MICROSOFT ROCK PAPER AZURE CHALLENGE – SPRING FLING!

OFFICIAL RULES

 

PLEASE NOTE:  It is your sole responsibility to review and understand your employer’s policies regarding your eligibility to participate in trade promotions.  If you are participating in violation of your employer’s policies, you may be disqualified from entering or receiving prizes.  Microsoft disclaims any and all liability or responsibility for disputes arising between an employee and their employer related to this matter, and prizes will only be awarded in compliance with the employer’s policies.

 

GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES: Microsoft is committed to complying with government gift and ethics rules and therefore government employees are not eligible.

 

COMMON TERMS USED IN THESE RULES:

 

These are the official rules that govern how the Microsoft Rock Paper Azure Challenge – Spring Fling! promotion will operate (“Contest”). In these rules, “we,” “our,” and “us” refer to Microsoft Corporation, the sponsor of this Challenge.  “You” refers to an eligible entrant. 

 

PROMOTION DESCRIPTION: 

 

This challenge will consist of a Sweepstakes and a Contest. The object of this Challenge is to create a bot that can be used to play an online version of “Rock Paper Scissors” which will be hosted on the Windows Azure platform. For purposes of this Challenge, the bot you create and deploy will be called an “entry.”  Winners will be determined based on a Sweepstakes from among all eligible entries as well as a weekly Contest selection process based on the highest performing bot as detailed below. 

 

WHAT ARE THE START AND END DATES? 

 

This Challenge starts at 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET) on April 16, 2012, and ends at 1:59 p.m. ET on June 15, 2012 (“Entry Period”). The Entry Period will consist of nine (9) weekly prize periods (all starting at 2:00 PM ET and ending at 1:59 PM ET with the exception of prize period 1 which will start at 6:00 PM) as follows:

 

1.       April 16 – 20

2.       April 21 – 27

3.       April 28 – May 4

4.       May 5 – May 11

5.       May 12 – May 18

6.       May 19 – May 25

7.       May 26 – June 1

8.       Jun 2 – June 8

9.       June 9 – June 15

At 2 pm Eastern Time on the last Friday of each Prize Period, all eligible entries received up to that point will compete in an online tournament (“Spring Fling Round”) where the top three (3) entries will win the prizes listed below and all entries will become eligible for the Grand Prize drawing at the end of the promotion period. Your entry will continue to carryover from week to week and will be eligible for each Spring Fling Round as long as it is uploaded to the challenge environment no later than 1:59 PM on any given week.

 

CAN I ENTER?

 

You are eligible to enter this Contest if you meet the following requirements at time entry:

 

·         You are a developer or hobbyist in the field of software technology and you are a legal resident of the 50 United States or District of Columbia 18 years of age or older; and

 

·         You are NOT an employee of Microsoft Corporation or an employee of a Microsoft subsidiary; and

 

·         You are NOT involved in any part of the administration and execution of this Contest; and

 

·         You are NOT an immediate family (parent, sibling, spouse, child) or household member of a Microsoft employee, an employee of a Microsoft subsidiary, or a person involved in any part of the administration and execution of this Contest.

 

This Contest is void outside the geographic area described above and wherever else prohibited by law.

 

HOW DO I ENTER?

 

 In order to participate in this Contest, you must do all of the following:

 

1.       Make sure you have a valid Windows Azure Account. Don't have one? Get your FREE trial here https://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/pricing/free-trial/ or activate your MSDN Subscription benefit that includes Windows Azure access at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsazure/msdn-benefits/.

2.       Visit http://www.rockpaperazure.com and follow the on-screen instructions to create your bot using the base starter samples provided. All bots must meet the following minimum technical/content requirements:

a.       Bot must be built using the template provided in the downloadable project, implementing the IRockPaperScissorsBot interface.  See the included samples for examples.

b.      Bot must be no larger than 100kb in size after compilation.

c.       Bot may not use P/Invoke, unsafe code, or some namespaces included, but not limited to, System.Reflection, System.Data, System.IO, System.Threading, System.Diagnostics, System.GC, or System.Net. 

d.      Bot(s) must be uploaded to your Bot Lab project, running in your Windows Azure account. 

