Microsoft is giving away a free Surface prop for your Xbox LIVE Avatar

Sure, props for your Xbox LIVE avatar are gimmicky and they can be quite absurd, but we still love ‘em. We also love our Surface, so when the two collide, we can’t help but get a little gitty.

If you head over to the Xbox site and follow this link (opens in new tab), you’ll be able to add the “Windows 8 Tablet Avatar Prop” to your collection. Yes, that’s right.

So what does your avatar do with the Surface? Why he plays with the tiles, throws on some tunes, dances a little, snaps on the keyboard cover (while dangling the computer) and overall shows off our latest and favorite tech gadget. But why are you still reading this? Head over to now and get your free Surface Avatar Prop right now (and yes, it will display on your Windows Phone).

Speaking of, some of us are still rocking our free Windows Phone prop from mid 2011. Microsoft should totally bring that back, amirte?

Oh and we’re not a 100% certain but we suspect this is a US only offer. Don’t shoot the messenger.

Source: Xbox (opens in new tab); Thanks, ninjaap, for the tip!

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • Very awesome!
    Mine is showing the price as -1 point, so my balance would be +1 from what I had. It then errors out.
    (Yes, I'm outside the US :( )
  • Yeah Rich had the same issue...curious if it's a glitch or restriction.
  • Its a glitch.. Same thing happend to me the the following words pop up "Uh oh! Seems you have found a glitch in the system".
  • Same here. Looks like its bugged or another US only offer from MicrUSoft
  • Ran into the same problem when trying it from Canada. I will keep the tab open for a while and see if it resolves itself. 
  • I got the same error with my non US account. But it was successful with the US one.
  • Got the same problem.. Outside US..
  • I Live outside the USA but still got it for free nothing with the -1 point (my account is in the USA though)
  • Typically when marketplace items are US-only they don't show prices in other regions but instaed a clear message about not being available. This here "-1" price is something new. It looks like a screw-up rather than a casual region lock. It's like someone published the item to all regions but forgot to enter the prices. Or published to all regions by mistake.
  • Had the same thing, and judging by the URL it is a US only offer :( tried changing the URL and searching the UK store with no luck.
  • After almost 3 years Microsoft still acts like WP only exists in the US. Yet the US is its smallest market. Ridiculous.
  • That's not accurate. The US market accounts for 11.3% of the Windows Phone devices with India next at 7.6%. Only "Other" is larger at 36%, but that's just a collection of countries that are too small to count. I think you may be confusing marketshare numbers within countries, where Windows Phone commands a higher percentage in some areas (e.g. Italy) than in the US and when compared to Android/iOS. But against straight up users, the US still tops any country.
  • Yeah but it kinda seems unfair that the US gets all the exclusives.. Hence bing local scout does not even work over here yet.. (Netherlands)
  • The question is, is that because Microsoft is being nationalistic or due to other complications with rolling out things "worldwide". AFAIK, Microsoft would love to have no barriers and country restrictions on their products--they don't gain anything by having them. That leads me to believe that they don't do certain things because they can't, not because they don't want to.
  • I'm inclined to agree with you for many things. I understand there are issues film and third party intellectual property. Drives me potty the number of things that I would like that are US only. Things like an avatar prop, that is MS IP just seems odd. If they cannot license their own stuff it does not bode well. Never ceases to amaze me how cell like the MS divisions seem to be. You would think that certain things would be easy and allow cross marketing. My avatar should be able to have numerous props of MS gear. Windows Phone, Nokia stuff, Surface, hell he should be able to have an Office spreadsheet at hand, or even carry out a little PowerPoint presentation. They should be throwing Premium themes at us and gamerpics too. These things cost pennies.
  • You will see US released only or first because legalities have to be worked out before things get released. Each and every country has their own rules for licensing and agreements. Since MS is a US company many of those things are worked out already. This goes for games too.
