Apparently, the web is aflame over a bunch of new computers. But the whole story hasn't been reported on. Plus I intend to add my two cents.
When I was at Gnomedex this year, I was discussing the Featured Communities program with the AMD rep that was there. He told me that I should "keep an eye out" because "some cool hardware would be coming to Featured Communities at the end of the year." My thought? SWEET. I love trying out new hardware.
Now, I don't know if Microsoft is the one that initiated the deal, or if it was AMD. But what I do know is that it was initially an effort to get AMD computers in the hands of Microsoft enthusiasts, at a time when the processor wars are heating back up. Microsoft decided to add Vista after the fact. AMD decided to go beyond Featured Communities members, which is why others have gotten them too.
When I got the e-mail giving me a choice betwen a couple systems, I was told that I could either give the system away, or keep it for myself. Being the selfish greedy b@stard that I am, and having dealt with the crappiest Tecra M4 in the world, I decided to keep mine. So, some people think that's bribery. Fine. Some people think the Holocaust didn't happen, too. You get SWAG for going to a conference, why is this any different? I was a Microsoft MVP for 3 years, which was a reward for past efforts with Microsoft software, trips, and buttloads of NDA information. Is that bribery too?
So why does accepting a laptop compromise ones integrity? Brandon and others have been brow-beaten for taking it... you think that their opinion of Microsoft was bought? Gimme a friggin break man. I, like the others that got a new toy, were pro-Microsoft LONG before we got said toy. We'll be pro-Microsoft long after, and not because we "got free crap".
It couldn't have been that AMD and Microsoft wanted to give presents to their friends at Christmas. So we should give them back. Then all of you should send back your Christmas presents, too. Because you've never tried to buy anyone's love at Christmas, right?
You can flame us all you want. Question our credibility if you want. Say we "sold our souls" for $2400. Fine. Most of you have been taken out to lunch for a business deal or interview. And most of you have made up excuses to have your company "comp" a trip to a conference. So get off your freakin high horse, you don't have the moral high-ground. Read my blog, don't read my blog. I don't care. But don't act like you're so altruistic.
Hopefully there's no question where I stand on the issue. And thanks to AMD and Microsoft for the fantastic gift. It was one of the best Christmas presents I ever got... at least it will be when I pick it up tomorrow. But I still think the Core 2 Duo is better.