Jonathan Schwartz has more on the Niagara/T2K Try-N-Buy effort at Sun:
A while back, I announced we’d start making servers available for free trial – the objective wasn’t to terrify financial analysts, although I’m certain a few gripped their chest, but instead to drive awareness among customers that hadn’t been exposed to Sun. And free seemed like the right price to drive adoption among developers (honestly, we’re not too worried about folks who elect not to buy failing to return a $5,000 server (we cover postage both ways)).
The program started off slowly – partly due to internal disbelief (there’s a long story, there), but secondarily, our focus group feedback suggested no one believed we’d actually send them a free Niagara. So let me reiterate: go to sun.com, fill out the form, we’ll send you the fastest server on earth, absolutely free. If you don’t like it, we’ll send someone to pick it up.
We were also serious about the following: if you write a blog that fairly assesses the machine’s performance (positively or negatively), send us a pointer, we’re likely to let you keep the machine. (And before you ask, the marketing team makes the decision about what qualifies for the promotion, not I – although I know they love drama, charts, and compelling competitive analyses.)