Official Rules

No Purchase Necessary.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are entering as an authorized representative of a business or company, it is your sole responsibility to review and understand your employer’s policies regarding your eligibility to participate in trade promotions. If you are entering as an authorized solutions provider on behalf of a customer, you must have that customer’s permission to submit any proprietary information. If you are participating in violation of your employer’s policies or without a necessary customer approval, you may be disqualified. Microsoft disclaims any and all liability or responsibility for disputes arising between an entrant and their employer or customer.

Common Terms Used In These Rules:

These are the official rules that govern how the Microsoft System Center and Virtualization Community Contribution Contest (“Contest”) will operate. This promotion will be simply referred to as the "Contest" throughout the rest of these rules.

In these rules, "we," "our," and "us" refer to Microsoft Corporation, the sponsor of the Contest. "You" refers to an eligible contest entrant.

CONTEST DESCRIPTION:

This is a skill-based Contest. The object of this Contest is to recognize and reward System Center Influencer Program members who are posting helpful and relevant technology-related blogs. For purposes of this Contest, the blogs that you post and the responses submitted by visitors together will be referred to as an “Entry.” All eligible Entries received will be judged using the criteria described below to determine the winners of the prizes described below.

This Contest is hosted in the United States, and entry information is collected on computers in the United States. This Contest will be governed by the laws of the State of Washington, and you consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the courts of the State of Washington for any disputes arising out of this Contest. If you do not agree with this provision and these Official Rules, please do not enter this Contest.

WHAT ARE THE START AND END DATES?

This contest starts at 1:00 a.m. PT on Monday, November 9, 2009, and ends at 12:00 p.m. (Midnight) PT on April 30, 2010 ("Entry Period"). The Entry Period consists of 6 separate Monthly Prize Periods as follows:

  • Prize Period 1: 1:00 a.m. (PT) November 9, 2009 - November 30, 2009 11:59 p.m. (PT)
  • Prize Period 2: 12:01a.m. (PT), December 1, 2009 - December 31, 2009 11:59 p.m. (PT)
  • Prize Period 3: 12:01 a.m. (PT), January 1, 2010 - January 31, 2010 11:59 p.m. (PT)
  • Prize Period 4: 12:01 a.m. (PT), February 1, 2010 - February 28, 2010 11:59 p.m. (PT)
  • Prize Period 5: 12:01 a.m. (PT), March 1, 2010 - March 31, 2010 11:59 p.m. (PT)
  • Prize Period 6: 12:01 a.m. (PT), April 1, 2010 - April 30, 2010 11:59 p.m. (PT)

Entries will only be eligible for Monthly Prize Period in which they are received.

Participants should visit http://www.worldtimeserver.com/ , or similar time zone calculator, to determine local time.

CAN I ENTER?

You are eligible to enter this Contest if you meet the following requirements at time of entry:

  • You are a technology / software solutions developer and are a registered member of the System Center Influencer Program at the time of entry; and
  • You are NOT an employee of Microsoft Corporation or an employee of a Microsoft subsidiary; and
  • You are NOT involved in any part of the administration and execution of this Contest; and
  • You are NOT an immediate family (parent, sibling, spouse, child) or household member of a Microsoft employee, an employee of a Microsoft subsidiary, or a person involved in any part of the administration and execution of this Contest.
  • You are NOT a resident of any of the following countries/jurisdictions: Cuba; Iran; North Korea or Sudan

HOW DO I ENTER AND WIN?

You must be part of the System Center Influencers Program to be eligible to win. If you are not already a registered member of the System Center Influencer Program, you must visit http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/ee532416.aspx and request permission to join. Registration is free, however you submit your name, a photograph of yourself, a description of your professional credentials, and obtain a free Windows Live ID.

Each month during the Entry Period, a unique technology topic will be posted on the System Center Influencer Program website, and members will be invited to blog on the topic.

