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Microsoft Taps Bloggers to Promote Longhorn

timothy posted more than 8 years ago | from the it's-like-totally-cool dept.

Microsoft 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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Weird names (5, Funny)

maotx (765127) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409502)

...Longhorn...Team 99....how 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!

Re:Weird names (0, Troll)

Svippy (876087) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409540)

It doesn't surprise me, and the fact that they should choose a name like 'Longhorn', I mean that is proganda for the masses, Bush goes around doing 'Texas Longhorns' handsigns all the time.

Even in Europe!

Re:Weird names (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12409572)

The difference is; when a Windows product is released to the masses it has a real name. When a Linux product is launched to the masses it retains whatever stupid code name that it originally had. Or rather it was given a stupid code name as it's REAL name.

We all know that coders are fond of stupid code names, but such stupidity should generally not be foisted on the standard user of the product.

Re:Weird names (4, Funny)

0x461FAB0BD7D2 (812236) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409579)

I'll take Sarge or Woody over Bob or Clippy any day.

Re:Weird names (1)

circusboy (580130) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409843)

or for that matter "Tiger"

Re:Weird names (1)

shawn(at)fsu (447153) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409674)

Whats wrong with calling it a mouse?
Or is that an urbanlegend?

Re:Weird names (0, Troll)

aichpvee (631243) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409824)

My Linux has a real name, like 8 or 9 or 10. What the fuck is an XP again?

Re:Weird names (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12409890)

There's a Linux 10? Damn... And here I thought we were still on version 2.something...

Re:Weird names (1)

RealProgrammer (723725) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409917)

...it has a real name. When a Linux product is launched to the masses it retains whatever stupid code name that it originally had. Or rather it was given a stupid code name as it's REAL name.

What's in a name? A rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet.

All the descriptive names are taken.

I'm distrustful and disdainful of marketing practices that dumb down a product's appeal. Changing a product's name to be "real" (or in other words, focus-group vanilla) makes my teeth itch.

P.S.: I find it ironic that you posted as Anonymous Coward. But what's in a name?

Re:Weird names (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12409628)

That bar now has a case for sueing for copyright / trademark inringment...

MS said they stole the name from a bar.

Re:Weird names (3, Funny)

MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409717)

Yeah, now that bar has a case for 'defamation of character' as well... in five years, I bet I will be scared of drinking in a bar called the 'Longhorn' due to worries about the roof leaking, the stools having random stuff on them from the last person who used them, the prices being high, and an uneasy feeling that the whole structure was so unsound it could fall down on my head - oversized supporting timbers and all - at any time.

Re:Weird names (5, Funny)

lilmouse (310335) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409687)

"And people make fun of Linux names!"
  • Ubuntu - Humanity for others - in my OS?
  • Gentoo - I know there's something about a cow involved
  • Mandrivel (Mandriva? Condrake?) - Ok, Mandrake was at least a cool name, but come on
  • Slackware - at least they're honest!

Note I didn't even get to any of those lesser distributions with funny names [distrowatch.com] ...

Even better, those are the names of the distributions - some have funny names for their versions, too!

So, yes, people make fun of Linux names.

--LWM

Re:Weird names (3, Informative)

Taladar (717494) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409699)

Gentoo is some penguin species.

First "Comparison to GW" Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12409507)

NT

Re:First "Comparison to GW" Post (2, Funny)

numbski (515011) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409524)

2K

Re:First "Comparison to GW" Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12409680)

umm, XP?

Re:First "Comparison to GW" Post (1)

slavetrade55 (444917) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409689)

2K3

great (1, Troll)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409509)

Now Microsoft's stealing ideas from politicians, too.

Re:great (1)

tbone1 (309237) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409608)

Now Microsoft's stealing ideas from politicians, too.

Yeah, I was expecting the New York Times to sue bloggers for plagiarizing their business model, but then I remembered that so much of the New York Times is plagiarized to begin with that they wouldn't stand a chance.

Shut the fuck up you little turd (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12409736)

Funny that you assholes say, "IT'S COPYWRITE INFRINGEMENT, NOT STEALING!"; but are say quick to say "M$ STEALS IDEA FROM APPLE!", followed by "MOD PARENT UP!"

Fucking rashdots.

How much are they offering? (3, Funny)

bmalnad (808193) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409517)

Are they handing out shares of stock? I'll gladly make up a few favorable reviews for a hundred shares.

Re:How much are they offering? (4, Funny)

MisanthropicProgram (763655) | more than 8 years ago | (#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!

Re:How much are they offering? (1)

wackywendell (852135) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409785)

The way Linux and Apple and Google are doing while Longhorn isn't looking good to a lot of these bloggers...stock shares might be a bad idea.

