Update on the free Vista and Office DVDs: it’s for real


Vista_logo_1We’ve had several comments around yesterday’s "Freeware of the Day"; several folks are skeptical if the offer was real. In case you missed it, here’s the gist: register on-line, participate in 3 webcasts or video labs and you get a free DVD of Windows Vista Business andor Office Professional 2007. Many folks thought the deal was a phishing scam, which is understandable. Here’s an update courtesy of Windows-Now to set your mind at ease as well as to explain the tax implication:

  • According Mark Brown, a Microsoft employee in the Developer & Platform Marketing area, the deal is legit. Here is a quote from the Microsoft Channel 9 blog: "?Its for real. This thing is a marketing campaign of mine and is targeted at developers who are willing to watch 3 or more webcasts (each) to get either a copy of Vista Business or Office Pro."
  • Tax implications: since the combined value of Vista and Office is over $600, it is considered a taxable event if you receive both DVDs. If you participate in just one of the two offers, there is no tax implication.

Hope this helps; now if they can just get keep the servers up and running, we’d be in perfect shape!


Peter Schott

So what is the estimated IRS penalty for getting both of these? 10% of $600 or so? More? Less? Figure that’s pretty cheap for a full, licensed version of these products. Does it depend on your tax bracket? If so, that’s a bit more expensive for some (less for others).




Ms should just create a price special of $599.99 on the giveaways to help us avoid the headaches.

Thanks for the great post.


Anyone else having problems registering for the Powertogether promotion? I keep getting a sorry, server error after entering my personal information. I also noticed in the fine print it said while supplies last. Does that mean there are 100 copies and so the majority of people are tricked into watching webcasts for nothing? Sorry to be a little cyncical the deal just sounds too good to be true.

Kevin C. Tofel

Thanks for the tax accounting advice Mark; any attempts to keep me from jail are always viewed as a positive thing. Besides, I doubt they’d let me use my UMPC to keep posting from a jail cell. ;)

Mark Polino, CPA

Just so we’re clear, even if you only get one of the items, it’s still taxable. However, Microsoft is only required to report it to the IRS (by sending you a 1099) if it’s over $600. Legally you’re still required to the pay tax even if the IRS doesn’t know about it. Do what you want with that information, I’m just hoping to keep Kevin out of jail.

The good news is that you probably won’t receive the CD’s until next year so you’ve got a whole year to figure out how to pay the tax.

Comments are closed.