Windows Vista Ultimate Offer is REAL!

    General discussion

  • A note about the Windows Vista Ultimate Offer...


    We have had some IT Pros question whether the Windows Vista Ultimate offer is real. Please be assured that if you received an email from Administrator@microsoft.com or wvultofr@microsoft.com that directs you to the WindowsVistaEvalComp.com site, this offer is legitimate. To receive this email and instructions for participation, you must have participated in the Windows Vista beta program and opted-in for special offers. For more information, please consult the FAQ and Terms & Conditions on the Web site.


    <<Additional info added December 28, 2007>>

    If you believe that you qualify for this offer, but haven’t yet received an email, there could be a few reasons:

    ·         Your ISP or employer has blocked the email or considers it to be SPAM. Make sure that your email server or ISP accepts email from wvultofr@microsoft.com.

    ·         You did not sign up for the Windows Vista beta program.

    ·         You have opted out of future offers from Microsoft.

    ·         You opted in to future offers from Microsoft, but did so after December 12, 2007.

    ·         We have not yet sent you an email. We are sending “rolling email offers” and should have all emails offers sent by January 08, 2008.


    If you still believe you qualify for this offer, please send an email to wvultofr@microsoft.com and include the email address that you used when you signed up for the Windows Vista beta program. We will look into this on a case-by-case basis. We will try to respond within 24-72 hours as to your eligibility, but please understand that this is contingent upon the number of inquiries we receive. Please do not post in this forum asking if you qualify.


    <<Additional info added January 05, 2008>>

    Microsoft is striving to fulfill the Ultimate Upgrade offers within 7-10 business days. However due to the volume of requests there may be some delays so hang tight.


    If you have any other questions about this offer, please feel free to respond to this post.



    -Tony Mann

    Saturday, December 22, 2007 10:02 PM

All replies


    Yeah, I did wonder about that E-mail. It's quite scary how spam acts as a DoS.

    Sunday, December 23, 2007 7:40 AM
  • Hmmm. If it is real, Microsoft needs to do an excellent job of communicating that it is - soon. See below the reply I got from Customer Service after I was unable to get a confirmation that my survey had been submitted. I immediately changed he password I'd entered, even though I couldn't find any evidence that this would have been compromised. Later that same day I went to check if the site was now identified as a phishing site. It wasn't despite Customer Service saying it was, so I reported it. The site is still not being identified as a phishing site, so I've kept following discussions about the email - trying to find something definitive. There's many posts saying this is a hoax, and your post is the only reputable post that says the email and site are not part of a very well executed scam.


    No disrespect intended, but I'm still far from 100% sure I haven't been compromised. If something appears on the Microsoft home page or at least the Vista homepage I'll be much happier.


    Have a great Christmas,



    From: Microsoft Online Customer Service 

    Sent: Sunday, 23 December 2007 10:20 a.m.
    To: .....
    Subject: RE: SRX1053272046ID - Survey (Amazon gift certificate contest) does not seem to submit

    Thank you for contacting Microsoft Customer Service.
    From your e-mail, I understand that you are unable to submit the survey in the web link:
    http://www.windowsvistaevalcomp.com/Survey.aspx. I understand the inconvenience this may have caused.
    The web link you are refering is not operated by Microsoft. The e-mail in which you recieved the web link is not a genuine message.
    The message you received is a hoax and should be deleted. Microsoft is not engaged in holding
    a lottery contest of this nature. This hoax is known as an advance fee fraud where intended
    victims are tricked into paying certain fees to receive a promised sum of money or softwares.
    Microsoft is aware of this issue and working to improve online safety and to put the spammers
    and scammers out of business through:
    1.  Legislation, Public Policy, and Enforcement
    2.  Education and Awareness
    3.  Industry Collaboration
    Microsoft takes e-mail forgeries very seriously. We want to ensure that our services are safe
    and friendly for our users. We have forwarded your issue to our Security team for investigation.
    For additional information on this, please refer to this web site: 
    To verify that an e-mail message that claims to be from Microsoft is genuine, visit the
    following web site: 
    For future reference, I have included a link that will help you spot and avoid e-mail hoaxes:
    Additionally, for information on how to prevent lottery spam mail from reaching your inbox,
    follow the following ways:
    1) Please consult your e-mail service provider for help on how to filter unwanted mails.
    2) Using a filter is one way to curtail spam. 
    3) Another is by reserving one e-mail address for family and friends, ideally a unique address
    with both letters and numbers, to help avoid mail sent scattershot to many common e-mail user
    4) Responding to unsolicited e-mail from unknown senders, even asking to be removed from
    their lists, may only encourage more spam.
    We appreciate your effort in bringing this to our attention. Should you have other concerns, do
    not hesitate to write back.
    Thank you,
    Microsoft Customer Service Representative

