What is Your Attention Worth to You? Well, What is Windows Vista and Office Ultimate Worth to You …

January 7, 2008 at 3:11 pm | Posted in Attention Management, Microsoft, Office | 2 Comments

Chris Saad, writing in the Particls blog (quoting Dallas J Clark), pointed out a great offer I hadn’t seen – a full suite of high-end Microsoft end user software for free!  Well, nothing’s for free of course.  You just have to hand over some attention data. 

Here’s how Dallas summarizes the deal

What do you get?

  • Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate (32-bit and 64-bit DVD)
  • Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007
  • Microsoft Money Plus Premium
  • Microsoft Student with Encarta Premium 2008
  • Microsoft Streets and Trips 2008

Requirements?

  • First off, you have to be an American resident and over the age of 18 years.
  • You must own the computer you will be using.
  • You are required to fill out a survey at the start, and then every 2 weeks.
  • The automated program is offered to Windows Vista and Windows XP customers only.
  • The survey feedback program applies to all versions of Windows.
  • Microsoft, comScore, and MarketTools employees are not eligible to participate.

I did a little poking around on this (the homepage is here) and I’m not sure they are still offering all that software.  Surprisingly, the FAQ doesn’t answer the simple questions “Why would I do this?” and “What do I get out of it?”.  Granted, I do donate my time to charitable causes from time to time, but usually not to corporations that make more than $10 billion in profit each year.  That’s right, I draw the line at $10 billion.

Anyways, the FAQ does answer:

What will Microsoft provide?
We will provide to you the software and necessary licensing to accomplish the data collection. Specifically Microsoft will provide you with:

  • All software, including documentation, required to gather data regarding your home computer use.
  • In consideration of your participation, a license covering the software provided, under the terms and conditions that accompany that software. Please note, except as expressly licensed to you in those Licenses, Microsoft retains all right, title, and interest in and to the Microsoft software provided under the Windows Feedback Program.

It sounds to me like they are giving you the software that does the data gathering, not Vista and Office itself.

Of course, if they do actually give you thousands of dollars in free software for your participation this is as much a test of how much you trust Microsoft as it is an assessment of what your attention data is worth.  Still, the response rate will be interesting to see how people assess the value they place on their attention, the value they place on Vista and Office, and the trust they have in Microsoft.

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2 Comments »

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  1. The intriguing note here is the phrase that comScore and MarkeTools employees cannot participate.

    comScore watches web browsing behavior by having its participants go through a comScore-run proxy server. (Think of it as forcing the browsing bits to go through a specific pipe–comScore watches those browsing bits and understands that this user went to Amazon.com, looked at these two product pages, and then 20 seconds later jumped to BestBuy.com.) By seeing how this opt-in sample navigates the web, comScore extrapolates about web surfing habits in general.

    MarketTools offers online surveys (Zoomerang, which was OK but not stellar when I used it several years ago).

    I’m not sure how tracking web browsing and running online surveys maps to a detailed understanding of how people use Microsoft apps running on the PC.

  2. To Microsoft, it’s all about gathering data about what users do and what they think of their major products. To the end user, well you have to put up with using the products they want you to use.

    If you are a major anti-vista person, you’re obviously not going to like the scheme, for those who want to try before they buy, then this is a great option for you. I’m not quite sure if you get to keep all the software after all the surveys end.

    Please let me know at http://www.dallasjclark.com/blog/?p=217


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