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____/ Homer on Tuesday 12 Jan 2010 23:35 : \____
> Verily I say unto thee, that Gregory Shearman spake thusly:
>> If supernatural beings *ever* make an appearance
> But supernatural beings have /already/ made an appearance ... right here
> in COLA. One of them is named "Hadron", who has the power to cull choice
> of operating system by sucking the essence of individuality from humans.
Maybe he's part of the Pam Pam Edstrom cult:
Microsoftâs Public Image â Billions Well Spent
Key to Microsoftâs success is its public image. Whatever reality may be, it is critical for
Microsoft to keep the public on its side. To this end they employ a number of PR (Public
Relations) firms, most prominently Waggener Edstrom. Microsoft pays Waggener Edstrom about
a quarter of a billion $$ a year (thatâs billion with a B) and other PR firms many millions
more to keep Bill Gateâs image polished and Microsoft shining in the public eye.
Humans are pack animals, and packs canât have a lot of leaders, so most people are
genetically disposed to admire and follow a rich and powerful leader. Microsoftâs PR
campaigns have been highly successful. Even with evidence of its true personality pouring
off the TV screen and printed page, the American public remains faithful to the image.
Edelman put together a program to fake spontaneous âgrass rootsâ support for Microsoft.âSo
how was this achieved? Fortunately, we donât have to guess. Pam Edstrom is a principal of
Waggener Edstrom. She has a daughter, Jenifer. Jenifer wrote a book, Barbarians Lead by
Bill Gates detailing her motherâs work. This book is not on Microsoftâs recommended reading
Astro-Turf â Another PR firm, Edelman Public Relations Worldwide, was much in the news in
April 1998. Microsoft, concerned about image damage from the Department of Justice
investigation, had Edelman put together a program to fake spontaneous âgrass rootsâ support
for Microsoft. Prominent public and industry personalities were to be paid to submit
Microsoft prepared letters and columns to newspapers and magazines as their own. This is
known as an âastro-turfâ campaign in honor of itâs fake grass roots.
The Los Angeles Times obtained a set of Microsoft / Edelman planning documents and
published an expose. Microsoft immediately denied everything. When it became obvious nobody
believed them, they claimed it was just a proposal and they had not acted on it. Faced with
the fact that the main kick-off had already been held with PR people flown in from all over
the country, Microsoft responded that they âhad a rightâ to tell their story. In other
words, Microsoft feels they have a right to pay people to deceive the public. For more
information see âLinksâ [k1,k2,k3]
Microsoft has apparently made good on itâs claimed ârightâ to go ahead with this campaign.
Since the LA Times article, many letters and columns displaying an unusual sameness in
subject, wording and lack of substantiation have been published in many newspapers and
Above and beyond all this is Microsoftâs massive advertising budget, one of the largest on
the planet â an advertising budget that makes the editors of most industry magazines
willing conduits for the Microsoft public relations story.
Beyond paid PR, there is a considerable effort using Microsoft employees who âparticipateâ
in on-line discussion groups, usually without admitting they are Microsoft employees.
The most famous âparticipationâ case was the âBarkto incidentâ. A person calling himself
Steve Barkto appeared in OS/2 discussion groups claiming to be a big IBM customer in
Oklahoma who had adopted OS/2. Barkto had nothing good to say about OS/2 or IBM, and many
of the things he said were outright lies. His posting was traced back to an account that
was paid for by the credit card of Rick Segal, a high Microsoft executive.
âWagEd is not part of Microsoft. They can be subpoenaed. Brought to court they might tell
the truth to avoid a perjury conviction. Microsoft is forced to do its own PR on some
issues, and isnât at all good at it.âYears ago, on-line postings by Microsoft âshillsâ were
easy to spot. Not only did they spout the party line precisely, but their grammar and
spelling were always excellent â highly unusual for newsgroup posts. They learn â todayâs
shills use some of the worst spelling seen on the net and are often almost incoherent. pro
Microsoft âShill festsâ often follow magazine articles embarrassing to Microsoft but
verified to be true. If you canât deny it, bring out the shills!
The most prominent MS shill today is Michael Merlin, who claims to post from Paris France
(his variable command of English has aroused suspicion he is more than one person). Michael
denounces as a lie any statement critical of Microsoft, and claims all witnesses who
testified against Microsoft in the DOJ case were lying. He will not answer any question as
to his financial relationship with Microsoft (and he has been asked many times).
Microsoft and the Truth â âHave we been introduced?â
Prominent InfoWorld columnist Nick Petreley, who is also a bible student, wrote a column in
1997 based on the passage âWhen the devil speaks lies, he speaks his native tongueâ.
According to Mr. Petreley, Microsoft is not the devil, but, âShould Microsoft ever meet up
with the devil, they wonât need a translator.â He gave plenty of examples. Unfortunately,
practically any statement from Microsoft, whether about the company, its products or the
products of others, must be presumed to be, at the least, a misrepresentation of fact.
A recent Microsoftâs distortion is to imply they invented XML, which they most certainly
did not. They submitted some improvements to the XML DTD (data definition section) and the
W3C committe accepted them with little change. The claim is probably a face saving move
since XML is so central to Microsoftâs .NET initiative, but it is untrue just the same.
Microsoft has long depended on the PR firm Waggener Edstrom to cover up and smooth over.
WagEd has done a magnificent job of creating a public image completely unrelated to
reality, and truly deserves the hundreds of millions Microsoft has paid them. The reason
the image is now crumbling is simple. Microsoft is in court. WagEd is not part of
Microsoft. They can be subpoenaed. Brought to court they might tell the truth to avoid a
perjury conviction. Microsoft is forced to do its own PR on some issues, and isnât at all
good at it.
Watching the Justice Department directly contrast Bill Gatesâ testimony against his own
email has introduced the public to what we in the industry have long known. Hereâs another
lovely example. Microsoft denounced Wendy Goldwin Rholmâs book The Secret Microsoft Files
as âpure fictionâ â then, in court, accused Caldera of leaking confidential documents to
Goldwin Rholm (obtained for the Caldera vs Microsoft court battle). So which is it, all
lies or leaked truth?
~~ Best of wishes
Roy S. Schestowitz | HTML is for page layout, not for textual messages
http://Schestowitz.com | GNU/Linux | PGP-Key: 0x74572E8E
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http://iuron.com - next generation of search paradigms
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