Dear Microsoft: I'm writing in regard to your recent FREE LAPTOP COMPUTER giveaway program for members of the industry media/analyst community. It is my understanding that authors and pundits who are "friends" of Microsoft -– i.e. those who praise Windows Vista and generally write positive stories about your products and strategies –- were eligible to receive their FREE LAPTOP COMPUTER during the super-secret, invite-only workshop that you held on the Sunday just prior to your Professional Developers Conference.
Since I was unable to attend the workshop, I was hoping that I might be able to obtain a left-over unit or, barring that, to receive a new unit one through your regular analyst relations channels. I understand that I will be required to provide proof that I am a Friend of Microsoft (FOM) in good standing. Since none of my recent Microsoft-related coverage qualifies, I propose the following compromise solution:
[ Think the anti-Windows 7 commentary is premature or out of hand? So does InfoWorld's J. Peter Bruzzese. Check out his latest blog entry, "Enough snap judgments about Windows 7." ]
- I will commit to writing at least one pro-Microsoft blog entry per week for a period of no less than 90 days. These may consist of a positive product mention (whether or not it is warranted), fawning praise for a Microsoft executive (Mike Nash is da bomb!), or some combination of the two.
- Microsoft may suggest one or more representative FOM authors for me to emulate. For example, you might want to mix aspects of an Ed Bott with certain components of a Paul Thurrott, with some Rob Enderle thrown in for good measure.
- I will promise not to refer to any flavor of Windows as "fat," "bloated," or "epically porcine" for a period of no less than 180 days, and to refrain from comparing Microsoft's OS platform to any unflattering mammalian stereotypes.
Of course, I will reserve the right to grumble privately about my latest blue screen error (taken down in mid-air by a buggy Bluetooth driver) and/or to curse Microsoft's name under my breath when Vista brings my quad-core workstation to its knees. However, publicly, I will play the role of the loyal Microsoft foot soldier and help spread the word about Windows 7 using the FREE LAPTOP COMPUTER you'll be sending me to reward my newfound FOM status.
On a personal note, I must applaud your strategy for controlling the Windows 7 coverage at PDC. By seeding the media elite with FREE LAPTOP COMPUTERS running Windows 7, you effectively manipulated the initial reporting on the product by exploiting the laziness of journalists, most of whom would prefer to play with a highly tuned, pre-installed OS image on a pre-qualified hardware platform than waste time experimenting with Windows 7 on their own hodgepodge of untested OEM components. Way to steer that coverage, MS!
In conclusion, I would like to thank you for the opportunity to submit this formal proposal letter. I'm confident that, working together, we can quash any remaining anti-Microsoft dissent and ensure that Windows continues its uninterrupted reign atop the enterprise desktop.
Looking forward to receiving my FREE LAPTOP COMPUTER as a soon-to-be-certified FOM in good standing!
Randall C. Kennedy