When will the software be sent to the winners? (UK Developer Launch)

I have asked for an update from the team that is getting the copies of Windows Vista and Microsoft Office to send to the winners and delegates at the Thames Valley Park event. The word is still "early March", which is what we expected.

Thought it worth restating this in case you missed it first time around.

"Why so long" you ask? As you might imagine there is a huge demand for copies not just for activities such as we have run here in the UK, but other activities around the world and of course in the retail market. The numbers of DVDs that have been produced is staggering and there's a huge and complex process rolling to satisfy demand and get them shipped, and licence keys issued. So we're a part of that process - the copies you'll receive are actually produced in Ireland.

Anyhow, enough with the excuses. But you can be sure that I'm pushing πŸ™‚

Comments (54)

  1. Damien says:

    So has the competition ended? Do you know who the lucky 1000 are?

  2. Ian Moulster says:

    No, not yet (to both questions). Official end is 19th Feb, however we should have the final list of winners by the end of this week.

    The plan is that we’ll email the winners after that and send the software as soon as we have it.

  3. Bill says:

    Please let us know here: when you send an email to the lucky 1000.

    LOL or it would be even better if we the "after 1000 people" get a "You are not a winner – Too late – wrong answer – go away and buy it yourself" email πŸ™‚ Cheers.

  4. Bill says:

    Please let us know here: when you send an email to the lucky 1000.

    LOL or it would be even better if we the "after 1000 people" get a "You are not a winner – Too late – wrong answer – go away and buy it yourself" email πŸ™‚ Cheers.

  5. Ian Moulster says:

    I’ll definitely do your first suggestion, not too sure about the other one!

  6. markheath says:

    thanks for keeping us informed, Ian

  7. Ian;

    Why are you providing this as a packaged/disk product. I would have expected that this would be NFR (not for resale) and downloadable (with License & Key sent via post – if required for "Licensing").

    Surely Microsoft could save a phenominal amount of cash by not sending disks (and packaging) in the post!

    Then they could afford to run even more competitions!!

    "Super Sugestion Chris, You have been awarded a Bill Gates’ Signed copy of Visual Studio 2005"…… Unfortunately the disk doesn’t work as bill signed the bottom of it (he didn’t want to deface his trademark logos!).

  8. Ian Moulster says:

    We could have done that, but it’s a big download which would have introduced challenges in itself.

    But I like the thinking, maybe we’ll do that next time. As you know, there’s a launch of Visual Studio "Orcas" before too long, and Longhorn Server, so plenty more opportunities πŸ™‚

  9. Mark Brown says:

    What versions of Vista and Ultimate do the winners get?

    Thanks in advance and sorry if the answer is obvious and has already been answered.

  10. Ian Moulster says:

    Hi Mark – it’s Windows Vista Ultimate and Office 2007 Professional.

    The answer isn’t obvious…we should have made it clearer on the site and on the emails to people who attended. It’s on my long list of "stuf we can do better next time".

  11. Mark Brown says:

    Excellent.  I actually submitted acidentally with my wrong live account then did it with my correct one, I hope this doesn’t go against me πŸ™

    I will just have to wait and see… not long now.

  12. Will says:

    Ian – First of all thanks for keeping us all up to date on this!

    Just wondering, are these retail packages – will we get vista 32 & 64 bit ?


  13. Ian Moulster says:

    Will – my understanding is 32 bit, I’ll double check.

    They are the same as boxed versions you’d buy in a shop but will be packaged differently: They have the launch branding on the box/packet.

    I haven’t actually seen them…they’re as rare as the proverbial hen’s teeth at the moment…but I’m sure my colleagues in the appropriate team will have done us proud in terms of the packaging. Having said that it’s the content of the box that matters of course rather than the packaging.

  14. mbrown says:

    Hi Ian,

    I was just wondering – is it winners that will only receive an email or are you planning on sending it to those who got the answer wrong or weren’t one of the 1000 people.



  15. Bill says:

    @Iain comments 10:20am

    Yep but we sure love the packaging – It will be our : "haha I’m fast, resourceful and lucky" in our desk.

  16. Ian Moulster says:

    mbrown: Current plan is to send only to the people who won a copy, not everyone.

    Bill: πŸ™‚

  17. Paul Smith says:

    Packaging is sometimes very important.

    I remember back in the Windows 3.1 to ’95 timescale there was much press about upgrade versions. At that time MS announced that proof of entitlement for an upgrade actually lay with having the manual containing the EULA. Of course to actually perform the upgrade only the "old disks" were important.

    The various PC mags at the time gave the story much coverage with endless discussions about legality and the outcry from users who had thrown out all of the superfluous packaging!

    Fingers crossed for an e-mail in my Hotmail box!

  18. Nick says:

    I thought the 32bit only came on the OEM dvd and the retail dvd having both 32 and 64bit options.

    Is this the case? if so is it the retail or OEM version?

  19. Mike says:

    Questions, questions, questions.

