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September 13, 2005

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ahem. that is not what if, that is basic sesame street wisdom. :)

They really expected that to work??

Any competitor should spin that: Too stupid to have a keynote without people running out in shock and awe because of poor planning, how do you expect the company to build quality products if they don't get such easy tasks done? :)

I suspect that MS subsidized the phones; I can't imagine that iMate would want to eat a $900 loss on each phone (well, less than that-- their COGS minus $149). In that light, I don't think it's reasonable for MS to have offered the discounted phone to every attendee. At past TechEd events, they've done something similar with various kinds of wireless Pocket PC devices, and it's always been made clear that there are a limited number of gadgets available.

Of course it is not reasonable, everybody understands that.

As it is obvious that not everybody can get one, it is also obvious that there will be people not getting it.

"there are some available at discount" gets you what is described above.

"there is a lottery everybody can join. prices:
100 phones for free
200 vouchers for 50%
200 vouchers for 25%
vouchers are valid only here but can be traded between attendees." Anything but "if you go to the lobby now ..."

There are so many ways everybody could have been happy. But this one is just screaming for "broken by design".

It was actually much worst than "if you go to the lobby now ...".

I really wanted the device and was ready to get up and leave the when the Microsoft VP (Jim A.) said something like "don't leave the session now, you'll have a chance to order the device after the key notes are over".

As soon as the session was over, I opened my laptop (all PCs provided by Microsoft were taken) and to my surprise the commnet site said the devices were already sold out!

At least with "if you go to the lobby now..." I'd have had a chance to buy one.

What really pisses me off is that I am looking for such a gadget - I specifically want to write some apps using the latest PDC bits targetting mobile devices.

Instead, I see some PDC folks already selling them on eBay for $1,100 and more....

Maybe Microsoft could give the offer to the people who commented on this page?

Anyone from Microsoft listening?

I'm the PDC05 event owner, and have been responding on various blogs on this issue. I'll add some comments here also.

Rick makes several valid points. The bottom line is that we executed poorly on this. We did not want / expect people to stampede out of the keynote. Believe it or not, we did think this through, but obviously didn’t take into account scenarios, such as: keynote running so long, page being published earlier than expected, or problems with the signup site. This is especially disappointing for us because we feel that we usually do a better job on this sort of thing.

For example: we asked our vendor to build a sign-up page where attendees could reserve one of ~70 thirty-minute timeslots during which they could visit the MobilePlanet store to pick up their device. We did not want attendees to have to queue up for hours at a time, missing breakouts, etc. I only offer this as evidence that we did indeed try / think here.

Regarding MSFT employees who have commented about not being able to participate in the deal: while I sympathize, this was never part of the plan. We had such a limited supply that it was never a possibility. This should never be a surprise for MSFT attendees; to provide some context, not all MSFT attendees even received the PDC05 bag…

This came together at the last minute and in our excitement missed a few critical points. We’re sorry for the disappointment this has caused. Despite this, we do hope that the many attendees who did obtain a device will attend the device/mobility-oriented sessions and Instructor-Led Labs.

I'm also a man, who wanted to buy that kind of cool i-mate JASJAR.
My idea is, if its possible, it would be a good offer from Microsoft, to allow all those attendes who already cannot pre-order i-mate, and also not a MSFT employee, to have a chance to buy JASJAR with that low 150$ low price. If Microsoft offer as much devices as were in the first offer, it would be great.

Shock and Awe is accurate.

Does anyone think the SQL 2005 was a make-good? I don't.
What do I need with SQL 2005, its on my MSDN subscript, company was planning on upgrading to it anyway. What I needed was a device to jump start "the next thing" and MSFT keeps hypeing here at PDC.

I think the thing that gets me most, is the method in which they were given away. We're all developers and we like to "follow rules". When Jim Allchin, told me not to get up, but wait until after the keynote. The developer in me, (and my Mom's good old fashioned upbringing), told me to wait stay seated and listen to all the goodness. Meanwhile hundreds of rude people got up and streamed to the exit. After the keynote, I noticed the LCD screens announcing the sellout. I was bummed. I got over it. But what got me more riled up was seeing those same people with there new toys, chatting during the keynote, taking flash pictures, and asking each other for help, while I was trying to listen. Everytime I saw one in the hall, I thought to myself what a rudebega! And of course it brought back the feelings of the initial day. Sour Grapes? Maybe, but I would have loved to put my VirtualCellar on a Mobile Phone...sure I can use the emulator, but what fun is it to carry an emulator around with you to show off your product...

Steve,
The difference is that if someone didn't get a bag, then things were even worse than they appeared or they didn't want one. On Thursday when I picked up DVD 6 of "The Goods" there was still a large pile of them, and on Friday morning when I checked my bag at the hall there were still some there.

As for the JASJAR - even something as simple as "Check under your seat to see if you have a coupon" (which I've seen before) would have been better than what happened. You pretty much lost the entire room when this happened - half ran out of the room, and the other half was watching the solid stream of people leaving and, although they stayed either from duty or hope, very few people had their mind on the rest of the presentation.

The sad fact was that it was a sore point the entire week as every time one was pulled out, my first thought was "So you're one of the ones that ditched the Keynote."

Not everyone had bad intentions!!! I left the keynote in order to have time to find and get a good seat at my first break-out session (TLN01 in room 408AB). It was an EXTREMELY difficult decision to make, but I figured the keynote will be on DVD and I can pick up where I left off. Anyway, I found room 408AB and found a seat. There were about 15 others in the room and the gentleman giving the presentation announced that the first sessions were cancelled due to the keynotes running long. WHAA? Why didn't they tell us in the keynote? I wouldn't have left. So, after unsuccessfully trying to coax the presenter to go ahead (what else was he going to do for an hour) with his presentation, I left the room. There were comnet PCs just outside the room so I stopped by to re-organize my schedule. There was a link at the bottom of the nav tree for the JASJAR. I clicked and got one. I was shocked! Anyway, my point is everyone shouldn't be so pissy to those who left early.

Actually, I don't have a problem with those that got it - but I do have to say that that's the first thing that jumped to mind when I saw one. I know a couple of people that figured out how to get one without leaving the room (I guess they cached the printout) or jumped out and came back in. But the way it was done, the first impressions painted everyone who got one in with the thundering hordes running out the door during the keynote.

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