All William Tsang wanted from the midnight Windows Vista launch was a free Web cam. Instead, he walked away with the main draw -- a copy of Vista Ultimate, autographed, rock star-style, by Microsoft chairman Bill Gates.
As the doors to Harvey Norman's Alexandria store opened at 11pm Monday, the tech professional from Sydney's inner west joined over 100 others for a stab at winning the coveted prize.
Customers intending to purchase consumer versions of Vista at midnight were given one raffle ticket each for a chance to purchase the first copy of Vista in Australia, signed by Gates.
At the stroke of midnight, it was Tsang (above) with the winning ticket.
When asked if he would sell the autographed version online, he said: "I'll keep it for archival purposes".
Apart from the Alexandria store, Harvey Norman said 43 outlets in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne would stay open past midnight. Various deals were thrown in to entice punters to make the pilgrimage, including 10 percent discounts on computer hardware and a bonus Web cam for the first 100 customers.
On November 30, Microsoft unveiled the corporate edition of Vista. Prior to launch, a majority of chief information officers and systems administrators polled by ZDNet Australia said they were in no rush to roll out Vista because the operating system requires too much processing power and doesn't provide a compelling business case to upgrade.