October 4, 2006 6:00 AM PDT

Microsoft to lock pirates out of Vista PCs

Windows Vista will have new antipiracy technology that locks people out their PCs if the operating system isn't activated within 30 days after installation.

If Vista is not activated with a legitimate product registration key in time, the system will run in "reduced functionality mode" until it is activated, said Thomas Lindeman, a senior product manager at Microsoft. In this mode, people will be able to use a Web browser for up to an hour, after which time the system will log them out, he said.

The new technology is part of Microsoft's new "Software Protection Platform," which the company plans to announce on Wednesday. It will be part of future versions of all Microsoft products, but debuts in Windows Vista and Windows Server "Longhorn," said Cori Hartje, director of Microsoft's Windows Genuine Software Initiative. Vista, the successor to Windows XP, is slated to be broadly available in January.

Microsoft has escalated its battle with software pirates during the past two years through the "Genuine Advantage" add-ons for Windows and Office, its biggest cash cows. The company is now expanding its push by baking antipiracy features into its new products and taking more drastic action when it finds that a product was illegitimately acquired.

Many users shouldn't be confronted by Vista's antipiracy technology, however. People who buy a PC with Vista installed from companies such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Gateway, for example, should find the operating system activated already.

"Everything is going to be good to go right out of the box," Hartje said. "This is more for those who install after the fact."

Those who install Vista themselves, for example on existing PCs, will have a 30-day period to activate the operating system and validate with Microsoft that they have a legitimate license. "During those 30 days, you get warning messages, it counts down. During the last three days they get very frequent," Lindeman said.

If ignored, after 30 days Vista will display four options. The first will allow the user to activate online, the second is to run in reduced functionality mode, the third is to enter a product key and the fourth displays instructions to activate by phone, Lindeman said.

"In reduced functionality mode, we will let you use your browser for periods of up to an hour before we log you off," Lindeman said.

Barring people from using their PC is a significant change from the antipiracy features that Microsoft bolted on to Windows XP with Windows Genuine Advantage. In XP, the piracy-busting features only put a block on downloading additional programs from Microsoft's Web sites.

Windows XP also included product activation, but people could still use their machine in "safe mode" if the operating system was not activated. Moreover, no activation was required if a volume license key was used, the most popular way of pirating Windows. Starting with Vista, Microsoft will no longer give out those types of license keys, which are typically used by larger organizations.

"Piracy is one of the most significant problems facing the software industry," Hartje said. More than a third of all software installed last year was pirated or unlicensed, she said, citing figures from the Business Software Alliance, a software industry group.

Microsoft will continue to check if Vista was legitimately acquired, even after activation. This happens, for example, when downloading additional Microsoft programs. Should a license key be deemed illegitimate, the user will be given another 30-day grace period to acquire a legitimate license key, Microsoft said.

During this grace period warnings will be displayed and Vista will block access to the Windows Defender antispyware tool, ReadyBoost memory expansion feature and Aero advanced graphics option, Microsoft said. Also, a persistent text will display in the lower right hand of the screen: "This copy of Windows is not genuine."

If Vista is not validated after the 30 days, the user will again be locked out.

As part of the increased effort to make it harder to pirate its products, Microsoft is also changing the way businesses license its software. New licensing systems will replace the current volume license keys, which have been widely abused, Hartje said. "Fifty percent of the piracy, we think, uses keys issued to volume licensing customers," she said.

Volume license keys are registration codes for products that Microsoft gives out to large organizations in plain text. One key can be used to activate and run an unlimited number of copies of the product, for example Windows XP or Office XP.

Starting with Vista, Microsoft will offer two different types of keys and offer three different ways to distribute them within an organization. In all cases, some more work will be required on the part of the technology department at a company.

"They will just need to do a little extra planning," Hartje said.

The first type of product key to replace the current system is called "multiple activation key," or MAK. An IT pro at a company can install a key on a machine that will then need to be validated online. Alternatively a proxy can be set up centrally to activate multiple systems at once, according to Microsoft.

The second licensing option is called "key management service," or KMS. This requires the organization to set up a KMS service on the corporate network that will activate client machines. The Vista PCs will silently find the KMS service and activate, according to Microsoft.

It may seem like businesses will have to count all their licenses, but it's really not as bad as it sounds, said Michael Silver, an analyst with Gartner.

"It has nothing to do with license counting right now, but companies will need to expend time and effort and some money to administer this, in the name of helping Microsoft recoup revenue lost to piracy," he said. "There needs to be more of a benefit (for customers). Linux and Mac communities will try to make hay with this, but this will not be the tipping point."

