Have we reached 1000 winners yet? (UK developer launch)

I have just received the first set of data re the number of winners in the launch competition. The answer may surprise you:

We’ve had many (many!) thousands of entries, and I can confirm that we’re past the 1000 mark for Windows Vista winners. However for Microsoft Office we have not quite reached the thousand yet – we’re close, but not quite there.

So if you’re interested in a copy Office Professional 2007 now’s a good time to get your competition entry in! Here’s the link: http://www.microsoft.com/uk/launch2007/dev/competition.mspx

UPDATE: It has been pointed out to me that the Office winner position is correct as of about 24 hours ago when the data extract was performed. It’s possible that since that time we’ve had sufficient winners to push it over the limit. Apologies for not making that clear straight away.  I’ve requested another data pull so we can keep updated on the situation

Comments (64)

  1. Arsen says:

    Hi Ian,

    Thanks a lot for this chance to win Vista and Office and for regular updates on this blog. Do you have any info on when will we know if we are winners or not? Do we have to wait until Feb, 19?



  2. Yiannis says:

    Sweet 🙂 Any idea on when the relevant emails are going to be sent out?

  3. Ian Moulster says:

    I’m told that we need to wait until we have all of the winners for both products, and even then it will take a while for the emails to be processed. As usual I’ll keep you folks updated as regularly as I can on how this is going, I know that people are keen to find out if they’re a winner or not.

    So I’ll keep pushing. Of course, the competition doesn’t close until Feb 19th but I’d very much like for us to send the emails before then if we have a full set of winners.

  4. Bill says:

    So now that you have the 1000 lucky Vista winners! could you please tell us what was the answer for the Vista Question?

    🙂 I answer Expedia… hope is right… fingers cross.


  5. Chris January says:

    So is it certain that going back and changing, e.g. from just answering the Windows Vista question to answering both, won’t change the timestamp on the entry (and therefore make the Vista entry useless since you’ve already passed the 1000 entries mark)?

  6. Damien says:

    Did they mention when the 1000 mark was passed for Vista?

  7. apwestgarth says:

    Am I right in assuming that if you attended the event at TVP on the 19th/20th you can’t enter the online competition?

  8. Dan says:

    Cool. I don’t suppose there are any stats on when you got the last 1000th correct submission for Vista?

    lol, I’m such a geek. I want my Vista! 😉

  9. John says:

    I’d be interested in answering the Office question, but as Chris mentioned above, I don’t want to invalidate my Vista entry by doing so.

  10. Ian Moulster says:

    You can enter both competitions, either at the same time by choosing the "both" option, or by doing so individually at different times.

  11. Chris Mossom says:

    Thanks for the update Ian.

    Would be nice to know a rough idea when the 1000th correct Vista answer came in.

    Fingers crossed!! I entered about 4mins after the competition opened. :S

  12. Jim says:

    Does no one find it strange how these comments were added before the blog entry?

  13. John says:

    Thanks Ian.

    I’ve just sent my entry for Office.

    Once again, thanks for a great launch, just wish I could have been there in person.

  14. Ian Moulster says:

    Chris – my understanding (and this is unofficial) is that we hit 1000 correct answers for the Windows Vista competition within one hour of the competition opening. Of course, the Windows Vista competition only required one answer so it was slightly easier.

    Jim – it’s some kind of timezone voodoo stuff, I wouldn’t read too much into it. I agree it looks weird though.

  15. Alastair says:

    I’m putting my faith in you Ian 😉 I had already entered the competition, just answering the Vista question.  I have now answered the Office question.  I am keeping my fingers crossed that they are both valid.  I know you just quoted that two separate entries were OK, but I’m and old cynic LOL.  I bet you cannot wait for all of this to be over and get back to normality 😉

  16. Paul says:

    Jim: the comments’ time is East Coast American, whereas the blog entry’s time is GMT.

  17. Rob says:

    @Bill; I gave the same answer within the first 15mins so I’m pretty hopeful as well 😀

    Thanks for the update Ianm 🙂

  18. Stephen says:

    Great stuff, although now I know I didn’t get Vista (ah well!) didn’t think it would of maxed out that fast!

  19. PaulE says:


    Thanks for the update!  If we entered the Vista only option are we allowed to go back and do the Office 2007 only one now?

  20. Chris Mossom says:

    @Bill – I guess you mean Experian?!? Take it I can say that now that the Vista slot is full?

    One hour eh? Well I was thinking maybe a little faster than that, glad I had the day off work to attend the online launch (and yes I am a real life developer).

    Ian thanks again for providing interesting and informative videos along with a fair competition.

  21. brian says:

    So have emails been sent out yet to the winners?

  22. Ian Moulster says:

    Thanks Chris.

    Re giving the answer: Regardless of whether we have all of the winners or not, I feel I should wait until after the official end of the competition before saying anything.

    But to be honest if you watch the videos it’s pretty obvious! Well, it is to me anyhow 🙂

  23. Ian Moulster says:

    Brian – not yet, no. See 3rd comment on this blog post.

