So this is cool. Back in June of 2007, Microsoft started a program called "Live Club Search" to promote its search engine Live Search. How it worked was simple - Play flash games that send search queries to Live Search during play, increasing the traffic volume of the search engine. Users get rewarded with points they can redeem for various prizes, from movie tickets to Windows Vista Ultimate.
Inevitably people found ways to cheat the games, either by automating them with macro bots or completely bypassing playing the games with some kind of DOS tool. I got in on this around July, so within a week or two I had three maxed out accounts ready to redeem for prizes. After ordering...several (Flight Simulator X, three copies of Vista, a Microsoft Zune, USB headset, etc.) I quit playing (er, cheating) par reports of Microsoft canceling cheating accounts. The prize shipping time was six to eight weeks. So when August, then September, rolled around and nothing came I assumed I had all my orders cut off.
A pleasant surprise came recently when a package showed up from Microsoft containing Flight Simulator X Deluxe. I guess it came through after all, six months later. A few days after a 1 GB USB flash drive arrived. Going by Amazon prices, that's $55 of free merchandise already. I'm hoping more shows up, particularly that Zune and Vista(s).