Windows Vista Laptop on eBay, Proceeds Going To EFF

Acer Ferrari 1000 with Windows Vista

So regarding my infamous Acer Ferrari 1000 Windows Vista laptop (one of several sent to bloggers which are stirring up a quite a bit of controversy), I think the best thing to do at this point is auction it off on eBay and donate the proceeds from the auction to one of my favorite non-profits, The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

Honestly, I’m not really the right person to do a proper review of Windows Vista and at this point, it is still unclear why I was even selected to receive it, not to mention the fact that there has been quite a bit of inconsistency regarding what Microsoft, AMD and Edelman wanted people to do with the laptop after they were done testing it. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate being included, but now I think it’s time to move on. I’ll purchase the Windows Vista upgrade when it comes out as I had originally planned on doing (here’s more on how I use Windows).

I’m starting the auction today (in the US only) and it will end in 7 days on January 4th. This will give me some more time to test out the laptop some more and see what Windows Vista is like, before it is sold to someone who will really benefit from having it, possibly even someone who will be able to give it a proper review.

Here is the eBay auction.

So why am I choosing EFF as the recipient? They are an amazing 16 year old member supported, nonprofit organization based in San Francisco that has been fighting hard to help defend digital rights and freedom. I’ve asked attorneys at EFF for free advice on numerous occasions and most recently Jason Schultz helped me out with the whole Michael Crook false DMCA claim situation, which ultimately lead to EFF’s lawsuit against him. This is my way of saying thanks to EFF and to help support them in their continuing efforts.

To sweeten the deal, Laughing Squid will cover the shipping costs and throw in a Laughing Squid t-shirt and stickers.

Brian Solis has donated a Cruise FE Sling bag to be included with the laptop.

Here’s some more coverage on the auction:


Daring Fireball




I’ll announce the winner of the auction here on January 4th. Happy bidding!

UPDATE 1: Here are what some of the other bloggers are doing with their Windows Vista laptops. The majority of them have decided to keep theirs.

UPDATE 2: In less than 24 hours, the auction has already passed the $3000 mark. It looks like I’m going to be able to present EFF with a pretty sizable donation.

UPDATE 3: There seems to be quite a bit of misinformation floating around regarding this issue, especially on digg and Slashdot. As I mentioned in my original post on the laptop, the only communication I received about this was an email from Edelman (I have never been contacted by Microsoft regarding this laptop). The email stated that Microsoft was sending me a “present” with “no strings attached” (those were the exact words used in the email). They did not include any instructions at all regarding what to do with the laptop. Also, I did not receive the same email as the other bloggers, including the follow-up email that was sent by Microsoft to Marshall Kirkpatrick asking him to return or give away the laptop. I have asked Edelman for an explanation regarding this inconstancy, but have not yet received one. So just to be clear, I was never sent any kind of instructions on what to do with the laptop and I did not sign anything, including an NDA.

UPDATE 4: A bidding war has started on the auction and has drove the price up over $20,000. We have had some fraudulent bids already on this auction, so we are currently looking into these as well. Jonathan Eric Rosen of ReliaBid has offered up their services at no charge to help reduce the the possibly of non-paying bidders.

UPDATE 5: Ok, the two fraudulent bidders who took the auction to $20,000 have been removed. The auction is now proceeding normally.

EFF letter for laptop auction

UPDATE 6: Per eBay’s guidelines for charity listings, I have updated the auction with a letter from EFF stating that they will be the recipients of the proceeds from the auction.

UPDATE 7: Sheyenne York has won the laptop auction on eBay and over $3450 will be donated to EFF.