  24. myITforum Daily Newsletter Daily Newsletter January 31, 2007 The myITforum.com newsletter is delivered

  25. Omar says:

    wow, I really missed the boat on my Vista entry then. I entered at 2am on 20th.

  26. gl says:

    Good stuff.  Did you get an answer about if editing your entry, either by just adding to it (in my case), or modifying it, invalidates it?

  27. Mike Hudgell says:

    As a comment for next time, the Left-Hand menu on the dev page wasn’t very usable on Pocket IE on a smartphone.

    Until the competition link appeared on the right, it wasn’t accessible…

    Opera Mini managed it fine however…

  28. Paul Smith says:

    …one hour!

    I was on baby sitting duty until about 8:00pm. I guess I’ve got to pay out £250 for the Ultimate Upgrade then.

    I could have paid a babysitter s/w developer rates for a couple of hours and still saved money!

  29. Ian Moulster says:

    Mike – good feedback, thanks

  30. Alastair says:

    I answered the Vista question in 39 minutes, so I’m in suspenders :s lol.

  31. Damien says:

    Aye, I answered it within half an hour! Any more info yet?

  32. Alastair says:

    Just had an email from Microsoft, my heart almost stopped for a moment, but it was only my Technet newsletter 🙁 LOL

  33. Mark says:

    I think I must have been amongst the first, as I sat there ready to leave work, refreshing the browser repeatedly until the competition link showed up. Will be well chuffed if I win Vista – will save me having to explain to the wife why we need to spend money on a new operating system, and on upgrading the computer to run it!

    Anyway, well done to the presenters, it was a really good set of presentations to watch. The WPF one was my favourite, and the London Underground demo was very impressive.

  34. Joe says:

    Hi Ian,

    I entered both but I know that I got the Office question wrong- but the Vista question right and within one hour.

    Did I have to get both right to win Vista?


  35. Ian Moulster says:

    Thanks for the comments all.

    Joe, on your specific question, these are actually two separate competitions so you’re ok. I can’t say whether you’re a winner yet – there are various legal and verification processes that need to be followed before we have the final list.

  36. gl says:

    Ian, did you get an answer about if editing your entry, either by just adding to it (in my case), or modifying it, invalidates it?

  37. Dominic says:

    Uh-oh – when I went back to submit my Office answer, I’d read the comments here about it ‘updating’, and I noticed it kept my original answers, so I changed it to ‘both’. Does this mean I’ve entered the Vista comp twice and invalidated my entry?

    Also, when I went back to submit my Office answer, it was some time (days) later, so well out the Vista 1000 entries time, ‘though my first answer was a few minutes inside. If I’m still eligible, which counts?

    Many thanks, Ian, hope you’ve not got much else on other than this competition!

  38. Ian Moulster says:


    "Not got much else on" ….. if only 🙂

    Actually this competition is owned by a group of people, I’m just the one who blogs about it. And yes, I have another life somewhere, but the competition is important and I realise that people are – rightly – interested in it and in the fate of their entries.

    So regarding your question and other similar questions about multiple entries, corrections, etc. I am not able to comment at the moment as there are legal issues – we obviously have to adhere to the terms and conditions and I’m not qualified to make judgements. I’m leaving that to the legal people.

    Which means I can’t answer any individual questions of this type, but please believe me when I say we’ll do what we can to make this fair within the restrictions of our legal obligations.

    I can’t go further than that. sorry I can’t be clearer.

  39. Ian says:

    Like many people entering the comp I was anxious to get my entry in asap. Also I suspect like many people, I found one of the Partners in the videos for the Office 2007 part and fired the answer off. In all fairness we only have ourselves to blame as the question quite clearly said which customers and their experiences ie plural.

    Thanks Ianm – your eagerness to keep us mortals informed is much appreciated

  40. Alastair says:

    Never mind Ian it’s the weekend soon 😉

  41. gl says:

    Understood, thanks for keeping us informed.

  42. Mike says:

    It sounds as though the Vista competition is more popular than the Office competition. I have an idea to encourage more entries to the Office competition and so reach the winning post of 1000 correct entries sooner. The idea is to upgrade the prize from Office Professional 2007 to Office Ultimate 2007. I believe the competition T&Cs allow for that, if Microsoft wanted to do it. It would give the lucky winners access to the extra products that come with the Ultimate edition, as well as encouraging more entries.

  43. Dominic says:

    Yeah, I understand, Ian. You’re doing a splendid job, though, nice work.

    As an aside, in my instance, I see the T&Cs say that only one entry will be accepted, which suggests more to me that the first answer will be the one that counts, rather than a second answer will violate the first. And as Vista and Office are separate competitions, perhaps choosing just Vista enters me in the first one, and changing it to ‘both’ later enters me in the second. Anyway, I know it’s not your place to decide, I’m just rambling!

    Have a nice easy Sunday.

  44. Ian Moulster says:

    Mike – I would love to do that (upgrade the Office version to Ultimate) but it’s not possible unfortunately. We did explore it at the time.

    We actually got a similar number of entries for Office, but many of them did not have the right answer. So the main reason it has taken longer for Office to hit the 1000 is the lack of *correct* answers, not the lack of answers generally.

