Or become a Microsoft Registered patner. You could also just attend a launch event. The last two Visual Studio events I went to, I came home with the "Standard" version plus some other goodies. For 2008 I got Vista Ultimate and Server 2008.
Yeah, I have done that. When they launched MS Office 2003 I went to the IX center here and snagged some great stuff.
OK side story here. When I went to the Cleveland launch of Office 2003 I arrived real early, they were just setting up. So I wander in and a nice girl checks me in and sends me downstairs to this really nice room. The help was bringing in pastry. So I walk in and sit my ass down. Now I am thinking this is unusual as there is seating for maybe 100 people in here? What the hell I sit down and start munching coffee and Danish (Really great cheese Danish too). The room begins to slowly populate so I am talking to people, everything seems cool and fun but still it's like something is wrong.
Next thing they bring in breakfast. I mean a full scrambled eggs, toast, sausage & bacon breakfast. This is incredible. Then the Microsoft people show up and start talking. I actuallt started to get active with the talk and how office works well for me and how I like the way the software interacts and I mention my interest in SharePoint and blah, blah, blah.
Meanwhile I am looking at the schedule of events and the shit doesn't make sense. I know something is wrong but I am not about to wander off or ask a stupid question.
Finally a little before noon things conclude for lunch. The Microsoft staff thanks us and informed us we would be given a nice briefcase as we exited the room. So I exit the room this Microsoft little sweetheart greets me and hands me this nice briefcase loaded with goodies and ask my name to check me off on her list. I knew something was wrong! I tell her my name and offer a business card and cop a plea. I told her how I got there early and had no clue. I offer to return the briefcase. She laughed, took my card and said I could keep it.
Turns out I was in a room full of company CEOs there by invite (VIP Invite) from Microsoft.
Go figure huh?