  • I hear you, and for much of the content out there I can completely understand. But the MS stuff cannot be that difficult to license, surely. I just despair. Why is there not a Windows Phone Premium Theme? A surface theme? I can get a Batman costume, a Batmobile, Gears Lancer, Burton, Adidas avatar items. I can have a premium BMW theme, Lynx shower gel theme etc. But no MS ones. Not a sausage. I can get a WPC, Engadget, Autotrader etc app, but I cannot get a Major Nelson official app. Even the notifications for Xbox don't show up on the tile. It is almost like each department struggles to acknowledge the existence of the other.
  • Well, the EU doesn't think it is fair for Microsoft to just have IE on Windows, yet somehow it is totally fair that an Apple product only has Safari. There's probably some Microsoft-only restriction on promoting their other products on any given MS platform.
  • "It is almost like each department struggles to acknowledge the existence of the other." 
    I definately believe this happens at Microsoft. The evidence is apparent across many of their products.
  • Local Scout isn't US only, it works in the UK. This doesn't though.
  • You would be surprised how many rules you have to comply with in some Countries/regions (I'm looking at you EU) where there are legions of beaurocrats with too much power and time on their hands. The US has its flaws but its pretty easy to give stuff away here.
  • Couldn't we argue the same thing about how a LOT of games launch in Japan only from Nintendo and Japan, though? And while I have no way to verify the validity myself, people say that Nokia Maps is superior outside of the U.S. Microsoft is a U.S.-based comapany, so it only makes sense that they will favor the U.S. in their ventures, just as Nokia favors Europe and Sony and Nintendo favor Japan.
  • Unfortunately last year Nokia has joined MS in favouring the US.
  • WP scored even better in Poland reaching 16% market share in 2012 (including 12% Lumia phones). But MS still doesn't give a poop.
  • "WP scored even better in Poland reaching 16% market share in 2012 (including 12% Lumia phones). But MS still doesn't give a poop."
    But that's misleading as I state above. Sure, Windows Phone has 16% marketshare in Poland, which is great (and I do think Microsoft cares). But now what percent of sales of Windows Phone globally does Poland contribute? 0.61% (versus the 11.3% of the US) and they're ranked behind Mexico.
  • Oh, Daniel. Adduplex data reflects generated traffic, not number of phones sold, which I was referring to.
    It's obvious that 'mericans with their 900s and huge dataplans use more apps and internets than poor people with their 610s.
    Anywho, I didn't mean to compete with US. I just wanted to point out, that reportedly there are countries with an even higher percentage of WP handsets sold in 2012 than Italy.
    Also I wanted to complain about Xbox services being crippled and Bing still being literally dead over here.
  • Disagree for once Dan, not with the stats but with the point. Whilst smaller countries are obviously going to have lesser contribution to the big picture in terms of marketshare, popularity within italy poland etc is higher, this is something to work with, not neglect. Also easier to swing smaller markets. It matters.
  • According to you India is the second biggest market with 7.6% but still Microsoft doesnt care for it,  many services are US-only whereas Google and Apple provide almost everything in India.
  • If India is second largest, they should hv provided Xbox Music, Music Search services on my 610. But no. Believe it or not, some way or the other, they are US centric. Thanx to Nokia for providing Nokia Music Unlimited download for a year for startup. I really enjoy it...
  • "Yet the US is its smallest market."
    Quoted so you can't edit that away. Pretty sure Kerzbleckistan is much smaller. 
  • That cool, I guess.
  • Thx 4 the info but c'mon Microsoft OTHER COUNTRIES!!!
  • I agree. Come on MS, this region specific love is uncalled for!
  • Did anyone else notice the Surface is white? With a white cover...Nice.
    But I think I'll keep rocking the Nokia Longboard.  
  • Its black with a black cover on mine.
  • Gamerscore only in the 7000s? I don't know why but I expected you to be at least 10,000. I'm a bit shy of 7000 but once I buy a couple more games and play them I should be near 7500.
  • I'm strictly a casual gamer and have stated numerous times that I often prefer indie titles to Xbox LIVE ones, and for the Xbox LIVE titles I do like, I'm not a "completionist" who strives to get all the achievements. In fact, I don't even look at them.
  • Same. I've had XBox since the original and I've had the 360 since the first year but I'm still only 7600. This is because I'm primarily a PC gamer though.
  • I'm a primary PC gamer but, i still have a over 10K gamer score helps to play PC games with Xbox live support :)
