Category Archives: Contest

#SQLHaikusweeps – We have a winner!

Thank you for participating in our Twitter sweepstakes.

As always, the creativity of our community never fails to amaze.  Congratulations to @dragonfurther for the winning haiku.


 

Notable mentions include entries from @John_Deardurff and @sdevanny

 

 


 

We look forward to seeing everyone at PASS Summit 2014.  Can’t make it in person?  Don’t miss the live streaming of the keynotes on November 5th and 6th at www.passsummit.com



2014 PASS Summit Haiku Contest Rules

Contest time! Need a pass to PASS Summit? Tell us why with 140 characters in the form of a HAIKU. Contest starts Friday October 3, 2014. Read the official rules below.

 

COMMON TERMS USED IN THESE RULES:

These are the official rules that govern how the Microsoft “Why I should win a pass to PASS Summit 2014” Haiku Contest promotion will operate (“Contest”).

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

CONTEST DESCRIPTION: 

There is no purchase or product ownership required to enter.  This is a skill-based Contest.  The object of this Contest is to create the best (as determined by Microsoft judges) haiku about why they should win a pass to PASS Summit 2014.

All eligible entries received will be judged using the criteria described below to determine the winners of the prizes described below.

WHAT ARE THE START AND END DATES? 

This Contest starts at 8:00 AM PT, Friday, October 3, 2014 and ends 8:00 AM PT, Saturday, October 4, 2014(“Entry Period”)

CAN I ENTER?

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

  • You are a legal resident of the 50 United States and District of Columbia, and are 18 years of age or older.
    • If you are 18 of age or older, but are considered a minor in your place of residence, you should ask your parent’s or legal guardian’s permission prior to submitting an entry into this Contest; 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.

This Contest is void outside the geographic area described above and wherever else prohibited by law.

HOW DO I ENTER?

Write an original haiku about why you should win a pass to PASS Summit 2014.

To enter, you must do all of the following:

  1. Sign in to your Twitter account. If you do not have an account, visit www.twitter.com to create one. Twitter accounts are free.
  2. Once logged into your Twitter account, follow the links and instructions to become a follower of @SQLServer
  3. From your own account, reply your response to the question tweeted by @SQLServer 
  4. Your tweet must contain the #SQLHaikusweeps hashtag to be eligible for entry

Limit one entry per person, per session.  For the purposes of these Official Rules, a “day” begins 8:00 AM PT Friday, October 3, 2014 and ends Saturday, October 4, 8:00 AM PT (“Entry Period”). If you reply with more than one Haiku you will be automatically disqualified. 

We are not responsible for entries that we do not receive for any reason, or for entries that we receive but are not decipherable for any reason, or for entries that do not include your Twitter handle.

We will automatically disqualify:

  • Any incomplete or illegible entry; and
  • Any entries that we receive from you that do not meet the requirements described above.

All eligible entries received will be judged using the criteria described below to determine the winners of the prizes described below.

Limit one entry per person.

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

We will automatically disqualify:

  • Any incomplete or illegible entry; and
  • Any entries in excess of the entry limit described above.

WHAT CONSTITUTES AN ELIGIBLE ENTRY?

To be eligible for judging an entry must meet the following content / technical requirements:

  • The haiku must contain 140 characters or less
  • The haiku topic must be about “Why I should win a pass to PASS Summit 2014”
  • The haiku must be submitted in English for English speaking judges

In addition:

  • 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 may not include any third party trademarks (logos, names) or copyrighted materials (music, images, video, recognizable people) unless you have obtained permission to use the materials. You may include Microsoft trademarks, logos, and designs, for which Microsoft grants you a limited license to use for the sole purposes of submitting an entry into this Contest.

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;
  • 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 reject any entry, in our sole and absolute discretion, that we determine does not meet the above criteria.

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 marketing, sale, or promotion of this Contest (including but not limited to internal and external sales meetings, conference presentations, tradeshows, and screen shots of the Contest entry in press releases) in all media (now known or later developed)  
  • 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 Sponsor(s) 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.

WINNER DETERMINATION AND PRIZES

On or around the close of the Entry Period, a panel of Microsoft judges will review all eligible entries received and select two Grand Prize winners based upon following judging criteria:

  • 30.00% – Creativity
  • 30.00% – Entertainment Value
  • 40.00% – Relevancy to “Why I should win a pass to PASS Summit 2014”

In the event of a tie between any eligible entries, an additional judge will break the tie based on the judging criteria described above.  The decisions of the judges are final and binding.  If we do not receive a sufficient number of entries meeting the entry requirements, we may, at our discretion, select fewer winners than the number of Contest Prizes described below.

Contest Prizes

(1) Prize:  One Full 3 day pass to PASS Summit 2014.  Approximate Retail Value each US $2295.

Prize does not include meals, travel or hotel accommodations.

If you are a potential winner, we will notify you by sending a message to the e-mail address, the phone number, or mailing address (if any) provided at time of entry within seven (7) days following completion of judging.  If the notification that we send is returned as undeliverable, or you are otherwise unreachable for any reason, we may award to a runner-up.

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 e-mail address 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 within the time period listed on the winner notification message, we may disqualify you and select a runner-up.

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 may award it to a runner up; 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. 

We will only award one (1) prize per person.

WHAT OTHER CONDITIONS AM I AGREEING TO BY ENTERING?

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 Contest, or any prize won; and
  • That Microsoft’s decisions will be final and binding on all matters related to this Contest; and
  • That, by accepting a prize, Microsoft may use of your proper name and state of residence online and in print, or in any other media, in connection with this Contest, 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 someone cheats, or 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 I FIND OUT WHO WON?

  • We will post the names of winner on @SQLServer

This list will remain posted one month after October 2, 2014

WHO IS SPONSORING THIS CONTEST?

Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052

 

The Microsoft Infinity Room Photo Contest Has a Winner!

Congratulations to Edgar Rivera, whose Microsoft Infinity Room photo won the #InsightsAwait Photo Sweepstakes. “I never thought that stepping into some data visualization could be this cool,” Edgar tweeted. You can see his photo here.

Visitors to the Microsoft Infinity Room were invited to capture their experiences and tag their photos on Twitter or Instagram with the #InsightsAwait hashtag. You can view all of the contest entries here.

If you didn’t have a chance to visit the Infinity Room in San Francisco from April 15-17, take the 360-degree virtual tour and be inspired by the extraordinary found through data surrounding an ordinary object.

Also – want to learn more about Microsoft Big Data solutions? Hear CEO Satya Nadella discuss Microsoft’s drive towards a data culture during the Accelerate your insights event in San Francisco earlier this month. Watch the keynote on-demand now.

Join the 2014 24 Hours of PASS Business Analytics Challenge and You Could Win a Free Ticket!

Calling all data junkies and business analysts! Play along with @SQLServer on Twitter, February 5th during the 24 Hours of PASS, Business Analytics Edition for your chance to win a cool Microsoft T-shirt and a ticket to the 2014 PASS Business Analytics Conference in San Jose, CA! Beginning at 8 am PT on February 5th, you can benefit from twelve live 1-hour sessions (followed by 12 hours of on-demand replay) that will cover data analytics and visualization, big data innovations and integration, information delivery, advanced analytics and more! 

