ad another:

        The "XP is only crashes becuase of all the different hardware it supports" astroturfer.

        the completly miss the fact that FreeBSD, NetBSD and Linux support most of the x86 hardware that XP does --- AND PowerPC AND Sparc AND Aplha AND Mips etc....

        *BSD and Linux manage to be stable, why can XP??? Hmmmmm...

    • Gee, maybe Microsoft DOES read Slashdot.

      That's a LIE!!! We never...
      [Connection reset by peer]
  • Likely? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JohnTheFisherman ( 225485 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @01:36PM (#12409554)
    ... It's nice to see Microsoft recognizing the power of blogs, but the move is likely going to draw accusations that Redmond is trying to buy off bloggers to hype Longhorn."

    That's a safe bet - MS could release a patch for XP that cured cancer and they'd still be accused of doing something underhanded. ;)
  • by stoolpigeon ( 454276 ) * <bittercode@gmail> on Monday May 02, 2005 @01:37PM (#12409560) Homepage Journal
    I can only hope its more than that and they'll try to buy off every blogger. Man I could use some more cash. I mean come on.

    Unfortunately this will be just for the big boys. Gonna have to start watching Wheaton's site. With all the vet bills and mac troubles lately I expect his next release from O'Reilly will now be "Lovin' Longhorn" or something like that. Don't blame him a bit.
  • Bile Blog (Score:2, Insightful)

    I move to nominate the Bile Blog [].

    signed the MaD HuNGaRIaN

    Do I hear a second to that motion?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 02, 2005 @01:37PM (#12409567)
    I've often wondered how many Slashdot accounts are operated by paid shills and their ilk.
  • In your blog entries, just make sure you remember the (R) after the word Microsoft and the TM after the word Windows or Microsoft(R) will sue you...heh.
  • by hazee ( 728152 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @01:42PM (#12409643)
    that just the other day was reported as threatening people who posted screenshots of Longhorn?

    Which is it to be? Do they want it publicised or not?

    No, let me guess; only favourable publicity.
  • by Shadow Wrought ( 586631 ) <> on Monday May 02, 2005 @01:42PM (#12409645) Homepage Journal
    Longhorn is the best operating system I have ever used. It is a snappy and feature rich envrionment that allows me to leverage my work schedule and makes leisure time a joy. I don't know what I ever did without it.

    It also follows the long Microsoft tradition of providing an innovative product that people not only want to use, but actually look forward to using.

    Longhorn truly completes me. And I say this as a former Linux power user for the last twenty years. Really. Now I know that Linux blows and it has nothing to do with that bimonthly check from Redmond. Nothing. Really.

    • That gives you away.

      Also, you forgot to mention:

      - how incredibly secure Longhorn is, compared to Linux (measured by patches released so far)
      - how Longhorn is considerably cheaper than Linux
      - how Longhorn promotes industry standards (such as MS Office)
      - how Longhorn runs in a smaller footprint (if you balance your PC on one corner).

      Secure, cheap, standard, efficient! That's the message you're supposed to be spreading.

      You can get your check anyhow. Usual address, I take it?
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Compared to Linux, Longhorn is an extensible paradigm shift in operating systems that is designed to facility business agility while improving new customer acquisition. Offering the most secure federation based authenticity validation system Longhorn improves the value proposition while streamlining your business processes and enhancing shareholder value.

        Longhorn r0x0rz and Linux sux0rz.
    • Re:Longhorn Rocks! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by killjoe ( 766577 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @03:31PM (#12411098)
      You are doing it all wrong. YOu have to say something like this...

      "I really like linux but lets face it it's not ready for grandma. Nobody wants to compile a kernel just to make a game work and besides gimp is not nearly good as photoshop. Oh and autocad doesn't run on linux.

      Windows used suck but it's never crashed on me since 2000 came out and let's face it XP has solved all the security issues with windows.

      I love linux and sometimes its fun to spend five hours messing with config files but I use windows when I just want to get things done. "

      The trick is to pretend you like linux while saying bad things about it.

  • translation (Score:3, Funny)

    by ( 653730 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @01:42PM (#12409658)
    "let's use this blog thing for marketing"
  • by Buran ( 150348 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @01:43PM (#12409663)
    ... and how much more I prefer working on my Mac. I don't outright refuse to use Windows - I've used all three major platforms - I just honestly and simply do prefer OS X. Lack of security headaches is a large part of that. MS still hasn't been able to keep the crackers out. When they totally redo their OS to be more secure, I'll feel more comfortable about using it.
    • by drsquare ( 530038 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @03:14PM (#12410860)
      I bought my OWN iPod. Get off your lazy asses, you cheapskates. It's not THAT hard.

