Microsoft taints bloggers with free laptops… or, whiney bitches win again!

A guy I know from Canberra (he was a consultant and we were a consultee last time we met, please note that the consultation was at a Microsoft centric ISV, and paid for by Microsoft. Then again, we never took any of the advice because our management at the time still feel that the Internet is a passing fad and wouldn’t know a current trend if it jumped out and bit them) scored a free laptop from Microsoft.

The premise is that it’s a 64 bit laptop running Vista, and he’s meant to be so astounded by it’s coolness that he blogs all about it. There no risk of that occurring, he’s pretty much in Microsoft’s pocket anyways.

Then again, he’s so much in Microsoft’s pocket that he’s a MVP. There is no perception of bias there — everyone knows he works for a Microsoft backed consultancy, is an MVP, and gets back rubs from Frank Arrigo, Microsoft Australia’s head developer back rubber (full disclosure again, Frank used to be my assigned Microsoft ISV buddy — apparently that meant that we both took it in turns to ignore email from each other).

Back to the story. So, some other bloggers noticed that they hadn’t got laptops for free, perhaps because they are whiney bitches, and raised a stink. Unfortunately Microsoft doesn’t have the courage of their convictions, and have now asked those bloggers to get rid of the machines after writing some reviews.

Get a grip people. Microsoft, you should be ashamed of backing down. Blogosphere, you should investigate the perception of bias a bit more before making random accusations. Frank, where’s my back rub?!?

Anyways, here’s what I said in a comment on Mitch’s blog:

(long time no see).
I’d kinda assumed that the machine was a standard “kick back” to Microsoft MVPs — you are still one, right?
While I wont say I’m a big Microsoft supporter (I work for a competitor, have been using Linux for the last 10 years, and am finally Windows free), it seems to me that it’s fair enough for Microsoft to provide training resources to MVPs. Don’t you also get flights to Redmond, copies of MSDN, a back rub from Frank?

It seems to me that most of the complaining comes down to jealousy. Especially if you disclosed the machine as a gift.
Oh, and Microsoft taking it back again (or dictating how to dispose of the machine) just leaves me with the impression that Microsoft lacks the courage of their convictions. Surely if individual bloggers thought there was a tainting issue they are big enough to resolve that for themselves without a mandate from above?

And unlike Microsoft, I stand by my opinion.