Only 1,000 Beers For Bug-Test Winners?

Win a bug-finding contest, stagger away drunk on the achievement. Literally.

Romanian anti-virus vendor BitDefender is giving interested Linux users an incentive to filling out bug reports as it tests out its latest release: Free beer.

The winner of the Crash and Win beta contest will nab 1,000 German beers for finding the most bugs in the upcoming Linux-based BitDefender Mail Protection for Enterprise.

Less importantly, depending on your priorities, the winner will also get an Apple iPod and docking station, and a trip to the company’s its Bucharest headquarters. Not only to they get to meet the product’s development team, they’ve even tossed in a visit with Count Dracula. Seems it’s the spirit of the season and the promotion.

It’s a task that could rouse even Homer Simpson from the bar stool.

Alexandru Balan, BitDefender product manager, summed up the idea with one statement:
“We thought getting him drunk would be appropriate punishment for the man.”

But seriously folks, he added: “Beta testing is an important part of what makes our products great and we appreciate the effort of these guys in no small way.”

The contest is open to beta testers who use the software with any distribution of Linux on any Message Transfer Agent .

Beta registration for the Linux-based enterprise offering began earlier this month, though the software won’t be available for download until Nov. 15. A panel of judges from BitDefender will grade every bug report that comes to the company on a scale from 1 to 3; the person with the biggest bug score at the end of the beta run, Jan. 15, 2006, wins the beer and other stuff. Preliminary results will be handed out at that time, with the final rankings available Jan. 20, 2006.

Prizes for second- and third-place finishers will be provided, as well as one lucky recipient who will be subsequently known as the “Official BitDefender Crash Test Dummy” for the most original reported bug that crashes the application. 50 runners-up will get T-shirts and parting gifts.

Interested users and beer aficionados can sign up for the contest here.

BitDefender officials were not available to comment on why perfectly acceptable beer from countries outside Germany were discriminated from the contest.

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