    It’s now easy to see why competition organisers always include a T&C clause like this:

    "No correspondence will be entered into regarding either this offer or these Terms and Conditions."

  20. Nick says:


    I guess people have been looking forward to Vista for a long time and with all the titbits (Marketing, vids, demos etc..) from MS and now are left with lots of questions.

    Kind of waiting at the starting line for the gun to fire before we get the green light to start developing πŸ˜€

  21. acidphosphatase says:

    to Paul Smith:

    Is that Windows Live hotmail, windows live mail, or just old hotmail? LOL.  What a farce that all is.  Ian M, if you can send a strongly worded email to anyone involved in marketing, please tell them to do away with the old names – hotmail = spam.

  22. Mike says:

    I think we are probably being spoilt by Ian’s willingness to answer any questions about the Vista and Office competitions.

    If this was, say, a Kellogg’s Corn Flakes competition, Iβ€˜m sure there wouldn’t be a stream of correspondence about the competition on the web or anywhere else. Instead we would just have to wait to see if we had won, according to the T&Cs of the competition.

  23. mbrown says:


    But would you as excited if you had won a thunderbirds space ship as much as winning windows vista?  

    Vista is a big thing – alot are people are exciting.

    Oh I just want my email πŸ˜€

  24. Mike says:

    Yes, I’d be equally as excited about winning a Thunderbirds space ship; especially if all of its windows had a nice new glass effect.

  25. mbrown says:

    Since you put it like that I think the next gen of a windows OS should come with a thurderbirds space ship πŸ˜€

  26. Mike says:

    I dunno about that but if the Microsoft support model for Vista could be based on the practices and procedures developed on Tracy Island, then that would be cool.

  27. Nick says:

    Or maybe the blueprints for the bluepeter version of Tracy island in WPF πŸ™‚

  28. Arsen says:

    "Official end is 19th Feb, however we should have the final list of winners by the end of this week."

    So, today is the day, or is it tomorrow? πŸ™‚

  29. Ian Moulster says:

    Yeah well note my careful use of the word "should".

    Yes we have the list which is being verified this weekend (I’m on pacific time at the moment so it’s Sunday morning, still half a weekend left…), and being pushed through the process that blasts out the emails. I don’t have confirmed information on how long that will take to result in emails arriving in mailboxes but I can’t believe it will be an enormous amount of time.

  30. mbrown says:

    Excellent – good luck everyone.


    Thanks for keeping us all up-to-date.

  31. Alastair says:

    Just keeping everything crossed at the moment, refreshing my mailbox every few seconds; now that’s obsessive :@ I could be waiting a long time !! Good luck everyone πŸ˜€ I’m not sure what to do with the other 999 copies if I win though ! πŸ˜‰ lol.

  32. mbrown says:

    Ian, I was just wondering if you would be able to post the answers to the questions – just to give those who entered an idea to see if they are in with a chance of winning either Vista or Office?



  33. mbrown says:

    I can’t stop refreshing the page.  I am spending more time refreshing this blog and my inbox than working… oh well maybe the software will just be a week or two late πŸ˜€

    Right back to work hehe…

  34. Ian Moulster says:

    Emails won’t be sent for a few days at best, so don’t hold your breath for too long.

    As for the answers: My preference is to wait until the official competition end on Feb 19th. But surely you know the answers by now? πŸ˜‰

  35. Ian Moulster says:

    Hmm well I have asked for an update from the team who will be sending out the emails, seems it will take slightly longer than we all hoped. It’s likely to be next week before they are sent. The reasons? Email backlog, concerns about sending before official competition ends, etc.

    I’ll let you folks know if the picture changes, I know you want to know the answer…

  36. Chris Mossom says:

    Thanks for the update. It’s refreshing to be kept in the loop for this sort of thing. πŸ˜‰

  37. ALesser says:

    Slight problem. After I entered, my young child went on the computer. I’m not sure what he did, but afterwards I  found out that he’d accidentally re-entered me. Will this disqualify my entry?

  38. Buckie says:

    WoW Ian, this compertition has caused quite a bit of a stir……Patients is a verture all ! I’m sure we’ll all get our rewards in the end….

    getting all excited now about Vista Server and its only on its first beta…LOL

    Good Luck all … and once again cheer’s Ian


  39. Mike says:

    Oh dear; they reckon that software development is a young man’s game but I didn’t think we’d be competing against toddlers, for copies of Vista. This story sounds suspiciously like those eBay bidders who have cats that walked on the keyboard and placed overpriced winning bids, without their owners realising it.

    If the young β€˜un watched eight hours of videos and submitted a correct answer then I say, he deserves to get a copy of Vista!

  40. Paul Smith says:

    Another week!  Oh well, I’m off skiing next week. Hopefully, my inbox wont overflow and bin the long awaited e-mail(s). One for Vista and one for Office!

    Anyone entered the WOW compo on the MS .co.uk site? Did it from home and the final submit keypress was returned by an error message from MS (several times)? Did it from the Office, and got the final keypress in and was asked for name/address details – this time the "enter" was answered by a blank screen? Don’t know how many "entries" it will take to be successful. Each time there is a shed load of videos to whatch. They are worth viewing – once!

