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Microsoft BUILD tablets hit eBay

If you were a Windows developer lucky enough to attend Microsoft's BUILD conference, and even luckier enough to snag one of the 5,000 free Samsung-built tablets on offer, you'd likely be figuring out how to make apps for the platform - as was intended. Sadly, that's not what everyone decided to do.

Several recipients of the shiny new devices have stuck their gifts on digital tat market eBay, hoping to convince those who missed out on the deal a chance to get their hands on the first official Windows 8 tablet way before the devices hit the market.

BUILD attendees were presented with the limited-edition bundle as a gift by Microsoft, in the hopes of encouraging a developer ecosystem to form around Windows 8 and its new touch-centric Metro UI. The 11.6-inch tablets, powered by an Intel Core i5 CPU and featuring 4GB of memory and a 64GB SSD, are certainly impressive devices, and include near-field communications technology along with low-power Bluetooth LE technology.

The bundles given out included a dock with USB, HDMI, and Ethernet ports, a stylus for the touch-screen tablet display, a limited-edition carry case, a Bluetooth keyboard, and a pre-paid data contract with AT&T.

That's certainly some deal for a freebie, but those looking to convert their gifts into cold, hard cash aren't quite so generous. The current asking prices for the tablets on eBay range from around $1,500 to a whopping $2,700 - likely to easily cover a US attendee's flight and hotel bills for their participation in the conference.

While it's true that Microsoft gave the tablets to attendees as a no-strings-attached gift, it seems somewhat churlish for the supposed developers to be trying to turn a quick buck rather than doing what developers are supposed to do best: playing with the latest technology and figuring out how to make that 'killer app' that will earn them a fortune.

If you've got money to burn, the tablets are up for purchase on eBay's US site now (opens in new tab). monitors all leading technology stories and rounds them up to help you save time hunting them down.