Will you be in Seattle this weekend?? I sure will be, and so will SO many of my friends! I hope to meet many of you there…hasn’t it been long enough that we’ve chatted on Twitter without laying eyes on each other?
I say YES.
So, I know there are dozens of events taking place over the course of the weekend in not-so-sunny-yes-it’s-supposed-to-rain-constantly-Seattle, but, I know of one event in particular you do NOT want to miss.
The Microsoft Party, being held at the Microsoft Store in University Village.
My word, folks. Run, do not walk.
As the brand ambassador (I know, look at the circles I am cutting, as my grandfather would say), I have been made privy to the juicy details this event is offering. You have no idea how good it’s going to get. No. Idea.
But I’m going to tell you.
Before I do,I want to catch all of you who ARE NOT going to be in Seattle…there is GOOD STUFF for you, too! Scroll on down to check it out! (Hellooooo – a giveaway!)
I also want to share with you a little Q&A I had with the store manager Melinda, whom you will get to meet Thursday if you attend (and you MUST!). She obviously knows her stuff, and I can’t wait to get in there and pick her brain some more. With a world of Microsoft at your fingers everyday, it’s got to be like computer heaven.
But I digress. Here is the play-by-play of my interview with Melinda. Take notes. In fact, take a OneNote if you can. If you can’t, come see me and Melinda. We’ll get you set up.
1. The Party on Thursday: Why should we come? What should we expect to find? We all have a very busy schedule and other parties are going on simultaneously – sell me on this party.
Event attendees will be given a special promotional code to shop for Microsoft products at a discounted price. Attendees will have the opportunity to enter a drawing for three different giveaways. Entries will be made via a business card drawing (one business card per attendee). Gifts include:
- Acer Aspire Timeline running Windows and a copy of Office Home and Business 2010
- Xbox 360 250 GB Console with Kinect and a copy of Office Home and Business 2010
- Samsung Focus 2 Windows Phone and a copy of Office Home and Business 2010
2. What does the Microsoft Store have to offer that an online shopping experience doesn’t? Most people today (especially bloggers) are fairly savvy when it comes to online shopping – lure us in!
The Microsoft Stores are committed to providing the best possible customer experience when shopping for technology. Our store associates are the ultimate defining factor and technology resource for local consumers. Regardless of brand or purchase location, Microsoft Store associates will do their best to answer technology and product questions. The Microsoft Stores also add value through complimentary, personalized set-up sessions with new purchases, personal training services and product repair assistance.
3. Does Microsoft offer any product in particular that would make our lives as bloggers easier? What and why?
Microsoft offers a multitude of tools for productivity, and three in particular can make a blogger’s life easier: OneNote 2010, the Windows Phone, Windows LiveWriter and SkyDrive. OneNote is a ‘digital notebook’ that provides a single place to gather all your notes and information – you could use it as a scrapbook to organize your entire life. The Windows Phone is your on-the-go companion. You can access your website, post new blog entries, and update your Facebook, all from your phone.
The most important product Microsoft offers to bloggers is free for all Windows users, Windows LiveWriter. Even if you have a pre-existing blog, LiveWriter offers an extremely intuitive way to administer your site. You can write a new entry, format, add pictures or video, and post online within minutes. LiveWriter is indispensable for bloggers!
(I have to jump in here and say, Holy YES, she is absolutely right – LiveWriter has hands down changed my blogging life more than ANY other product. It is a true treasure. OneNote is also fast on its way to ranking up there with one of those things I cannot live without.)
4. Social Media is very important to a blogger. What does the Microsoft Store have to offer in that regard?
Imagine seeing and interacting with all your contacts, across all of your social networks, in one unified place. Microsoft products can do exactly that. With the Outlook Social Connector, your contacts list also displays updates from numerous social networking sites. Additionally, the Windows Phone has a people-centric design that simplifies daily tasks. With the People Hub, you can interact with your contacts through multiple networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, and then easily take a picture or video and post directly to those sites from the phone.