    However….we’re very likely to be past the winning post for Office already, we were very close when we did the first review last week.

  45. Jonothan Kinaston says:

    Hmmm, I seem to remember in the T&Cs it said you could send an email to volaunch@microsoft.com to enter competion without answering question… so would these be valid?

  46. David Bailey says:

    I guess we are just gonna have to wait until the closing date.  Not sure why they just couldn’t state that on recepit of 1000 correct entries the competition closes.

    Why would you want to keep on receiving more competition entries beyond the 1000 mark.

  47. IanC says:

    David Bailey asks why would you want to keep on receiving more entries ? Because Microsoft get loads more info on the people registering. Useful and perhaps valuable.

  48. Ian Moulster says:

    Hi David/IanC,

    In hindsight we probably should have built that into the T&Cs ie the competition closes when either the end date is reached or the required number of winners is identified. But there may be legal issues with doing that, I would need to get the lawyers to cover it. One to consider for next time.

    Something you can take to the bank – we aren’t even remotely interested in doing anything clandestine or "sneaky" with this competition eg harvesting contact details for the sake of it. We have no interest in or need to take advantage of the people taking part in the competition, we want this to be a good experience and we’re very (almost insanely) strict about how we use personal data.

    I’m pushing for us to get the announcement of the 1000 winners as soon as we can. It might look like we’re sitting back and waiting for Feb 19th to come around, but that isn’t the way it’s actually happening. Like most things, it’s more tricky to do than it may appear.

    Long-winded way of saying we’re working on this…. 🙂

  49. Max Palmer says:


    I did the same. After reading the terms and conditions I submitted an entry to the specified email address (in the morning) without any answers as I had no time on the day to view the videos. According to the T&Cs this is a valid entry but I wanted to check Ian’s opinion too.


  50. Ian Moulster says:

    Max – as long as you adhered to the requirement as described in the terms and conditions, it is a valid entry

  51. John says:

    So people who sent a blank email and didn’t watch any of the presentations have a large advantage over those who actually watched the presentations before answering.

    What a well thought out and fair contest!

  52. IanC says:

    Interesting point about the alternative email/postcard options. It was probably implied but the terms and conditions didn’nt actually ask for any answers doing it this way (I’ve just checked again)

  53. Just Fred says:

    This is all beginning to sound a little dissapointing, you have a link "Review the Competition Terms and Conditions", which states you can bypass the competitive part altogether.

  54. paul says:

    I don’t seem to recall the T&Cs being released until the competition opened, as they are only linked to from the competition.mspx page, so it didn’t give that much of an advantage, unless you happened to email in the first hour of the competition.

  55. Jits says:

    John: I think this is due to legal reasons – any contests/competitions in the UK need to provide an alternative form of entry such as email / snail-mail. (Maybe so that people with disabilities also have a chance).

  56. DLesser says:

    lord, i can’t wait to find out if i won! i entered within the hour, and i answered experian. i hope it’s correct! oh, and ian, is it just a single license?

  57. TEQ says:

    I’m kicking myself for not properly reading the terms and conditions, but I’m certainly not bitter or angry that people who sent in a blank email stand a chance of winning. I see it as quite fair – it’s almost a quiz within a quiz and those that read the rules ‘advance to go’. Just hope I was quick enough on the vista part as I know I screwed up on the Office part by not reading the question properly and only ticking one box. Ho hum.

  58. Ian Moulster says:

    It’s a legal requirement, not our choice…

  59. David Bailey says:

    The only positive from the T&Cs are that anyone sending in via postcard with no answer, would not have their entry submitted within the first 48hrs. Email on the otherhand is ever so slightly quicker 🙂

  60. Paul Smith says:

    The T’sand C’s state "first 1000 entrants…".

    Does this mean the first 1000 received?  Or, at the end of the promotion period are all the received entrants which are compliant to the participation clause put into a big hat, and then 1000 are selected? Otherwise it may be discriminatory to those entering by post.

    Any legal experts care to comment…..  come on we can keep this blog alive!

  61. Paul Smith says:

    With reference to the question from DLesser:

    I can’t remember the wording of the EULA.  Is it true that a single copy of Office can be installed on a desktop and a laptop at the same time?

  62. MArk Brown says:

    This is excellent news – I just hope I am one of the winners.  I got the Vista question right, however, I just hope I got the Office one correct also.

    Good luck to everyone who entered.


  63. TEQ says:


    The T’sand C’s state "first 1000 entrants…".

    Does this mean the first 1000 received?  Or, at the end of the promotion period are all the received entrants which are compliant to the participation clause put into a big hat, and then 1000 are selected? Otherwise it may be discriminatory to those entering by post.

    Any legal experts care to comment…..  come on we can keep this blog alive!"

    It seems really bizarre to me that people who viewed the videos online would then send an entry in by snail-mail. I for one would be extremely irritated if they did the big hat thing since this was an online competition and the rules clearly stated the ‘first 1000 correct entries’.

  64. Max Palmer says:


    Thanks for the confirmation.