Today I learned something about Microsoft, bloggers, and forums. As I was browsing the Mepis Forum (I had posted a question, maybe a silly one, but still got some prompt and friendly help), I found this post by someone. He called Mepis 8.0 and Mepis 8.5 "losers" because, according to him, both Mepis editions had failed miserably to work properly.
Now, that's a possibility. The kernel version Mepis uses may not be fully compatible with some hardware specifications. That problem can be worked around, but it is not the kind of task a novice like me would like to undertake alone. That's where the communitiy support shines.
However, this "linux user" was not a newbie like I am. He described himself as "having 10 years of experience using Linux" and also "knowledgeable about forums"...That seemed to ring a bell on the mods and other community members. One of them said the original post was an example of "astroturfing".
Of course, I didn't have any idea what the word meant. After a little searching, I learned about this ugly side of the blogsphere, even though it is not restricted to it, or to Microsoft.
Anyway, if anybody is interested in learning about specific astroturfing cases by Microsoft, here are some examples.
Wow! They even gave away laptops?? Will they offer me one soon? :P
(note: the image was taken from El Blog de Enrique Dans)