Near the end of each of the twelve live sessions (approximately 55-59 minutes after the session starts), you’ll have the opportunity to win a T-shirt by being the first to correctly answer a question related to the session you just finished watching in this #pass24HOP Challenge.  (We will tweet 5 minutes prior to each question to give you time to be prepare.) What’s more, we will randomly select one lucky winner from all the eligible entries received to receive a free ticket to PASS BAC!

To take part in the #pass24Hop Challenge, you must:

    • Sign in to your Twitter account. If you do not have an account, visit www.twitter.com to create one. Twitter accounts are free.
    • Once logged into your Twitter account, follow the links and instructions to become a follower of SQL Server at @SQLServer.
    • From your account, as you see the question sent from @SQLServer, send a reply to @SQLServer and include your answer to the posted question
    • Your reply tweet must contain the hashtags #pass24hop and #msbi to be eligible for entry
    • The first person to tweet a correct reply will win a Microsoft-branded T-shirt.
    • In addition, one Grand Prize winner will be randomly selected from among all eligible entries received, limit one Grand Prize drawing entry per person, per question. The Grand Prize winner will receive a ticket to the 2014 PASS Business Analytics Conference in San Jose, CA. (Please note: The prize consists of Event registration only, the winner solely responsible for any travel or expenses not included in registration. This award is non-transferable.)
    • See official rules below.

Register now for 24 Hours of Pass and get ready for 24 hours of play!  Learn more about the 24 Hours of Pass here and read the official rules below.

*     *     *     *     *

2014 PASS BUSINESS ANALYTICS #pass24HOP CHALLENGE – OFFICIAL RULES

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.

COMMON TERMS USED IN THESE RULES:

These are the official rules that govern how #pass24HOP Challenge (“Challenge”) promotion will operate. This promotion will be simply referred to as the “Challenge” throughout the rest of these rules.

In these rules, “we,” “our,” and “us” refer to Microsoft Corporation, the sponsor of the Challenge. “You” refers to an eligible Challenge entrant.

WHAT ARE THE START AND END DATES? 
This Challenge starts at 8:00 a.m. PT on February 5, 2014 and ends at 8:00 p.m. PT on February 5, 2014 (“Entry Period”).  The Entry Period consists of 12 separate Prize Periods as further described below.

CAN I ENTER? 
You are eligible to enter this Challenge if you meet the following requirements at time of entry:

    • You are a Business Analytics or IT Professional 18 years of age or older, who is participating in the free 24 Hours of PASS: Business Analytics event “(Entrant”). Details of the event are available here.

and

      • If you are 18 of age or older, but are considered a minor in your legal place of residence, you must ask your parent’s or legal guardian’s permission prior to entering this Challenge; and
    • You are NOT a resident of any of the following countries: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.
      • PLEASE NOTE: U.S. export regulations prohibit the export of goods and services to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria. Therefore residents of these countries / regions are not eligible to participate.
    • 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 Challenge; 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 Challenge

This Challenge is void wherever prohibited by law.

HOW DO I ENTER? 

At the end of each of the first twelve live 24 Hours of PASS sessions (at approximately 58-59 minutes past each hour) a new trivia question regarding the most recent PASS session will be posted online on the @SQLServer Twitter account.

To enter, you must do all of the following:

  1. Sign in to your Twitter account. If you do not have an account, visit www.twitter.com to create one. Twitter accounts are free.
  2. Once logged into your Twitter account, follow the links and instructions to become a follower of @SQLServer.
  3. From your own account, reply to @SQLServer and include in the tweet your answer to the posted question.
  4. Your tweet must contain both the #msbi #pass24hop hashtags to be eligible for entry
  5. Your tweet must include the complete answer to the question, or it will be disqualified.
  6. The first person to correctly tweet a correct reply to each question will win the prize described below.  In addition, all eligible entries received will be entered into the Grand Prize drawing. Limit one Grand Prize drawing entry per person per question.   

We are not responsible for entries that we do not receive for any reason, or for entries that we receive but are not decipherable for any reason, or for entries that do not include both the #PASS24hop and #msbi hashtags, or do not provide a complete answer.

We will automatically disqualify:

    • Any incomplete or illegible entry; and
    • Any entries that we receive from you that are in excess of the entry limit described above; and
    • Any entries that do not comply with Twitter.com terms of use. 

WINNER SELECTION AND PRIZES 
The first person to correctly respond will receive a Microsoft branded T-shirt.  Approximate Retail Value each $20.  A total of twelve prizes are available.

In addition, at the close of the Entry Period one Grand Prize winner will be randomly selected from among all eligible entries received.  The Grand Prize is complimentary registration for the PASS Business Analytics Conference http://www.sqlpass.org/bac/2014/Home.aspx. The prize consists of Event registration only, winner solely responsible for any travel or expenses not included in registration.  Value $1,985

Limit of one T-shirt and one Grand Prize per person or Twitter account for the duration of the Challenge, regardless of the number of correct answers submitted.

If you are a potential winner, we will notify you via Direct Message on Twitter to the account provided at time of entry within seven (7) days following the end of the Entry Period.  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.  Winners can expect to receive their prize within four (4) to six (6) weeks following verification of eligibility.

If there is a dispute as to who is the potential winner, we reserve the right to make final decisions on who is the winner based on the accuracy of the answer provided, ensuring that the rules of including hashtags is followed, and the times the answers arrives based on what times are listed on www.twitter.com.

If you are a potential winner, we may require you to sign an Affidavit of Eligibility, Liability/Publicity Release 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 within the time period listed on the winner notification message, we may disqualify you and select an alternate, randomly selected winner.

If you are confirmed as a winner of this Challenge:

    • 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 Challenge, but are considered a minor in your place of residence, we may award the prize to your parent/legal guardian on your behalf; and 

WHAT ARE YOUR ODDS OF WINNING? 
Your odds of winning this Challenge depend on the number of eligible entries we receive and they time the entries are posted to www.twitter.com.

WHAT OTHER CONDITIONS ARE YOU AGREEING TO BY ENTERING THIS CHALLENGE? 
By entering this Challenge 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 Challenge or any prize won; and
    • That Microsoft’s decisions will be final and binding on all matters related to this Challenge; and
    • That by accepting a prize, Microsoft may use of your proper name and state of residence online and in print, or in any other media, in connection with this Challenge, without payment or compensation to you, except where prohibited by law

WHAT LAWS GOVERN THE WAY THIS CHALLENGE IS EXECUTED AND ADMINISTRATED? 
This Challenge 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 Challenge. 

WHAT IF SOMETHING UNEXPECTED HAPPENS AND THE CHALLENGE 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 Challenge, we reserve the right to cancel, change or suspend this Challenge.  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 Challenge, we reserve the right to select winners from among all eligible entries received before we had to cancel, change or suspend the Challenge.

If you attempt to compromise the integrity or the legitimate operation of this Challenge 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 Challenge, so please play fairly.

HOW CAN YOU FIND OUT WHO WON? 
To find out who won, send an email to v-daconn@microsoft.com by March 6, 2014 with the subject line: “#PASS24HOP Business Analytics Challenge Winners List”.

