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Microsoft bribes Best Buy staff to slam Mac and Linux

High quality training
Wed Sep 09 2009, 10:25

MICROSOFT IS INVOLVED in a programme to train the spotty Herberts working at leading US consumer electronics chain Best Buy to disparage Linux and Macs in favour of Windows.

According to MacInsider, Microsoft has created ExpertZone "training courses" to prevent retail employees from selling customers Macs or PCs running Linux.

It provides them with "facts", consisting of a series of claims about how Windows 7 compares to Linux or Apple, followed by a "quiz" that tells retail employees that their answers are "incorrect" if they don't parrot back the Vole's talking points.

Apparently Microsoft bribes BestBuy staff and other chain stores' retail employees with a ticket to buy a copy of Windows 7 for just $10 for completing the training.

Obviously, since it is MacInsider, the writer is incandescent with rage that Microsoft's training course says that Macs are more expensive and you can get better value for money by buying a PC. That is simply true, get over it.

However he does have a point in that the people who visit Best Buy are most probably looking for unbiased, objective advice and not an employee who has been bribed to peddle a particular brand.

There are also some clearly dubious claims in the training course about what you pay for with a Mac that you don't with Windows, as well as a description of Apple's MobileMe service that is not factually correct.

According to Overclock, the Linux related comments that Microsoft feeds its 'trainees' are just as dumb.

The Vole tells Best Buy staff to claim that World of Warcraft is incompatible with Linux, despite the fact that it works pretty well if you use WINE. However those who can configure Wine to run WoW are hardly going to be shopping at Best Buy and will probably laugh if a pimply sales assistant tells them Windows 7 is better.

Microsoft's training material dismisses Linux's safety reputation as a "myth" and describes Linux updates and upgrades as difficult and time consuming. Odd really, because updates just appear on a Ubuntu box and you just press a button, pretty much like what happens under Windows if not even easier and more trouble-free.

True, Linux does require someone who knows at least a little bit about what they're doing and most people don't, but it can be set up so you don't have to touch it and is stable enough to be left alone.

Whereas Windows 7's release candidate gave me a blue screen of death while running Abobe Illustrator yesterday, but as any Volish fanboy would point out, you can't run Illustrator on Linux although it is one of the few things that runs on a Mac. µ




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