To register and enter, you must email SCNETSUP@microsoft.com before the close of any Monthly Prize Period listed above, with a list of all internet sites that feature your personal “blog” comments. Each Month we will provide specific technology topics. For the purposes of this Contest, your blog comments must be relevant to the topic for that month’s Prize Period. For the purposes of this Contest, all entrants’ blog posts and comments must be in English for English speaking administrators and must disclose that you are participating as a member of the System Center Influencer Program Contest. Your personal blog sites will be tracked and you will receive points for posting blog comments relevant to that month’s topic as follows:

  • Blog is technically accurate and relevant to that Monthly Prize Period’s technology topic = 2 point
  • Value to the community as measured by 3rd-party blog tool truVoice= 2 points

Points will only be awarded to blogs and comments that are coherent, salient and relevant to that Monthly Prize Period’s topic. Any blogs or comments that are off topic, inappropriate or incoherent will not be counted for the purposes of this Contest.

At the close of each Monthly Prize Period, the two entrants with the highest number of points will each receive the prize listed below. Points earned in one Monthly Prize Period will not carry over to subsequent Monthly Prize Periods. In the event of a tie, a panel of Microsoft judges will review all tied entry and select a winner based on expertise of blogger and relevance to topic. The decisions of Microsoft are final and binding.

We are not responsible for entries that we do not or could not be tracked for any reason, or for entries that we receive but are not decipherable for any reason.

WHAT CONTITUTES AN ELIGIBLE ENTRY?

To be eligible for judging, your Entry must meet the following content / technical requirements:

  • All entry materials must be submitted in English for English speaking judges; and
  • your Entry must be your own original work; and
  • your Entry cannot have been selected as a winner in any other contest; and
  • you must have obtained any and all consents, approvals or licenses required for you to submit your Entry; and
  • your Entry must not otherwise violate the rights of any other person or company by using their trademarks, music, logos, names or images either without express written consent of the rights holder(s) or a reasonably apparent lawful basis for your use(s).

Entries may NOT contain, as determined by us, in our sole and absolute discretion, any content that:

  • is sexually explicit, unnecessarily violent or derogatory of any ethnic, racial, gender, religious, professional or age group; profane or pornographic;
  • promotes alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco, firearms/weapons (or the use of any of the foregoing) or a particular political agenda;
  • is obscene or offensive;
  • defames, misrepresents or contains disparaging remarks about other people or companies;
  • contains trademarks, logos, or trade dress (such as distinctive packaging or building exteriors/interiors) owned by others either without express written consent of the rights holder(s)
  • contains copyrighted materials owned by others (including photographs, sculptures, paintings, and other works of art or images published on or in websites, television, movies or other media) without express written consent of the rights holder(s);
  • contains materials embodying the names, likenesses, voices, or other indicia identifying any person (other than a member of your family, work or community for whom you have received consent) including, without limitation, celebrities and/or other public or private figures, living or dead either without express written consent of the rights holder(s);
  • contains look-alikes of celebrities or other public or private figures, living or dead either without express written consent of the rights holder(s);
  • communicates messages or images inconsistent with the positive images and/or good will to which we wish to associate; and/or violates any law;

We reserve the right to investigate and verify, conditionally reject (with an opportunity to cure), or reject outright any tendered Entry, in our sole and absolute discretion, that we in good faith determine may not, or does not, meet the above criteria or any terms and conditions in these rules.

WINNER SELECTION AND PRIZES

Each month, the two highest scoring entrants will each receive a US$100 Visa gift certificate. A total of twelve will be awarded over the Entry Period.

Limit one prize per person, however, previous prize winners will receive recognition of achievement if they are the highest performing entrant in subsequent months. In that event, the prize will be awarded to a runner-up prize winner.

If you are a potential winner, we will notify you by sending an email message within 24 hours following the contest selection. If the notification that we send is returned as undeliverable, or you are otherwise unreachable for any reason, we may award the prize to an alternate, randomly selected winner.

If there is a dispute as to who is the potential winner, we will consider the potential winner to be the authorized account holder of the social media account used to enter the contest. If you are a potential winner, we may require you to sign an Affidavit of Eligibility, Liability/Publicity Release and a W-9 tax form or W-8 BEN tax form within 10 days of notification. If you are a potential winner and you are 18 or older, but are considered a minor in your place of legal residence, we may require your parent or legal guardian to sign all required forms on your behalf. If you do not complete the required forms as instructed and/or return the required forms or indicate acceptance within the time period listed on the winner notification message, we may disqualify you and select an alternate, winner.

