Microsoft Gives Away Ferrari 1000 Laptops

Posted in Technology
Thu, Dec 28 - 5:19 pm EDT | 7 years ago by
Comments: 11
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Acer Ferrari 1000 LaptopOkay, maybe I’m just an imbecile, but what’s the problem with Microsoft giving away laptops to some bloggers for them to review the new Windows Vista? If you haven’t heard, there’s lots of coverage about it today and the blogosphere seems to be up in arms.

Are we upset that they’re giving them away and everybody didn’t get one? Are we upset that they want them back? Or are we upset that they just didn’t clarify to everyone the specifics about the free laptop?

I’ll tell you what, if the people at Microsoft want to send me a loaded Ferrari 1000 and let me try out Vista and blog about then by all means, send it to me. I’d love to review the operating system, but I’m just a small time blogger that doesn’t have the resources or money to get the preview copy of Vista installed a machine that I could stand to lose if the preview crashed. I’ve come close to installing it on my main desktop at home, but if I lost that computer, I’d have a ton of clients upset that I’m delayed more than I already am at getting some of their work done.

And, if you want me to play with it, blog about it and give it away or send it back. Fine with me. Someone else will get the benefit of having a sweet system they’d probably never be able to afford on their own. If I hate the operating system, then they’ll get an honest review and I’ll have no problem giving the machine back to them. If I love it, then everyone will hear about and you can bet I’d be saving up the money to either buy the full OS and install it when it’s final, or buy a whole new machine so I could get the same experience I just had with the Ferrari laptop.

So, please, someone tell me what the problem is with all of this.

Image Source: NotebookReview.com and DailyTech.com

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  • http://splashcastmedia.com Marshall Kirkpatrick

    Part of the problem is that gifts/”review items,” disclosure, outreach, influence and PR in general are all things that are still being figured out in the blogosphere. This is also a very accessible thing to discuss, whereas the more interesting stories like Google Blogsearch passes Technorati, Digg gets another $8 million or (did you see this one?) iTunes hasn’t updated podcast feeds in a week [http://splashcastmedia.com/what-if-itunes-stopped-updating ] are all less visceral, etc. That’s my thoughts on why this is such a giant kerfluffle.

  • http://www.microsoftweblog.com Jason

    Even there though, I don’t see what the problem really is in this situation. Maybe I’m just too open, but I would think if you received a laptop for free from Microsoft to review Vista, you’d mention that in your review. Maybe I give too much credit to honesty and think that whether or not you were given something to review, you’d still review it openly and honestly.

  • http://thomashawk.com Thomas Hawk

    I think part of the problem is influence. If one is given the laptop then they will be influenced to say positive things about it or to not be as negative on it as they might otherwise. The result in general is that blog posts more generally speaking then are thought to be less reflective of true experience.

    Also by writing a review based on a known configured 64 bit high end system you will have a much better experience than if you just upgraded your PC at home thus causing a blogger to (perhaps) mistakenly communicate that this will be the experience for anyone who upgrades to Vista.

    I turned down a laptop from Intel about 3 months ago. It just didn’t feel right. I’ve taken less expensive gear though and maybe I shouldn’t even have done that. Like Marshall says it’s kind of all being figured out in the blogosphere (especially right now).

  • http://www.microsoftweblog.com Jason

    Thanks for your comment, but is this any different than getting a gift certificate to visit a restaurant and then writing a review on the restaurant? Is it any different if I’m a Mystery Shopper since I’m getting paid and reimbursed for my experience by the place I’m “shopping”? In my opinion it’s really not. What if Microsoft sent me a full installation CD and told me to install it on my main system and write about my experience? They also send me a certificate for a replacement system if I crash my system completely in the process? I understand there’s confusion and still some agreements that need to be defined, but I really don’t think it’s any different than existing advertising for a product. If I see a commercial for a product on the TV, it’s not shown to me in a “realistic” use, but a staged and perfect world.

  • zman

    I personally don’t think there is anything wrong with this deal that Microsoft is handing out. Its simple really, they want to have good PR, and there is nothing wrong with that. I think all the whining from people who didn’t get one should stop and wait for the next offer. My 2 cents.

  • http://www.homemom3.blogspot.com Eliza

    I don’t see anything wrong with it myself. I would love to review it, however I don’t have that type of money to get it…not to mention like Jason stated if it ruined my only computer I wouldn’t be happy. But I’m a small time blogger and didn’t get the option. :( I think more people have a problem with it because it is cost so much. But you don’t hear them yelling that authors are bribing book reviewers or singers are bribing music reviewers, I guess because it’s expected. But someone that is going to review something expensive should get it, otherwise why review it.

  • http://www.microsoftblog.com Patrick

    I don’t have a problem with it, either.

  • la_bruin

    I’m in complete agreement with you, Jason. All Microsoft’s done is lowered the “barrier to entry” to evaluate their product in the best light. This is no different from Antivirus vendor’s current practice of discounting their products to $0 through mail in rebates – it gets people to try their products for a year without risk. It’s just that Microsoft can’t exactly extend the courtesy to everyone, so they’ve chosen a select group of influentials that they view as worthy, and frankly, the envious can all only aspire to be on the “club entry list”.

    I completely disagree with Marshall Kirkpatrick. “Disclosure & outreach all needing to be played out”? Who is he kidding? All anyone’s doing in the blogosphere is writing whatever they want into an online equivalent of a diary and if we happen to have some folks reading our blather, god bless the reader. If they click on a GoogleAd – better yet! Hell – a lot of us are just typing “stream of thought”. In fact, Marshall seems to just vent his cranium when he types.

    Credibility? Since when do we need these supposed “rules of conduct”? Hell, why don’t we just setup a government division to regulate blog sponsorship while we’re at it? Whatever happened to just letting people make up their own mind – regardless of whether or not a blogger “discloses” their sponsorship?

    I don’t even find this immoral. If someone gets free product and decides they want to be a frickin’ shill and sell their credibility to the highest bidder WITHOUT TELLING READERS, that’s their prerogative. Online publishers do this all the time by hocking some company’s wares and don’t disclose jack. Certain research groups that crank out free “research papers” for download have been doing this for years. Readers in turn can judge for themselves whether the site has any ulterior motivations and frankly “caveat reader”.

    Why? They’re not paying a damned thing to read a blogger’s content. And that’s the difference: If I’m coughing up $99 a year for someone’s opinion, THEN I have a problem with them suddenly turning into a shill because there’s an agreement, a contract if you will, around a lack of bias, between myself and the service. But even then, I simply vote with my wallet: I halt my subscription. I might get a little upset if they chose to hide their affliation with said “sponsor”, but again… this is all predicated on the fact that I’m paying for someone’s product and that’s their “honest opinion”.

    These bloggers that are complaining about this “credibility, disclosure, and influence” crock are just a little too self-important. They think their online scribblings are the equivalent of the Associated Press: Gospel, globally influencial, and literary gold and it’s just not. The moment that people start dropping the almighty dollar for said blogger’s opinion… that’s the day they can put a hard value on their contributions.

  • Pingback: » Microsoft gives free laptops to bloggers - does that affect their credibility and integrity? | Hardware 2.0 | ZDNet.com

  • http://yahoo.com holmes

    Hi,
    why there are a lot of spam?
    Where is admin?

  • http://www.microsoftweblog.com/.../ danile oliver

    i think the ferrari laptop looks great and sounds good. the best part about it is the logo its fab. im a ferrari fan.