We are proud to announce the Virtual Machine on Windows Azure competition here in New Zealand. Get a solid understanding of Virtual Machines in Windows Azure and be in to win an Xbox + Kinect + Forza Horizon + Halo 4 combo!

Windows Azure is Microsoft’s public cloud computing platform and it has great Infrastructure-As-A-Service features. You can easily deploy and run Windows Server and Linux virtual machines on it in minutes.

With this competition we want to encourage New Zealand IT Pros and Developers to try Windows Azure and create a new Virtual Machine. Please read on for details.

Prize & Dates

Your first prize will be learning more about Windows Azure! But the main prize is a chance to win an Xbox Prize Pack which includes:

1)      Xbox 360 250GB Console
2)      Kinect sensor
3)      Forza Horizon Game
4)      Halo 4 Game

Eligible entries must be New Zealand participants who enter before 11:59pm on 30 May 2013
 
So what are you waiting for!? Let's see how you can enter...

How To Enter:

There are two parts to entering the competition:

1: Create a Small Virtual Machine on Azure

a. Get access to either:

                    i. A free 3-month Windows Azure trial or

                    ii. An Azure Subscription associated with an MSDN account or

                    iii. A paid Windows Azure subscription
 

This blog post explains the experience of getting a trial subscription in detail (some of the steps might have changed slightly).

b. Create your Virtual Machine! There are many ways to create a new Virtual Machine on Windows Azure (Quick Create, from the Gallery, or through the VM Depot). Scott Guthrie talks about them in his blog. Here’s instructions for the Quick Create:

                    i. Sign into the Windows Azure Management Portal and click the big plus sign at the
                       bottom  of the page:

                    ii. Go into Compute -> Virtual Machine -> Quick Create, and fill out the details for a new
                        small size Virtual Machine of your choice at the datacentre of your choice, and then click
                        on Create a Virtual Machine:                

                    iii. Your virtual machine will go through its provisioning stages: first as Starting
                        (Provisioning), then  change to Starting, then Running (Provisioning) then finally
                        Running. Once it has changed to Running click on the Virtual Machine name:

 

                    iv. Then click on Dashboard at the top:

                    v.  And voilá! Take a screenshot of the Virtual Machine dashboard to send to us like this:

That’s it! You now have a Virtual Machine running on Windows Azure, you can connect to it using the Connect button which gives you an RDP access to it for you to play around. Perhaps install a web server on it and open port 80 to expose a website? To learn more, go to the Windows Azure Virtual Machines page.


2: Submit it to us

Once you are up and running, email us three  pieces of information: a Printscreen of the dashboard of you new Virtual Machine where the details on the page are readable; your contact details; and the Microsoft account (formerly Live ID) associated with the Windows Azure subscription used to create the virtual machine.

Important Notes

- Any 3 Month Trial or new MSDN Subscription activation comes with a $0 spending limit so you don’t need to worry about getting charged. The credit card step is for identification purposes and in case you switch to a full Azure subscription later or remove the spending limit. 
- If using an existing subscription with spending limit turned off you are responsible for ensuring the virtual machine doesn’t go over your allocation, or accept that there might be charges.
- If you have an MSDN subscription and haven’t activated your Azure allocation, I would recommend going with that instead of the trial. This way, you can leave your contribution running for as long as your MSDN subscription is active and, if you have a great idea for an Azure solution, you will have your access all setup and ready to go!
 
Good luck, and thank you in advance for participating!

 

Virtual Machine in Windows Azure Competition - Terms and Conditions:

Eligibility
1. By entering this competition you agree to be bound by these terms and conditions.
2. To be eligible for the competition, you must be a New Zealand Resident.
How to enter
3. To enter you must:
          (a) email msdnnz@microsoft.com before 11:59pm on 30 May 2013, with a printscreen of the dashboard of your new Virtual Machine from the Windows Azure Management Portal, the Microsoft account associated with the Windows Azure subscription used to create the virtual machine, and your contact details
4. Use of the Windows Azure website, including creating your account, signing up for new offers, and changing your contact and billing information is subject to the Windows Azure Terms of Use.
5. Prizes and award criteria:
       (a) Only one entry per Windows Azure subscription is allowed. 
       (b) Each and every valid entry created and submitted by 11:59pm on 30 May 2013 will go in the random draw to win one combo consisting of 1 Xbox 360 250GB, 1 Kinect, 1 Forza Horizon and 1 Halo 4.

