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[News] Is Microsoft Still Taking Over the Media?

Microsoft's Xbox 360 US sales-NPD story withdrawn

,----[  ]
| The Los Angeles story headlined "Microsoft's Xbox 360 US sales
| top first Xbox--NPD" is withdrawn because the data supporting the
| story may be inaccurate. Reuters is waiting for an update from the
| company. A new story may be issued.


I suppose you have heard about _Microsoft_ promising (predicting) 10 million
sales of XBox 360 by Christmas (won't happen despite the marketing
onslaught) and 1 million sales of Zune by the summer. Earlier I noticed
articles that quote these figures _WITHOUT_ saying that these are
Microsoft's own shamelessly self-promoting predictions. Need anybody get
more proof that Microsoft owns the media?

I have also just spotted _YET ANOTHER_ (one in a long series) article that
provides a Linux-Microsoft perspective. It was written by a consultant
(Enderle) to whom Microsoft is a client, again (not the same one found


Microsoft Xbox to Join the Battle for Video Downloading

,----[ Quote ]
| Editors' Note: November 10, 2006, Friday An article in Business Day
| on Tuesday described a decision by Microsoft to offer movies and
| episodes of television shows for downloading through its Xbox Live
| online service in the United States.
| The article quoted Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle
| Group, discussing the features that set Xbox Live service apart
| and its position in the market.
| But the article did not note that Mr. Enderle had Microsoft as a client,
| a fact later pointed out by a reader. Mr. Enderle does consulting work
| for several of Microsoft's product groups, though not for the one
| developing the Xbox; still, had The Times known of Mr. Enderle's work
| for Microsoft, it would not have sought out his opinion on the product. 


Corporate Propaganda Still On the News: Study Finds Local Stations
Overwhelmingly Fail to Disclose VNRs

,----[ Quote ]
| A new study by the Center for Media and Democracy says Americans are
| still being shown corporate public relations videos disguised as news
| reports on newscasts across the country.


Wrong Yesterday Wrong Today Wrong Tomorrow

,----[ Quote ]
| I just got through watching a segment on the Today Show on NBC
| highlighting the launch of the Microsoft Zune.
| First of all, I thought journalists were suppose to reveal their
| affiliations with any product if such an affiliation exists.
| Microsoft owns a stake in NBC ie MSNBC News Network.
| [...]
| Second, all the side by side product comparisons showed 4th Gen iPods
| with monochrome screens with no song selected or playing, while the
| Zune was playing a video.
| [...]
| This isn't the first time NBC has misled its morning viewers with
| puff pieces about the Zune.


Bill Gates lends cash to buy newspapers

$350 million to MediaNews

,----[ Quote ]
| Gates involvement has been very behind the scenes. In fact many of
| those involved in the deal didn'teven know he was one of the investors.
| It was carried out through the Gates Foundation, the world's largest
| philanthropy outfit.


Should MSNBC really be "reviewing" (Microsoft's) Gears of War?

,----[ Quote ]
| MSNBC recently reviewed Gears of War, calling it the Xbox 360's first
| killer app.... Nowhere on the page is any indication of the possible
| ethical issue MSNBC is "Microsoft-NBC", and the site is hosted as a 
| subdomain of msn.com (a major Microsoft portal). Is this really balanced 
| journalism?


Has Demetri Martin Jumped the Shark by Getting Into Bed with Microsoft?
Clarification on "Clearification" Marketing Campaign

,----[ Quote ]
| When I first saw the Clearification website, I just thought it was
| Demetri's new project. But I did wonder why the videos were of such
| high production value. Turns out that Microsoft is footing the bill
| to not only this site, but are also underwritting his current tour.



,----[ Quote ]
|     "Some years back, Microsoft practiced a lot of dirty tricks using
| online mavens to go into forums and create Web sites extolling the virtues
| of Windows over OS/2. They were dubbed the Microsoft Munchkins, and it
| was obvious who they were and what they were up to. But their numbers
| and energy (and they way they joined forces with nonaligned dummies who
| liked to pile on) proved too much for IBM marketers, and Windows wont
| he operating-system war through fifth-column tactics"
|     Mr Dvorak wonders if Microsoft is today using reverse-dirty-tricks
| to promote the Xbox 360: pay people to create Web sites that slam the
| gaming computer in order to provoke a barrage of defenders. 


Recent examples

,----[ Quote ]
| In 2001, the Los Angeles Times accused Microsoft of astroturfing
| when hundreds of similar letters were sent to newspapers voicing
| disagreement with the United States Department of Justice and its
| antitrust suit against Microsoft. The letters, prepared by Americans
| for Technology Leadership, had in some cases been mailed from
| deceased citizens or nonexistent addresses.

