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One Story, Two Readers, Two Opinions

Was I cruel to Microsoft in my recent review of Windows Vista, or was I far too kind? Let's ask the readers.

Yesterday, Reader A wrote:

I feel that your evaluation of Microsoft Vista's software was sugar coated.

Exactly three and a half hours later, Reader B wrote:

Thanks for the update. About thirty paragraphs of negative, one or two positive. Get with it fellow. The Mac will never be the system of choice. You would serve your readers better by telling us what we gain by upgrading. I'm one of those rare persons who use a computer for business purposes. I could care less if "iTunes" works or not on my system. Perhaps your article should appear in the children's column. Tunes, games, blogs, and the other B.S. will be the ruination of this technology.

It's still a mystery what, specifically, the readers didn't like about the piece. But what's not in doubt is that both read the same assessment and reacted in almost completely opposite ways. This is not the first time it's happened. I've written largely positive reviews about Apple software, only to have Mac zealots complain about my hatchet-job of a review. (Some people just can't take yes for an answer!)

Still, as a columnist, this kind of divided response isn't all bad. It's better than having everybody agree that I was biased towards one company or another. And it sure beats having nobody write at all!

By Rob Pegoraro  |  April 3, 2007; 11:35 AM ET
Categories:  Feedback  
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I liked your review of Vista -- it gave lots of details. That's what people are looking for -- specifics. No, I am not going to get Vista, though, as I'm happy with my Mac. Keep giving the reviews of the products, though, PC and Mac, so we may we stay informed. I don't think you are biased in your reviews, Rob!

About these extremes in people's opinions, don't you think that it is a fact -- you can't please everyone. Some people just like to complain. Kind of sick, but some people just like to pick everything apart....

Posted by: rjrjj | April 3, 2007 12:17 PM | Report abuse

Reader B sounds like an ignorant old curmudgeon who doesn't realize that people under his age care a lot about computers' performance with regard to music and games.

Posted by: William | April 3, 2007 1:52 PM | Report abuse

The Mac vs. PC war always amuses me. If these people put the same passion and emotion into something that mattered then the world would be a remarkably better place.

Having said that, the more extreme elements seem to be on the Apple side (and I'm an Apple user). Maybe it's short-man syndrome overcompensation but jeez some of them will kill your dog if you dare say something ill about Apple. MS fanboys can be pretty intense too but they tend to react from a defensive position.

Posted by: Boyd | April 3, 2007 3:10 PM | Report abuse

So, Reader B is "one of those rare persons who use a computer for business purposes", yet, there he was posting a comment about a news article.

Hmmm....wish I was in his business...whatever it may be.

Posted by: Ged | April 3, 2007 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Reader B misses the point of Rob's column: it's about PERSONAL Tech, not Business tech, so yeah it *is* a big deal if iTunes doesn't work.

Posted by: Andy | April 3, 2007 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Reader B reminds me of the PC guy from the MAC commercials. I bet he loves his spreadsheets.

Posted by: Sounds like | April 3, 2007 8:29 PM | Report abuse

Sounds Like:
You nailed it. Reader B IS the pc guy!

Posted by: Deborah | April 4, 2007 12:24 AM | Report abuse

You should see what happens if you offend the Linux fanboys. I say that as someone who moved from Linux to Mac.

Posted by: wiredog | April 4, 2007 8:19 AM | Report abuse

"I'm one of those rare persons who use a computer for business purposes."

What planet does he live on? Please tell me what business in America doesn't use computers for business purposes.

Posted by: Brian | April 4, 2007 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, these days you almost need to provide a disclaimer up front before you say anything. I recommend the following:

"The following is my review based on my experience based on my expectations of the object of my review performed in my environment. Unless you are my clone, you may not completely agree with my assessment on every account. If you are my clone and have a different assessment, whichever of us is the original entity should get a refund from Clones R Us."

Posted by: Anonymous | April 5, 2007 11:26 AM | Report abuse

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