Need a free copy of Windows Vista Ultimate? Are you incredibly trusting of big corporations? Well I have the deal for you, with a new program through Microsoft called the Windows Feedback Program. For the small price of privacy and perhaps some dignity, you can let Microsoft watch your every move for 3 months, in return for some software of your choice. Surveys are also required, one at the start, and then another in 2 week intervals, but compared to the bigger issue those are pretty painless. Some might find this to be an excellent deal, with software prices high, and cost of your free time to be almost nothing at all.
Through the following link http://wfp.microsoft.com/ you can sign up for this program, which has the following rules:
- Participation is currently limited to US residents of 18 years and older.
- You are the owner of the computer you use for this program.
- The automated feedback program is offered to Windows Vista and Windows XP customers only.
- The survey feedback program applies to all versions of Windows.
- Microsoft, comScore, and MarketTools employees are not eligible to participate.
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- Microsoft Windows Vista Ultimate (32-bit and 64-bit DVD)
- Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007
- Microsoft Money Plus Premium
- Microsoft Student with Encarta Premium 2008
- Microsoft Streets and Trips 2008
I really don’t know how I feel about this program, since my privacy is worth quite a bit. Will they be tracking websites I go to, software I use, content I post on websites? In a world where spyware software exists to calm the ever increasing paranoid attitude of the public, how would a program like this be treated by the masses? While I am fairly confident that my online security is safe with Microsoft (credit cards, etc) do I really want to put my digital life on the line for the small price of one software product? Well … if it was a free $4,500 WoW XPS M1730 notebook maybe. But for a free copy of $350 software, I think I’ll pass.
We recently discovered yesterday afternoon (12/11/07) that Microsoft took away the freebie part of this offer (the software). However, Microsoft is still running the survey and 3-month feedback program. This means anyone who signed up after the cutoff is still going to be monitored, but receive nothing in return for the forfeit of privacy. Microsoft apparently thinks your privacy isn’t worth anything now.