Is Microsoft really paying bloggers to write about Internet Explorer?

Internet Explorer

This may come as a very surprising news, but according to Michael Arrington, TechCrunch founder, Microsoft is paying bloggers to write about Internet Explorer. He received an email from Microsoft regarding the matter, despite his opposing stance on writing paid posts. He also posted the email in its entirety, which offered him compensation for writing a post about Internet Explorer.

The program is known as "Rethink what the web can be" which asks bloggers interested in the program to email them about details, including their sponsored rate, the date when the article will be published, and the general topic of what they will write. "With this information, we can then create a contract for you to read over and sign, followed by program access where you will see cool social content, the complete blog post prompt, and all required blog assets," says the web page.

Here's the complete email sent to Arrington:

I work as a social strategist on behalf of Microsoft, and I wanted to invite you to collaborate on a sponsored post opportunity for Internet Explorer.

We love your aesthetic and blogging system, and think you'd be the perfect partner to spread the word on the new Internet Explorer browsing experience!

The new Internet Explorer is a brand new experience with many different features. This reworked Internet Explorer lets you search smarter and do more with its cool new features, such as multitasking, pinnable sites, and full-screen browsing.

In this program, we are looking to spread the word about the new Internet Explorer web experience in a cool, visual way, which is where you come in. Internet Explorer has teamed up with many partners in gaming, entertainment, and more, and we'd love to see you talk your opinions on these collaborations.

If you accept our invitation to work on this program, we would like for you to write a blog post by July 10th, in addition to sharing links to the new Internet Explorer across your social channels.

Compensation for this post is available, and there will also be ample opportunities for fun prizes and reward throughout the duration of the program.

To learn all about the details of this program, please visit this page (http://unbouncepages.com/7975010c-edb3-11e3-b3e0-12314000cce6/).

I look forward to working together.

We don't know how legit is this, and we've contacted Microsoft for their comment regarding this issue. We'll update this post as soon we get a response.

How do you feel about this approach, if it is indeed true?

Update: Microsoft has responded to ZDNet. "This action by a vendor is not representative of the way Microsoft works with bloggers or other members of the media. The program has been suspended." We're still waiting on a response ourselves.