Microsoft's $25 Windows 8 for Mac developers deal sells out

Microsoft's $25 Windows 8 for Mac developers deal sells out

Summary: Microsoft promotion to attract Mac developers to check their websites for Internet Explorer compatibility appears to have been popular.


Microsoft's offer of Parallels and Windows 8 Pro for $25 — aimed at tempting Mac web developers to try out tools to test their site's compatibility with Internet Explorer — sold out quickly yesterday.

In January, Microsoft launched the site modern.IE, which provides a variety of tools and resources for developers to test their sites to ensure they "work beautifully across Internet Explorer as well as other modern browsers", with a particular focus on helping non-Windows developers deal with the "real challenge" of users on older versions of IE.

Yesterday, Microsoft added to its compatibility-testing offerings with Windows QuickStart Kit for Mac developers. Developers could get their hands on the kit — which included Parallels Desktop 8 (normally around $75) and Windows 8 Pro (up to around $120) — on a USB stick in exchange for a $25 donation to charity.

2013-04-03 11.00.16 am
Image: Microsoft

"We heard that the most common way you test across browsers is through virtualization of browser and operating system combinations using your favorite virtualization platform, such as Hyper-V, VMWare, VirtualBox, or Parallels. However, costs to purchase software and licensing can be difficult if you're that startup looking for your first big breakthrough. Today we’re making it just a little easier with a new combo offer," Microsoft said introducing the kit on Tuesday.

The kit, available through online retailer Swish, "sold out quickly", according to Microsoft. It's now planning to make "other offers available in the near future" given "how popular" the QuickStart Kit was.

In addition, Microsoft yesterday bulked up the tools available on modern.IE. The site now also includes new virtual machines for IE10 on Windows 7 and IE8 on Windows XP, and extends the BrowserStack-based browser scanning service, which is free for three months, to sites in a developer's local environment.

The local scans were introduced to enable them for sites that site behind a firewall, such as an authentication page, or line of business web apps. Modern.IE is now using tools from Sauce Labs to provide a line-item list of suggest fixes for compatibility issues found during the scan. It can also be used to check of a site is on its Flash CV block list for IE 10 on Windows 8 and Windows RT that Microsoft announced last month.

The modern.IE site will also support developers in 18 different languages including Arabic, Bahasa Indonesia, Chinese (Simplified, Traditional, and Hong Kong), Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, Spanish (Spain and Latin America), Swedish, Thai, Turkish, and Vietnamese.

Topics: Windows, Browser, Microsoft, Virtualization, Web development, Windows 8

Liam Tung

About Liam Tung

Liam Tung is an Australian business technology journalist living a few too many Swedish miles north of Stockholm for his liking. He gained a bachelors degree in economics and arts (cultural studies) at Sydney's Macquarie University, but hacked (without Norse or malicious code for that matter) his way into a career as an enterprise tech, security and telecommunications journalist with ZDNet Australia. These days Liam is a full time freelance technology journalist who writes for several publications.

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  • Sold out?

    Software sold and distributed on a USB stick sold out? In this day and age of downloadable software?

    Something's funny about this picture.
    • Promotion...

      Well, given that Microsoft is including third-party commercial software (Parallels) which sells for a lot more than $25 per license, Microsoft would only have bought a certain number of licenses to offer for this promotion.
  • Why?

    I mean, seriously! Why???!!!
    Richard Estes
  • Stop With The Gimmicks, Microsoft.

    You're embarrassing all of us.

    How about you make some software that people actually want? Gates did it. Why can't Ballmer do it?

    Windows 8 is all about vendor lock-in. Get back to innovation already. This is getting weird.
    Le Chaud Lapin
    • Wait

      How is Microsoft not innovating with Windows 8?

      And if they aren't, who is?
      Michael Alan Goff
  • Wow just wow

    It is pretty bad when 2 of the world's super powers are flat out IGNORING Windows completely in favor of Linux. China and Germany, the latter of which has completely banned sales of Windows within their borders. This is Microsoft grasping for straws as Linux is consuming the market, and taking the world by storm. Windows 8, and the new XBOX aren't going to sell well. MS can now say it sold X amount of Windows 8 licenses in the first quarter to pad the sales figures. Microsoft is the most out of touch company on earth, and it is sad... I don't know anybody who still uses Windows. They have either switched to Ubuntu or Mac, and Android or iOS. There will always be those who want XP/7 for the sake of either compatibility or refusal to change. It is like Microsoft had a best seller with XP, then Vista came out and changed and people hated it, 7 was a little better, then 8 with all this change. People don't like it, they hate it. They speak out against it in forums, and viral videos. What is it going to take for Microsoft to wake up? HELLO MS THE WORLD DOESN"T WANT THIS CHANGE!
    • Wall of text!

      Let's look at the relevant facts:

      "Ignoring Windows in favor or Linux, Germany even banned Windows 7"

      Yeah, they did. Do you know why? It's called a patent lawsuit from Motorola. They didn't just decide it was a bad product and then move on. And not all of Germany has moved to Linux, merely some of it.

      "I don't know anyone who uses Windows"

      So you don't know anyone in the group of about 85% of desktop/laptop users?

      "People hate Windows 8"

      Says who? According to Amazon, it's doing somewhere between Windows Vista and Windows 7 in terms of people liking it. That's not great, but it's hardly doomsday.
      Michael Alan Goff
  • RE: Microsoft's $25 Windows 8 for Mac developers deal sells out

    I tried to get this deal right after Mary Jo Foley announced it on her blog here and it was already sold out... :-(
    Marc Erickson
  • Why

    From what I hear on ZDNet, Microsoft Corp no longer exists and Windows disappeared as an operating system years ago. What would I do without my Apple Surface RT?