    Monday, December 24, 2007 7:58 AM
  • I did participate in the Vista beta program. I am also questioning the legitimacy of this offer.  Please reassure me that the offer is from Microsoft.




    Monday, December 24, 2007 6:59 PM
  • Hi lancea (NZ),


    Thanks for the note. We will look into the customer service issue. Even if customer service is not yet aware of this site, again, please be assured that this is real. I work for the Windows Client WorldWide IT Professional Audience Marketing team, who generated this offer. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.



    -Tony Mann


    Monday, December 24, 2007 9:18 PM

    Hi DanePC,


    Absolutely...the offer is for real!


    -Tony Mann

    Monday, December 24, 2007 9:19 PM
  • Its not a bad offer. But, after the beta program i went out and bought the full version of Vista Home Premium. Pity they wont let you pick any version of Vista.


    Monday, December 24, 2007 10:13 PM
  • Hi Anthony. Thanks for the confirmation. I'll try the survey again. Hopefully there'll be some kind of acknowledgement this time once I've submitted it. The best thing is that my password won't have been compromised. Not quite the Christmas present I wished for, but it'll have to do :-)


    Time to go and cook Xmas dinner. Enjoy your Christmas.



    Monday, December 24, 2007 10:18 PM
  • This is a hoax...please see the email I just received

    RE: SRX1053412497ID - Microsoft offer
    Mon 12/24/07 4:14 PM

    Hello Dane,


    Thank you for contacting Microsoft Customer Service.


    I understand from your message that you received an e-mail stating that there are special offers on the occasion of first anniversary of launching Windows Vista by Microsoft to its customers and you require to know whether the e-mail is valid or not.


    Thank you for taking time to write us about this issue. I would like to inform you that the e-mail you have received is a Hoax and did not originate from Microsoft and should be deleted. Microsoft is not in any way engaged in holding such an offer or promotions of this nature. 


    Unfortunately, there are many such hoaxes and frauds being sent through e-mail where intended victims are tricked into paying certain fees to receive a promised sum of money.  Microsoft is not in any way engaged in holding an offer or promotions of this nature. Microsoft is aware of this issue and working to improve online safety and to put the spammers and scammers out of business through:


    1.  Legislation, Public Policy, and Enforcement


    2.  Education and Awareness


     3.  Industry Collaboration 


    Microsoft takes e-mail forgeries very seriously. We want to ensure that our services are safe and friendly for our users. We have forwarded your issue to our Security team for investigation.


    For additional information on this, please refer to this Web site:



    To verify that an e-mail message that claims to be from Microsoft is genuine, visit the following Web site:



    Dane, in the mean time, please do not open any attachments that you receive from any email address that is unknown to you. Microsoft will not send you any e-mail without your knowledge.


    It will also be of great help if you can visit these pages for resources on hoax messages:



    As part of our drive to create a more trustworthy computing environment, recently Microsoft filed 15 lawsuits in the U.S. and U.K. against companies and individuals alleged to have sent billions of spam messages in violation of state and federal laws. In addition to filing civil lawsuits and taking other enforcement actions, we are significantly stepping up our efforts to fight spam through technological innovation and cooperation with government and industry leaders.


    For information about this and other hoaxes, visit the following Web sites: 



    (CIAC is the Computer Incident Advisory Capability, a United States Government organization.)



