Last week Microsoft announced an initiative for their American customers running the consumer preview for Windows 8 that allows them to sign up for a chance to win stuff if they help the Redmond-based company make Windows 8 better. Among the stuff that you can win is free Windows software and some Xbox games.

Of course, the program is only limited to people based in the United States. If anyone’s been using the consumer preview recently, you’ll have noticed that all services that you can access on the Consumer Preview, including the weather widget, are only functioning if you’re in the land of the free. Of course, that means Maps also won’t work anywhere else in the world, and users who have valid complaints for the software working outside the US won’t be able to voice their opinions.

Of course, many people would just start complaining about the lack of the Start Button since its inclusion in Windows 95 all the way to Windows 7, but Microsoft’s looking for other things, deeper aspects to the OS they their design team couldn’t think up and that may help the OS to be more popular. We can look forward to some improvements to Metro and the way Microsoft introduces the new user interface to their customers, and its expected that many journalists from the likes of Tom’s Hardware and Anandtech will be putting in their two cents if they’re accepted into the program.

As for the program itself, its actually a random draw. No really, Microsoft will choose winners for the program from a pool of entrees and will use the opinions of the people who get to participate in their design and programming choices for Windows 8. So that means you may land up with average Joe next to Kevin Parrish, which might not be a bad idea as you get a more general view of things as the consumer sees them. So you can just lie about your country of origin, right?

Nope – the program already reached the full amount of participants within two days and you can’t get in any longer. Sorry guys, I know you wanted that Start button and Menu as much as I did. Looks like we might be stuck with it. But cross your fingers and hope against everything that the people who joined in might shape things up for the better.

Source: Tom’s Hardware

Discuss this in the forums: Linky