A little bit of history (3, Insightful)

Raul654 (453029) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409533)

Microsoft doesn't have the best record [qwest.net] 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.

Re:A little bit of history (1)

imroy (755) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409715)

Yep, Astroturfing [wikipedia.org] is what came to my mind as well. Just business as usual at Microsoft...

Longhorn is Dying (0, Redundant)

markv242 (622209) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409829)

It is now official. Netcraft confirms: Longhorn is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleaguered Longhorn community when IDC confirmed that Longhorn market share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all servers. Coming on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that Longhorn has lost more market share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. Longhorn is collapsing in complete disarray, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Sys Admin comprehensive networking test.

You don't need to be the Amazing Kreskin to predict Longhorn's future. The hand writing is on the wall: Longhorn faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Longhorn because Longhorn is dying. Things are looking very bad for Longhorn. As many of us are already aware, Longhorn continues to lose market share. Red ink flows like a river of blood.

64-bit Longhorn is the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of its core developers. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time 64-bit Longhorn developers Relph Slenson and Mike Smith only serve to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: Longhorn is dying.

[...]

Shills (5, Insightful)

teiresias (101481) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Re:Shills (1)

Amiga Lover (708890) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409812)

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 (4, Insightful)

JPelorat (5320) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409884)

Eh.. anyone with a positive outlook on Longhorn is gonna get called a shill (especially here), their contract status with Microsoft notwithstanding.

Mistake (4, Insightful)

dtfinch (661405) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409545)

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 (1)

Fuzenix (866578) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409820)

^^^^ Bing-fucking-o I keep hearing the bad russian accent from the first xXx movie/// Vee, are Anarchy 99. Vee will promote zis OS for de Masses...vee vill call it...Silent Death.

Free Advertising (1, Interesting)

afra242 (465406) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409548)

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...

Re:Free Advertising (5, Insightful)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409623)

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.

Re:Free Advertising (4, Insightful)

Strudelkugel (594414) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409873)


Shocking! Shocking! A blogger might have an agenda? Next thing you know, there will be gambling in the casino, and prayer in the church...

Re:Free Advertising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12409877)

Like slashdot isnt one big astroturf playground for linux zealots - they are just too stupid to take money for it ;)

Re:Free Advertising (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12409925)

Microsoft's misleading and unethical marketing has been going on for quite a long time.

Take this example:
Circa 1994, I am in a Phoenix, Arizona computer store named Software City on 7th St. A female walks in and asks a sales person which word processor she should purchase. The sales person offers Word (even those WordPerfect was the leading program at the time and far superior in functionality).

The female says thank you and tells the sales person that she was from Microsoft Corporate and then gave the sales person gift certificate for offering Microsoft Word first.

Was the better product offered? No. Was the sales person rewarded for giving the Microsoft view? IMHO, yes.

MS is innovative (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12409550)

They just created Astro-blogging!

Astroturf, Anyone? (3, Insightful)

MrAnnoyanceToYou (654053) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409551)

There was an article posted less than a week ago about PR companies harnessing bloggers.... Gee, maybe Microsoft DOES read Slashdot.

Re:Astroturf, Anyone? (4, Interesting)

pieterh (196118) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409637)

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.

Re:Astroturf, Anyone? (1)

iplayfast (166447) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409849)

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.

Re:Astroturf, Anyone? (1)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409705)

Gee, maybe Microsoft DOES read Slashdot.

That's a LIE!!! We never...
[Connection reset by peer]

Likely? (5, Insightful)

JohnTheFisherman (225485) | more than 8 years ago | (#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. ;)

Re:Likely? (5, Funny)

justforaday (560408) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409576)

Yeah, because while the patch cures cancer, it'll end up giving you syphilis instead...

Re:Likely? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12409678)

except now that you are free of cancer, your liver fails to work and your heart beats irregulalry.

Re:Likely? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12409679)

That's because the patch would be exploitable by a variety of other ailments, you would have to authenticate with their server that your cancer was genuine, and the EULA would be extended to cover your body and all its outputs.

Re:Of course... (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409805)


The licensing terms would be so prohibitive as to render it useless.

Accusations? (2, Funny)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409560)

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 (2, Insightful)

the MaD HuNGaRIaN (311517) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409564)

I move to nominate the Bile Blog [jroller.com] .

signed the MaD HuNGaRIaN

Do I hear a second to that motion?

Re:Bile Blog (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12409604)

I second that nomination

-The Clown Puncher

How many Slashdot accounts? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12409567)

I've often wondered how many Slashdot accounts are operated by paid shills and their ilk.