  41. Ian Moulster says:

    Hi Paul – I’ll pass your comments to the "wow" competition team. Thanks.

  42. ALesser says:

    No.. I think you misunderstood me. I forgot to close the window, and the child went to the previous page, did something with the answers, and then entered again. I then read in the Terms and Conditions that that wasn’t allowed.

  43. Mike says:


    I’m not trying to suggest that you were doing anything sneaky or underhand with the competition. I just found it an amusing image; a toddler clambering up to the keyboard, recognising the significance of the Vista launch, making an educated guess of which customer appeared in the video and submitting a competition entry.

    Of course, I realise that he was probably tapping the keyboard at random, but it’s amusing none the less. We can only hope that Vista has some sophisticated Bayesian keyboard filtering in place to stop babies and cats from doing future untold damage in cyberspace.

  44. markheath says:

    on the subject of Toddlers and Vista – will it be possible to mute the sound from another applications on another login without doing a fast user switch and closing down the offending application? My children regularly load up CBeebies web pages that play annoying repetitive tunes. Very annoying then when I then log in to my account and I switch on the speakers to listen to something and hear "digger, digger, digger, digger, digger, digger, digger, digger, Digger! Digger!" ad infinitum ad nauseum

  45. mbrown says:


    I did something similar but I am just hoping for a good outcome.  I have an old and new live account and I sometimes check my old one.  However, when I initially entered the comp I used my new one.  But only entered one the Vista question – but it says you can go back and change the answer or enter both.  I did this later and I was signed in with my old account and didn’t realise.  Oh well, fingers crossed.  The accounts are linked ie have same account details anyway. Its not like one had a completely different address.

    I will soon find out – my own stupidity if it goes against me.


  46. ALesser says:

    Yeah, very funny. But seriously now. Ian, will having accidently entered twice disqualify me?

  47. John Davis says:

    Has anybody had a "WOW" moment and won the copy or is it just another sigh of poor marketing gimmicks and being sucked in again.

  48. Steve_G says:

    I don’t know why it takes so long, I mean you should know instantly when you reach 1000 correct entries and stop the competition, then email the winners, so why weeks ?, or am I missing something, In other words I hope I’ve won and I can’t wait to get my hands on Office 2007 :oP

  49. mbrown says:


    haha I know what you mean, the wait is horrible.


    Anymore news… I know it must be a pain being asked all the time – I just want a nice shiney Vista box, and of course the software πŸ˜€

    I really want to start playing with the .Net 3.0 Framework also.

  50. WorWilly says:

    I agree, in this day and age, things happen instantly….well you would think !. 1000 correct entries reached, 1000 e-mails sent out…anything after 1000 an e-mail gets sent saying Sorry but your too late….Well at least thats how it should work.

    Hey Ian, is it the first 1000 correct entries, or is it 1000 entries will be picked from the total of entries ? if the latter you can understand why you have to wait until the end of the compertition, otherwise why wait till the end of the compertition when you know who’s won ?

    We all know we may have to wait a while to get the software but surly you can give out the e-mails to put everyones mind at rest…


  51. neonDragon says:

    It’s not a competition silly, it’s a marketing exercise, that’s why the competition hasn’t ended upon receipt of 1000 correct entries and that’s why it takes so long. If the Vista competition did indeed reach 1000 correct entries an hour after opening and then was instantly closed then it would be a lot of copies of Vista gone with many people afterwards maybe not having such an incentive to watch the videos.

    Either that or Microsoft can’t handle a simple database. I’m pretty sure that isn’t true…

    Anyway, I echo everyone else’s feelings on the matter and hope these notification emails hurry up and get sent. The waiting is the hardest part. πŸ™‚

  52. Ian Moulster says:

    Thanks for the comments. I’ve taken a number of learnings from this competition (and many of those are based on comments people have posted on this blog, so thanks for that). One of them is simply to ensure that in future our terms and conditions allow us to close the competition when we’re aware of the winners. The existing T&Cs didn’t include this which has tied our hands somewhat. And take it from me, lawyers are not flexible people. So while I hear what you’re saying, we’re really not able to do what may appear to be blindlingly obvious.

    The other thing I’ll say is that we aren’t playing games with you, even if it looks like that could be a reason. So we aren’t doing this to artificially inflate the number of webcast viewings, or harvest contact details, or anything else that might be a bit sneaky. If I could I would announce the winners and send the software to you immediately, but our hands are tied.

    I hope that helps a little bit, although I realise what would *really* help is for us to annouce the winners and ship the prizes…..

  53. Betty Burton says:

    I am thrilled to bits – I really did not expect to win (I never do!)but my e-mail arrived yesterday (26th Feb.) and I now await the arrival, with bated breath, of Vista Ultimate!  After the 12th March I am told. Thank you to all involved.

    Good luck to everyone else!

  54. Dale Miller says:

    I won too….   Thanks for that πŸ™‚

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