For the past couple days, I’ve been receiving e-mail announcements from companies alerting me that Windows Vista Ultimate is now available for download. And for a mere $79.95! What’s more, if I click the link and visit the site it leads to, I can download all sorts of other great software for equally insane prices.
Each message has a different domain in the link, although the text is the same. And the sites are identical templates. Here’s what one looks like:
And here’s a closeup of the Vista Ultimate offer:
I used my red pen and my yellow highlighter to flag the two most interesting parts of the screen. Now, can you really expect to get a legitimate copy of the software for $80 when the estimated retail price is $399? No.
Predictably, these domains are typically shut down within a few hours, but they pop right back up under a new name for the next round of spam.
So, who’s crazy enough to give a credit card number to these people? And how foolish do you have to be to actually install this stuff? I expect that most of these are garden-variety hacked copies that will work for a few weeks until they’re disabled by Vista’s antipiracy checks. But still, don’t you think at least some of these copies are going to contain a little something extra?