WHO IS SPONSORING THIS CHALLENGE? 
Microsoft Corporation 
One Microsoft Way 
Redmond, WA 98052

Tweet for the Summit! Enter to Win a Ticket to PASS Summit 2013!

We’re just a few short weeks away from PASS Summit 2013, and the excitement is building! We’re getting our bags packed and ready to go, and we hope that you are too. However, if you haven’t made your plans just yet, listen up because we’re hosting a Tweet for the Summit Challenge, where you can win a ticket to PASS!

At Noon, PT on Monday, September 23rd, @SQLServer will send out a question related to PASS Summit on Twitter. Give us your best answer for a chance to win! Answers will be judged based on creativity by a panel of 3 judges.

Tweet to WinTo qualify:

  • You must be following the @SQLServer Twitter account;
  • Your tweeted response must include the @SQLServer handle;
  • Your tweeted response must include the hashtag #sqlpass; and
  • Your entire tweeted reply should be no longer than 140 characters in length, including the @SQLServer Twitter handle and the #sqlpass hashtag;
  • You may only submit one response to the question. If you submit more than one response, all of your responses after the first will be disqualified.

The winner of the Tweet for the Summit 2013 Challenge will be announced at 2:00 pm PT on Friday, September 27, 2013 on Twitter via @SQLServer.

Please be aware the winner will be responsible for all travel and accommodation costs, and arrangements. The ticket is non-transferrable to any other person, and may only be used by the submitting participant. If you have already purchased a PASS Summit 2013 ticket, your current ticket will not be eligible for a refund. This contest is open to all eligible participants worldwide. If you are unable, or choose not to accept the prize, the ticket will be awarded to an alternate winner.

So get ready to tweet! The first 50 qualified participants will receive a free T-shirt if you visit our booth at PASS Summit this year in Charlotte!

See full Official Rules below.

*     *     *

TWEET FOR THE SUMMIT 2013 CHALLENGE – OFFICIAL RULES

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. COMMON TERMS USED IN THESE RULES: These are the official rules that govern how Tweet for a Ticket to Pass Summit 2013 Challenge (“Challenge”) promotion will operate. This promotion will be simply referred to as the “Challenge” throughout the rest of these rules. In these rules, “we,” “our,” and “us” refer to Microsoft Corporation, the sponsor of the Challenge. “You” refers to an eligible Challenge entrant.

WHAT ARE THE START AND END DATES? This Challenge starts at 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time (PT) on Sept 23, 2013 and ends at 5:00 p.m. PT on Sept. 25, 2013 (“Entry Period”).

CAN I ENTER? 
You are eligible to enter this Challenge if you meet the following requirements at time of entry:

This contest is open to IT Professionals who are 18 years of age and older and who are interested in attending the PASS Summit 2013 in Charlotte, NC on October 13 – 15, 2013 and are willing to pay for any/all travel and accommodation costs involved attending the Summit. Microsoft will pay the full cost of the Full Summit (3-Days) Individual Registration for PASS Summit 2013. Details of the event are available here.

• If you are 18 of age or older, but are considered a minor in your place of residence, you should ask your parent’s or legal guardian’s permission prior to submitting an entry into this Challenge; 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 Challenge; 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 Challenge

This Challenge is void wherever prohibited by law.

HOW DO I ENTER? 
At 12:00 p.m. PT on Monday, September 23, 2013, we will ask a question related to attending PASS Summit 2013 and will judge the answers based on creativity of the answers during the Entry Period.

To enter, you must do all of the following:

  1. Sign in to your Twitter account. If you do not have an account, visit www.twitter.com to create one. Twitter accounts are free.
  2. Once logged into your Twitter account, follow the links and instructions to become a follower of SQL Server at @SQLServer
  3. From your own Twitter account, tweet your answer to the posted question.
  4. Your tweet must contain the Twitter handle @SQLServer and the #sqlpass hashtag to be eligible for entry.
  5. Your tweet must not be longer than 140 characters, including the #sqlpass hashtag and @SQLServer Twitter handle.

Your tweet must not be longer than 140 characters, including the #sqlpass hashtag and @SQLServer Twitter handle. Note: You may only submit one answer to the question. If you provide more than one answer, all of your answers after the first will be automatically disqualified. So take your time and provide only one answer.

We are not responsible for entries that we do not receive for any reason, or for entries that we receive but are not decipherable for any reason, or for entries that do not include both the #sqlpass hashtag and @SQLServer handle, or do not answer the question.

We will automatically disqualify:

  • Any incomplete or illegible entry;
  • Any entries that we receive from you that are in excess of the entry limit described above; and
  • Any entries that do not comply with Twitter.com Terms of Use.

WINNER SELECTION AND PRIZES 
A Panel of three (3) judges from the SQL Server Team at Microsoft will evaluate all responses to the question and determine a winner based on creativity.  The prize is one (1) Full Summit (3-Days) Individual Registration for PASS Summit 2013. Approximate Value $1,895. Only one (1) prize is available.

The winner of the challenge will be personally responsible for all travel, accommodation, entertainment, meals, or any other cost involved with coming to and staying in Seattle for the duration of PASS Summit 2013. Microsoft is not responsible for any costs other than the Full Summit (3-Days) Individual Registration for PASS Summit 2013. The winner is responsible for any required travel documents (e.g., valid photo ID, driver’s license, VISA or passport). If you have already purchased a PASS Summit 2013 ticket, your current ticket will not be eligible for a refund and we will select an alternate winner from the remaining eligible entries.

The winner of the Challenge will be sent their registration code via a Direct Message (DM) on Twitter or we can email the registration code if the winner provides us an active email address via a Direct Message (DM) to @SQLServer. The winner must reply to our Direct Message (DM) by 5:00 p.m. PT on Tuesday, October 1, 2013 or the winner will be disqualified and SQL Server Team at Microsoft will immediately notify the runner up of winning. If that happens, the runner up must respond to our Direct Message (DM) by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 3, 2013, or that person will be disqualified and the contest will end without a winner.

If you are a potential winner, we will notify you via Direct Message on Twitter to the account provided at time of entry within thirty-six (36) hours following the end of the Entry Period. 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 winner as decided by the panel of judges. Microsoft will provide the winner the registration code for the Full 3-Day Registration to the PASS Summit 2013 within 24 business hours of selecting the winner on Friday, September 27, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. PT.

If there is a dispute as to who is the potential winner, we reserve the right to make final decisions on who is the winner based on the creativity of the answers provided, ensuring that the rules of including hashtags is followed, and the times the answers arrive within the Entry Period on www.twitter.com.

If you are a potential winner, we may require you to sign an Affidavit of Eligibility, Liability/Publicity Release 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 within the time period listed on the winner notification message, we may disqualify you and select an alternate, randomly selected winner.

If you are confirmed as a winner of this Challenge:

· 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 Challenge, but are considered a minor in your place of residence, we may award the prize to your parent/legal guardian on your behalf.

WHAT ARE YOUR ODDS OF WINNING? 
Your odds of winning this Challenge depend on the number of eligible entries we receive and the creativity of the answers as judged by a panel of three (3) members of the SQL Server Team at Microsoft.

