I’m don’t think of myself as a viral marketing fanboy. But, when one comes with a puzzle to solve, I guess I’m a sucker :-)
The black envelope you see arrived in the mail today. The return address on the envelope is from LOKI with a One Microsoft Way (Redmond campus) address. However, the postmark is San Jose, CA. Inside the envelope is a small note from the DESK OF LOKI (Enigma Director) and a small black envelope with an odd looking 256MB USB flash drive. The drive contains three files: A text file note, a JPEG image with a graphical cipher key, and a short video from Loki.
The note instructed me to go to http://vanishingpointgame.com/. If you head there, you will see a countdown timer that probably hits zero as CES starts (or Bill Gates’ keynote starts). The solution to the cipher is on the web. So, you can hunt for it if you don’t have a key of your own (all the cipher’s are unique, btw).
The solved cipher leads you to another web page with a list of US cities and dates (probably Vista events). OK, gotta go to try to solve my cipher now. I hope this viral marketing effort turns out to be more interesting than the Origami one for the Ultra Mobile PC launch last year :-)
Here’s a Wiki that provides more info about this ARG (Alternate Reality Game):