Microsoft replaces PCs stolen from SXSW startup group with free Windows 8.1 gear

The South By Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, has grown from a music and arts event to one where tech companies can also display their products and software. That includes Microsoft, which has set up a temporary presence in downtown Austin which will be the location for, among other things, the official launch party for the Xbox One game Titanfall later tonight.

Microsoft is also giving away products at the location and this weekend the company went above and beyond to help another SXSW-based group in need. The group is called StartUpBus Florida, who traveled from that state to Austin beginning last week. The people on board were tasked with coming up with a tech startup while traveling on the bus, with the finalists pitching their idea to a panel in Austin.

Unfortunately, the group's Twitter page reports that a rental property that was housing the group in Austin was broken into this weekend, with a number of laptops stolen as a result.

One of the group's participants decided to sent a Twitter message to Microsoft's Windows account asking for help and on Sunday the company responded in force. Microsoft sent over new Windows 8.1 laptops from Dell and HP, along with Surface 2 tablets and Windows Phone devices.

The free replacements were welcomed by the people involved in StartUp Bus Florida, according to this message from participant Ashley Mooney:

It's good to know that some companies will heed the call for help when needed and Microsoft certainly did for this small tech group.

Source: Windows and StartUp Bus Florida on Twitter | Image via Microsoft

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20 Comments

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###### PR stunt. I hope the thieves do well. They stole because of the society we have where those who are born rich have it good. I hate the sxsw group and pray they live miserable lives and never die even until they want to. There are infinitely more deserving people then them for a giant company's generosity.

ankit255 said,
###### PR stunt. I hope the thieves do well. They stole because of the society we have where those who are born rich have it good. I hate the sxsw group and pray they live miserable lives and never die even until they want to. There are infinitely more deserving people then them for a giant company's generosity.

While I agree on principle, that the roughly $5000 worth of gear sent to these guys could have gone to a "better" cause, I have to disagree on the tone.

If MS ignores them after being contacted then people would say MS is a cold uncaring company. PR or not this is certainly a good thing they did and deserve praise for.

ankit255 said,
###### PR stunt. I hope the thieves do well. They stole because of the society we have where those who are born rich have it good. I hate the sxsw group and pray they live miserable lives and never die even until they want to. There are infinitely more deserving people then them for a giant company's generosity.

Some one call the Wambulance, this guy needs his meds.

ankit255 said,
###### PR stunt. I hope the thieves do well. They stole because of the society we have where those who are born rich have it good. I hate the sxsw group and pray they live miserable lives and never die even until they want to. There are infinitely more deserving people then them for a giant company's generosity.

that's wrong on many levels. Really, move on to more pressing issues.... like your own. you need help.

Good form. Sucks when things get stolen. Had my car broken in to and I didnt car about my stuff to much...just getting my hands around the idiots necks who broke in to my car....

techbeck said,
Good form. Sucks when things get stolen. Had my car broken in to and I didnt car about my stuff to much...just getting my hands around the idiots necks who broke in to my car....

If we could cut fingers off and arms off for people who steal I would be in heaven.

max22 said,
If we could cut fingers off and arms off for people who steal I would be in heaven.

So you'd be dead? From the blood loss?

neonspark said,
they don't look like surface 2 at all. They are dell tablets. And what's with the shoe?

Did you even read the article???
"Microsoft sent over new Windows 8.1 laptops from Dell and HP, along with Surface 2 tablets and Windows Phone devices."

jamieakers said,

Did you even read the article???
"Microsoft sent over new Windows 8.1 laptops from Dell and HP, along with Surface 2 tablets and Windows Phone devices."

Which of those is the shoe?

jamieakers said,

Did you even read the article???
"Microsoft sent over new Windows 8.1 laptops from Dell and HP, along with Surface 2 tablets and Windows Phone devices."

did you look at the picture? find me the surface box. And the other shoe!

neonspark said,
they don't look like surface 2 at all. They are dell tablets. And what's with the shoe?

Look at the pic. One guy is wearing flip flops, the other one has nothing on his feet. They needed shoes. And MS has send them a pair or two.