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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

April 30, 2007 at 6:57 AM

Mix07: Gimme the loot

LAS VEGAS — Microsoft is serious about pleasing the crowd at the Mix conference.

At the registration desk, I noticed a small placard that instructed any government employees in attendance to identify themselves in order to avoid violating laws about accepting gifts. Then I was handed a plastic bag packed with a notebook, a Vista-logo flash drive key chain, a Silverlight sticker (oooh), a Windows Presentation Foundation Virtual Bootcamp DVD, and some other collateral materials.

That didn’t seem like enough to get any government types in hot water for accepting swag. But this did:

I found my way over to the lounge area, where people were queing up to get free boxed copies of Windows Vista Ultimate and Expression Studio, a suite of design and development software. That’s about $1,000 worth of goodies.

(Disclosure: I’m attending the event as a reporter and, as such, accepted a comped registration. I did not partake of the free software.)

Other perks: An oxygen bar, sponsored by Avenue A | Razorfish, the interactive marketing firm with offices in Seattle. There were a dozen “flavors” effected by passing the oxygen through scented oils. Eucalyptus, the most popular, gives you energy, so says the label. Almond is an appetite suppressant. Gardenia helps with memory. Cherry is a female aphrodisiac. In the mall adjacent to the conference center, an oxygen bar charges $22 for 15 minutes plugged into the gas.

Next door to the lounge is a massage room. Outside in the hall is an entertainment area complete with decked-out Xbox 360s, bean-bag chairs and surround sound.

There’s certainly plenty to distract from the conference sessions, which begin at about 9:30.

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