General
9. Prizes will be allocated on the 1st of June 2013, and winners will be notified by the 8th of June 2013, via the email address used to submit the entry to msdnnz@microsoft.com, as specified in clause 3.
10. Microsoft is not responsible for entries not received and incomplete, illegible, 'hacked' or otherwise fraudulent entries are not valid.
11. Prizes will be delivered to a New Zealand address that each winner nominates, at Microsoft's expense.
12. It is a condition of accepting any prize that the prize winner agrees to participate in publicity generated by Microsoft (or Microsoft’s marketing partners), and agrees to the use of their name and photo for promotional purposes.
13. Employees of Microsoft (and each of their immediate family members) and independent contractors of Microsoft (and each of their immediate family members) are not eligible to enter.
14. Prizes are not transferable or redeemable for cash. If you are unable or unwilling to accept your prize, Microsoft may award it to an alternate winner.
15. If you accept a prize you will be solely responsible for all applicable taxes related to accepting the prize.
16. If for any reason an advertised prize is unavailable, Microsoft may substitute the advertised prize for another prize which has approximately the same recommended retail price.
17. If there is a dispute as to who submitted the winning entry, the winner will be the authorized account holder of the Microsoft account associated with the Windows Azure subscription used to create the Virtual Machine. Entries submitted in to the draw must be submitted by the actual owner of the Microsoft account.
18. Microsoft New Zealand Limited is the promoter of this prize draw and may modify these terms and conditions without notice.
19. Microsoft reserves the right to cancel, suspend or change the competition or any element of the competition for any reason, including any cancellation, suspension or change necessitated by any event outside Microsoft’s control.
20. The judge's decision in relation to the winners or any other aspect of this prize draw is final and no correspondence will be entered into.
21. Microsoft may disqualify, from participating in this prize draw, any person who tampers with the entry process, or submits an entry not in accordance with these terms and conditions.
22. Microsoft is committed to complying with the Government gift and ethics policies. Employees and independent contractors of the Government must adhere to gift and ethics policies applicable to them when entering this prize draw or accepting any prize.
23. Microsoft is not responsible for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network or lines, servers or providers, or any combination thereof. Nor is it responsible for any incorrect or inaccurate information caused by any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilised in this prize draw, or by any technical or human error that may occur in the course of the administration of this prize draw.
24. To the extent permitted by law, Microsoft, its retailers, suppliers, associated companies and agencies will not be liable to you for any direct, indirect or consequential loss or damage whatsoever, including personal injury, which is suffered as a result of, or arising from, your participation in the prize draw or winning (or not winning) any prize.
25. Microsoft is not responsible for any credit card charges incurred as a result of, or arising from, the use of your Windows Azure account. We recommend that you use a new 3-month trial subscription, or activate the benefits of an MSDN subscription, for your entry. In both of these cases, a Windows Azure 'spending limit' of $0 will be enabled by default. Removing this spending limit, or using a Windows Azure subscription that does not have a spending limit, will leave your credit card open to incurring charges. Note that, once disabled, a spending limit cannot be re-enabled.
26. At Microsoft, we are committed to protecting your privacy. Microsoft will collect and use your details for the purposes of running this prize draw and to send you promotional material that may be of interest to you, as set out in clause 27 below. You can access or request correction of your details by emailing uptodate@microsoft.com.
27. By entering this competition, you consent to Microsoft New Zealand Limited sending you marketing and promotional material by email or using any of your other contact details Microsoft may have.
28. Microsoft reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to withhold the award of any or all prizes if entries do not meet the criteria set out in these terms and conditions.