      Actually, it IS. Have you seen the price of those things? You need to be like a millionaire to buy one. For what you get for your money, they should be about £50. Although it doesn't matter to me, I stole mine from some kid who wasn't exactly being discreet about the fact that he had one. Note: change the headphones. They look awful and showy, and just lead to muggings.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    good god. another reason to despise blogs.

    Am I the only one who thinks blogs and bloggers the most over-hyped thing to come along in years?

    • I couldn't agree more. It was a great idea until it got renamed from "journaling" to "blogging" (that term still makes me cringe), and until the angst-ridden teens got hold of the idea. I still write one, but at least I spell-check the damned thing and try to keep the "angst" to a minimum. But I don't spam it all over the place or plaster it full of ads (Google text ads are as far as it'll ever go) either.

      There are some well-written ones buried amongst the mountains of drivel (I'd like to hope mine is one

  • Remember "Team OS/2" (Score:3, Interesting)

    by aquarian ( 134728 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @01:43PM (#12409677)
    Back in the day, there was "Team OS/2," perhaps the first internet astroturf campaign. It worked a little (at Microsoft's expense) but not enough. I bet Microsoft remembers though!
  • Will you be allowed to make screenshots?

    Oh, FYI, the "pull these for patent reasons" is bogus. They already HAD their public disclosure, the clock is now ticking on anything in there they would want to patent. So its a bogus excuse for the "The UI is still 1AM3"
  • by Bob9113 ( 14996 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @01:45PM (#12409697) Homepage
    "It's nice to see Microsoft recognizing the power of blogs, but the move is likely going to draw accusations that Redmond is trying to buy off bloggers to hype Longhorn."

    Blogging was nice while it lasted. Corporations are quickly going to flood the channel with paid content. If you think the PR machine is powerful in major media, which has lots of people looking for bias, has some regulation, and which does not see $10,000 as any more than pocket change, think what's going to happen to blogs over the next five years.

    Suppose Coca-Cola offered to pay Joe Blogpack $2,500 to do a column talking about a dead rat found in a storage container at a Pepsi bottling facility, how quickly do you think he would jump? Do you think he would care if the story is true? And if he did, would he have access to the resources to find out if it's true? Suppose is running 200 links to other bloggers who didn't take the time to fact check - our honorable Joe Blogpack checks his facts against the tainted stories and even thinks he's doing the right thing.
    • by faust2097 ( 137829 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @01:57PM (#12409866)
      Suppose Coca-Cola offered to pay Joe Blogpack $2,500 to do a column talking about a dead rat found in a storage container at a Pepsi bottling facility, how quickly do you think he would jump? Do you think he would care if the story is true? And if he did, would he have access to the resources to find out if it's true? Suppose is running 200 links to other bloggers who didn't take the time to fact check - our honorable Joe Blogpack checks his facts against the tainted stories and even thinks he's doing the right thing.

      And this, kids, is the difference between 'reporting' and 'journalism'. We've just had our standards lowered by the willingness of our mainstream media to report anything - rumors, opinions, lightly edited press releases, as "news" and run on to the next hot topic and pray that you don't change the channel during the ads.

      Blogging isn't going to replace journalism because of these exact problems. Blogging might do a lot of harm to the mainstream US news media but it's their own damn fault for abandoning true journalism and resorting to showing the same video clip everyone else has, just 2 minutes earlier and with more sensationalistic or opinionated commentary.

      "The news is just a TV show, get past it" - Dilated Peoples
    • I agree. People like blogs as an alternative to the obvious biases of the mainstream press, e.g., writing favorable reviews about a product to get more advertising from the product's manufacturer.

      However, it's becoming quite clear that blogs aren't anymore trust worthy than traditional journalism. And once the public becomes aware of that fact, blogs will die a pretty quick death.
    • Why does everyone always think in such binary terms - Blogging is never going to replace traditional media and journalism, but that doesn't mean one has to disappear. Personally, I think blogs are a fantastic supplement to journalism, so long as people remember which is which.