  • Well that's pretty good for not paying attention. I think achievements are good replay value and help one to not go through games fast.
  • Do you accept friend invites from users from here?
  • I don't care much for achievements outside of the ones that just happen because of natural progression in the game (i.e you completed world 1 or you beat Gargamel). Anything that's just absurd and grindy (beat bozo in the nose 10,000 times) I just ignore.
  • I have 70,863. Only completed 2 games though.
  • Same glitch/error
  • glitch/error in UK as well
  • If it's free it's for me.
  • Got this prop last week after a tweet from Windows. And you guys are now hearing it? Thought you have all ears on Twitter. Anyway it's a wonderful prop that I recommend to all.
  • I mean, we can only see/hear so much information--RSS, Twitter, email, Skype, Messenger. The signal gets tough to discern sometimes ;)
  • Need me too intern?
  • You could of sent them a tip you know.. Then they would of known :)
  • This
  • Sa-Weet!!!
  • just got mine, missed out on the wp in 2011. totally need to bring that back. to all countries
  • It would be totally awesome if they brought the whole slew of WP devices in as Avatar props. Maybe they see which phone is on your Microsoft account and give you a DL code, or just make the whole variety available to all. I'd LOVE to have a 920 on my Avatar.
  • im rockin the 8x, but ill take whatever wp8 device they give us. even if its a 620 or 8s
  • Oh look. Yet another "US only" offer.
    Sometimes I wish people around the world would drop WP. I would THEN like to see Microsoft living only of the US market...
  • Seriously? Your going to get that upset over this dumb thing. If I give you mine, will you stay with WP?
  • You missed the point. The problem is not THIS one. It's that Microsoft recurrently makes things thinking only about the USA as if the rest of the World didn't exist or as if the rest of the world doesn't buy WP devices. That's my beef. I don't really care for this particular offer 'cause I have absolutely no intention of buying a Surface. I'm waiting for the Nokia tablet. But as principal, Microsoft shouldn't discriminate regions just "because".
  • Plz give me!!! *puppy eye style* The silly thing is Windows Phone is bigger outside of U.S. So they should focus love carefully to there customers. Basic knowledge I think.
  • Why are you making this about WP? It's an Xbox Avatar prop. People with Xbox Live Gold subscriptions should complain.
    FFS, we are the laughing stock of PSN+ users, who get full games for free.  
  • Its an awesome prop. Screen of the Surface looks washed out tho.
  • And the keyboard looks like a typical silver-coloured laptop and not like a Touch Cover.
  • Just got it, thanx MS.
  • Nifty.
    Uh oh... that shouldn't have happened.
    It appears you've found a glitch in the 22/03/2013 19:13:10
    code: 3F12D1AF9119171
    s: RjD9Y4pxYNq+StngY2RxYA==
    id: 4a438c24-a687-40d0-9118-4e0d9d2d2d48
    req: 652fe6e3-0f53-475f-9627-531e81610511
    Anyone got this? Also, I want Lumia AVATAR addition
  • Same here :/
  • Same here, I suspect its a regional error :-(
  • Did anyone else get an email about the Xbox Entertainment Awards that was running through facebook being hacked(of sorts)?
    I got an email this morning asking me to change my password and those affected have been awarded 1600 Ms points.
  • Hope you didn't click a link to change your password. ;-)
  • It's legit. I got my free 1600 ms points.
  • @Surface is gettin blown up on Twitter about it being US only. Yikes! LOL
  • It's well deserved LOL
  • I wish my avatar could use the Surface prop AND the Windows Phone prop at the same time!
  • +1
  • A US based company giving something to US customers.......weird. I'm digging it though.
  • Not sure if globalisation reached us yet but why exactly do they have a market share of sh*t
  • Isn't there a workaround to get the Surface prop for us outside the US?
  • Yeah, it's US only.
  • I'll stick with my Windows Phone on my Xbox Avatar.....
  • Thanks for the heads up.
  • I really think Microsoft should get more connectivity between Xbox and the rest of the suite. It bothers me that if I go to my People app I can't link gamertags to people. Maybe once skype arrives that'll change?
  • Hah so cool! and it looks like it added a windows phone prop to my avatar as well! Thanks MR Softee!
  • Bam bam....U.S only. :'(
  • Great and I just bought my surface!
  • I followed the link in the article to "purchase" this prop, but now how do I actually get it on my avatar? It says it's in my XBox 360 download queue, but I don't have an XBox 360 console. When I go to the Avatar editor, the Surface prop isn't there. How do I get this to work on my PC?