 

3.       Attend a Webcast (optional) –  To facilitate getting started, join us weekly where we’ll give some background information on the contest, developing the solutions, and how to get started.  We’ll also address any questions live.

 

4.       Test your bot (optional) – It’s likely a good idea to test your bot.  You can do this by uploading it to your Bot Lab and running some test rounds.  When you’re ready, you can enter it into the contest.

 

5.       Upload your bot by no later than 1:59 PM ET, on any Friday throughout the promotion.  To upload your bot, you must first deploy your Bot Lab solution to your Windows Azure account.  After the Bot Lab is deployed, the main page contains an upload section that allows you upload any number of bots that you’ve created.  You may continue to upload and test any combination of bots – when you’re ready to enter your chosen bot into the competition, visit the My Bot page on the rockpaperazure.com website.  From this page, enter your Windows Azure deployment address and Bot Lab password.  The site will then retrieve your chosen bot.

 

While you can upload and test an unlimited number of bots, you are limited to one (1) bot per weekly competition.

 

We are not responsible for entries that we do not receive for any reason, or for entries that we receive but are not decipherable for any reason.

 

We will automatically disqualify:

 

·         Any incomplete or illegible entry; and

·         Any entries that we receive from you that are in excess of the entry limit described above.

 

In addition:

 

·         your entry must be your own original work; and

·         your entry cannot have been selected as a winner in any other contest; and

·         you must have obtained any and all consents, approvals or licenses required for you to submit your entry; and

 

We reserve the right to reject any entry, in our sole and absolute discretion, that we determine does not meet the above criteria.

 

HOW WILL MY ENTRY BE POTENTIALLY USED?

 

Other than what is set forth below, we are not claiming any ownership rights to your entry.  However, by submitting your entry, you:

 

·         are granting us an irrevocable, royalty-free, worldwide right and license to: (i) use, review, assess, test and otherwise analyze your entry and all its content in connection with this Challenge; and (ii) feature your entry and all content in connection with the marketing, sale, or promotion of this Challenge (including but not limited to internal and external sales meetings, conference presentations, tradeshows, and screen shots of the Challenge entry in press releases) in all media (now known or later developed)

 

·         agree to sign any necessary documentation that may be required for us and our designees to make use of the rights you granted above;

 

·         understand and acknowledge that the Promotion Parties may have developed or commissioned materials similar or identical to your submission and you waive any claims you may have resulting from any similarities to your entry; 

 

·         understand that we cannot control the incoming information you will disclose to our representatives in the course of entering, or what our representatives will remember about your entry. You also understand that we will not restrict work assignments of representatives who have had access to your entry.  By entering this Challenge, you agree that use of information in our representatives’ unaided memories in the development or deployment of our products or services does not create liability for us under this agreement or copyright or trade secret law; 

 

·         understand that you will not receive any compensation or credit for use of your entry, other than what is described in these Official Rules

 

Please note that following the end of this Challenge your entry may be posted on a website selected by us for viewing by visitors to that website.  We are not responsible for any unauthorized use of your entry by visitors to this website.  While we reserve these rights, we are not obligated to use your entry for any purpose, even if it has been selected as a winning entry.

 

If you do not want to grant us these rights to your entry, please do not enter this Challenge.

 

WINNER DETERMINATION AND PRIZES

 

Each week, all eligible competitors will receive a t-shirt and a Rock Paper Azure Challenge stress ball. Approximate Retail Value (ARV) $13.00. Limit one (1) t-shirt and one (1) stress ball per person overall.

 

CONTEST

 

Throughout the week, as bots are uploaded by various players, they will play each other automatically and these results are instantly viewable.   You may make changes to your bot at any time, up until the weekly cut off time of 1:59 PM ET on the last Friday of each Prize Period.  At 2:00 PM ET on the last Friday of each Prize Period, the official Spring Fling round will be run, and your bot will play all other bots.   For each match won, you receive 3 points.  For each tie, you receive 1 point.  Loses receive no points.  Winners are determined by the players with the most points.  In the event of a tie, the player with the oldest bot in play wins (example: if PlayerA uploads on Tuesday, and PlayerB on Wednesday, PlayerA would win in the event of a tie as his bot is older.)

