Tech.Ed attendees get free HP netbook

Microsoft has raised the stakes for conference swag, with paying attendees of its September Tech.Ed conference in Australia having the opportunity to go home with a new HP laptop.

in brief Microsoft has raised the stakes for conference swag, with paying attendees of its September Tech.Ed conference in Australia having the opportunity to go home with a new HP laptop.

The laptop will be a HP Mini 2140 netbook and come loaded with the latest public build of Windows 7. Microsoft intends to use the laptops to distribute conference materials and gather feedback to help develop local deployment training.

At the end of the conference, attendees will be able to keep the laptop as a gift or return it to Microsoft, which will donate the netbook to its On My Way program for disadvantaged Aussies. The Redmond giant says a small portion of netbooks will be reused by Microsoft for other events.

Hardware giveaways are not new to the Redmond giant; attendees of its Professional Developers Conference last year received a 160GB USB hard drive loaded with Windows 7 builds.

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