WHAT OTHER CONDITIONS ARE YOU AGREEING TO BY ENTERING THIS CHALLENGE? 
By entering this Challenge 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 Challenge or any prize won; and

· That Microsoft’s decisions will be final and binding on all matters related to this Challenge; and

· That by accepting a prize, Microsoft may use of your proper name and state of residence online and in print, or in any other media, in connection with this Challenge, without payment or compensation to you, except where prohibited by law

WHAT LAWS GOVERN THE WAY THIS CHALLENGE IS EXECUTED AND ADMINISTRATED? 
This Challenge 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 Challenge.

WHAT IF SOMETHING UNEXPECTED HAPPENS AND THE CHALLENGE 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 Challenge, we reserve the right to cancel, change or suspend this Challenge. 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 Challenge, we reserve the right to select winners from among all eligible entries received before we had to cancel, change or suspend the Challenge. If you attempt to compromise the integrity or the legitimate operation of this Challenge 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 Challenge, so please play fairly.

HOW CAN YOU FIND OUT WHO WON? 
To find out who won, send an email to v-daconn@microsoft.com by October 30th, 2013 with the subject line: “Tweet for the Summit 2013 Challenge.”

WHO IS SPONSORING THIS CHALLENGE? 
Microsoft Corporation 
One Microsoft Way 
Redmond, WA 98052

Enter Our Daily Sweepstakes to Celebrate the Anniversary of SQL Server 2012!

This month, we are celebrating the one year anniversary of SQL Server 2012, and we’d like to give a little shout out to our community to say, “Happy anniversary!” We can hardly believe that it was just one year ago that SQL Server 2012 was released to manufacturing. When we take a look back at how far we’ve come over the past year since this exciting occasion, we’re amazed by all the fantastic moments we’ve enjoyed with you! From the release of the TechNet Radio SQL Server 2012 and Fantastic 12 of 2012 series last year, to the great events we’ve attended together like PASS Summit and Strata, we are proud to continue this great journey onward with you!

On this first anniversary of SQL Server 2012, we are well over 63,000 fans strong on the SQL Server Facebook page, and nearly 128,000 fans strong on the SQL Server Twitter channel. So, to say thank you for your enthusiasm and support over the past year, we’d like to celebrate with a daily sweepstakes where we will give out a Microsoft/SQL Server branded swag pack to one of our amazing community members, each day in April, beginning tomorrow.

To enter the daily sweepstakes:

  • Celebrate_SQL_Server_2012_Anniversary_with_a_daily_sweepstakesYou must be following the @SQLServer Twitter account;
  • Beginning April 4th, 2013, watch for the SQL Server Anniversary Sweepstakes “question of the day” to be posted by @SQLServer at approximately 9 am PDT each day.
  • From your account, reply with an answer to the question of the day to @SQLServer;
  • Your tweeted reply must include the hashtag “#sql2012anniversary”;
  • Your entire tweeted reply should be no longer than 130 characters in length including the #sqlanniversary hashtag;
  • You may only reply to the Sweepstakes question of the day on the day that it is posted; you must enter each daily prize period separately. (A “day’ begins at 9 am PT and ends at 11:59 pm PT each day during the Sweepstakes entry period.)
  • A qualifying reply is your entry into the Sweepstakes.
  • You may only submit one response to the question per day. If you submit more than one response, all of your responses (including the first) will be disqualified for the day;
  • Prizes are limited to one prize per promotional entrant, so if you are selected as a winner, you will be ineligible for additional prizes.

Be sure to follow @SQLServer throughout the month of April – the more daily questions you answer, the more chances you have to win!  See complete contest rules below.

Thank you again SQL Server community for a wonderful year and for joining us in this celebration of the one year anniversary of SQL Server 2012! 

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SQL SERVER 2012 ANNIVERSARY DAILY SWEEPSTAKES – OFFICIAL RULES

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. COMMON TERMS USED IN THESE RULES:

These are the official rules that govern how the ‘SQL Server 2012 Anniversary Daily Sweepstakes’ (“Sweepstakes”) promotion will operate. This promotion will be simply referred to as the “Sweepstakes” throughout the rest of these rules. In these rules, “we,” “our,” and “us” refer to Microsoft Corporation, the sponsor of the Sweepstakes. “You” refers to an eligible Sweepstakes entrant.

WHAT ARE THE START AND END DATES?

This Sweepstakes starts at 9 a.m. PT on April 4, 2013 and ends at 11:59 pm PT on April 30, 2013 (“Entry Period”). The Sweepstakes consists of 27 daily Prize Periods. Each Prize Period will begin at 9 a.m. PT and end at 11:59 p.m. PT each day during the Entry Period. You may enter one time per Prize Period.

CAN I ENTER?

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

· You are professional or enthusiast with expertise in SQL Server or Business Intelligence and are 18 years of age or older; and

o If you are 18 of age or older, but are considered a minor in your place of residence, you should ask your parent’s or legal guardian’s permission prior to submitting an entry into this Sweepstakes; and

· You are NOT a resident of any of the following countries: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.

PLEASE NOTE: U.S. export regulations prohibit the export of goods and services to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria. Therefore residents of these countries / regions are not eligible to participate

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 Sweepstakes; 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 Sweepstakes.

This Sweepstakes is void wherever prohibited by law.

HOW DO I ENTER?   

At 9:00 am PT each day a new Sweepstakes “question of the day” will be posted by @SQLServer. You will earn a Sweepstakes Entry when you do all of the following within the Entry Period:

  1. Sign in to your Twitter account. If you do not have an account, visit www.twitter.com to create one. Twitter accounts are free.
  2. Once logged into your Twitter account follow the links and instructions to become a follower of SQLServer at @SQLServer.
  3. From your own Twitter account, reply to @SQLServer with your answer to the posted Sweepstakes question of the day. You may only reply to the Sweepstakes question the day it is posted; you must enter each daily prize period separately
  4. Your tweet must contain the #sql2012anniversary hashtag to be eligible for entry and your tweet must not be longer than 130 characters, including the #sql2012anniversary hashtag

Limit one Entry per person and Twitter account per daily Prize Period. For the purposes of these Official Rules, a “day” begins at 9 am PT and ends at 11:59 PM each day during the Entry Period. However, on April 30th, 2013 the day starts at 9:00 am PT and will end at 2 pm PT. If you reply with more than one answer per day, all replies received from you that day will be automatically disqualified.

We are not responsible for entries that we do not receive for any reason, or for entries that we receive but are not decipherable for any reason, or for entries that do not include your Twitter handle.

We will automatically disqualify:

  • Any incomplete or illegible entry; and
  • Any entries that we receive from you that do not meet the requirements described above.

WINNER SELECTION AND PRIZES

On or around 5 pm each day beginning April 4 and ending on May 1, we, or a company acting under our authorization, will randomly select one winner from among all eligible Entries received in the previous daily Prize Period to win a Microsoft branded swag pack, approximate retail value, US$100. Pack includes Microsoft/SQL Server branded personal and business use items. Prizes are limited to one prize per promotional entrant, so if you are selected as a winner during this promotion, you will be ineligible for additional prizes.

