The Ferrari Vista Question

47 Comments

My doorman just brought a package of blogger kryptonite, aka the Acer Ferrari laptop tricked out with Microsoft Vista and Office 2007. Before the recent brouhaha broke out, I was going to do a simple review, and then send the machine back to Microsoft. As I told InternetNews.com, “Frankly, I need another laptop like I need another hole in my head.”

If you have a tricked out MacBook Pro with Parallels, you don’t even need a Ferrari. I will buy Vista when it comes out, and upgrade the WinXP on my MBP, just so I can make sure everything works all across the platform.

Given that I am no Pete Rojas or Walt Mossberg, why would anyone read my review of a laptop? The only thing I thought that was worth checking out was Vista’s networking features, and Outlook’s VoIP capabilities. Regardless, the box sits here ready to be shipped back, unless of course my readers decide otherwise. Take the poll, and let me know. You have the entire weekend to decide.

This is my last post for today, so folks have yourself a Happy New Year!

47 Comments

Daniel Golding

Is there an option to receive your copy of Windows Vista attached to a brick of $100 bills?

What I’m getting at here is that the problem is not that Microsoft is bribing everyone, its that Microsoft can really afford much better bribes than Acer Laptops. Acer? Bill Gates would have his IT staff set aflame if they tried to give him an Acer, and who would blame him?

Steve Jobs is probably laughing his ass off. Seriously, whichever Microsoft VP is in charge of “blogger gratuities” needs to be reassigned. Maybe they can find someone to do a better job from the Office team?

Om Malik

TDavid,

thanks for the comment.

here is what i wrote, in case you missed it. “Before the recent brouhaha broke out, I was going to do a simple review, and then send the machine back to Microsoft.”

i think the conscience part is pretty clear.

the question i am asking is not about keeping the laptop, instead, if you want to read a review or my thoughts on the OS and Office 2007. Especially now that everytime you read a blogger review of vista, you wonder.

anyway thanks for your comment, makes things pretty clear. :-)

brian lam

It’s not a big deal. It’s a loan. It’s par for the course for tech and gadget reporting. How else is anyone supposed to review anything?

MiniMage

Why do you keep asking us if you should review stuff you’ve been sent? I added you to my list of feeds about the time you were sent the Zune, so maybe I should read through your old stuff and see if that’s just your style.

If Microsoft had sent me the thing, I’d not have to ask anybody anything; I’d review it and make it my main desktop, but I’ve no plans to tote anything around that hasn’t got a digitizer.

Andrew Spies

If it were me, I’d probably keep it. I mean, you clearly have a computer, so you’re set, but I’m one of those kids that still has to go to the library on campus to do papers. It’s rough, especially since I have to do a 20-minute drive to school, anyway. I say give it a thorough review with an open mind, then have a little contest.

Dave Conrey

How about giving it back to your doorman so he can give it to his kids (or grandkids as the case may be). At least someone who needs it will get something out of the machine.

TDavid

Om – this is the second time recently you have pulled this garbage with your readers (the other was with the Zune — another Microsoft product coincidentally?).

Either review this stuff or send it back (couldn’t you have told them no before they sent it?), but please stop trying to use your readers to guide your conscience.

If you need personal guidance ask a friend privately or your mother, don’t ask us.

If you decide to review it then make sure you have a bold disclaimer up front. You are an experienced journalist, you should know what’s right and wrong here. The fact that you keep asking your readers to help show you the way considering your experience and background seems like your way of wanting to be part of the story when it’s making you look seriously like you don’t know where your own ethical boundaries lie.

Put away the waffles. Please.

Matt_

I think you should hold a contest for your readers and oublish a review and then as a condition of winning is get the reader to do a email interview with you on thier thoughts .

SlickDealer

Whats the horsepower output on this Ferrari? And please tell it comes with the Ferrari F1 paddle shifting?!? I have to be able to click clack at starbucks when I’m scrolling Gigaom.

Ed Sutherland

I got a kick out of Edelman’s blogging honcho explaining laptops were sent, rather than CDs, because most ‘influential’ bloggers used Macs, not Windows.

I’m split on whether to suggest bloggers keep or return the machines. If Edelman is correct and they sent 90 laptops at $2,400 a pop, that’s over $200K for this experiment. Would be an expensive lesson if all these machines were kept (or given away) and few reviews were written.

But even if reviews were written, they would be based on an experience few regular Vista users will encounter. More copies of Vista will be installed on Dells or HPs than some tricked out $2K laptop. Sort of like writing a review of a VW Rabbit by driving, well, a Ferrari.

My vote: write the review, noting it is not typical, then donate the machine to a school trying to get by on some old Apples.

Ed

Les Posen

Om, when was the last time you reviewed a laptop with any kind of OS installed for the express purpose of keeping your hard-earned readership updated? Never, you say? So why would you start now? Does being on the A(for Ass) blogger list suddenly imbue you with reviewing-writing credentials? I think not. So what was the point of sending you the ACER? More buzz? Invite you to take your first step down a slippery slope of ethical behaviour? It’s suddenly “be nice to Om” week? Let’s call it for what it is. A poorly thought out PR exercise which brings credit to no one, and let’s all see just how thick some bloggers can be when Santa Claus calls early. Repeat after me: “There is no such thing as a free lunch.”
Don’t donate it – just get it out of your sight ASAP and then stand in the shower and soap all over. This is the second PR blooper from Edelman and you want no part of it, Om, except to publicly say, “I want no part of it.” Of course, your view may be the opposite of mine. It’s just that I need to pay heed to ethical practice day-in, day-out lest I appear before registration boards, so I am keenly aware of day-to-day ethical practice.

Dorian Banks

Do the review and send it back to Microsoft.

I don’t think it is proper to give it away, even to/for charity.

Sure Microsoft’s intentions are crazy…but -you- are a journalist. Take the high road. Do a 100% inbiased and proper review and send it back to them.

Respectfully, Dorian

coelomic

Please do a review and then sell the laptop on ebay and donate the proceeds to an open source project of your choice.

Juha

“Blogger Kryptonite” is a very good description of the laptop. What a fiasco it’s turned into.

I’m still wondering if there would’ve been such a storm had Apple sent out Macbook Pros to bloggers. Probably not…

Michael Markman

Oh, fine, OM! Delegate your ethical dilemmas to your readers. I guess that’s what social media is all about. ;-)

My question is this: Since the laptop give-away (lend-away?) was co-sponsored by AMD, how come all the mud is landing on Microsoft and Edelman? How did AMD earn a pass in this brouhaha?

Chris Haaker

Send it off to a lesser-known technology blogger (like myself) and we will review it! After that you may control its fate. Plus you’ll help build my pub and Microsoft will get its review! Win-win for all.

Matthew R. Miller

Just give it away to one of your readers through a contest. I believe Microsoft said this was Ok, at least that’s what I heard them telling other receivers of the laptops.

This way someone gets new shinny laptop that wants it for the holidays.

Om Malik

sure that is an option. donating it to charity. i think it be safer if microsoft did that. don’t you think?

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