As 2007 rolls to a close, Microsoft isn't letting up on its efforts to push Windows Vista.
"As we approach the one year anniversary of launching Windows Vista we want to remember you as one of the many people who downloaded and tested one of the Windows Vista Beta or Release Candidates through TechNet or MSDN. YOU were a significant contributor to the development of Windows Vista. Your participation was extremely valuable to Microsoft, and we would like to say, 'Thank You!'" according to an e-mail message I received about the promotion at the end of December.
Under terms of "The Ultimate Offer," testers can go to any retail or online store and buy a copy of Vista Ultimate (full or upgrade version) for full price and Microsoft will match it with a second complimentary Vista Ultimate Upgrade product key.
To participate in the promotion, invited testers should go to the Vista Tester Offers site. The promotion ends January 15, 2008.
According to the most recently released numbers from Microsoft, the company sold 88 million copies of Vista at retail (to the channel, not necessarily to end users), plus another 42 million licensees through its volume license programs since Vista went on sale. Microsoft officials said at the Vista launch they expected the uptake of Vista to be twice the rate of Windows XP -- a rate the company didn't realize (although how short it fell is up for debate).