A lot of people around the world are getting these. I don't have a list but I know that it includes well-known bloggers, and blogs that reach a smaller niche.
Robert Scoble linked to Scott's laughingsquid (one of the recipients), who in turn linked to Australian Long Zheng, who links to a lot of other bloggers (including me, thanks!) and got into digg and Slashdot as "Microsoft bribing bloggers with laptops".
Some bloggers are saying "Bribe". What's the Slashdot crowd saying? "Bribe"... What's the MSM saying? "Bribe".
They all point to Microsoft, but forget to say this is something between AMD, Microsoft and Acer. Of course they always have to point to the bigger one of the three. They forget to say though that only Microsoft could pull this one off. Which other company could reach that many bloggers, journalists and influentials around the world, in a single move? I don't imagine people getting so hot about this issue if it was an initiative by Apple or Sun.
The "influentials" are welcome to keep or return the laptops. They can disclose or not.
My option was to keep and disclose. I've already mentioned it here. I maintain my independence by making it clear which companies are sponsoring this review unit. The same way people know I have an account with both Telecom New Zealand and Vodafone New Zealand so as not to show a preference for one or the other.
This is no different from freelance journalists getting free flights to Taiwan to attend the IDF. Or being sponsored to attend the PDC. Or attending the CES and receiving a laptop bag from Toshiba, or going to ShowsStoppers and receiving a bag with goodies from the exhibitors.
Get over it folks! Go read Scobble's latest post on this: "I think the Microsoft Vista giveaway is an awesome idea".
Incredible how a marketing campaign can get this "viral". Want it or not, people are talking, and this is good for them.
By the way, the laptop comes with a puzzle, which is the key to access The Vanishing Point - lots of answers to the puzzle and more at this Vanishing Point Wiki.
Other related posts:
Windows 8 Mail app not hyperlinking emails
Are we seeing the death of Windows RT?
Windows 8 Consumer Preview
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