    You can also report this to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) or Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3).  These authorities take legal action against senders of deceptive or fraudulent bulk e-mail.


    1.  FTC: https://rn.ftc.gov/pls/dod/wsolcq$.startup?Z_ORG_CODE=PU01   


    2.  IC3: http://www.ic3.gov   


    If you are receiving unwanted e-mail messages, you may consider using an e-mail filter or spam reporting service. Information on spam can be found at the following web sites:





    Please note that the above mentioned site is not operated by or affiliated with Microsoft, and information at this site may change without notice. Microsoft is not responsible for the content at any third-party web site and does not guarantee the accuracy of third-party information.


    I apologize for any inconvenience that may have been caused to you and hope the information provided to you is helpful.


    I appreciate that you took the time to reporting this with us. This is a good practice.


    Dane, I hope the information provided above is helpful. Delighting our customers is our top priority. Please let us know if I have answered your question completely. We will appreciate your time to update us with the status of your query.


    Thank you for using Microsoft products and services.



    Microsoft Customer Service Representative


    If you have any feedback about your Online Customer Service experience, please send them to my manager, Zafar Iqbal, at http://go.microsoft.com/?linkid=6998852 Please do not forget to indicate the name of my manager in the subject field.

    --- Original Message ---
    From : danepc@******.com
    Sent : Monday, December 24, 2007 3:41:08 PM UTC
    To : CNTUS.PRCS.NA.00.EN.TRA.BGL.CS.T01.CUS.00.WB@css.one.microsoft.com
    Subject : Microsoft offer

    Br: IE&
    Country/Region: United States

    First Name: Dane
    Last NameStick out tonguec

    Windows Vista

    Message: Is this offer legitimate from Microsoft?


    Monday, December 24, 2007 10:41 PM
  • Hello Dane,


    Again, please be sure that this offer is real. I am the Windows Client IT Pro Audience Manager for Web Forums and I am on the team at Microsoft that generated this offer. We are working to alert customer service about this offer so they do not tell you it is a hoax.


    -Tony Mann



    Tuesday, December 25, 2007 4:17 AM
  • Two problems with the offer:


    1 - The email has typos, a classic smell of a phish. The main problems are missing spaces, but that's still typos. Microsoft needs to make fully sure any official communications are properly crafted.


    2 - Somebody who waits a FULL YEAR before buying should be rewarded less than someone who bought at release. Such a person has been using a beta or release candidate version for over a YEAR after the final version was made available.


    In addition, unless the person used some technique to get around it, their trial version expired some six months ago, indicating they apparently weren't all that interested in keeping it. If they are still using it, this is contrary to the license agreement and such activity should not be encouraged, particularly not with official rewards.


    I bought my full retail copy of Windows Vista Ultimate in June, itself a delay of some 7 months after business release and 5 months after retail release, so I don't qualify for the offer since I didn't wait longer.

    Wednesday, December 26, 2007 2:50 PM
  • I participated in the Vista beta program, and selected to receive additional offers, but never received the email.  When I try to log into the website, it just hangs on me.  IE7, FF, even on a fresh install of XP (I was working on this for someone else). 

    Can I get in on this deal?  How?

    Wednesday, December 26, 2007 11:32 PM

    ClessieFan - Send an email to Customer Support. I can't help smiling when I write that, but hopefully everyone's got their act together by now. That would be the correct course of action. Clearly no one told Customer Support that there was to be a mass emailing from a non-Microsoft domain. That was a big mistake. For at least 24 hours I was worried that my account had been compromised. I wonder how many people the email went out to, and how many still think it was a phishing attack?


    I agree with the earlier comment that it's not really a great offer for those of us who have been at the bleeding edge and actually purchased Vista (it wasn't cheap), went through a difficult year of beta drivers, installed another copy onto their 2 year old laptop and had to remove it because it just didn't cut the mustard. But then I didn't expect anything for that, so not being able to take up the offer doesn't bother me.

    Thursday, December 27, 2007 1:45 AM
  • I would tend to believe that Tony Mann would know if this was a hoax.