Selected winners will be notified via a Direct Message (DM) on Twitter within 48 business hours of the daily drawing. The winner must reply to our Direct Message (DM) within 48 hours of notification via Direct Message on Twitter. If the notification that we send is returned as undeliverable, or you are otherwise unreachable for any reason, or you do not respond within 48 business hours, we will award the prize to an alternate winner as randomly selected. Only one alternate winner will be selected and notified; after which, if unclaimed, the prize will remain unclaimed. Prize packs will be shipped within two weeks of each winner’s confirmed response.

If you are a potential winner, we may require you to sign an Affidavit of Eligibility, Liability/Publicity Release 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 within the time period listed on the winner notification message, we may disqualify you and select an alternate, randomly selected winner.

If you are confirmed as a winner of this Sweepstakes:

  • 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 Sweepstakes, but are considered a minor in your place of residence, we may award the prize to your parent/legal guardian on your behalf.

Look Who’s Spending Spring Break at the PASS Business Analytics Conference

The SQL Server community continues to wow us with your ways! Last week during the “Spend Spring Break at the PASS Business Analytics Conference” Challenge, we received an enormous number of great responses to our challenge question, “Tell us how a trip to #passbac would help you with your work?” What can we say, except that you were all right on the money in how the PASS Business Analytics Conference (PASSBAC) could help!

The decision was difficult with all the great answers that came in, but in the end, our congratulations and a free ticket to the PASS Business Analytics Conference in Chicago this April goes to @TotalDork1 for her winning tweet:

 

Winner of ticket to PASSBAC

 

Congratulations Elizabeth! We know that a trip to PASSBAC is the perfect spring break for a “TotalDork1”!

We also thought we’d share some of the other great ways that a trip to PASSBAC would help in your work. Here’s what a few of your fellow tweeters had to say:

  • Being a young aspiring BI pro in Norway, a trip to #passbac would help me achieve my goals and help my customers (@thommasr)
  • Win-Win-Win for my employer, client and myself! Use and spread the #passbac knowledge and mix business and pleasure! (@KrishanP)
  • A trip to #passbac would give me specific ways to transform our business analytics across the company. Plus it’d be really FUN!! (@ariaofgrace)
  • #PowerPivot is catching on with my internal clients. I need the mad skills I’ll pick up at #passbac to help them. (@DataSciences)
  • A trip to #passbac would help me #passbac some @SQLServer skills to myself and my #sqlfamily (@CPU_BUSY)

Thanks again to all who participated in this Challenge! We appreciate and share in your enthusiasm for big data and we hope to see you at the conference in April!  Register by March 15th for early registration rates. You can find out more about the PASS Business Analytics Conference here.

Spend Spring Break at the PASS Business Analytics Conference 2013: Tweet for a Chance to Win a Ticket!

Tweet to win a ticket to PASS Business Analytics ConferenceThe world of data is changing at a rapid pace, and you can prepare yourself to tackle the challenges by attending the first annual PASS Business Analytics Conference (PASS BAC), to be held April 10-12, 2013 in Chicago, IL. At PASS BAC, you will immerse yourself in the world of data-driven insights with over 60 sessions from five principle tracks including: Data Analytics and Visualization, Advanced Analytics and Insights, Information Deliver and Collaboration, Big Data Innovations and Integration, and Strategy and Architecture.

PASS BAC sessions will be presented by a range of top Microsoft and industry experts, with a keynote speech featuring Steven Levitt, professor and bestselling author of Freakonomics and SuperFreakonomics. In addition, Microsoft Partner Director Kamal Hathi and Microsoft Technical Fellow Amir Netz join together in a keynote presentation to discuss how Microsoft is making the ability to gain insights on Big Data more accessible to all with familiar tools from the Microsoft Business Intelligence stack.

So, if you’re a big data geek and this sounds like the perfect spring break for you, here’s your chance to win a free ticket to PASS BAC with a single tweet!

At Noon PT on Friday, March 1st, we will post a question on our official Twitter account (@SQLServer) and then it will be up to you to tweet your answer. (UPDATE:  See Challenge Question here) We will be on the lookout for answers with hash tag #passbac tweeted to @SQLServer through 9 am PT, on Tuesday, March 5th.

To qualify:

  • You must be following the @SQLServer Twitter account;
  • You must reply from your account to @SQLServer;
  • Your entire tweeted reply should be no longer than 130 characters in length so that we can re-tweet the winning answer;
  • Your tweeted response must include the hashtag #passbac; and
  • You may only submit one response to the question. If you submit more than one response, all of your responses (including the first) will be disqualified.

The winner of the Spring Break at PASS BAC Challenge will be announced at 2pm PT on Friday, March 8th on Twitter @SQLServer. Please be aware, the winner will be responsible for all travel and accommodation costs, and arrangements. The ticket is non-transferrable to any other person, and may only be used by the submitting participant. If you have already purchased a PASS Business Analytics 2013 ticket, your current ticket will not be eligible for a refunded. This contest is open to all eligible participants worldwide. If you are unable, or choose not to accept the prize, the ticket will be awarded to an alternate winner. See full contest rules below.

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SPEND SPRING BREAK AT PASS BAC 2013 CHALLENGE – OFFICIAL RULES

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. COMMON TERMS USED IN THESE RULES: These are the official rules that govern how Spend Your Spring Break at PASS BAC 2013 Challenge (“Challenge”) promotion will operate. This promotion will be simply referred to as the “Challenge” throughout the rest of these rules. In these rules, “we,” “our,” and “us” refer to Microsoft Corporation, the sponsor of the Challenge. “You” refers to an eligible Challenge entrant.

WHAT ARE THE START AND END DATES? This Challenge starts at 12:00 p.m. PT on March 1, 2013 and ends at 9:00 a.m. PT on March 5, 2013 (“Entry Period”).

CAN I ENTER? 
You are eligible to enter this Challenge if you meet the following requirements at time of entry:

This contest is open to IT Professionals who are interested in attending the PASS Business Analytics Conference in Chicago on April 10-12, 2013 and are willing to pay for any/all travel and accommodation costs involved attending the Conference. Microsoft will pay the full cost of the Full Conference (3-Days) Individual Registration for PASS Business Analytics 2013. Details of the event are available here.

• If you are 18 of age or older, but are considered a minor in your place of residence, you should ask your parent’s or legal guardian’s permission prior to submitting an entry into this Challenge; 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 Challenge; 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 Challenge

This Challenge is void wherever prohibited by law.

HOW DO I ENTER? 
At 12:00 p.m. PT on Friday, March 1, 2013, we will ask a question related to attending PASS BAC and will judge the answers based on creativity and quality of the answers during the Entry Period.

To enter, you must do all of the following:

  1. Sign in to your Twitter account. If you do not have an account, visit www.twitter.com to create one. Twitter accounts are free.
  2. Once logged into your Twitter account, follow the links and instructions to become a follower of SQLServer at @SQLServer
  3. From your own Twitter account, reply to @SQLServer and include in the tweet your answer to the posted question.
  4. Your tweet must contain the #passbac hashtag to be eligible for entry and your tweet must not be longer than 130 characters, including the #passbac hashtag

Note: You may only submit one answer to the question. If you provide more than one answer, you will be automatically disqualified, including your first response. So take your time and provide only one answer.

