The Microsoft "Expert Circle" Contest
Official rules
Common terms used in these rules:

These are the official rules that govern how the Microsoft Expert Circle contest promotion will operate. This promotion will be simply referred to as the “Contest” throughout the rest of these rules. In these rules, “we,” “our,” and “us” refer to Microsoft Gulf FZ LLC the sponsor of the contest. “you” and “yourself” refer to an eligible Contest entrant.

SECTION 1 Contest description

This is a skill-based contest and chance plays no part in the determination of the winner(s). The object of this contest is to create registrations for Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) and increase Microsoft Certified Solutions Experts (MCSE) on Server Infrastructure. For purposes of this Contest, each contestant should register to MVA, complete the Windows Server 2012 track contents and pass the required exams to attain the MCSE server infrastructure certification, your participation in the Contest will be called an “entry.” All eligible entries received will be judged using the criteria described below to determine winners.

SECTION 2 Dates

This Contest starts at 12:01 am Abu Dhabi local time on December 12th, 2012 and ends at 11:59 pm Abu Dhabi local time on March 15th, 2012 (“Entry Period”).Entries must be received within the entry period to be eligible.

SECTION 3 Entry

You are eligible to enter this contest if you meet the following requirements:

  • You are a legal resident of the United Arab Emirates and you are 18 years or older at the time of entry; 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, or 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.
  • In case you are an employee of the government of the UAE, you will have to provide us with the prior written approval of your employer to participate in the Contest signed by the Ethics and Compliance officer in your organization.
This Contest is void outside the geographic area identified above and wherever else prohibited by law.

SECTION 4 Eligibility

  • To be eligible for judging, an entry must meet the following content/technical requirements:
    • Completion of the following Windows Server 2012 track courses on Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA): Windows Server 2012 Technical Overview, Windows Server 2012: Management and Automation, Windows Server 2012: Server Virtualization, Windows Server 2012: Storage, Windows Server 2012: Networking, Windows Server 2012: Identity and Access, Windows Server 2012: Web & Application Platform, Windows Server 2012: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, Using Solution Accelerators to Prepare for Windows Server 2012
    • Completion of the following Microsoft Exams in Prometric testing center as included in the following link http://www.register.prometric.com/Centers.asp: All entrants must either complete and pass (Exam 410: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012, Exam 411: Administering Windows Server 2012, Exam 412: Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services) or Exam 417: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012.In addition, all Entrants must complete and pass Exam 413: Designing and Implementing a Server Infrastructure, Exam 414: Implementing an Advanced Server Infrastructure.
  • In addition, by submitting your entry into this Contest you confirm that, to the best of your knowledge:
    • Your entry is your own original work; and
    • Your entry only includes material (including music, video or images) that you own, or that you have permission from the copyright / trademark owner to use; and
    • You have obtained permission from any recognizable person (parent/guardian, if a minor) that appears in your entry to submit your entry in this Contest and to use their personal data in the entry for the purposes of the Contest (if applicable); and
    • Your entry has not been selected as a prize winner in any other Contest; and your entry complies with [insert here, if applicable] terms of use. In the event of a conflict between the terms of use and these official rules, these official rules will govern.

SECTION 5 Potential use of entry

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, worldwide right and license, for which you have received a sufficient remuneration, for the duration of the protection of the copyrights to:
    • Reproduce, copy, modify or alter your entry with all known all later developed means;
    • Use, review, assess, test and otherwise analyze your entry and all its content in connection with this contest and any future contests sponsored by Microsoft; and
    • Feature your entry and all its content in connection with the promotion of this contest in all media (now known or later developed);
  • Except where prohibited, hereby waive any and all so-called  “moral rights “ or any similar right that you may have or hereinafter acquire in the entry and all its content, and to the extent that you cannot, you hereby consent to us doing or omitting to do any act that would otherwise infringe such moral rights or any such similar rights;
  • 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 Microsoft [insert co-sponsor (if applicable)] and other entrants 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 Contest, 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 Contest 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 Contest.

