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twitter's Journal: Infoworld and the M$ Blacklist. 1

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Randall Kennedy, of InfoWorld, has documented an ugly incident where M$ expressed their dissatisfaction with his writing. There are lots of stories about how M$ manipulates the press and punishes people that do not praise the company but this one is worth mentioning because it shows the danger of using M$ Exchange. People should also remember W.E.'s place in the world

Oct. 3, 2008 - I receive an e-mail from Julie McCormick at Waggener Edstrom in which she extends a "special save-the-date" invitation to attend a "unique, invitation-only" event being hosted by the Windows Client team. She labels the subject matter as "confidential" and notes that attendees will be hosted at a special "socializing event" on Saturday night as compensation for flying in a day early. [Kennedy accepts and arranges a flight]

Oct. 8, 2008 - I receive a mysterious "recall" notice in my Outlook Inbox from this same Julie McCormick. Apparently, she's trying to "unsend" the aforementioned invitation e-mail. Fortunately, I don't use Exchange Server (makes it harder for my sources to recant when they get cold feet), so this rather clumsy attempt at "evidence elimination" fails miserably.

October 9 .... it appears that someone high up on the Client Team (Steve?) really doesn't like me. I mean, really, truly loathes me. And it's not just your run-of-the-mill frustration with a journalist who picks on them. This thing is personal, and the executive in question is allowing his or her personal feelings to spill over into the company's handling of formal press relations with InfoWorld.

... The "official" explanation for my blacklisting and subsequent "dis-invitation" is that I somehow "violated the non-disclosure agreement" for Windows Vista Service Pack 1 Beta by publishing benchmark results before the update was released. Of course, this argument is entirely specious because a) I haven't signed any NDA with Microsoft in the past decade and b) I've never published any benchmark results for Vista - at least none that originated with me. Furthermore, if there really was some sort of NDA violation in play, it wouldn't be Waggener-Edstrom relaying the message. It would be Microsoft Legal ... in the form of a lawsuit.

I heard that they even considered banning me from PDC outright, so toxic is my presence. However, cooler heads eventually prevailed

The same author later found out that part of the special meeting was a laptop bribe.

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.

This was later covered by Boycott Novell, which attempted to finger those who took the laptops.

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Infoworld and the M$ Blacklist.

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