My former colleague, Joe Wilcox, observes that he doesn’t think it’s a big deal that Microsoft handed out laptops to bloggers, analysts and reviewers loaded with the Windows 7 alpha. He adds that “All week, I have watched for someone to raise a fuss and hoped that no one would.” Wilcox then added that, last time around when Microsoft did this with Vista, that Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols “joined the chorus of critics calling the laptops bribes,” while he had defended Microsoft’s practice.
There’s a reason why I haven’t called these laptops bribes. I wasn’t at Microsoft’s PDC (Professional Developers’ Conference) in Los Angles and I hadn’t heard that Microsoft was once more handing out bribes.
Now if Microsoft was just loaning laptops for the show, fine. After all how many people-beside someone like me–bring test systems to install new operating systems on to a trade show?
But, if as appears may be the case Microsoft is letting people have Dell XPS M1330 laptops with 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo processors and 3GBs of RAM on ‘indefinite loans (wink, wink) then it’s a bribe in my book. What do you think? If you knew someone had been given a PC with a list price of $1,956 and then wrote nice things about the operating system that came with it would you be inclined to think that they might be just a wee bit influenced by the almost two grand worth of computer?