I'm not sure why Microsoft would bother paying a deep web troll either. That said, the access patterns, message resonance with Microsoft's official marketing slides and entry-level textbook social media techniques in play make my spidy senses tingle.
Remember; this sort of deep web monitoring and engaging (though not remotely so ineptly) is one of the things that my company does. We tend more to focus on opinion aggregation and actual community engagement rather than marketing message core dumps, but you get to meet others in the industry when you do it. (Or rather, Josh does it. I mostly meet people and then run the hell away. Social media types give me the shivers.)
Let's look at the paid Microsoft shill's statement that is the focus for my rage:
Over a few years an upgrade to Windows 7 or Windows 8 will save most organisations money compared to supporting a legacy infrastructure - from the lower TCO - including fewer security vulnerabilities, better performance, greater reliability, better power saving, etc. etc.
This is pure horseshit. While the above is true in certain circumstance - and I'd be glad to write you chapter on verse on all of that if you want to kindly drop a few dozen bills in my bank account - the reality is that it simply isn't true for the majority of businesses. (Though parts of it may be true for most businesses.)
It is the absoluteness of the statement - oh so very on message - that removes the ability to have a rational discussion about this. A discussion about why one should upgrade needs to start with individual analyses of the environments and the factors holding back upgrades. Those need then be analyzed one at a time and addressed - or not - as needs and abilities dictate.
It's textbook marketing, however. Lifted damned near verbatim from some slides I have on a USB stick upstairs, emblazoned with Microsoft's logo. The thing is, the application of such in a deep web marketing scenario typically isn't so...
The idea behind doing this sort of stuff is to engage with the individuals that are off message, draw out the reasons for their recalcitrance and then (referring to your trusty message-of-the-day handbook) meet the concerns one at a time by providing solid rebuttals backed by evidence. The marketing theory behind this class of engagement is that by demonstrating that even the most recalcitrant of individuals' issues can be dealt with in a reasonable fashion your efforts are amplified amongst the community you are working with.
Oh, and you also typically identify yourself as working on behalf of the company in question. Works fucking wonders for companies within the Spiceworks, Zenoss and Puppet communities, as well as the absolutely stellar Twitter social media teams that I've worked with. (Note: Microsoft's Twitter teams are awful because they aren't authorized to actually help you.)
The horrific ineptitude is why I am willing to believe that this AC is indeed a paid Microsoft Deep Web FUD coward. Because Microsoft is historically unbelievably terrible at social media and community engagement of all kinds.
If you want community engagement that Just Fucking Works look at companies like Veeam, Simplivity, Nuntanix and - increasingly - Symantec. Matt Stephenson (@packmatt73) is truly godlike with regards to community engagement and he is really helping Symantec reform how it's helping customers.
There's the key, however: helping customers. When you engage a proper deep web nerd - Josh from my company, eGeek, or Matt from Symantec, Rick Vanover from Veeam, JMT from VMware, Gabe Chapman from Simplivity or so on - they use channels like Twitter, Spiceworks or even The Register's forums to find out what needs to be done to meet that customer's needs, then get the right people joined up to make that happen.
Does it shock me at all that Microsoft would put a body into place that goes through the motions, but has no authority to help the customer and can only repeat pre-canned statements from heavily vetted slides? No. Call their support. Talk to their Twitter guys. Interact with their PR staff. Deal with Microsoft in any official or semi-official capacity when you are less than a 2500-seat enterprise customer and this is exactly what you get.
So would Microsoft waste money on a meat sack to "social media" EL Reg's forums? Fuck yes. And that meat sack would behave exactly like the one that's been plaguing us for the past few months.
Microsoft is corporately incapable of fielding a body that behaves in any other way...but they'd try really, really hard because everyone else is doing it. Then they'll abandon it after three structuring attempts because they simply can't understand why it works for others but not them.