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Microsoft Switch Scam Uncovered

Microsoft has been caught red-handed in an attempt to manufacture a person who switched from using a Macintosh to using a Windows PC. The scam was exposed and documented in a little over three hours by the collective observational skills of readers of several prominent weblogs.

2:49 pm: The investigation began on Slashdot where the story Microsoft Tries a "Switch" Campaign documented an alleged first person account of a freelance writer who switched to Windows. Authenticity of the article was immediately questioned, because the freelance writer was shown in a photo, but not named.

3:02 pm: A Slashdot reader posts a comment pointing out that photograph that Microsoft used on its web page also appears on a Getty Images web site. Getty Images is a well known provider of stock photography.

4:56 pm: Dave Winer of Scripting News points to the controversy, lamenting the fact that Microsoft removed the web page from their site.

5:30 pm: Dave Winer reports that several of his readers provided links to screen shots of the Microsoft web page or cached copies of the web page.

Update: Now, the Associated Press has jumped into the fray. But, instead of confirming the entire ad is a hoax, they have run a story claiming that the AP identified the actual person who gave the testimonial.

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