“Much ado about laptops”: The Windows Vista Blogger Giveaway

First of all, let me say that if you know anything about me, you know I have NOTHING to do with Microsoft’s Windows Vista Corporate Marketing or this giveaway.  I’m a Systems Engineer which is the technical sales arm of Microsoft’s field sales division

That being said, there’s been a ton of controversy over the fact that "Microsoft’s given away Ferrari’s to bloggers to evaluate Windows Vista Ultimate on."

  • Some folks call it outright bribery
  • Other folks call it fair marketing, and completely dependent on the blogger
  • Yet others are whining, "Why didn’t I get a $2800 laptop?"  (No link provided to prote

Let me just say that I think product marketing’s ROFLing over all of this. 

IT’S ABOUT CREATING BUZZ
Would these bloggers all be talking about hardware requirements & Windows Vista had the laptops not gone out?  Would Windows Vista & Acer Ferrari laptops be the topic of TV shows like G4TV’s Attack of the Show and news magazines like CNet?  Would these bloggers, that are likely writing blog entries about their laptops, be getting the hits that they are and the trackbacks that have been generated had it not been for this giveaway stunt?  Highly doubtful. 

IT’S ABOUT MAKING APPLICATIONS AVAILABLE
This entire episode has been, at the very least, a fantastic way to create a lot of enduring buzz.  Why enduring?  Because for the folks that are keeping their laptops (and I’m sure that’s pretty much all of the recipients) they’ll all have the opportunity to use Windows Vista for the REAL reason the operating system is relevant:  THE NEXT-GEN APPLICATIONS.

  • Applications that easily & readily communicate & integrate with online services
  • Applications that leverage the power & motify of Windows Vista’s presentation system
  • Applications the are empowered with OS level workflow
  • Applications that are driven to leverage the power of 64-bit processing & memory spaces

I’ve said this before:  Most people have got it totally wrong.  As it stands right now, Windows Vista hasn’t come even close to realizing it’s full potential.  Windows Vista is about making possible

IT’S ABOUT COMMUNITY
Additionally, I know I’ve personally learned about several signficant blog sites out there simply on the basis of this whole "I received a Ferrari in the mail from Microsoft".  They’ve been all interconnected in a strange way as the "beknighted blog sites" by way of this laptop gift.  For example, here’s a few hot RSS feeds that have been recently added to my OPML list:

http://feeds.feedburner.com/SamGentile
http://istartedsomething.com/feed
http://www.mstechtoday.com/feed/
http://feeds.feedburner.com/zdnet/Bott
http://notgartner.wordpress.com/feed/
http://zen.heavengames.com/blog/xml/rss20/feed.xml
http://apcmag.com/blog/6/feed

NONE OF THIS IS NEW
And last but not least, anyone that thinks this method of marketing is new in anyway needs to get out a and see the world a little more.  It may be new to the these bloggers who happen to be very well exposed communicators, but it’s certainly not different from anything that hasn’t been going on in the world outside of computing:

  • You don’t think Apple gives out iPods to celebrities?  Sony doesn’t give out Playstations to musicians?How about D&G sunglasses?  Breitling Watches?  Sidekick cell phones?  You don’t think it’s a remarkable coincidence that A-list celebrities all seem to use the same phones & media players?
  • Women on the red carpet never buy their dresses or clutch purses just as men never pay for this tuxedos.  They never mention that they get their garments and accessories for free because, frankly, it’s assumed.
  • Why doesn’t anyone complain about Apple giving computers away to everyone and anyone:  For those not aware, Apple’s got a monster seeding budget for their hardware and product placement in not just media outlets but influential end users.

So if anyone has a problem with all of this, maybe they should consider advocating balance.  Apple already sends Mac laptops to reviewers – just not in such a formal, orchestrated way like Microsoft has.  Maybe Suse Linux should send laptops to people they want people to use their product.

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