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antipiracy, piracy, Microsoft Windows Vista, Microsoft Corp., operating system


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"They will just need to do a little extra planning,"
Great, the cost of operating Windows computers is going up again.

And MS thinks businesses are going to adopt Vista faster than they did XP?
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Vista to be shoved down your throats
Remember that some major software companies will
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.teckmagazine.com/content/view/551/43/" target="_newWindow">http://www.teckmagazine.com/content/view/551/43/</a>
probably be releasing Vista-only software. This will force people to upgrade. It's a strong-arm tactic but that's the M$ way of doing business.
Posted by cnutsucks (25 comments )
Link Flag
Why would anyone....
want to "upgrade" to an OS that requires even more to work to do less? I have yet to see any "feature" in Vista that I actually want, let alone need--and if I'm going to have to work harder.... Microsoft is just shooting themselves in the proverbial foot.

Microsoft grew to be a market leader because their software was easily obtainable and useable. But, there is no reason to believe they'll stay a leader when their software is hard to obtain and use.

I know I won't be upgrading to Vista and I'll find ways to keep my current version of XP working as long as I need to. And, this is what I'll be suggesting my employer do as well, since all Vista would do is steal company resources we could much better employ elsewhere.
Posted by Raemir (15 comments )
Reply Link Flag
let the pirates flourish and you corner the market..
then you prevent piracy and are already top dog

Works in almost every market.
Posted by baswwe (299 comments )
Link Flag
That will only get you so far...
Sooner or later you will have to upgrade, either to support hardware or software. I don't know if many of you have noticed but there have been more programs released that require Windows XP or higher, how long until we are Windows Vista or higher? It isn't as much that you don't want or need the features it is what the new OS allows companies like Adobe and others to do that will require the new OS. Lightroom from Adobe will require XP minimum simply because it allowed them to do things that older OSes couldn't do or couldn't do without a lot of trouble.

In a few years you won't have a choice. My problem is I don't think any company that only sells you one small part of your computer should be able to basically disable the entire thing and that is what Microsoft is basically doing. Add to that that Windows Genuine Advantage is well known for causing problems with people that have legitimate copies of XP and I see this in Vista as being just as unreliable. I guess we are going to need a major class action lawsuit.

Posted by Heebee Jeebies (632 comments )
Link Flag
I can definitely see that
It's not the first time I hear this argument. Most often, upgrading to a new OS or MS Office version really doesn't give you much for your money.

Other than the cute GUI, Vista is just a service-packed XP Pro.
Posted by godam_registration (113 comments )
Link Flag
Vista Schmista...Just Another Hacker Tool
MS is wasting sooooooooooo much time trying to stop
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.teckmagazine.com/content/view/603/43/" target="_newWindow">http://www.teckmagazine.com/content/view/603/43/</a>
legitimate users from using Vista, that they are making this new OS a hacker's best friend.
Posted by cnutsucks (25 comments )
Link Flag
Windows is forever in "reduced functionality mode"
...I give it 3 days 'till after Vista's release to be hacked......
Posted by PCCRomeo (432 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Linnux is a failure
and Microsoft knows it. Otherwise they wouldn't get away with this crap. Now, more than ever, we need an alternate OS. For the immediate future we may see more multiple boot configurations so other OS's will do what Vista won't.

VISTA: Defective by design
Posted by GrandpaN1947 (187 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I dissagree
On the contrary, I think it is far from a failure. Although not as popular as windows for client and home computers, much of the webpages on the internet are brought to you through linux servers. The operating system does take more of a learning curve, in my opinion, but it will allow you to perform just about every function you would do with windows. I won't say "all" because 3rd party programs tend to differ between the two. If you're not happy with a particular OS, then use a different one. Each one available today is a success in its own right or it wouldn't still be around.
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
Link Flag
Linux is a good OS
if you know a little more about computers than the average user.
And there are alternatives (ever heard of OS-X). OS-X is a great
OS and i've never heard anyone say it wasn't (most people who
complain about OS-X have never used it or are just die-hard MS
fans). The old "I can't find programs for Apple computers" is
almost a none issue nowadays (unless your a gamer or have a
need for a very unusual program and even the game issue is
slowly going away) so with the price in Apples coming down
there is no real reason not to consider one. And just so we are
clear I own both types of systems (OS-X and XP) and use both
regularly, I'm not some blind apple fan boy (I know that attack is
coming sooner or later it always does when someone says
something good about Apple)
Posted by jones_8099 (177 comments )
Link Flag
For now... because u can have pirated XP/98
but now with Vista, and eventually phasing out of XP, by the time XP becomes obsolete, people would be clamoring for an alternative and slowly we would be forced to go to Linux, since people won't be able to afford Vista (specially those in third world countries)... Results? More market share for Linux...! And Microsoft would then realize that the reason why they were number one in the first place - because Windows was usable and available even to the poor (via piracy). Now that the tap is gone (with Vista), they'll move on to other OS (or figure out some other way to run Vista)... simple as that.
Posted by roland827 (36 comments )
Link Flag
Not a failure for the millions who use it
It may not do everything you want it to, or not the way you want it to, or maybe it does and you just don't know how because you haven't explored what it can do. At the very least, Linux gives control of the user's computer back to the user. Those who want large companies to do all the work for them can stick with Microsoft and Apple; others, who prefer to "roll their own", can join the open source, open software crowd, which is only going to grow and grow and grow and ...