    However, I have never been able to reach the site. After I enter my credentials, the page hangs forever...


    Has anyone successfully logged in to this site???


    It seems that the server is overloaded..

    Thursday, December 27, 2007 3:44 AM
  •  Mojavekroc wrote:

    I would tend to believe that Tony Mann would know if this was a hoax.


    However, I have never been able to reach the site. After I enter my credentials, the page hangs forever...


    Has anyone successfully logged in to this site...

    Agreed. I absolutely believe his post but I do think this should be a lesson to Microsoft. Most likely the whole site should have been "secure" with a Microsoft certificate, but the main failing was the lack of communication. Someone put the "contact us" links on the pages, but didn't notify the people those links took us to. The sole reason I contacted Customer Service is because I completed the survey, but once I submitted it there was no indication it had successfully submitted. I was very surprised when they told me this was a hoax.


    I logged into the site using a Live login, and still can today. I'm using IE7.

    Thursday, December 27, 2007 4:07 AM
  • Maybe somebody got "smart" and used Vista-exclusive code in the page? I can't get there either, on XP SP2 IE7. I'm at work, and my Vista is at home.


    Thursday, December 27, 2007 1:44 PM
  • I have been trying to login with Vista Ultimate and IE7 and to no avail.


    Something is broken on the server end...

    Thursday, December 27, 2007 2:31 PM
  • Thanks for confirming that I am at least not crazy (well, at least about trying to get to the site).  I will email customer service. 
    Thursday, December 27, 2007 2:44 PM
  • I contacted Microsoft at 1-800-Microsoft, asked for presales and explained that I received an offer by email. The saleswoman asked that I forward the email to her, she talked to her supervisor and told me that the offer is legitimate....Sorry Tony for doubting you...I logged on several times to the site and it works from my desktop and laptop.


    If anyone else doubts Tony just call 1-800-Microsoft(800-642-7676) and ask for yourself.


    Thursday, December 27, 2007 4:25 PM
  • No problem at all. It is a good thing to be cautious!




    -Tony Mann

    Thursday, December 27, 2007 4:29 PM

    I participated in the Windows Vista beta testing, but I never received this offer. What should I do?



    Thursday, December 27, 2007 10:31 PM
  •  Entbark wrote:


    I participated in the Windows Vista beta testing, but I never received this offer. What should I do?



    Go to the link (see Anthony's initial post) and login using the account you used for the beta.



    Thursday, December 27, 2007 11:05 PM
  • I still have not been able to login to the site. It just freezes after putting in my password..


    Anyone else still having this issue too?

    Friday, December 28, 2007 12:51 AM
  • I have tried repeatedly to log in using the email address I used to download the beta with.  It does not work.  Just hangs.  FOREVER. 

    I have found out one thing.  I used a hotmail address to download it.  If I am logged into hotmail in IE7, it never comes up to the login at www.windowsvistaevalcomp.com.  While it is waiting, if I log out of hotmail, it immediately comes up with the login screen.  Ultimately it does not matter - after entering my id/pw the progress bar at the bottom goes across, and when it gets all the way over, it just sits.  Nothing has made a difference for me.  I have tried 5 different computers on 3 different internet connections.  No difference.  I have let it sit for an hour, when I came back nothing had changed. 

    If anyone figures out how to get around this, let me know. 

    It has been long enough ago that I do not still have any of the emails from the beta.  Deleted them all a year ago.  Sad part is I am a pack rat.  That will teach me for keeping my email cleaned out ;-)
    Friday, December 28, 2007 1:26 AM
  •  ClessieFan wrote:
    It has been long enough ago that I do not still have any of the emails from the beta.  Deleted them all a year ago.  Sad part is I am a pack rat.  That will teach me for keeping my email cleaned out ;-)

    I've just done a bit of testing, signing out of the site then trying to login again with different Live accounts. Only one account let me into the site, and I'm pretty sure that's the one I used for the beta. Whenever I used another account my experience was that the progress bar eventually filled with an empty page. However at that stage I clicked the IE7 Refresh button, confirmed that I did want to resubmit information, and that took me back to the login page with a red message telling me that my email address or password was incorrect. It therefore seems that the site does confirm that your email matches one used for the beta. ClessieFan - try doing a refresh.