We are not responsible for entries that we do not receive for any reason, or for entries that we receive but are not decipherable for any reason, or for entries that do not include both the #passbac hashtag, or do not answer the question.

We will automatically disqualify:

  • Any incomplete or illegible entry;
  • Any entries that we receive from you that are in excess of the entry limit described above; and
  • Any entries that do not comply with Twitter.com terms of use

WINNER SELECTION AND PRIZES 
A Panel of three (3) judges from the SQL Server Team at Microsoft will evaluate all responses to the question and determine a winner based on creativity.  The prize is one (1) Full Individual Registration for PASS Business Analytics Conference 2013 (does not include Pre-Conference Registration). Approximate Value $1,795. Only one (1) prize is available.

The winner of the challenge will be personally responsible for all travel, accommodation, entertainment, meals, or any other cost involved with coming to and staying in Chicago for the duration of PASS Business Analytics 2013. Microsoft is not responsible for any costs other than the Full Summit (3-Days) Individual Registration for PASS Business Analytics 2013.

The winner of the Challenge will be sent their registration code via a Direct Message (DM) on Twitter or we can email the registration code if the winner provides us an active email address via a Direct Message (DM) to @SQLServer. The winner must reply to our Direct Message (DM) by 5:00 p.m. PT on Wednesday, March 6, 2013 or the winner will be disqualified and the SQL Server Team at Microsoft will immediately notify the runner up of winning. If that happens, the runner up must respond to our Direct Message (DM) by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 7, 2013, or that person will be disqualified and the contest will end without a winner.

If you are a potential winner, we will notify you via Direct Message on Twitter to the account provided at time of entry within thirty-six (36) hours following the end of the Entry Period. 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 winner as decided by the panel of judges. Microsoft will provide the winner the registration code for the Full 3-Day Registration to the PASS Business Analytics Conference within 24 hours of receiving a DM or email reply from the designated winner.

If there is a dispute as to who is the potential winner, we reserve the right to make final decisions on who is the winner based on the creativity and quality of the answers provided, ensuring that the rules of including hashtags is followed, and the times the answers arrive within the Entry Period on www.twitter.com.

If you are a potential winner, we may require you to sign an Affidavit of Eligibility, Liability/Publicity Release 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 within the time period listed on the winner notification message, we may disqualify you and select an alternate, randomly selected winner.

If you are confirmed as a winner of this Challenge:

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 Challenge, but are considered a minor in your place of residence, we may award the prize to your parent/legal guardian on your behalf;

WHAT ARE YOUR ODDS OF WINNING? 
Your odds of winning this Challenge depend on the number of eligible entries we receive and the creativity of the answers as judged by a panel of three (3) members of the SQL Server Team at Microsoft.

WHAT OTHER CONDITIONS ARE YOU AGREEING TO BY ENTERING THIS CHALLENGE? 
By entering this Challenge 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 Challenge or any prize won; and

· That Microsoft’s decisions will be final and binding on all matters related to this Challenge; and

· That by accepting a prize, Microsoft may use of your proper name and state of residence online and in print, or in any other media, in connection with this Challenge, without payment or compensation to you, except where prohibited by law

WHAT LAWS GOVERN THE WAY THIS CHALLENGE IS EXECUTED AND ADMINISTRATED? 
This Challenge 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 Challenge.

WHAT IF SOMETHING UNEXPECTED HAPPENS AND THE CHALLENGE 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 Challenge, we reserve the right to cancel, change or suspend this Challenge. 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 Challenge, we reserve the right to select winners from among all eligible entries received before we had to cancel, change or suspend the Challenge. If you attempt to compromise the integrity or the legitimate operation of this Challenge 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 Challenge, so please play fairly.

HOW CAN YOU FIND OUT WHO WON? 
To find out who won, send an email to v-daconn@microsoft.com by March 15th, 2013 with the subject line: “Spend Spring Break Pass Business Analytics Conference 2013 Challenge”.

WHO IS SPONSORING THIS CHALLENGE? 
Microsoft Corporation 
One Microsoft Way 
Redmond, WA 98052

Create Our New Year’s Greeting & Win a SQL Server Swag Set

Enter the New Year Cover Photo Challenge and help us ring in 2013 with a ‘Happy New Year’ themed message to the SQL Server community! Submit an image or photo of your own design that we can use as our SQL Server Facebook page cover photo in January, and if your entry is selected as one of our four winners, you will also receive a SQL Server Swag Set worth over $150!

clip_image002To enter:

  • Create an original JPG image that is 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels in height and no larger than 2 MB in file size.
  • Submit your entry by email as an email attachment or by sending a link to a publically accessible site (but not a Facebook page) where your entry is posted to SQLServer@live.com before 5 pm PT on December 26th.
  • The filename of your submission should be your first name and your last name in the following format: “FirstnameLastname.jpg
  • You may only submit one entry to this contest.

This is an opportunity to let your imagination run free! The winning entries will be selected by a panel of three judges based on relevance to the theme of ‘Happy New Year to the SQL Server community’, creativity, suitability for use as the SQL Server Facebook cover photo, and overall visual appeal. The design of your entry should take into consideration the standard placement of the SQL Server Facebook profile picture in the lower left hand area. The four winners will be notified by email prior to 5 pm PT on December 28th, using the email address used to submit the entry.

This contest is open to all eligible participants worldwide, subject to the official contest rules below.

NEW YEAR COVER PHOTO CHALLENGE – OFFICIAL RULES

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. COMMON TERMS USED IN THESE RULES:

These are the official rules that govern how the New Year Cover Photo Challenge promotion will operate. This promotion will be simply referred to as the “Challenge” throughout the rest of these rules. In these rules, “we,” “our,” and “us” refer to Microsoft Corporation, the sponsor of the Challenge. “You” refers to an eligible Challenge entrant.

WHAT ARE THE START AND END DATES?

This Challenge entry period begins at 9 a.m. PT on December 12, 2012 and ends at 5:00 p.m. PT on December 26, 2012 (“Entry Period”).

CAN I ENTER?

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

  • You are and are 18 years of age or older “(Entrant”); and
    • If you are 18 of age or older, but are considered a minor in your legal place of residence, you must ask your parent’s or legal guardian’s permission prior to entering this Challenge; and
  • You are NOT a resident of any of the following countries: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.
    • PLEASE NOTE: U.S. export regulations prohibit the export of goods and services to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria. Therefore residents of these countries / regions are not eligible to participate.
  • 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 Challenge; 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 Challenge.

This Challenge is void in the geographic locations described above and wherever else prohibited by law.

HOW DO I ENTER?   

The object of the Contest is to select the four best original photo or graphics (an “Entry”) to potentially feature as the homepage picture on the SQL Server Facebook page. To enter, create an Entry which illustrates the theme “Happy New Year to the SQL Server Community.”

Your Entry must be in .jpg file format, and may not exceed 851 pixels wide by 315 pixels in height and 2 MB in size and it must comply with all Facebook page cover guidelines. The filename should be your first name and your last name in the following format: “FirstnameLastname.jpg”.

