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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

July 27, 2011 at 9:59 AM

Answering your Q: Fallout from critical coverage of Microsoft

It’s my last week covering Microsoft and I am answering questions from readers all week here. To submit your question, scroll down to the form below.

Q: Was there any fallout from MS after two of your more controversial (and best) articles: the one a month ago comparing the Skype acquisition to SideKick and the one towards the end of June with a quote from (Microsoft CEO Steve) Ballmer asking if he was driving the change he was supposed to drive? -IndependentMiddle, Bellevue

A: For anyone who didn’t see the earlier stories, here is the story comparing the Skype acquisition to the Danger and Sidekick acquisition. Here is the story about Ballmer responding after someone asked whether he should leave as CEO.

A representative from Microsoft’s public relations firm Waggener Edstrom recently told me that my coverage recently has become more critical. My belated answer is: Thank you. Our job at The Seattle Times is to serve as watchdogs on public institutions and corporations.

While I have been denied interview requests plenty of times, Microsoft has never told me we’re not giving you access because of X story you wrote. I have heard from another reporter at an international news organization that happened to him after he wrote a story that criticized Ballmer.

Readers routinely complain that my coverage is both too positive and too negative. I am open to all the feedback and I have read and digested it all. My goal has been to write interesting and important stories about Microsoft, be they positive or negative.

In response to the reader comments alleging that I’m on Microsoft’s payroll, The Seattle Times has an ironclad policy on not accepting gifts or funds from any institutions or individuals that we cover.

If I ate a meal at a Microsoft event, I always made arrangements to reimburse the company. I do not accept any gifts that have been given out at Microsoft conferences including laptops, Xboxes or Windows Phones. I encourage you to be discerning about the tech news blogs you read, because there are bloggers who not only accept free gifts but complain when they don’t get them.

In any case, IndependentMiddle, thank you for your question and I am sending you this virtual high five. (Video courtesy of Youtube user Liz90Lemon.)

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