Ian Moulster's blog

A Microsoft employee translating Microsoft technology into plain English

Yes we really are giving away 1000 free copies of Windows Vista and Office 2007 to UK developers

Yes we really are giving away 1000 free copies of Windows Vista and Office 2007 to UK developers

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A while ago, I posted a blog entry about a free software giveaway we were planning for the UK online developer launch event. As I haven't said much about it since you may wonder if it's actually going ahead. Well have no fear, yes it's absolutely going ahead.

Our thinking has moved on a bit since we first dreamed up the concept but it's still pretty much what we originally had in mind. It looks like this:

  • We will be giving 1000 copies of Windows Vista Ultimate, and 1000 copies of Office Professional 2007 to developers who take part in our online launch event
  • What do we mean by “take part”? On Friday 19th January we will broadcast the keynote live, then make all of the technical sessions available for viewing online at the same time as they’re happening here at our office in Reading. You don’t need to register to watch or download these. At some point on Friday 19th we’ll open up a registration site for the software giveaway – in order to be eligible people will have to answer one question relating to the Windows Vista track (to be in line for a copy of Windows Vista) and one relating to the Office track (to be in line for a copy of Office). While the questions are fairly easy if you’ve watched the sessions, they will be difficult if you haven’t. Assuming you answer the question correctly, and are one of the first 1000 people to do so, you’ll get a free copy. Obviously if you answer both questions correctly and are one of the first 1000 of each, you could get both products
  • What are the caveats? Not many: You need to have a UK address for us to ship the product to, and we’ll only ship the product when we have it, which could be some time after January (ie it won’t be immediate). Other fairly standard T&Cs apply.

As for why we're doing this - developers are vitally important to us, and vitally important to me too (I'm in the Developer & Platform group in Microsoft, the part of the organisation that focuses on software developers). We wanted to make sure that as many of you as possible get your hands on these products so that you can start to experience them and build applications on top of them. This seemed a reasonable way to achieve that.

It isn't something we undertook lightly either, and did involve some people from the high reaches of the organisation in Redmond when the decision was made to do it, but it was really good to see that everyone involved immediately saw the value of developers and enthusiastically supported what we're trying to achieve.

As I said before....we love developers :-)

Oh and PS: You may wonder why we're making you answer a question to be eligible. Pretty simply, this is to ensure that as far as possible only people who are developers and have a genuine interest in development on these platforms are eligible. 



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  • ...all you have to do is attend the Vista/Office launch event for developers were such leading visionaries

  • Will people who actually attend the event be able to get copies?

  • Great news ...

    Now all I need to do is convince my client to let me watch it all day :(

  • Ian - I'm only able to talk about the online event. Drop me an email if you need further detail.

    Richard - hopefully you can squeeze in some viewing during the day....

  • Why spend time and money to get bloated products which don't really change over time when there are free alternatives.

  • Hi, this all sounds great, but like most developers i'll be at work on launch day!

    although i shall follow events for an hour or so during the day is this likely to give me the answer to the questions to qualify for the freebies, or would i need to be 'watching' for most of the day?

  • OK, event is full, how will all us others get to hear about 'the questions' to answer for the giveaways?

  • To the "no thanks" guy: thanks for your views.

    To James: You need to watch as much as you can, I can't really say more than that. Sorry, I know it won't be ideal for everybody. The sessions are available for viewing any time of course, so you could watch them later, we don't know how quickly we'll rack up the 1000 figure

    To Ian: All of this only applies to the online launch, which has no ceiling. The physical event is full, but every above doesn't apply to the physical event.

  • When will the event start on the 19th?

  • Lee - keynote starts at 9.15am. See http://www.microsoft.com/uk/launch2007/dev/agenda_dayone.mspx for full agenda for day 1.

  • Sorry if this is mentioned somewhere (I did take a look at this post and comments in addition to the entry linked to at the start but couldn't find it), but will registration be required in advance for attending the on-line launch or can it be a sort of 'spur of the moment' thing?


  • Hi Angus, I did sneak it into the middle of a block of text on the above post: "You don’t need to register to watch or download these". But it was probably easy to miss so thanks for raising it.

    So the answer is that no pre-registration is required, and in fact we won't require you to tell us anything about yourself in order to watch the videos. Just turn up and watch.

    We will need your details if you register for the software of course (we need to know where to send it if you're one of the first 1000).

    So you might ask "does that mean I'll get spammed to death if I tell you my details when registering for the software? Is this just a cunning Microsoft scheme to get a whole load of contact details?". The answer is no, if you indicate that you don't want us to contact you - and there will be an option to do so - we absolutely won't. You wouldn't believe how strict our policies are on this, if you tick that box there's no way on earth anyone will be using your details other than to send the software if you're eligible.

  • Im glad Microsoft are finally doing some good things in the UK, lets hope others start follow suit and maybe we can look forward to a UK CES or WinHEC in the future.

    Will all the sessions be available after the event? I'm attending the launch in reading but it would be usefull to be able to watch them again after the event.

  • Hi Jon - yes, the sessions will be available from Jan 19th to Feb 19th on the website, and the day 2 assignment will also be available during the same period.

    So that means that even if you come to the event you can still watch all of the sessions you missed, or maybe just re-view sessions you've already attended.

  • Should we bring a laptop to the event / is there wifi?

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