Then email your entry as an email attachment or by sending a link to a publically accessible site (but not a Facebook page) where the Entry is posted to SQLServer@live.com. Entries must be received during the Entry Period. Our computer will be the official timekeeper.

To be eligible your Entry:

  • must be in compliance with Facebook.com TOU’s ; and
  • must be your own original work; and
  • cannot have been selected as a winner in any other contest; and
  • may only include content for which you have obtained any and all consents, approvals or licenses required for you to submit your entry; and
  • may not include any third party trademarks (logos, names) or copyrighted materials (music, images, video, recognizable people). You may include Microsoft trademarks, logos, and designs, for which Microsoft grants you a limited license to use for the sole purposes of submitting an entry into this Contest
  • may not be obscene or offensive or communicate 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 reject any entry, in our sole and absolute discretion, that we determine does not meet the above criteria.

Note: You may only submit one entry to the Challenge. If you enter more than once, only the first Entry received will be considered and all subsequent ones will be disqualified.

We will automatically disqualify:

  • Any incomplete or illegible entry; and
  • Any entries that we receive from you that do not meet the requirements described above.

FINALIST SELECTION AND PRIZES

We will judge the entries based on creativity, suitability for use as the SQL Server Facebook cover photo, and overall visual appeal of the submissions received during the Entry Period.

A panel of judges from the SQL Server Team will judged all eligible entries based on their relevance to the theme of "’Happy New Year to the SQL Server community’, creativity, resourcefulness, aesthetic beauty, and the overall impression your photo makes. Four potential winners will be selected to each receive a “SQL Server Swag Set” comprised of Microsoft branded promotional items. Approximate retail value of each set, $150.

Winning Entries may be displayed on the SQL Server Facebook and Twitter channels.

If you are a potential winner, we may require you to sign an Affidavit of Eligibility, Liability/Publicity Release 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 within the time period listed on the winner notification message, we may disqualify you and select an alternate, randomly selected winner.

If you are confirmed as a winner of this Challenge:

  • 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 Challenge, but are considered a minor in your place of residence, we may award the prize to your parent/legal guardian on your behalf.

NOTIFICATION OF WINNERS

If you are a potential winner, we will notify you by sending a message to the e-mail address provided at time of entry within the time period listed in the winner notification. If the notification that we send is returned as undeliverable, or you are otherwise unreachable for any reason, we may award the prize to a runner up winner. Only three (3) winners will be selected after which the applicable prize will remain un-awarded.

WHAT ARE YOUR ODDS OF WINNING?

Your odds of winning this Challenge depend on the number of eligible entries we receive and the creativity of the entries as judged by a panel of three (3) members of the SQL Server Team at Microsoft.

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

By entering this Challenge 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 Challenge or any prize won; and
  • That Microsoft’s decisions will be final and binding on all matters related to this Challenge; and
  • That by accepting a prize, Microsoft may use of your proper name and state of residence online and in print, or in any other media, in connection with this Challenge, without payment or compensation to you, except where prohibited by law

LICENSE GRANT

By submitting a photograph or information to Microsoft, you:

  • Grant Microsoft and its affiliates and subsidiaries an irrevocable, perpetual and royalty-free right to use, reproduce, edit, display, transmit prepare derivative works of, modify, publish, and otherwise make use of the submitted Entry and your likeness and statements or other information in any and all media, whether now known or hereinafter created, throughout the world and for any purpose.
  • Affirm that the submitted Entry or information does not and shall not infringe on any copyright, any rights of privacy or publicity of any person, or other right of the third party, and that you have the right to grant any and all rights and licenses granted to Microsoft.
  • Affirm that we have no obligation to display, post or otherwise make it available to the public. Conversely, you affirm that we may delete, edit or remove any submissions at our discretion.
  • Understand and intend that any photograph or information submitted by you to Microsoft may be available for viewing, rating, review and comment on by the public, and understand that comments or ratings with which you disagree or are unhappy about may be published or otherwise become associated with any photograph or information you submit to Microsoft.
  • Waive any privacy expectations that you may have with respect to any such photograph or information submitted by you to Microsoft. You hereby waive any right to pursue any claims of any nature arising in connection with the inclusion in, publication via or display on any Microsoft site, or any other user authorized under these Official Rules, of any Entry or information submitted to Microsoft by you.

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

This Challenge 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 Challenge.

WHAT IF SOMETHING UNEXPECTED HAPPENS AND THE CHALLENGE 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 Challenge, we reserve the right to cancel, change or suspend this Challenge. 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 Challenge, we reserve the right to select winners from among all eligible entries received before we had to cancel, change or suspend the Challenge. If you attempt to compromise the integrity or the legitimate operation of this Challenge 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 Challenge, so please play fairly.

HOW CAN YOU FIND OUT WHO WON?

To find out who won, send an email to sqlserver@live.com by January 15th, 2013 with the subject line:  “SQL Server New Year Cover Photo Challenge”.

WHO IS SPONSORING THIS CHALLENGE?

Microsoft Corporation 
One Microsoft Way 
Redmond, WA 98052

Watch to Win on November 28th! Enter the ‘Big Data Webcast’ Challenge

Is_Big_Data_For_EveryoneMark your calendars for November 28th to get an inside track on how to make smarter business decisions. Join us for the new webcast “Driving Smarter Decisions with Microsoft Big Data”, presented by Mike Flasko, Principle Program Manager at Microsoft and IDG Enterprise.  Watch the webcast at www.CIO.com on November 28th and you can earn a chance to win one of three Executive Gift Packs (includes a SQL Server branded jacket, a SQL Server branded laptop case and a non-branded USB hub) through our Sweepstakes Drawing or one of three Xbox/Kinect bundles by participating in our Skills Contest.

To enter the Sweepstakes portion of the Microsoft Big Data Webcast Challenge, you must:

To enter the Skills contest portion of the Microsoft Big Data Webcast Challenge, you must:

  • Log in to your Twitter account.  If you do not have a Twitter account, you can register for a free account by visiting Twitter.com.
  • Follow @SQLServer on Twitter to be eligible.
  • Watch the Big Data Webcast on November 28th between 6 am and 5 pm PT.
  • During the course of the day, three questions relating to the Big Data Webcast will be posted via @SQLServer on Twitter. Reply with the correct answer to @SQLServer and include the hashtag #bigdatawebcast in your reply.
  • You may only answer each question one time. If you submit more than one answer to a question, all of your responses (including your first) will be disqualified.

There is a limit of one Challenge prize per person. The six winners of the Big Data Webcast Challenge will be announced at 5 pm PT on November 30th via @SQLServer on Twitter.  This Challenge is open to all eligible participants worldwide.  If you are unable or choose not to accept the prize, the prize will be awarded to an alternate winner. See full contest rules below.

MICROSOFT BIG DATA WEBCAST CHALLENGE – OFFICIAL RULES

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.

By participating in the “Big Data Webcast Challenge” (the “Challenge”) ”, you understand that these Official Rules are binding and that the decisions of Microsoft Corporation (the “Sponsor” who may also be referred to as “Microsoft”, “we”, “us”, or “our”) are final and binding on all matters pertaining to this Challenge. The Challenge includes a skills contest and sweepstakes drawing as described more fully below.

