Microsoft and AMD Award Space Trip to “Vanishing Point” Winner

BURNS FLAT, Okla. — Feb. 12, 2007 — William Temple of Sacramento, Calif., will be traveling to space as one of the winners of “Vanishing Point,” a unique interactive puzzle game from Microsoft Corp. and AMD to celebrate the recent consumer release of the Windows Vista™ operating system. Temple was awarded the prize today by Aaron Coldiron, lead communications manager for Microsoft, Teresa de Onis, marketing manager, Advanced Marketing Group for AMD, and Randy Brinkley, president of Rocketplane Kistler at the Oklahoma Spaceport in Burns Flat, Okla.

“This has been a lifelong dream — floating in space and seeing the Earth from above is going to be an amazing experience,” Temple said. “I’m really excited I was chosen out of the 87,000 registered players online.”

Coldiron noted, “We wanted to show people how Windows Vista will take computing to new heights — 60 miles up, in this case. The chance to give someone the ultimate ‘vista’ from space is a fantastic reward.”

“This game brought to life one of the most promising and rewarding aspects of technology — the ability to bring people from around the globe together to solve shared problems,” de Onis said. “The online community that grew around Vanishing Point displayed amazing cleverness, persistence and ingenuity in completing these puzzles.”

The online community has been abuzz about “Vanishing Point,” the latest alternate reality game: solving a series of online puzzles that led to a corresponding real-world event. The sweepstakes kicked off Jan. 8, 2007 with a spectacular custom light show in the fountain of the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. The week following the launch event, people around the world discovered a new round of clues in the form of skywriting. On Jan. 20, 2007, significant global structures, including the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, the National Gallery in London, the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto and the Victoria Theatre in Singapore, were “painted” in light, revealing clues about historic figures and times. To cap off the real-world activities, on Jan. 27, 2007, Microsoft and AMD conducted a fireworks finale on Seattle’s Lake Union, drawing hundreds of people to learn more about the identity of the mysterious Microsoft Puzzle Master.

Temple will visit space in the Rocketplane XP, a four-seat, fighter-sized vehicle fitted with a delta wing and a V-tail providing good flight characteristics both subsonically and supersonically. The vehicle is powered by turbojet engines and a rocket engine, allowing it to accelerate to speeds of more than 3,500 feet per second (2,386 miles per hour) and reach altitudes in excess of 330,000 feet (60 miles), providing the sensation of weightlessness for three to four minutes. Rocketplane Limited is a subsidiary of Rocketplane Kistler.

The grand prize package includes a Windows Vista-based, AMD-powered Dell desktop PC; a 24-inch widescreen monitor; a Zune™ digital media player; an Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system; three Games for Windows® game titles; a Microsoft® LifeCam VX-6000 webcam; Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007; and $50,000 cash.

“Vanishing Point” raised the stakes in online games with tougher challenges, bigger rewards and events scheduled around the globe. Players worldwide competed for nearly half a million dollars in prizes. Representatives are available to discuss the game, the grand prize and the role Microsoft, Windows Vista, AMD and Rocketplane Limited played in the game. More information, official rules and coverage of the offline events are available at

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