 

Prizes

 

The top three (3) winners each week will receive the following prize:

 

1.       One (1) First Prize. A $50 Best Buy Gift Card. Approximate Retail Value (ARV) $50.00

2.       One (1) Second Prize. A $25 Best Buy Gift Card. Approximate Retail Value (ARV) $25.00

3.       One (1) Third Prize.  A $10 Best Buy Gift Card. Approximate Retail Value (ARV) $10.00

You are eligible to win multiple contest prizes throughout the overall Challenge period.

 

SWEEPSTAKES

 

 

At the close of the overall contest period on June 15, 2012, we will randomly select three (3) winners to receive one of the prizes listed below.

 

1.       One (1) First Prize. A Nokia Lumia 800 Windows Phone. Approximate Retail Value (ARV) $499.00

2.       One (1) Second Prize. A 4GB Xbox 360 with Kinect. Approximate Retail Value (ARV) $299.00

3.       One (1) Third Prize. A Kinect Sensor for Xbox 360. Approximate Retail Value (ARV) $150.00

The total Approximate Retail Value (ARV) of all prizes combined is: $1713.00

 

If you are a potential winner, we will notify you by sending a message to the e-mail address, the phone number, or mailing address (if any) provided at time of entry within seven (7) days following completion of judging or the random drawing.  If the notification that we send is returned as undeliverable, or you are otherwise unreachable for any reason, we may award to a runner-up.

 

If there is a dispute as to who is the potential winner, we will consider the potential winner to be the authorized account holder of the e-mail address used to enter the Challenge. If you are a potential winner, we may require you to sign an Affidavit of Eligibility, Liability/Publicity Release and a W-9 tax form or W-8 BEN tax form within 10 days of notification. If you are a potential winner and you are 18 or older, but are considered a minor in your place of legal residence, we may require your parent or legal guardian to sign all required forms on your behalf.  If you do not complete the required forms as instructed and/or return the required forms within the time period listed on the winner notification message, we may disqualify you and select a runner-up.

 

If you are confirmed as a winner of this Challenge:

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT OTHER CONDITIONS AM I AGREEING TO BY ENTERING?

 

By entering this Challenge you agree:

 

·         To abide by these Official Rules; and

 

·         To release and hold harmless Microsoft and its respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, employees and agents from any and all liability or any injury, loss or damage of any kind arising from or in connection with this Challenge, or any prize won; and

 

·         That Microsoft’s decisions will be final and binding on all matters related to this Challenge; and

 

·         That, by accepting a prize, Microsoft may use of your proper name and state of residence online and in print, or in any other media, in connection with this Challenge, without payment or compensation to you, except where prohibited by law.

 

WHAT LAWS GOVERN THE WAY THIS CHALLENGE IS EXECUTED AND ADMINISTRATED?

 

This Challenge will be governed by the laws of the State of Washington, and you consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the courts of the State of Washington for any disputes arising out of this Challenge.  

 

WHAT IF SOMETHING UNEXPECTED HAPPENS AND THE CHALLENGE CAN’T RUN AS PLANNED?

 

If someone cheats, or a virus, bug, catastrophic event, or any other unforeseen or unexpected event that cannot be reasonably anticipated or controlled, (also referred to as force majeure) affects the fairness and / or integrity of this Challenge, we reserve the right to cancel, change or suspend this Challenge.  This right is reserved whether the event is due to human or technical error. If a solution cannot be found to restore the integrity of the Challenge, we reserve the right to select winners from among all eligible entries received before we had to cancel, change or suspend the Challenge.

 

If you attempt to compromise the integrity or the legitimate operation of this Challenge by hacking or by cheating or committing fraud in ANY way, we may seek damages from you to the fullest extent permitted by law.  Further, we may ban you from participating in any of our future Challenge, so please play fairly.

 

HOW CAN I FIND OUT WHO WON?

 

We will post the names of winners who received a prize worth $25.00 or more online at http://www.rockpaperazure.com. This list will remain posted one month after June 15, 2012.

 

WHO IS SPONSORING THIS CHALLENGE?

 

Microsoft Corporation

One Microsoft Way

Redmond, WA 98052