Posted December 28, 2006 10:07 am by with 22 comments

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I wasn’t going to share my thoughts on Microsoft sending out free laptops to some A-list bloggers. I figured it was a dumb move by Microsoft, without first seeking the permission of the blogger. But now Microsoft has made a bad situation worse by asking the bloggers to return the laptops after they “review” them. Here’s part of the new request…

You may have seen that other bloggers got review machines as well…As you write your review I just wanted to emphasize that this is a review pc…I hope you give your honest opinions. Just to make sure there is no misunderstanding of our intentions I’m going to ask that you either give the pc away or send it back when you no longer need it for product reviews.

What the heck?

PR powerhouse, Edelman, was actually behind the backfiring initiative, but they really slipped-up by now acting as if they only ever meant for the recipient to review the loaded Vista OS and then return the machine. If that was the case, why not just send them a copy of Vista?

Edelman’s not had a good year when it comes to blogging. The company likes to think of itself as being at the cutting edge of blogging – especially with their hire of Steve Rubel – but they’ve had one stumble after another.

First rule of blogging screw-ups – admit you made a mistake. Edelman needs to come clean and admit they should never have sent out the laptops in the first place. Asking bloggers to now return (or give away) the machines is akin to throwing water on a pan of burning oil, in an attempt to put the fire out. If you’ve ever seen that demonstrated, you’ll know the mess Edelman just created.