The Controversy Over Microsoft’s Gifts to Bloggers

January 1, 2007 5:11pm CST
Last week, Microsoft and AMD decided to keep bloggers informed about new Microsoft’s OS, Windows Vista. The companies sent Acer Ferrari laptops to select bloggers who are covering in their blogs subjects related to technology or other topics that could be affected by Windows Vista, such as photography or online video. The laptops The laptops are valued at more than $2,200 each. According to media reports, the first blogger who reported about these gifts was Long Zheng, an Australian blogger. Soon after other reports emerged a controversy has started. While some in the blogging community called it a bribe, others believed it was OK to receive the expensive gift, as long as the blogger disclosed receiving it. According to a Microsoft statement issued last week, the company “sent out machines loaded with Windows Vista to bloggers to encourage them to experience the product and to solicit their valuable feedback, offering full disclosure that no editorial commentary was expected as a condition of acceptance," Microsoft disclosed the fact that the recipients were told they could keep the computers, give them away, or send them back. "Microsoft’s official position is that once these bloggers are done experiencing the product, they can choose what they want to do with them," a Microsoft spokeswoman told the New York Times. The consumer version of Windows Vista, the latest OS from Microsoft, is set to be launched at the end of this month, after in November 2006, Microsoft introduced Windows Vista for business.
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