I like how you didn't actually refute a single one of my points. It gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to be subjected to insults on my intelligence from people who can't even make a counter-point. The closest you came was failing to understand what an implicit bribe is. If the crash dialog message - the one that pops up when the program segfaults, the equivalent of Windows' "do you want to send an error report to Microsoft?" box - includes a button to submit feedback about this whole project (which just ate your file and wasted your time), most people will ignore it but some fraction will take the chance to vent some spleen. That kind of thing is easy to get added to a project if you have a little money to funnel to some coder, but will inevitably produce far more complaints than accolades. There's opportunities all over something like this for money to subtly make life better for those who complain.
But, if you want to take the concept of "bribes" more literally, remember my third point above. There are, statistically, many times as many people who are annoyed at this software as there are complaints filed; given the number of people involved in this project that's inevitable. People don't like change, they don't like needing to learn things, they don't like it when the new thing introduces even minor annoyances that the old thing lacked (and conveniently forget that the old thing had worse annoyances that the new one doesn't), and there's always the minority who honestly like even an inferior product. If Microsoft managed to identify even 10% of those people and give them the least bit of incentive to file a complaint, most of them would not turn it down. "Oh wow, sure, I'd love tickets to the football [soccer] game! ... Ha, you want to hear my thoughts on the software? Be ready for an earful! ... You know, I'd never thought about it before, but maybe if I complain somebody *would* notice..." Hell, just offer entry in a drawing for some fairly-cheap prize if people submit feedback and then only advertise the drawing amongst the disaffected...
I will readily grant that I'm surprised that so many people thought gothzilla's post was insightful, considering that it literally contains a fundamental flaw of reading comprehension: the inability to separate the hypothetical scenario from the statement of fact. I never implied, or even "ask[ed] questions" suggesting, that this had actually happened. I pointed out that it was *possible*. In fact, I explicitly pointed out that it was implausible. Did you think I was trying some weird reverse psychology BS?
As for the "naïve" part, it's either that or simply ignorant of history. Microsoft, and various other moneyed interests on the other side of the libre-vs.-proprietary debate (Oracle, SCO-via-Microsoft, Sony, etc.), have a well-established history of throwing money are successful open-source initiatives and sometimes successfully making them go away. In what world is "Microsoft has money, Microsoft wants people to complain about the project, therefore Microsoft finds a way to buy complaints" not a completely obvious possibility to anybody who isn't the "oh, they would never do that!" category of naivete?