    I also completed the survey again (it's not short) and this time was returned to the home page. That's different to my first experience. I wish there was a confirmation though. If it's hard to get into the site I guess my odds of winning an Amazon voucher are fairly high

    Friday, December 28, 2007 3:03 AM
  • Lancea was correct. I was putting in my email that I thought that I had used when beta testing but it ends up that I used my work email instead.


    When I used that email, I logged in muy pronto....


    So, if you can't login, you are using the wrong email address...

    Friday, December 28, 2007 6:40 AM

    Well, there are still a  LOT of sites reporting that the email is a hoax.


    I'm not sure about you guys, but I filled in the survey pretty much straight away, got a confirmation email that the key will be verified and checked and I'll receive my free key.  But I haven't received that yet.


    Anyone actually received the key yet?

    Thursday, January 03, 2008 10:43 PM
  • ankurgupta - Just curious. After you completed the survey (for the Amazon vouchers), did you get a confirmation after clicking the "Submit" button? I'm not convinced that either of my two attempts to enter worked. It's not often you find a web form that gives no assurance of completion. Hope you get your key okay.

    Friday, January 04, 2008 8:54 AM
  • Hi all,

    So I received an email late last night that my product key has been accepted.  I had to log back in on to the survey page to retrieve the new "free" key, so that was good.  Now, only one thing remains, to actually test the key.

    BTW...I also called Microsoft Australia in Sydney and after about 5 minutes and a brief conversation with the phone service rep's team leader, I was assured that the promo is real!

    lancea (NZ) - I actually didn't do the survey for the Amazon vouchers, I was only interested in getting my free key!!  And for that I did receive a confirmation email saying that my PID will be verified for eligibility.

    Will keep you all posted on progress.

    Saturday, January 05, 2008 11:58 PM
  • Thanks for the update Ankur. I guess I'll find out when my voucher arrives


    Last night I received the email again, this time not from Administrator @ MS. The only difference within the message is the addition of information about who to contact if you have any questions about the offer. It's the same microsoft.com address that Anthony has posted here.


    I went back into the survey using Opera and, after logging in, the survey was populated with my previous response. So guess it's been submitted. If you're not in, you can't win!






    Sunday, January 06, 2008 1:03 AM
  • FYI...If you are returned to the home page without any errors, then the submission worked.


    Sunday, January 06, 2008 3:50 AM
  • Thanks Anthony.
    Sunday, January 06, 2008 7:45 AM
  • Anthony, is there any way to check whether a product key is genuine without activating it?  I haven't yet installed Vista on my primary laptop, but would like to ensure that the product key I have been sent is actually genuine.

    My reason for scepticism is quite simple:

    http://www.microsoft.com/resources/howtotell/content.aspx?pg=coa&displaylang=en notes the things I should be checking for, yet, none of these are true for the product key provided through this windowsvistaevalcomp.com website.

    Thank you in advance.


    Monday, January 07, 2008 11:54 AM
  • I appreciate your skepticism. The product keys that come from this offer are genuine. The Certificate of Authenticity resource on the Microsoft site (the one listed your URL) are for the physical labels that are attached to an actual box, which is not the case here. Therefore, you cannot compare the key you get from this offer to any of them that are shown in the Certificate of Authenticity pictures on the Microsoft web site.


    -Tony Mann

    Monday, January 07, 2008 10:52 PM
  • I was registered as beta tester for Vista and have used all versions prior to public release.  Does this offer apply only to retail versions of Vista Ultimate?  I have tried to register for this offer using a OEM product key to no avail.




    Jason Granger  

    Tuesday, January 08, 2008 5:24 PM
  • Hi Jason,


    Yes, this offer is for retail only - not OEM.


