Vista for $79? Uh, no.

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?

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16 thoughts on “Vista for $79? Uh, no.

  1. I remember reading about a survey where they profiled the people who fell for scams like these. Most of them had gross incomes of over $200,000 a year and evidently had plenty of money to blow on such things.

  2. And that “little something extra” will probably end up costing those who buy this junk more than they save.

    I get several of these a day today too.

  3. I’ve been getting that spam too!

    I forwarded the first one to the Microsoft anti-piracy email address. But then I got several more. Then I see Ed Bott’s blog with the exact same web site.

    Although anyone who falls for this is a fool, you have to admit that the website looks professional–except for the ridiculous prices…

  4. you usually get what you pay for.i wonder if you pay what is downloaded to the dvd.”marry had a little lamb”?shame on you edd for running a free windows vista offer in you advertise know what this is.

  5. My old boss, a Senior VP of IS making a gazillion dollars a year, almost bought Photoshop through a spam e-mail, because he thought the $55.95 deal was real. Wow.

  6. I have a question for you Ed. First check out this article for reference:

    However, the key passage is this:

    “Windows finally comes with a prominent backup program. That’s great, except that you can specify only which categories of things to back up (pictures, e-mail, and so on), not which specific files or folders.

    And then there’s that Sidebar, the floating layer of mini-programs. If you close one of the gadgets, you lose its contents forever: your notes in the Post-it Notes gadget, your stock portfolio in the Stocks gadget, and so on. You couldn’t save them if you wanted to. How could Microsoft have missed that one.”

    Are both of these points true? I would have emailed ya these questions, but I couldn’t find your email on the page and I know this is slightly off-topic..

  7. For the record, I got my “Vista for $79!” e-mail today. I was disappointed that it actually took this long.

  8. Thanks Ed. Well that’s great for Poguesque people, but if there are only certain videos/documents we want backed up so that we don’t have to waste gobs of DVDs/storage media, it sucks to be us. Not that DVDs are expensive, it’s just the principle of the matter. While I can understand the reasoning of the Vista team, if a user only wants to back-up certain folders, then they should be allowed to do so.

    If for example a user already HAS a backup of his media prior to installing Vista, then there’s no need to back the whole damn media library all over again. Of course once Vista is installed, I’m sure it’s smart enough to make incremental backups…but still, it would have been nice to have the option of selecting which folders to back up. Perhaps there’s a command line version that allows this? Typically, the rule of thumb is, if the GUI is ugly, unintuitive and looks daunting, it typically has more functionality.

  9. You don’t need a backup program to copy a folder full of music or video files. You just copy them. Backup is to get your data backed up.

    I fully concede this is not a full-featured all-bells-and-whistles backup solution. It’s not intended to be one. I would heartily recommend it for my friends and family who don’t do backups because they’re too complicated.

  10. I don’t want to think about making copies of a folder. I want my OS to do that FOR me. I thought THAT was the whole point of a backup program?

    Once again, while the idea is great for the masses, it falls short for people who know their computers well.

  11. I don’t want to think about making copies of a folder. I want my OS to do that FOR me. I thought THAT was the whole point of a backup program?

    But it DOES do that. And it does it well.

  12. Maybe I’m confused here then…but when you click on the ‘video’ checkbox, doesn’t it look for videos in ALL folders on the computer?

    Also what if you want to backup a file type not listed in the categories? Can you define a custom category then? Can file types be associated with a category?

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