A new Microsoft-commissioned anti-Linux study debuts

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft seemingly has backed off from trumpeting its "Get the
| Facts" studies, as of late. But that doesn't mean the company has
| ceased commissioning research outfits to perform its anti-Linux dirty
| work. 
| On September 25, Mercer Management Consulting released a new
| Microsoft-backed study. The study is entitled "Driving Lower TCO and
| Rapid ROI through UNIX Migrations." The synopsis: "Microsoft Windows
| the preferred choice for UNIX migration when IT organizations migrate
| servers as part of a focused effort to improve business processes,
| deploy critical applications or restructure their IT architecture." 


IDC pronounces Linux unimportant to European economy 

,----[ Quote ]
| A recent IDC white paper on the economic impact of Microsoft's super
| soaraway new Vista operating system seems to be lacking one crucial
| ingredient -- other operating systems.


ToorCon ("Firefox security is a mess") sponsored by Microsoft

,----[ Quote ]
| Lately, I read the headline: "Open Source browser Firefox is so
| critically flawed that it is impossible to fix, according to two
| hackers." Further on, in the ZDNet article I read: "The hackers claim
| they know of about 30 unpatched Firefox flaws. They don't plan to
| disclose them, instead holding onto the bugs."
| Since that sounds suspicious, I decided to start searching for
| connections with MS. Easy enough, here it is...


Getting Paid To Write A Blog Post - Is This The Future?

,----[ Quote ]
| I just saw over on TechCrunch that PayPerPost has raised $3 million
| in venture funding. What PayPerPost does is allow advertisers to buy
| a blog post ? often referred to as a paid plug. Instead of buying
| normal banner advertising, the advertiser would pay the blogger to
| write about their product or service. This of course raises manye
| thics and credibility issues.


Microsoft Traps and Hunts for Bloggers in India !!

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft has announced the "Microsoft BlogStars" contest, to Hunts
| for Developer Bloggers in India. After feeling the power and increase of
| the Bloggers community in India, Microsoft tries to trap and hunt Bloggers
| in India to buildup the blogging community, for writing blog posts
| supporting towards Microsoft Technologies.


10 iPod vs. Zune Myths

,----[ Quote ]
| Could there be more bad news? Of course! Even Paul Thurrott isn't
| impressed with the Zune, calling its pricing strategy the "makings of
| a disaster." Misery! Not only has the Zune suffered a horrific wreck of
| a product introduction, but Annie Wilkes is at the foot of the bed saying
| she doesn't approve of how things are going.
| If your number one fan is sending you hate mail, you have a problem.
| So what's with all the Zune related web sites carefully repeating the
| same talking points? It's called astroturfing.
| Instead of inspiring actual interest in a grassroots fashion, Microsoft
| has resorted to spreading fake grass, crafting each site to suggestt
| he appearance of something other than the advertisement it is.
| This is similar to the scam Microsoft pulled with its own imitation of
| Apple's Switchers ad campaign. Titled "Confessions of a Mac to PC
| Convert," the ad portrayed a professionally dressed woman complaining
| about her Mac, but ended up being a canned picture pulled from stock
| photography and voiced by a professional writer.
| Similarly, Greenpeace staffers have assigned to post astroturf comments
| on websites saying "I'm a Mac user and gosh darn it I think that
| Greenpeace is alright with all their concern about the ecology!" More
| on that scam later!
| One would expect a certain level of interest and excitement out of
| Microsoft's own users, but that isn't really happening. Nearly every
| Zune site on the web is carefully stepping around the piles of problems
| to spend a lot of time on Microsoft supplied bullet points, including
| the "celebration of music," the slightly larger or at least
| stretched display, and how wireless DRM sharing is such a
| brilliant idea. 


Don't mess with Google's astroturf squad

,----[ Quote ]
| Long before it employed bloggers to do the job for it, Microsoft hired
| sympathetic members of the public to make its case in online forums,
| posing as disinterested citizens. Things got much more professional as
| the antitrust trial unfurled. After hiring DCI in the late 1990s,
| Microsoft created two new trade groups, the Association for Competitive
| Technology (ACT), and the Americans for Technology Leadership (ALT),
| and marshaled campaigns such as "Freedom to Innovate" - encouraging
| Windows users the chance to make spontaneous gestures of support for
| Chairman Bill.
| These weren't always too successful. A campaign in 2001 to petition 17
| state's Attorney Generals - who had pooled resources to bring their
| own antitrust action against Microsoft - resulted in supportive letters
| being written by dead people.
| And the astroturf taint continues today.
| Most recently, a spoof video portraying Al Gore as a Penguin was reported
| to have originated from a computer registered to the DCI Group, although
| the lobby group said it did not fund or approve the video.


MSN Is Spamming The Blogosphere

,----[ Quote ]
| Mr. Youth LLC is a marketing firm and lists MSN as a customer.  Their
| website is here: http://www.mryouth.com/  Their phone number is
| (212) 779-8700.
| I've talked to a couple of other bloggers who said they are receiving
| similar comments on their blogs.  This pisses me off because MSN/Mr.
| Youth should 1) be more upfront about their true identity, and 2)
| provide a real e-mail address so that I can request they take my
| blog off their marketing campaign.


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