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September 17, 2014

Let Surface Help Take a Load Off

Here we are, it’s the future! Looking around, it’s really amazing how things people only dreamed of 50 years ago are now real. Electric cars, computers in our pockets, breakthroughs in medicine – amazing. Although, the explosion of computing devices has resulted in something that feels less modern. We are carrying more gear with us everywhere we go, and it’s not just the devices, it’s the cords and cables that come with. It’s 2014, shouldn’t we be using fewer devices that can get more done? This is where Surface comes in.

Today is National Backpack Awareness Day. It was founded by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) to raise awareness around how the total weight in your bag can have a negative impact on your health, including the type of bag you choose and how you wear it. And beyond all the gadgets that fill it up, what about everything else: notebooks, water bottles, text books, snacks? No wonder according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 22,000 people were treated for backpack-related injuries in the United States last year. The AOTA recommends that a backpack weigh no more than 10% of your bodyweight. It’s time to audit your bag.

I’m a collector of backpacks, my office neighbor likes to make fun. But I like to be prepared, just in case work or play happens to break out when commuting or traveling. This is what makes Surface Pro 3 so great, not only is it the first tablet that can replace your laptop, but it can also replace things like your notebook and pen, music player, streaming video player, text books and more. My backpack has been transformed! Here are just a few ways Surface has helped me lighten my load.

surface school 2

Thin, light and powerful

Surface Pro 3 is incredibly thin [.55 inches] and light, weighing just 2.4 pounds and featuring a 12 inch display. But that is just half the story; what makes it so productive is the power inside the small, portable package. The option of Intel Core i3, i5, or i7 processors means it will run all your Windows desktop software, everything from full Microsoft Office to Adobe Photoshop, to Serato, to League of Legends. You can even snap up to three apps on the screen at a time for major multi-tasking.

surface school

Pen + OneNote

Every Surface Pro 3 comes with Surface Pen, an advanced accessory that turns your Surface into the ultimate notebook, sketchbook or super text book so you can write in the margins and not feel guilty when it’s time to sell it back to the bookstore. Surface Pen is made of aluminum so it feels great in your hand, and Surface Pro 3 features Palm Block technology so you can rest your hand on the screen to write just like real paper. No more Stylushoveritis. And OneNote is an amazing digital notebook that’s great for capturing, storing and sharing all kinds of information. Surface Pro 3 and OneNote are the best of friends – one click of the purple button on the top of Surface Pen launches OneNote even when the tablet is locked so you are always ready to jot down your best ideas.


Every Surface tablet comes with Windows 8.1 which means you also get access to stream millions of music tracks, for free, without carrying around that extra MP3 player! Just open the Xbox Music app, and search any artist, song or full album and instantly start playing. You can also create custom playlists, so that you have the perfect soundtrack for getting the homework done or kicking back.

surface school 3


The big, bright screen of Surface Pro 3 is great to taking in the latest in streaming TV and movies. Rent or purchase movies and shows from Xbox Music, or use apps like Netflix, Hulu Plus to queue up movie night.

Take a moment to evaluate what you are carrying around to class and work. Can Surface Pro 3 help you lighten your load by replacing laptops, music players and video streaming devices? How can Surface replace some of the other things you carry? Does your bag weigh less than 10% of your bodyweight? Take a quick moment to check and let us know on Twitter and Facebook in the next 24 hours with the hashtags #LightenMyLoad #SurfacePro3 and #Contest for a chance to win a Surface Pro 3. Hey, we got your back [and neck]!

Brian Seitz

Surface marketing





These are the official rules that govern how the Microsoft Lighten Your Load contest will operate (“Contest”).

In these rules, “we,” “our,” and “us” refer to Microsoft Corporation, the sponsor of this Contest.  “You” refers to an eligible Contest entrant.


This Contest starts at 1 p.m. Pacific Time (PT) on September 17, 2014, and ends at 1 p.m. on September 18, 2014 (“Entry Period”).


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

  • You are a legal resident of the 50 United States and District of Columbia, and are 18 years of age or older.

o    If you are 18 of age or older, but are considered a minor in your place of residence, you should ask your parent’s or legal guardian’s permission prior to submitting an entry into this Contest; and

  • You are NOT anemployee 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.


To be eligible for judging an Entry must meet the following content / technical requirements:

  • 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
  • your Entry may not include any third party trademarks (logos, names) or copyrighted materials (music, images, video, recognizable people)unless you have obtained permission to use the materials.You may include Microsoft trademarks, logos, and designs, for which Microsoft grants you a limited license to use for the sole purposes of submitting an Entry into this Contest.

