What is a launch without an accompanying contest for fans and users? Windows 8.1 brings the whole enchilada, and it includes a brand new contest with some nifty prizes.

Before we get to the contest bit, it is worth noting that Redmond has also made the new Windows Store gift cards official. Retailers like Amazon have been taking preorders for them for some time now, and they seem to be available in $15, $25 and $50 denominations (oh, I love this word).

Users will be able to purchase the Windows Store Gift Cards as digital codes online, and from more than hundred retailers in 25 countries starting this Friday. These can then be used to buy apps and games for Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.

To celebrate the occasion, Microsoft has also rolled out a new contest.

The competition starts today and lasts for the next 8 days (genius), and Microsoft will give away $10 promotional Windows Store gift cards to those who take a screenshot of their Start screen. All they have to do is post it on Twitter with the hashtag #MyStart.

Obviously, this is neat way for the company to show users the benefits of the Start Screen. As the company explained:

“Winners will be informed via Direct Message on Twitter. This sweepstakes is for participants in the U.S. only. However, we would still love to see Start screens from people around the world and in different languages!”

That’s your cue, people — get to work if you want to try your luck!

Just for the record, taking screenshots in Windows 8.1 is easy breezy. Simply press the Print Screen button on your keyboard or click (tap) on the Share Charm > Start > Screenshot.

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