Developers Pay Amazon $1,100 And Get A Meager $5 Gift Card

That’s just insulting.

Photo: Flickr / dieselbug2007

Amazon has a reputation for cheapness. Most of the time, that’s good.Not so when you’re trying to court developers, however—especially those who paid $1,100 to attend a conference.

Attendees got $5 of their ticket price back in the form of an Amazon gift card, reports Wired’s Robert McMillan.

What? No Kindle Fire? 

Compare that to the more than $1,000 worth of goodies that Google gave away at its I/O conference in June: a Nexus 7 tablet, the Nexus Q, a Chromebox computer, and a Galaxy Nexus phone.

Microsoft gave developers who attended its Build conference in October a Surface RT tablet and a Nokia Lumia 920. (It also threw in a 100 GB upgrade to a Windows Live SkyDrive account.)

Amazon’s AWS Re:Invent conference also did not treat attendees to an over-the-top party with A-list rock band, as VMware, Salesforce, and Oracle did at their conferences this year.

Re:Invent attendees had to make do with free booze, T-shirts, and games of Laser Tag. The Laser Tag  actually seemed to go over pretty well, Wired’s McMillan reports.

Instead of a gift card so stingy that it seems insulting, Amazon could easily have given developers credits for more storage or computing power. It already gives away a lot of the Web services developers love, so this wouldn’t be a financial stretch.

Chalk it up to a little thing called cost control, something the e-commerce retailer is famous for.

Still, if you want to get people to come to your parties and write software for your platforms, it can’t hurt to outfit them with the very gadgets you want them to help you sell.

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