“Confessions of a Mac to PC Convert” croons the headline on Microsoft’s Web page. Who would have thought it was written by Microsoft PR?
“Confessions of a Mac to PC Convert” croons the headline on Microsoft’s Web page. “After eight years as a Macintosh owner, I switched to a PC with Windows XP and Office XP. Why? It’s about more and better… Yes, it’s true. I like the Microsoft Windows XP operating system enough to change my whole computing world around. Here’s the bottom line: Windows XP gives me more choices and flexibility, and better compatibility with the rest of the technology world.”
The article is accompanied by a picture of a lovely lass holding a coffee cup – which turned out to be completely bogus. (It’s a stock photo.) The text of the article makes it clear that the “Convert” is a 5-foot-3-inch lady, with a six-foot husband. But she isn’t identified anywhere.
Microsoft has since pulled the “Mac to PC Convert” page.
Ted Bridis at the Associated Press says that the mysterious lady who confessed to being a Convert actually works for one of Microsoft’s public relations agencies, and she was hired by Microsoft to do the ad. AP found clues to her identity in “hidden references” contained in “documents accompanying the ad.”
Guess what? Microsoft was smart enough to pull the Web site – but (at least as of this writing) they didn’t pull the tell-tale document! Want to know how AP found out who wrote the “Confessions of a Mac to PC Convert”? It’s easy.
Open the document, and click File | Properties | Custom. See the entry marked _AuthorEmailDisplayName ?
Word meta data strikes again… Good work, Ted.
It’s also a lesson to those journalists who believe anything Microsoft tells them. They can’t believe that Microsoft will so blatantly lie and deceive them – when in fact Microsoft and its PR people do it all the time and without apparently any conscience.