Re:How many Slashdot accounts? (1)

Lohrno (670867) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409641)

Who would profit from that? Sun? IBM? I doubt MS would gain much from it either as there are many zealots here. (On all sides of the fence really) I can't really think of a good reason for Slashdot to be a good place to pay people off...Sure it gets a lot of visitors but I doubt you are going to change anyone's mind by posting here.

~800,000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12409752)

More or less 800,000. Sure there are a couple thousand legit accounts but, the vast majority belong to trolls and astroturfers.

The fact that there are so few legitimate users makes the regular slashdotting of most sites all the more pathetic.

I don't know what you're ... (5, Funny)

MisanthropicProgram (763655) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409879)

talking about. Microsoft (TM) makes the best software on the planet - ever - they don't need paid shills at all. The quality and excellence of Microsoft products are second to none! Such as

Microsoft Office

Microsoft XP

Microsoft Flight Simualtor

and any other Microsoft products out there!

Umm... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12409582)

Good stategy, except that vast majority of bloggers use Macs.

This is gonna be great! (1)

msjacoby (528263) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409584)

Seriously, this situation has serious potential for century-scale big PR hackery. Down in history. Down.

eh0d LOVES MY CROW SOFT!!!!!! and WANGS!!!!!!!!!! (1)

eh0d is my daddy (825041) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409590)

Who is your daddy? ITS STILL Eh0d!!!!!!

If they are like most blogs (1)

L. VeGas (580015) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409614)

I knitted the cutest sweater for Snowball, and I hear Longhorn's cute, too.

Steps to win... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12409620)

Step 1. Release Screenshots to Bloggers
Step 2. Claim screenshots were never supposed to be online
Step 3. Hire hitman to kill blogge^D^D^D^D^D^D^D^D^D^D^Dsmile at bloggers.
Step 4. Realize no bloggers like Longhorn anymore
Step 5. Use Hellgate to summon demons from the ether.
Step 6. Train demons for blogging.
Step 7. ???
Step 8. Profit!

Don't forget... (1)

donnyspi (701349) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409625)

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.

Re:Don't forget... (1)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409796)

Microsoft Windows
So sue me.

Dude! You forgot!!!! (1)

CdBee (742846) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409867)

Sue (TM) is owned by SCO (R) !!!

So.... (0, Flamebait)

hanssprudel (323035) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409642)


Are Team 98 the ones who astroturf on Slashdot then? (You know, the ones moderating this down.)

One might say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12409902)

that your sig, describing semi-abusive use of the mod system, incites people to mod you down. Yes I'm ACing this for a reason, and that reason is too many people like you ! You do not drag quality up by stamping contributors faces into the mud

Is this the same Microsoft... (5, Insightful)

hazee (728152) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

Longhorn Rocks! (5, Funny)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409645)

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.

You said "leverage"! (2, Funny)

pieterh (196118) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409732)

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?

Indeed, leverage. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12409848)

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! (1)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409851)

You do realise that M$ will probably use that quote in the official Longhorn publicity; What users say about Longhorn:
" Longhorn is the best operating system I have ever used [etc.]"

Secret, my ass! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12409650)

Microsoft has been astroturfing for years. This is no different!

An interesting strategy.... For other companies.. (1)

ShyGuy91284 (701108) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409657)

I've always found using the public to spread the word other then traditional means to be interesting... Although I don't thik MS is a company that can get away with it w/o being accused of "taking advantage" of the public or some other evil MS scheme.... But then again, this is slashdot, and computer geeks are pretty biased towards MS......

translation (2, Funny)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409658)

"let's use this blog thing for marketing"

what's new (1)

brajesh (847246) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409661)

isn't this what PR firms are doing for years. Pual Graham writes in http://www.paulgraham.com/submarine.html [paulgraham.com]
blogs are pretty much the natural evolution of the phenomena.

--
Left sigs long time ago!

Sure, I'll blog about Longhorn ... (3, Insightful)

Buran (150348) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

how about Jeff Gannon? (0, Flamebait)

mojoNYC (595906) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409668)

he's good at toeing the company line, and can be had pretty cheap these days!

No more gay support from Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12409773)

That makes me sad. :-(

But thinking about Gannon keeps me erect. :-)

Another reason to despise blogs (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12409671)

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?

Re:Another reason to despise blogs (1)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409894)

No, I can't stand them either; most are extremly badly written, and about as intresting as watching paint dry

Remember "Team OS/2" (2, Interesting)

aquarian (134728) | more than 8 years ago | (#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!