5. Many food bloggers are wives, mothers, and working professionals who have to stay on top of it all. Are there any products you can recommend for keeping us organized easily?
Outlook’s calendar will remind you of appointments, and synchronizes with your Windows Phone seamlessly. OneNote will help you organize all your notes, archives, and research for upcoming posts. Excel can help balance your budget. A free SkyDrive account securely pushes all this information to the cloud. And when you’re away from the computer, you can access all these services directly from the Windows Phone through the Office Hub, or through any web browser with Office Web Apps and SkyDrive. Working together in tandem, the Microsoft ecosystem is a powerful problem-solver.
6. Going back to family needs – we like FUN too. What products can you recommend for family fun?
Xbox 360 & Kinect! No matter what age your kids are, there are fun games for the whole family. Kinect makes your whole body the controller – and keeps the kids active. New family-oriented games are continually being released. A popular favorite is Kinect Disneyland Adventures, where you can explore the entire park, and go on challenging adventures. Imagine being able to go to Disneyland at any time in your own living room!
7. Is there a new or upcoming product you are really excited about? What and why?
Windows 8 is going to revolutionize the way we use the PC. With the beautiful, intuitive new interface, you can find your programs and apps faster. And with a unified system between tablet and PC, you can use the same app on any Windows 8 device: tablet, laptop, tower, or all-in-one. The Microsoft Stores are currently demoing the Release Preview, and customers are very impressed with the new features and possibilities.
8. What’s the one Microsoft product you can’t live without?
Microsoft Office is essential to my daily life. Outlook not only displays email, but organizes my contacts and appointments. I write everything in Word, and keep track of budgets with Excel. I keep all my personal notes and reminders organized in OneNote, and design flyers with Publisher. The Office Suite is the conduit to easily completing all of life’s day-to-day tasks, and is certainly indispensable in mine.
Okay, you read that, right? You saw those prizes? Hello…a COMPUTER. An XBox. (Heck, I want the Xbox. I REALLY want Kinect. Okay, NEED. I may be using my discount for THAT.) A PHONE. In what world is a Windows Phone THIRD PRIZE??
I can’t even think of a witty response.
Just amazing. Add to the prizes that we will get to shop with professional help? We get to EAT? We get to PLAY?
I am so ALL IN. So please, come. Be MY guest. The party is from 2-4 at the University Village Location, and there is even FREE transportation provided from the Fairmont where the majority of everyone will be staying. Use it. Come! PLEASE, COMMENT on this post if you would like an official invitation, so that I can get you on the exclusive guest list. Our hosts want to be prepared! You can also find more tips by visiting the Microsoft Office Blog.
Remember my hint from earlier? If you aren’t going to be in town, or, if you just can’t make it to the event, don’t mope just yet.
Nope – no moping.
There is a big giveaway happening here. For you. For everyone.
ANOTHER computer. Yes, really.
The Acer Aspire S3 ($899)
Enjoy life on the go with the Aspire S Series. This techno-wonder comes in an ultra-aerodynamic, super-slim design, yet delivers everything you expect from a notebook. Built with lots of storage and 7 hours of battery life—this PC is perfect for the mom on the go. LOOK at that beauty. My laptop is blushing…it knows it’s met its match. Oh, you want it, don’t you?
Yes, yes you do.
Well, it CAN be yours. All you have to do is tweet. Yep – that’s it…TWEET.
“@Windows & @Office CHANGED my LIFE. Plus, they are giving away an Acer laptop! #WindowsRocks!”
You can copy this sample tweet, or, create your own. But, anything you tweet between now and Saturday, June 9 at 10pm EST that includes #WindowsRocks @office and @windows in the tweet qualifies as an entry. Tweet once, tweet 10 times, it’s a random drawing from all valid entries. US and Canada Addresses ONLY, please. And, be sure to FOLLOW @windows and @office, as the winner will be verified, and you need to be a follower!
Any questions? Here I am…just comment! And remember – you WANT to come to this party on Thursday…so let me know if you need an invitation!
Thanks, and I can’t wait to see you there!