SECTION 6 Submission of entry

  • To submit your entry Register for Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) at www.microsoftvirtualacademy.com and provide email ID, purchase and pass the required Prometric exams and provide Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) ID.  
  • Send the email ID of MVA and MCP ID to the email address: expertcircle@microsoft.com  
  • We will only accept 1 entry per person and e-mail address. In other words, two people may not enter using the same e-mail address – you each must enter using a unique e-mail address. 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:
    • Incomplete or illegible entries

SECTION 7 Judging the entry

A panel of qualified judges from the United Arab Emirates (whose names will be available on request), which will include at least one independent judge, will review all eligible entries received and select one winner, based upon the following criteria:

  • Completion of the following Windows Server 2012 track courses on Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA): Windows Server 2012 Technical Overview, Windows Server 2012: Management and Automation, Windows Server 2012: Server Virtualization, Windows Server 2012: Storage, Windows Server 2012: Networking, Windows Server 2012: Identity and Access, Windows Server 2012: Web & Application Platform, Windows Server 2012: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, Using Solution Accelerators to Prepare for Windows Server 2012
  • Completion of the following Microsoft Exams in Prometric testing center as included in the following link http://www.register.prometric.com/Centers.asp: All entrants must either complete and pass (Exam 410: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012, Exam 411: Administering Windows Server 2012, Exam 412: Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services) or Exam 417: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012.In addition, all Entrants must complete and pass Exam 413: Designing and Implementing a Server Infrastructure, Exam 414: Implementing an Advanced Server Infrastructure.
  • In Order to be eligible to win the prize, the winner will be selected based upon the highest score achieved. In case several participants attain the same high score, the winner will be selected based on the date of registration i.e. whoever registered first will win.
The decisions of these judges are final and binding. The decision will be made on April 1st, 2012 and will take place at a location to be announced and communicated at approximately 8pm Abu Dhabi local time.

SECTION 8 Prize(s)

Roundtrip Ticket and Full accommodation to attend TechEd North America 2013 from June 3 to June 6, 2013 in New Orleans.

If for any reason the advertised prize is unavailable, unless to do so would be prohibited by law, we reserve the right to substitute a prize(s) of equal or greater value, as permitted. We will only award one prize per person. If you are selected as a potential winner of this Contest:

  • You may not exchange your prize for cash or any other merchandise or services.
  • You may not designate someone else as the winner. If you are unable or unwilling to accept your prize, we will award it to an alternate potential winner.
  • If you accept a prize, you will be solely responsible for all applicable taxes related to accepting the prize.

SECTION 9 Notification

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) listed on your entry within seven days following the determination of winners. If the notification that we send is returned as undeliverable, or you are otherwise unreachable for any reason, we may award the prize to an alternate winner. 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 Contest.

If you are a potential winner, we may require you to sign a declaration of eligibility, use, indemnity and liability/publicity release. If you do not sign and return these required forms within the time period listed on the winner notification message, we may disqualify you and select an alternate selected winner.

SECTION 10 Method of notification

  • E-mail

    If you send an e-mail to the e-mail address below up to April 15th, 2013 we will provide you with a list of winners that received a prize.
    expertcircle@microsoft.com

  • Web
    We will post the names of confirmed winners online after April 1st, 2013 at www.gulfexpertcircle.com. This list will remain posted until June 30th, 2013.

SECTION 11 Conditions. By entering this contest you agree:

  • To abide by these official rules;
  • To the extent allowable under applicable law, to release and hold harmless Microsoft, their respective parents, subsidiaries, affiliates, employees and agents from any and all liability or any injury, loss, damage, right, claim or action of any kind arising from or in connection with this contest or any prize won;
  • That Microsoft’s decisions will be final and binding on all matters related to this contest; and
  • That by accepting a prize, Microsoft may use your name and place of residence online and in print, or in any other media, in connection with this contest, without payment or compensation to you. The declaration of eligibility, use, indemnity and liability/publicity release provided to the potential winner (pursuant to clause 9 above) will make reference to obtaining his/her free consent to use his/her name and place of residence. In any case, the lack of such consent does not prevent the winner from receiving the prize.
  • This contest will be governed by the laws of the United Arab Emirates, and you consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the courts of Dubai for any disputes arising out of this contest.

SECTION 12 Unforeseen event

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 contest, we reserve the right to cancel, change or suspend this contest. This right is reserved whether the event is due to human or technical error.

Computer “hacking” is unlawful. If you attempt to compromise the integrity or the legitimate operation of this contest 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 contests, so please play fairly.

SECTION 13 Sponsor

Microsoft Gulf FZ LLC is the sponsor of this contest.
Dubai Internet City
Building No. 8
+97143917000

SECTION 14 Privacy

Microsoft’s privacy policy will apply to this contest and to all information that we receive from your entry. Please read the privacy policy on the contest entry page before accepting the official rules and submitting your entry. Please note that by accepting the official rules you are also accepting the terms of the privacy policy.