Power Together

Microsoft has closed the door on the deal for their Windows Vista and Office 2007 giveaway. CNet is reporting that the magical download number was 30,000 and earlier today Vista was the first to “sell” out but Office 2007 was soon to follow.

The “Power Together” site that Microsoft created to promote this giveaway is now just a site that will have little to no value for most of the people who have already visited it. I’m sure the 30,000 people who got involved in this giveaway will say that the site had a lot value though, and probably not because they learned something from the webcasts. ;)

One thing that I’m not quite sure about from CNet’s article is whether there were 30,000 people total that will receive the products or if there are 30,000 for Office 2007 and 30,000 for Vista. Either way, with 15,000 people for each and at a retail price of $299 for Vista Business and $499 for Office 2007 Professional you are talking $11.97 million in giveaways from Microsoft. I would say that is pretty impressive.

Where’s the catch? Well…despite the believe that this was a no-strings attached there is one small little detail that some people may not be aware of. CNet mentions that anyone who receives the products will have to pay takes on them:

Those who are getting both the free Office and Vista copies will have to fill out an IRS tax form–and eventually pay Uncle Sam–to get both titles.

“Since the combined retail value of the products is above $600 retail for developers who chose to participate in both offers, the IRS requires Microsoft to have the developers send back a signed W9 form before they receive the second item,” a Microsoft representative said.

I’m not sure what kind of cost it will be for the taxes but I can’t imagine it would be very much. After all, you will be getting more than $800 in free software…so most people probably won’t complain.

On a side note Microsoft also made the trial versions of Office 2007 available today and they are good for 60-days after installation. Thanks for the tip on that one Jeff!