  • Sign in on a friends Xbox?
  • Yep, still using the Windows Phone prop for my avatar. I'm gonna totally get this tablet prop, even though I don't own a surface.
  • Not working for me. I Life outside the US
  • I got excited when I saw "Microsoft is giving away a free Surface". Then I saw "prop", and then noticed it's US only too.
  • Thanks for the heads up! :D
  • Nice, definitely getting it. The closest thing to a Surface I can get right now :'(
  • Is that the 620? I think it's the perfect phone. Don't like these stupid big screens
  • "Gitty?" Pretty sure you mean "giddy," unless you're referring to an alley in a residential area.
  • Uh oh... that shouldn't have happened. It appears you've found a glitch in the system.
      date: 23/03/2013 1:33:04 AM code: 3D296FBB915360A s: 7DrLtDKZsuv60Xt7rYwvEw== id: b5cd8e51-a71b-4374-863d-1da601c721e1 req: f1136293-5652-4920-97b0-81697ad34073
  • Contacted Xbox support and they confirmed that its US only and that if that changes they will update it.
    I am really annoyed that once again Microsoft has decided to limit it to US and ignore every customer that does not have a US account.
    Its stuff like this that makes people like Microsoft less.
  • Not to be the grammar police, but its"giddy" not "gitty". Sorry for the pretentious post.
  • Yep, worked on my US account but not elsewhere. Can't even get a digital Surface unless you're in the US it seems...
  • not available for teen account. :/
    im almost 18! what the hell!
  • Kinda knew it wasn't available in UK, but meh had to try anyway, I like the -1 bug, (not gonna boast of my nearly 100k Gs)
  • This offer is not only for US. I`m from Ukraine and also get it for free!
  • I had the -1 error and assumed it to be a regionalised offer. However offers like these should be global, this kind of offering just makes no sense. As others have said for items outside of Microsofts control such as music and film rights fair enough but this just comes across as not for you oinks
  • Thnx for informing!
  • Thnx for informing!
  • FYI  this item is for adults only.  My teenage daughter can not get this prop for her phone.  She has only had a windows phone for 2+ years.  This is a free prop and to have it plocked for a demographic that microsoft has tried to get is very disturbing.  Can think of no better way for microsft to get the word out by giving these to teen accts for thier xbox gaming.
    here is the chat, I have changed the names.  so this limited run prop is for adults only... Naughty.
    ME: it also does not state that it need to be adult to purchace on the page only at checkout
    ME: i feel that this has been flagged incorrectly by microsoft
    Xboxlive: I apologize but most all free content is not allowed to be downloaded by child/teen accounts.
    ME: can you verify that this item is adult only or are all props for avatars adult
    Xboxlive: I have tried to download the content to a child account, and have received the same Issue.   The content requires the account to be of Legal age to download.
  • The Adult requirement on top of the region restriction to US only is just plain stupid. This would be a great way for Microsoft to advertise Surface and Windows 8 for FREE, yet they once again completely screw up as if the team that created the prop had no contact with the marketing department that is actually trying to push Surface and Win8 to customers.
    I am hopeing one of these days Microsoft is going to come to its senses or fire the idiots and hire someone who actually cares about MS products succeeding. MS you are welcome to send me a job offer ;)
  • I got mine! If only I could steal it from my avatar and have it in real life!
  • US only
  • I can't get it because I have a children account, how can I solve it?
  • This whole phone prop thing proves how out of touch they are with their fans. They don't understand what do with passionate fans. Maybe Nokia should make props for all their phones since they the ONLY ones marketing WP8.
  • I can truely agree with you, that's quite right. :)
  • +1 here, I wish Nokia would just release their own props and make it available for everyone, since Microsoft clearly can't be bothered to do it right.
  • I still have my Nokia Skateboard :)
  • ... and this is why I hate MS - they're idiots.
  • guys plz help...after playing xbox games i got 240 points (which shows near our avatar), i saw tis frost dragon prop n i really luved to buy it?? n if i buy ll those 240 points b reduced to 0(zero) or ll i get bill to my house address????...plz help
  • can anybody teach me how to create xbox live account because everytime i want to create it's always force close and lots of cookies