Is Microsoft simply bound to criticism no matter what they do, or is this really a bad taste, unethical tactic? On an attempt to generate further buzz among the online community for their upcoming Windows Vista operating system, Microsoft recently sent 90 Acer Ferrari laptops equipped with the OS to technology bloggers free of charge. Although the writers on Microsofts mailing list received the product with enthusiasm, it wasn't much later that other bloggers - who obviously did not receive the nice treatment - started critiquing the move saying it could well be considered a bribe.
To make things clearer, a Microsoft spokesman has been quoted saying that there were no conditions for receiving the free laptop, but they suggested bloggers to try them out and write whatever they thought suitable regarding the new OS no matter if it was positive or negative. Then feel free to keep it, return it to Microsoft, or give it away to website visitors.
Opinions on the matter vary widely, though one thing is for sure, Microsoft has a long way to go to produce crowd pleasing results with these kind of tactics which sometimes work quite well for other companies. The classic and most obvious example would be Apple, which is a much more popular company among bloggers, and usually have no problem creating buzz in these circles, at times I must say undeservingly.