Acer Ferrari I can’t believe what a stir Microsoft’s recent giveaways have caused in the blogosphere! The big talk is about Microsoft handing out Acer Ferrari laptops (completely loaded) to bloggers in what many people are calling a bribery. These laptops come fully loaded with Vista Ultimate Edition and Office 2007 Professional, so what is so horribly wrong about that?

Before I get into anything else I’ll throw it out on the table that we do have a Velocity Micro Media Center coming to us this weekend compliments of Velocity Micro, Microsoft, and AMD. This is the original email that I received from the Microsoft employee regarding the machine:

I’m working on getting some hardware out to key community folks, and I’d like to offer you a review PC.   I’d love to send you a loaded Velocity Micro Media Center courtesy of Windows Vista and AMD.  Are you interested?

This would be a review machine, so I’d love to hear your opinion on the machine and OS.  Full disclosure –  while I hope you will blog about your experience with the pc, you don’t have to.  Also, you are welcome to send the machine back to us after you are done playing with it, or you can give it away on your site, or you can keep it.  My recommendation is that you give it away on your site, but it’s your call.  Just let me know your opinion on Windows Vista and what you plan to do with it when the time comes.

If you are game, would you send me your address and phone?

You will not be able to see the unit on Velocity Micro’s website because they are going to be releasing this new Media Center PC when Vista launches. Here is a quick image of what it looks like:

Velocity Micro PC

This is a review machine as the email stated. It has an AMD 64-bit processor and a lot of amazing specs that I’ll layout in my review, but most importantly for me is that it has Windows Vista. Our blog primarily focuses on software and it is important for us to have the latest releases so that we can accurately review them for you. We have been talking about Vista for over a year now but we have only had hands-on experience for a fraction of that time. If I didn’t test out the latest software then this blog would not be nearly what it is today.

With that being said we are still determining whether to give the machine away or hang on to it for now so that we can begin writing reviews for Vista in preparation for the January 30 consumer launch. Receiving this machine does not affect how I view Vista because it is still an operating system. We’ll criticize it in areas that it needs work, but we’ll praise it for things it does right…which is no different than the past. Having a Media Center unit also gives us the ability to fully review the Media Center portion of Windows Vista, which is something we have not been able to do because we lack the necessary hardware to do so.

So whether it is a Ferrari laptop or a Velocity Micro Media Center, it is indisputable that a lot of bloggers are receiving these units to help hype the Vista launch in January. Here are other people who are discussing or have received (or are going to receive) these review units from Microsoft:

  • Michael Arrington – TechCrunch
    “And anyway it doesn’t really matter. Microsoft did something smart, because many of us wouldn’t have taken the time to download and install Vista on our own computers. The fact that it was delivered to us, ready to go, made it a lot easier.”
  • Robert McLaws – Windows Now
    “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.”
  • Long Zheng – IStartedSomething
    “I don’t see the Free Software Foundation handing out any Ferrari’s.”
  • Mitch Denny – notgartner
    “I am going to give the laptop to my wife who has hardly used Vista at all and has actually being resisting until it came out of BETA. This will be her first laptop and her first time running Vista and my plan is to somehow capture her feedback as a â€