      I don't think blogging is going to fade in the slightest - today's bloggers aren't paid to do what they do, and very few are trying to change the world. They exist because opinionated people and depressed 16 year old girls like tal

    • It's also possible that some high quality bloggers will develop personalities and let them be part of their blogging and continue to be trustable due to having actual character rather than cotton-candy personalities like real news reporters have grown to. This story has convinced me to start a blog, damnit, and I'm going to be freaking ME. Disagree, dislike, whatever, but I'm going to be honest and as knowledgable as possible.
  • by LibertineR ( 591918 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @01:48PM (#12409753)
    "If you are still thinking about buying a computer from Apple, dont do it until you try Longhorn from Microsoft."

    "You will feel much better about that Mac, once you realize that you could have waited a lot longer for a lot less."

    Now, where is my money?

  • Hey, check this out! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Nanite ( 220404 )
    Well, looks like MS is going to add paid shill bloggers to their list of paid shills that they use to spread propoganda. There's one in every popular message board, blindly praising MS for everything they do. It's usually easy to pick them out, they just sound fake, and never rationalize anything. I have to wonder what just how many people MS pays to pretend they like everything MS does. After all, I can't imagine anyone doing that for free.

    Kinda reminds me of the way McDonalds pays rappers for rapping abo
    • Oh I can just imagine 50 Cent and Big Tymers throwing "Longhorn" and "Microsoft" in their tunes when they sing about "bling bling"

      Listen to my DRM on my Dell pimpin' my Longhorn straight outa Redmond
  • ...instead of marketing the hell out of your product by artificially fluffing up support and enthusiasm for it, why not just actually make a superior product that people will naturally get excited about on their own? Then you don't have to hire people to pretend to be excited about it.
  • So what? (Score:5, Funny)

    by pangel83 ( 598985 ) * on Monday May 02, 2005 @01:51PM (#12409793) Homepage
    Slashdot has been doing the same for Linux
  • by joepez ( 753750 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @01:54PM (#12409833)
    This tactic isn't anything new. About a year and a half ago I was working with a publisher and this was just one of our tactics to promote a game. We were placing information about the game in select blogs (as well as actively tracking embedded keywords) across sites to monitor our game's buzz.

    What we were doing wasn't all that sophisticated (we had an evangelist program as well, which who were far better than us at promoting our messages). There were several viral advertising firms out there that were posting in fake blogs, in real blogs, on multiple forums using fake ids, etc.

    While you could argue that viral marketing of this sort is unethical or at least questionable, it really is no different than paying people to walk around with your product in public. Online viral marketing, and placement in a blog, is just another form of PR placement.

    Of course there is an ethical question to be answered if blogs are truly a form of news protected by the laws and practices of journalists. If that's the case than these blogs are practicing yellow journalism, which would then throw into question their role as independent journalists (then again if you can find me a 100% untainted all the time news source these days I'd be pretty impressed (especially if they have over 100 readers)).

  • Why is it "nice" to see that Microsoft is "recognizing the power of blogs"? Was the blogging world hurting before now due to lack of respect from Redmond? Were bloggers stinted by a lack of support from Microsoft? No, bloggers did just fine without showing up on Microsoft's radar, thank you.
  • by feloneous cat ( 564318 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @01:59PM (#12409887)
    And of course Microsoft's notorious "Mac to Windows" switcher website was the one the took the cake. What took them down was using a stock photo... Sheesh!

    I mean, really. How hard is it to find ONE photogenic woman in a company the size of Microsoft? Hell, Apple used a LOT of folks in their ads... And they didn't look like models either (nor did their words sound like PR text).

    Yup, look to a LOT of "Longhorn allows me to do things the way that make me more productive" blah blah blah...

  • They will be primarily preaching to the choir as far as users go, so I guess their role is to convince people that they need to upgrade. This ought could be an interesting experiment, if not a humorous one.
  • by crush ( 19364 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @02:02PM (#12409927)
    At last we have a nice concrete example of a large corporation admitting that they're going to spread their propaganda through blogs. It seems like only a couple of weeks ago that I was reading an article about how blogging was the new trusted, untainted source of information as compared to magazine articles. Hmmm, I said to myself, that doesn't seem very believable. Looks like journalists for traditional print-media might get a second chance after all as being some sort of independent voice.
  • ... Microsoft can bank on Slashdot "promoting" Longhorn up to, and after its release. :)
  • by node 3 ( 115640 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @02:05PM (#12409965)
    Not worth my time [April 20th, 2005]

    Today at the airport I saw a $100 bill, but left it lying there. It's just not worth it.

    [Post a comment] [Trackback]

    Sweetest Thing [April 25th, 2005]

    Bono stopped by for a visit. You can never tell what he's thinking though. I think that's why he wears those sunglasses. Ballmer kept trying to iChat me like every five minutes trying to talk with Bono, but I didn't didn't want to completely negate the Bono's coolness, I know how he can get when he's excited.