Entries may NOT contain, as determined by us, in our sole and absolute discretion, any content that:

  • is sexually explicit, unnecessarily violent or derogatory of any ethnic, racial, gender, religious, professional or age group; profane or pornographic;
  • promotes alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco, firearms/weapons (or the use of any of the foregoing) or a particular political agenda;
  • is obscene or offensive;
  • defames, misrepresents or contains disparaging remarks about other people or companies;
  • contains trademarks, logos, or trade dress (such as distinctive packaging or building exteriors/interiors) owned by others without permission;
  • contains copyrighted materials owned by others (including photographs, sculptures, paintings, and other works of art or images published on or in websites, television, movies or other media) without permission;
  • contains materials embodying the names, likenesses, voices, or other indicia identifying any person, (other than the member of your family or community for you have received consent) including, without limitation, celebrities and/or other public or private figures, living or dead without permission;
  • contains look-alikes of celebrities or other public or private figures, living or dead without permission;
  • communicates messages or images inconsistent with the positive images and/or good will to which we wish to associate; and/or violates any law;

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


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 Contest; and (ii) feature your Entry and all content in connection with the marketing, sale, or promotion of this Contest (including but not limited to internal and external sales meetings, conference presentations, tradeshows, and screen shots of the Contest 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 Sponsor(s) 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.


This is a skill-based Contest.  To enter, you must do all of the following within the Entry Period:

  1. Take an original photo that illustrates why you need to “lighten your load” of heavy devices (“Entry”)

2. Sign into your Twitter account (accounts are free at and follow the links and instructions to become a follower of into your Facebook account (accounts are free at account and follow the links and instructions to become a follower of

  1. From your own Twitter or Facebook account, post your Entry and include the hashtag #LightenMyLoad #SurfacePro3 and #Contest

All eligible entries received will be judged using the criteria described below to determine the winners of the prizes described below.

Limit one Entry per person regardless of entry method.  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.


On or around the close of the Entry Period, a panel of judges will review all eligible Entries received and select one Grand Prize winner below based on the following judging criteria described below.

Judging Criteria:

  • 25.00% – Originality
  • 50.00% – Adherence to contest theme
  • 25.00% – Composition

The decisions of the judges are final and binding.  If we do not receive a sufficient number of entries meeting the Entry requirements, we may, at our discretion, select fewer winners than described above.

In the event of a tie between any eligible entries, an additional judge will break the tie based on the judging criteria described above.  The decisions of the judges are final and binding.  If we do not receive a sufficient number of entries meeting the entry requirements, we may, at our discretion, select fewer winners than the number of Contest Prizes described below.


 (1) Grand Prize.  A  Surface Pro 3 device and a Surface Type Cover (color determined by Sponsor). Approximate Retail Value $1,430

The ARV of electronic prizes is subject to price fluctuations in the consumer marketplace based on, among other things, any gap in time between the date the ARV is estimated for purposes of these Official Rules and the date the prize is awarded or redeemed.  We will determine the value of the prize to be the fair market value at the time of prize award.

If you are a potential winner, we will notify you by sending a message to the social media account used to submit the Entry within seven (7) days following completion of judging.  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 Contest. 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 apotential 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 Contest:

  • You may not exchange your prize for cash or any other merchandise or services.  However, if for any reason an advertised prize is unavailable, we reserve the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value; and
  • You may not designate someone else as the winner.  If you are unable or unwilling to accept your prize, we may award it to a runner up; and
  • If you accept a prize, you will be solely responsible for all applicable taxes related to accepting the prize; and
  • If you are otherwise eligible for this Contest, but are considered a minor in your place of residence, we may award the prize to your parent/legal guardian on your behalf; and
  • Unless otherwise noted, all prizes are subject to their manufacturer’s warranty and / or terms and conditions. 


By entering this Contest 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 Contest, or any prize won; and
  • 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 of your proper name and state of residence online and in print, or in any other media, in connection with this Contest, without payment or compensation to you, except where prohibited by law.


This Contest 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 Contest.


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. If a solution cannot be found to restore the integrity of the Contest, we reserve the right to select winners from among all eligible entries received before we had to cancel, change or suspend the Contest.

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 Contest, so please play fairly.


We will post the names of winners who received a prize worth $25.00 or more online at This list will remain posted one month after September 18, 2014.


Microsoft Corporation

One Microsoft Way

Redmond, WA 98052