    -Tony Mann


    Tuesday, January 08, 2008 7:25 PM
  • Thanks for your reply Tony, great news!  I have activated and now using my new free key!  Now it'd be REALLY good if I win those Amazon vouchers too!!


    Wednesday, January 09, 2008 3:54 AM
  • I told you the offer was real!  


    Good luck winning the Amazon vouchers!

    Wednesday, January 09, 2008 3:58 AM
  • You are a BUNCH OF THIEVES!

    I purchased a OEM Version of Vista Ultimate on December 28th for this, and then
    find out only AFTERWARDS that I will not receive a second key. (did not state in the email
    that OEM would be disallowed)

    I have purchased a total of 5 copies of Vista, but I will NEVER purchase another
    Microsoft Product Again!

    I do not like the Bait and Switch tactics....

    Leave it to MS to screw it's only Adopters of Vista....

    Windows ME 2 (better known as Vista)

    Yeah, I am a little upset by this, I purchased licenses for my Wife's and my computers
    and laptops (Unlike Apple, no home licensing bundles)

    Well, at least I can stave off 10 times that many purchases with friends and family members...

    I can't believe I am writing this, but this is the day I really HATE Microsoft....

    Thursday, January 10, 2008 12:58 AM
  • I have one question before I'd like to take the opportunity to use the buy one, get one free offer.

    I'm thinking about upgrading my Windows Vista Home Premium to Ultimate by using the Windows Anytime Upgrade process..  Since my laptop used an OEM product key for Home Premium, my question is this:

    Can I still take advantage of this offer if I purchase Windows Vista Ultimate by using Windows Anytime Upgrade?  Or, will I have to buy a retailed box version of Windows Vista Ultimate upgrade?

    Friday, January 11, 2008 1:41 PM
  • @WGman

    This offer is not open to the general public and the invitation to participate is not transferable. You must purchase your copy of Windows Vista Ultimate at a retailer (local or online store). Product must be activated for the first time after December 1, 2007. Offer ends January 15, 2008.OEM disks and pre-installed OEM versions of Windows Vista Ultimate do not qualify.

    Isn't that enough information?


    At the moment I am running a system builder version of home premium and I can login easily, but not click to get the gifts (was just testing :-) ).


    I'm quite sure the last time I was just testing (about 12/22/2007) I came to the formular, where the old active key is asked.


    funny Big Smile


    So, I am right, if I buy a system builder version and use this i'll get nothing.??



    Friday, January 11, 2008 1:44 PM
  • WGman,


    We’re sorry to hear about the frustration you’ve experienced trying to take advantage of the Ultimate Offer.  Feel free to contact us at wvultofr@microsoft.com and we’ll be happy to discuss your situation and help in any way that we can.

    Also, if you were not aware, there are two additional important programs for Windows Vista users that may be of interest to you:

    • For Windows Vista users, additional licenses are available at a discount.  These discounted licenses can be used to upgrade other machines you own without paying the full price for each license.  You can find FAQ and pricing information on Windows Vista additional licenses at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/buyorupgrade/addlicense/howto.mspx
    • And, for customers in the U.S., Canada, EU (including the UK), Norway, Switzerland and Japan, we also offer Windows Anytime Upgrade.  This program allows you to upgrade your current version of Windows Vista to Windows Vista Ultimate—and if you upgrade before January 15, 2008 you will qualify for a free product key through the Ultimate Offer.  Check http://www.microsoft.com/windows/products/windowsvista/buyorupgrade/windowsanytimeupgrade/overview.mspx) to see if you are running a version of Windows Vista that can be upgraded to Windows Vista Ultimate.  If you are running Windows Vista Home Premium, you qualify.

    Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions—we’re happy to help in any way we can.



    -Tony Mann

    Friday, January 11, 2008 3:43 PM
  • Thanks a lot for the very quick reply, Tony!  That's all I needed to know and I will take advantage of this offer sometime this weekend!
    Friday, January 11, 2008 3:51 PM
  • Well i got my email saying that i can login to retrieve my key but when i did the box was blank. Has this happened to anyone else?
    Tuesday, January 22, 2008 3:52 AM