    [Post a comment] [Trackback]

    Tiger Fever! [April 29th, 6:31PM]

    Just installed Tiger (waiting for the FedEx truck was *torture*!). I can't believe how great it is. I can't stop hitting F12. Oh, and Spotlight! I'll post a more in-depth review later. Until then, check out the one at Ars Technica, it's really good.

    [Post a comment] [Trackback]
    • by mav[LAG] ( 31387 )
      Not worth my time [April 20th, 2005]

      Today at the airport I saw a $100 bill, but left it lying there. It's just not worth it.

      Bzzt. Bill is the kind of guy who would pick it up and put it in his pocket. In Bob Cringeley's Accidental Empires there's a good example of this sort of thing where he waits in line at a 7-11 to get his discount stamps and gets ribbed by the cashier to the tune of "come back when you make your first million."
      Bill was already a billionaire by then.
  • How is paying bloggers to hype a product any different than paying a traditional advertising company (or companies) to hype a product. If anything, using bloggers *could* have backlash not usually induced by traditional advertisers.

    Day 1: Microsoft hires blogger x for Longhorn adverts/hype.
    Day 8: Microsoft unsatisfied with blog commentary.
    Day 12: Microsoft pulls funding citing services paid for not provided.
    Day 15: Blogger now blogs to anti-hype Longhorn out of spite.

    Now, I'm sure that Microsoft wil
  • Yet another attempt to turn a counter-culture to an over-the-counter culture.
  • This is stupid (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @02:17PM (#12410110)
    Now people will assume that any blogger that says nice things about Longhorn is being payed to do so... even if they aren't!
  • A question (Score:3, Funny)

    by tbone1 ( 309237 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @02:19PM (#12410137) Homepage
    Just what is the reward for whoring Longhorn in a blog? If it's a free iPod, I am so there.

  • I was part of one of Microsoft's attempts at getting people who were active on the Internet involved. At the Pocket PC, Wireless, and Beyond shindig in 2000 Microsoft invited 35 people - mainly Palm users - who were active online to Redmond, gave them each a couple of Pocket PCs (and mailed them a couple more over the years), and asked for feedback.

    There was no NDA.

    There was no attempt to encourage people to be pro-Microsoft or even actively promote the product. I certainly wasn't, I was more than ready to highlight the shortcomings of the products, and they still kept me on their list and sent me units to try on.

    And most of all, they didn't just talk... they listened as well.

    Three things struck me:

    First, all the Palm users immediately got together and beamed all their contact info to each other. The Pocket PC users mostly didn't know how to do it, beaming was difficult and the handhelds were generally larger and less comfortable to use and even the Microsoft people on the handheld team didn't tend to have theirs with them.

    Second, getting the mail set up on the LAN they were demoing on was really hard. By the second try people were saying things like "this isn't supposed to be rocket science, and besides, we're all supposed to be rocket scientists".

    Third, the handwriting recognition was clumsy. It required a lot more strokes and a lot more tries to reliably recognise text, compared to Graffiti.

    The really amazing thing, the thing that made me a total fan of Beth Goza and Derek Brown was thet the next version of the Pocket PC software actually fixed all these problems. Not all the changes were improvements, and not all the problems we pointed out were fixed, but so many of them were I was stunned. In fact, since Palm replaced Graffiti with Jot the Pocket PC does a better job of implementing Graffiti than Palm OS does.

    Unfortunately, while they made many changes the Pocket PC still has all the deeper flaws that I wrote about back then. Oh well, this isn't about the Pocket PC. This is about Microsoft.

    What was key with the PPCWB shindig is that Microsoft set up a two-way discussion with us, and didn't try and control what we said in it or to other people. This wan't an "Astroturf" campaign, it was a real engagement with the community, and they got a huge win out of NOT creating a conduit for synthetic adulation.

    Microsoft's done it once. Can they do it again?
  • by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Monday May 02, 2005 @07:29PM (#12414318) Journal
    ... but you may NOT [] post screenshots of Longhorn builds in your blogs!

    ... and you may NOT [] download and talk about the most recent Longhorn pre-beta build!

    ... and Longhorn's feature set is still mostly undisclosed, with major stuff earlier revealed to be backported into XP + 2003.

    ... and of course not just anyone can easily be allowed to get any insight in the actual development to be able to comment on that. Jeez, what were you thinking!

    So, what are Microsoft thinking bloggers should write about?


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