If you are confirmed as a winner of this Contest:

  • You may not exchange your prize for cash or any other merchandise or services. However, if for any reason an advertised prize is unavailable, we reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value; and
  • You may not designate someone else as the winner. If you are unable or unwilling to accept your prize, we will award it to an alternate potential winner; and
  • If you accept a prize, you will be solely responsible for all applicable taxes related to accepting the prize; and
  • If you are otherwise eligible for this contest, but are considered a minor in your place of residence, we may award the prize to your parent/legal guardian on your behalf; and
  • Unless otherwise noted, all prizes are subject to their manufacturer's warranty and / or terms and conditions.

HOW WILL MY ENTRY BE POTENTIALLY USED?

Other than what is set forth below, we are not claiming any ownership rights to your entry. However, by submitting your entry, you:

  • are granting us an irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide right and license to: (i) use, review, assess, test and otherwise analyze your entry and all its content in connection with this Contest; and (ii) feature your entry and all content in connection with the promotion of this Contest in all media (now known or later developed);
  • except where prohibited, hereby waive any and all so-called “moral rights” or any similar right that you may have or hereinafter acquire in the entry and all its content, and to the extent that you cannot, you hereby consent to us doing or omitting to do any act that would otherwise infringe such “moral rights” or any such similar rights;
  • agree to sign any necessary documentation that may be required for us and our designees to make use of the rights you granted above;
  • understand and acknowledge that the Promotion Parties may have developed or commissioned materials similar or identical to your submission and you waive any claims you may have resulting from any similarities to your entry;
  • understand that we cannot control the incoming information you will disclose to our representatives in the course of entering, or what our representatives will remember about your entry. You also understand that we will not restrict work assignments of representatives who have had access to your entry. By entering this Contest, you agree that use of information in our representatives’ unaided memories in the development or deployment of our products or services does not create liability for us under this agreement or copyright or trade secret law;
  • understand that you will not receive any compensation or credit for use of your entry, other than what is described in these Official Rules

Please note that following the end of this Contest your entry may be posted on a website selected by us for viewing by visitors to that website. We are not responsible for any unauthorized use of your entry by visitors to this website. While we reserve these rights, we are not obligated to use your entry for any purpose, even if it has been selected as a winning entry. If you do not want to grant us these rights to your entry, please do not enter this Contest.

WHAT OTHER CONDITIONS ARE YOU AGREEING TO BY ENTERING THIS CONTEST?

By entering this Contest you agree:

  • To abide by these Official Rules; and
  • To release and hold harmless Microsoft, and its respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, employees and agents from any and all liability or any injury, loss or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with this Sweepstakes or any prize won; and
  • That Microsoft's decisions will be final and binding on all matters related to this Sweepstakes; and
  • That by accepting a prize, Microsoft may use your Twitter username, proper name and state of residence online and in print, or in any other media, in connection with this Sweepstakes, without payment or compensation to you, except where prohibited by law.

WHAT LAWS GOVERN THE WAY THIS CONTEST IS EXECUTED AND ADMINISTRATED?

This Contest will be governed by the laws of the State of Washington, and you consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the courts of the State of Washington for any disputes arising out of this contest.

WHAT IF SOMETHING UNEXPECTED HAPPENS AND THE CONTEST CAN'T RUN AS PLANNED?

If cheating, a virus, bug, catastrophic event, or any other unforeseen or unexpected event that cannot be reasonably anticipated or controlled, (also referred to as force majeure) affects the fairness and / or integrity of this Contest, we reserve the right to cancel, change or suspend this Contest. This right is reserved whether the event is due to human or technical error. If a solution cannot be found to restore the integrity of the Contest, we reserve the right to select winners from among all eligible entries received before we had to cancel, change or suspend the Contest.

If you attempt to compromise the integrity or the legitimate operation of this Contest by hacking or by cheating or committing fraud in ANY way, we may seek damages from you to the fullest extent permitted by law. Further, we may ban you from participating in any of our future Contest, so please play fairly.

HOW CAN YOU FIND OUT WHO WON?

We will post the names of winners who received a prize worth $25.00 or more online at http://blogs.technet.com/systemcenter/default.aspx . This list will remain posted until June 30, 2010.

WHO IS SPONSORING THIS CONTEST?

Microsoft Corporation One Microsoft Way Redmond, WA 98052