It is your responsibility to review and understand your employer’s policies regarding your eligibility to participate in trade promotions such as this one. If you are participating in violation of your employer’s policies, you may be disqualified from entering or receiving prizes.  Microsoft disclaims any and all liability or responsibility for disputes arising between employees and their employers related to this matter. Prizes will only be awarded in compliance with the employer’s policies.

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

  • You are an IT Professional or a developing IT Professional and you are 18 years of age or older; and
  • You are NOT a resident of any of the following countries: Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, or Syria.
    • PLEASE NOTE: U.S export regulations prohibit the export of goods and services to Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan and Syria. Therefore residents of these countries/regions are not eligible to participate; 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 Challenge; 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 Challenge.

ENTRY PERIOD: The Challenge begins at 6:00 a.m. Pacific Time (PT) on November 28, 2012, and ends at 5:00 p.m. PT on November 28, 2012. (“Entry Period”).

HOW TO ENTER / ENTRY LIMIT:

Sweepstakes Drawing:

To receive one entry into the sweepstakes drawing, watch the Microsoft “Big Data” Webcast on November 28th between 6 am PT and 5 pm PT. For finishing the webcast in its entirety, you will receive one entry into the Sweepstakes. Limit one entry per person.

Skills Contest:

To enter the skills contest, you must be logged into your Twitter account and you must be a follower of @SQLServer to be eligible. If you do not have a Twitter account you can register for a free account by visiting Twitter.com. Then visit www.CIO.com, log in to the Microsoft “Big Data” Webcast on November 28 from 6am-5pm PT. During the course of the day on November 28th between 6 am PT and 5 pm PT,, three questions relating to the Microsoft “Big Data Webcast” will be posted via @SQLServer on Twitter. Reply to @SQLServer with the correct answer and include the hashtag #bigdatawebcast. Limit one entry per person per question.

We are not responsible for entries that we do not receive for any reason. We reserve the right to modify the Webcast schedule for any reason.

WINNER SELECTION & NOTIFICATION/PRIZE:

Sweepstakes: On or around November 30, we, or a company acting under our authorization, will randomly select three winners from among all eligible sweepstakes entries received to win a prize package consisting of the following items: A SQL branded hoodie, a branded Laptop bag, and a non-branded USB hub. Approximate retail value, ARV, $150.

Contest: The first eligible entrant to reply to @SQLServer on Twitter with the correct answer to each question will win an Xbox 360 4GB with Kinect. ARV, $299 each. Three contest prizes will be awarded, one for each question. The Xbox/Kinect bundle are US versions.

Limit one Challenge prize per person. If you are a potential winner, we will notify you through your Twitter account, e-mail address, or the telephone number provided when you registered within 3 business days following the random drawing. 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. Winners will have seven (7) days to reply to the notification; otherwise an alternate, randomly selected winner will be determined.

Your odds of winning this Challenge depend on the number of eligible entries received.

If you are a winner:

  • You may not exchange your prize for cash; and
  • If you do not wish to or cannot accept the prize, it will be forfeited and we may, at our discretion, award it to a runner-up. We may, however, award a prize of comparable or greater value, at our discretion; and
  • You are responsible for all federal, state, provincial and local taxes (including income and withholding taxes) as well as any other costs and expenses associated with accepting and/or using the prize that are not included above as being part of the prize award; and
  • You understand you are accepting the prize “as is” with no warranty or guarantee, either express or implied by us; and
  • ·You understand that all prize details shall be determined by us.

WINNER NOTIFICATION: If you are determined to be the winner:

  • The prize will be awarded to you and you shall ensure it is used and/or distributed in accordance with your company’s policies (the Promotion Parties (as hereinafter defined) are not responsible for the re-distribution of prizes within your company); and
  • You will notified by phone or by U.S. mail, overnight mail, or e-mail; and
  • You may be required to sign and return an Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity release, unless prohibited by law, within ten (10) days of date of prize notification.

If you are the winner and you: (i) do not reply to such notification or the notification is undeliverable; (ii) do not return the Affidavit of Eligibility and Liability/Publicity release completed and signed within ten (10) days of date of prize notification; or, if you (iii) are not otherwise in compliance with these Official Rules, you will be disqualified and, we may, at our discretion, notify a runner-up. If you are a winner and accept the prize, you agree that we and our designees shall have the right to use your name, city and state of residence in any and all media now or hereafter devised worldwide in perpetuity, without additional compensation, notification or permission, unless prohibited by law.

LIMITATIONS OF LIABILITY: The Promotion Parties are not responsible for any liability, cost or injury incurred by Participants arising out of or in connection with the Challenge, including, without limitation, the following:

  • Lost, late, incomplete, inaccurate, stolen, fraudulent, misdirected, undelivered, interrupted, damaged, delayed or postage-due reports, entries, mail or other information;
  • Any incorrect or inaccurate information or error or defect of any kind regardless of who it is caused by, or the means by which it occurred; or
  • Equipment, software, network or systems that fail, have viruses or other problems, are breached or that cause injury or damage to participants or their property.

By entering this Challenge, you agree to, and hereby release and hold harmless Microsoft, its parent company, affiliates, subsidiaries, and advertising or promotion agencies, and anyone working directly on this program, product and promotion, and all of their respective officers, directors, employees and representatives (which for the purpose of these Official Rules will be referred to together as the “Promotion Parties”) from any and all liability or any injuries, loss or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with this Challenge or acceptance and use of any prize. No responsibility is assumed by Microsoft for lost, late, or misdirected entries or any computer, online telephone, or technical malfunctions that may occur. All entries become the property of Microsoft and will not be returned.

GENERAL CONDITIONS: This Challenge is governed by Washington law. You agree that the jurisdiction and venue for the handling of any disputes or actions arising out of this Challenge shall be in the courts of the State of Washington.

If, for any reason, the Challenge is not capable of running as planned for any reason, including, without limitation, the reasons set forth above, we reserve the right at our sole discretion to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Challenge. If a solution cannot be found to restore the integrity of the Challenge, we may, at our sole discretion, determine the winners of this Challenge, using all non-suspect, eligible customer redemption reports and/or entries received (as applicable) before we had to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Challenge.

We may disqualify you from participating in the Challenge, or winning a prize (and void your participation in the other promotions we may offer) if, in our sole discretion, we determine you are attempting to undermine the legitimate operation of the Challenge by cheating, deception or other unfair playing practices, or intending to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass us, any other entrant or our representatives or if you are otherwise not in compliance with the terms of these Official Rules. CAUTION: ANY ATTEMPT BY YOU OR ANY OTHER INDIVIDUAL TO DELIBERATELY DAMAGE ANY WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE CHALLENGE IS A VIOLATION OF CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS AND SHOULD SUCH AN ATTEMPT BE MADE, WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO SEEK DAMAGES FROM YOU TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.

HOW CAN YOU FIND OUT WHO WON?

To find out if you won, requests can be emailed to v-hesuk@microsoft.com for 30 days following the drawing.

SPONSOR: This Challenge is sponsored by Microsoft Corporation, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052.