Yeah, but will you be allowed to make screenshots? (1)

nweaver (113078) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409681)

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"

Absurd (1)

Medgur (172679) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409694)

I nominate http://www.girlsarepretty.com/ [girlsarepretty.com]
Somehow I think that Prettygirl is the only person who could really capture the value of switching to a cosmetic makeover of Windows XP.

Time of Death: 10:30 AM EST, 2 May 2005 (5, Insightful)

Bob9113 (14996) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409697)

"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 news.google.com 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.

Re:Time of Death: 10:30 AM EST, 2 May 2005 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12409738)

Corporations are quickly going to flood the channel with paid content.

What channel? TCP/IP port 80?

There is no channel. Welcome to 1997.

Re:Time of Death: 10:30 AM EST, 2 May 2005 (5, Insightful)

faust2097 (137829) | more than 8 years ago | (#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 news.google.com 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

Once again... (1, Troll)

stubear (130454) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409745)

...slashbots read what they want to read and interpret the article through their monochromatic lens. This is NOT underhanded shilling of the products, it's a way for Microsoft to distill comments from the community to learn how to better improve Longhorn, and I quote "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. They'll tell us where we're screwing up, what we're doing well, and will be world's top authorities on Longhorn." The reason they want bloggers is becasue bloggers provide a two-way communication between the community of users and Microsoft. Bloggers will take the comments from their sites, distill them into meaningful suggestions for ways to improve Longhorn and Microsoft can then in turn provide these very same bloggers with access to updates on Longhorn to report back to the community of users. Simple enough but as usual slashbots prove they are dumber than your average bear and could do the world a favor by shutting up unless they themselves have something meaningful to add to the discussion.

How about this? (2, Funny)

LibertineR (591918) | more than 8 years ago | (#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! (2, Interesting)

Nanite (220404) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409759)

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 about the big mac. MS will pay you for writing propaganda about longhorn in your blog. Is nothing sacred?

Re:Hey, check this out! (2, Funny)

hsmith (818216) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409928)

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

Here's a Novel Idea... (1)

stlhawkeye (868951) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409780)

...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? (5, Funny)

pangel83 (598985) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409793)

Slashdot has been doing the same for Linux

Misread the title (1)

trurl7 (663880) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409821)

Perhaps I've read too much Patrick O'Brian (author of the Aubrey-Maturin novels), but I read the title as "Microsoft Taps Buggers To Promote Longhorn" (for those not in the know, expressions such as "grass combing bugger [wikipedia.org] ", apparently abounded in the 18th century Royal Navy).

Not only did that sound wrong, but even somewhat surprising in view of the recent story about Microsoft and the gay rights bill i.e. recent discussion [slashdot.org]

This isn't too surprising (3, Interesting)

joepez (753750) | more than 8 years ago | (#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)).

As 100,000 blogs are created just for this... (1)

brontus3927 (865730) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409835)

Hell, if Microsoft is going to pay me to say nice things about Longhorn in a blog, I'll start a blog up today and rant about how great it is.

bloggers and MS (1)

DarkSkiesAhead (562955) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409850)


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.

Nothing New (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12409856)

They implemented a strategy a few years ago to promote Windows CE PDAs, inviting the editors of numerous Palm enthusiast websites to Redmond for all-expenses-paid wining and dining. Several sites immediately dropped their Palm bias. One site, PalmGuru.com, disappeared to be replaced by PocketAnywhere.com, though as I recall the change also had something to do with Palm rattling a sabre about trademark infringement --- something they later recanted, but the damage was done.

Now whether the Palm enthusiasts succumbed to bribery or whether they genuinely and objectively liked what they saw in Windows CE I can't say. But for several years at least Microsoft has been aware of the power of the web for astroturf-style marketing.

Opinions can be bought, and who has more buying power than Microsoft? Be careful not to believe everything you read.

Will Blog For Cash... (4, Interesting)

feloneous cat (564318) | more than 8 years ago | (#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...

I don't see the value (1)

symbolic (11752) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409897)


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.

This Is No Different Than Usenet! (1)

fluffy99 (870997) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409904)

Many major companies already mantain a presence on the newsgroups doing exactly what MS is proposing. Some announce their affiliation and some don't. How are bloggs any different than newsgroups other than the webpage owner hosting ads?

Microsoft buying bloggers? anti-blog them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#12409908)

Buying bloggers for advertising is about as low as it gets. We should start a huge blog campaign against them and their hype, FUD, and lies!

Blogging down the tubes just like print media (4, Interesting)

crush (19364) | more than 8 years ago | (#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.

One thing's for sure... (1)

Winterblink (575267) | more than 8 years ago | (#12409931)

... Microsoft can bank on Slashdot "promoting" Longhorn up to, and after its release. :)
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