Free Windows Vista for Bug Testers

Dennis Faas's picture

It pays to play doctor.

Although in real life -- where people get hurt and receive unfortunate diseases -- doctors are paid handsomely for saving lives. And, in the sometimes strange tech world, those who merely pretend to be doctors reap all of the rewards.

That's because those developers who helped test Microsoft's new operating system, Vista, are being offered free copies of the upcoming OS. There's just one little white lining to the proceedings: they must have found a potentially sickening bug in the system.

The requirements really are simple. If you were one of the exclusive beta testers for Microsoft's Vista and openly reported a legitimate bug, then you are qualified for a free version of the company's Business or Ultimate editions. For those who aren't aware, each of these versions can be considered the most feature-laden of the Vista releases. (source:

Why is Microsoft being so friendly?

Test manager for the Windows Beta, Paul Donnelly, reports on the official Windows website that the initiative represents "a balance, and I decided to err on the side of customer happiness in requiring only a single bug to qualify." (source:

Since each free copy of Business or Ultimate Vista costs about $399 -- and, obviously, this doesn't include the lesser upgrade price -- that's quite the gift from Microsoft. It's supposed to represent a heart-felt "thank you" to those who worked hard -- even moderately hard -- to make the OS what it is.

Estimates mark down about 5,000 beta testers for freebie versions of Vista, costing Microsoft somewhere around $2,000,000.

I wonder what Bill Gates would look like in a Santa suit?

| Tags:
Rate this article: 
No votes yet