Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Microsoft FUD: in plain sight

Microsoft is notorious for playing a little dirty in the PR department.  They do it all the time by having technology news and bloggers write about their competitors (mostly Google).  These articles don't outline how the competitors product is inferior, instead they focus on more political issues like social impact, security, privacy, or freedom.  The latest article shines a light on file ownership under Google drive. The adulteration by Microsoft is palpable. You can usually spot this type of behavior from Microsoft since it always follows a formula which causes all of these types of articles to read similarly.

  •  Immediately outline conclusions.  This will be as early as the description for the link that brought you to the article.  Not the headline itself, but how it was described from the source that you were linked from.  This type of trick is now becoming less noticeable since descriptions based on headlines are becoming more mainstream since websites like Reddit became popular.  The effect of this step sets the tone and allows readers with limited attention span to stop reading.
  •  A positive mention of a Microsoft product.  In most critical articles when the author is about to lambast the subject there is little or no mention of competitor products.  When there is mention it is usually because that competing product defines that market, E.g mentioning Ebay when discussing online auction houses.  Microsoft on the other hand will mention their products regardless.  An example could be an exposition about Java's license agreement.  The article may be trying to throw a FUD hammer because the contents have changed which when interpreted in a certain way may expose Java as a being evil in some way. You can tell if the article was written by Microsoft if there are suddenly miscellaneous mentions of Silverlight.
  • Back pedaling. The article will have some sort of backpedal at the end that either completely extinguishes the initial flame or a redaction or article update stating that some fact or source was updated. This will not only contradict the initial fud feeling that brought you to continue reading but will also make you feel like you wasted time.
I welcome anyone else who read some suspicious articles in the past to post links to them in the comments section here so I can refine my search for Microsoft fud speech.

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