SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Stackify Blog, Zakia Bouachraoui, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan

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$20 from Microsoft for Downloading System Center & Free Training (US only)

Microsoft Private Cloud

This is cool. Microsoft is willing to PAY you to try some software and learn some stuff. And you could also win a very slick laptop in the process.

"Huh? Seriously?"

Explore Microsoft's Private Cloud

Well.. in a sense. We're announcing today an opportunity for a limited (roughly 5,000) number of people to get a $20 coupon for the Microsoft Store, simply by doing two things:

  1. Download the Private Cloud evaluation software. (System Center 2012 Release Candidate, and Windows Server 2008 R2 w/SP1 evaluation). If prompted for a Promo Code, enter "CLOUD".
  2. Sign-up for and go through a Virtual Lab entitled "Explore Microsoft's Private Cloud".

And once those two items are completed, Microsoft will e-mail you and the other first 4,999 people that complete it) a code redeemable for $20 off at the Microsoft Store.

NOTE: It is VERY important that you provide valid information with your Live ID sign in, because that's how we will be able to reward you, and it's to that e-mail address that we will send the code to retrieve your $20 coupon for use at the Online Store.

"Hey John, what about that ‘slick laptop' you mentioned?"

How slick is this?...

That's one slick laptop!

A Lenovo W520 15.6"

Check out these specs:

  • 2nd generation Intel® CoreTM i7-2760QM Processor ( 2.40GHz 1333MHz 6MB )
  • 15.6" HD AntiGlare 1920x1080
  • NVIDIA Quadro 2000M 2GB
  • 32 GB PC3-10600 DDR3 SDRAM 1333MHz
  • 160GB SSD SATA
  • DVD R/W
  • Bluetooth
  • Intel 6300
  • Webcam
  • Smart Card
  • TPM
  • Fingerprint Reader
  • 9cell battery
  • Windows 7

Important: Remember - There are a limited number of $20 coupons available (about 5,000) and are given out on a first come first serve basis; and only one per person. This promotional offer is only valid in the United States. Whether you get a $20 coupon or not, you will still be entered into the drawing for the W520. You can enter multiple times for the raffle - you just have to complete the two steps each time. Please read the full Rules on the Microsoft Private Cloud Offer Site, as my disclaimer only has a portion of the full rules.

So.. what are you waiting for?

  1. Download the software (Promo code: CLOUD, if asked)
  2. Do the Virtual Lab,
  3. Get your $20 coupon (while supplies last), and
  4. Maybe win a laptop!

For the full scoop, check out the main site.

More Stories By John Weston

John Weston is a Cloud IT Pro Evangelist for Microsoft.http://aka.ms/syscntr During the last ten years he has spoken to thousands of IT Professionals across the country. Before joining Microsoft full time, he spent six years as an MCT, training people at a local college and getting new Microsoft hires up to speed. He holds more certifications than he can remember, but the list definitely includes MCITP, MCSE, MCDBA, MCT, and CCNA. Before becoming and MCT, Weston co-owned a software development and consulting firm that was a Microsoft Partner based in Dallas. His primary blog includes http://blogs.technet.com/b/jweston.

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