After receiving an unsolicited Mail, Midlands Solicitor Claire McGinty has received a cheque from Microsoft for over One Billion Dollars.
The email trail which was originally thought to be a scam turned out to be true after all. It seems that the tracking system deployed by Microsoft in 1989, when the first emails were sent out, failed. Since then, Microsoft have been waiting for someone to get in touch with an up to date email trail.
Claire sent the email to CEO Bill Gates who passed it on to his marketing people immediately
"We were delighted when Claire got in touch, and there was quite a buzz in the office on Friday I can tell you" said a beaming head of Viral Marketing at Microsoft " we had amassed a considerable amount of cash to pay to someone and we were so pleased when we could finally get Bill to sign the cheque"
Bill Gates had initiated the email trail back in 1989 as at the time he was dubious as to whether email would really be that great a way to communicate. "our glorious leader came up with the idea to test how quickly a message could spread, we understand that a lot of people did not believe that the offer to pay for the message to be passed on was real, we had no idea it had become so widespread"
Microsoft were however unsatisfied with the Tracking Worm software that it had embedded into the email. It appears that it was stripped out soon after the first release of the email when it passed though an email server running a very early version of the Linux Operating System.
The concept, spurned by millions of cynical web heads for many years was simple, pass on the email and Microsoft would send you up to $245 of their own money for every email sent from your point onwards. "as a marketing tool it was an incredibly efficient exercise, and only cost us somewhere in the region of 27 Trillion dollars" added the marketing executive at the Seattle headquarters of the Software Giant.
Many virus protection companies have been left with considerable egg on their faces following the announcements and may well face legal action from clients who simply deleted the email when they received it on the advice posted by such organisations. A spokesman from Symantec was quoted as being "Gutted" they added "We've all received it at one time or another, who would have ever thought it was for real".
Claire, meanwhile, has decided to take the day off to buy a Boy Band, a small island in the Indian Ocean and a those shoes in Harvey Nicks she has had her eye on.