The thing is, it's your choice.
Posted by GlennAl (25 comments )
Link Flag
Linux IS the alternative
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.pclinuxos.com/page.php?7" target="_newWindow">http://www.pclinuxos.com/page.php?7</a>
Try this Linux, it's FREE and had the an Office Suite and more software than ANY Microsoft OS. Try it live without an install. See and you will not go back.
Posted by NoIBnds (5 comments )
Link Flag
I totaly agree with this
Linux's only value is as the "symbol of the opposition". It's not a real OS, it's an interesting experiment at best. It's like comparing homemade fireworks to the Apollo program. Or rather, like not comparing them.
Posted by godam_registration (113 comments )
Link Flag
You are right Linux is a failure...
But not because it isn't a good OS, it probably is. However, it is a failure in that it has failed to get main stream software companies to design things like Dreamweaver, Photoshop, etc. for it. That there alone makes it a failure.

Having it used for web servers or computer geeks does not a success make at least not when talking about going against Windows.

Add to that that the only company to jump on the Linux bandwagon for consumer software almost pulled a Titanic and you can see why other companies aren't going to make the move. BTW that company was Corel Corporation. They pushed Linux software hard and it almost killed them.

Part of the problem too is that it "SEEMS" like those that use Linux expect the software to go with it to be free as well. So many companies don't see a large income from doing Linux software as well. That maybe why companies like Adobe have only released things that are free to start with and not the for cost products.

If Linux is ever going to be a threat or even moderate success for consumer desktop and many businesses it is going to have to have main stream software from main stream companies. Open source isn't going to cut it. While open source can be nice they often do not have the features, integration, support both from the company as well as third party (books and training, etc.) and they take forever and week of Sundays to get major updates done. Consumers and businesses simply can't or don't want to deal with that.

I hope Linux makes it. However, my feeling is if it hasn't by now it never will. It isn't like Linux just came out last week. It seems to have found it's place in the computer world and for most it isn't on their desktop computer. That also means that Microsoft is going to get away with shafting us for sometime to come.

Posted by Heebee Jeebies (632 comments )
Link Flag
How much of a failure can free software be?
I run all OSes, including a number of different distros of Linux. Linux may be the MOST insecure (even more than windows) but there are two things that need to be considered before calling it a failure.

That learning curve that people claim is so hard, not only teaches you how to work with linux, but causes users to understand a computer more than just pointing an clicking, and thus creating users who have a better chance of securing their own computer.

Secondly, IT'S FREE!!! What can you really demand from a free OS that doesn't disable your system because they want money?
Posted by Brandon Bartelds (42 comments )
Link Flag
Gates - "Golly, why are Vista sales slow?"
What an extraordinary disaster in the making.

Vista already has my vote for "biggest disaster of the decade".

Brilliant marketing moves like this just add to the highlight film...
Posted by W2Kuser (33 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Taking Bets&
I bet the online activation is hacked on the same day as the official
public release. After-all XPs online activation was hacked before
the official public release date so I am willing to say MS is a little
smarter now thats why I'm saying it will take until the release date
this time.
Posted by jones_8099 (177 comments )
Reply Link Flag
1 Week before release
I would put my money on it being hacked with near perfection at least a week before the public release. All M$ has done is give the crackers an excuse to avoid sunlight for a few extra weeks.
Posted by jeffhesser (102 comments )
Link Flag
This may be a good thing
If Windows wasn't as widely pirated as is
currently the case, then perhaps more people
would be using something different. Piracy has
actually helped Microsoft immensely with pushing
their products while displacing the competition.
People may be more willing to consider or at
least try alternatives such as Open Office or
Linux if they they actually had to pay for
Windows or Microsoft Office. Piracy is wrong
anyway... I could go on but I won't.
Posted by Mallardd (47 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Sound logic
Microsoft is not guaranteed success with any release of a new operating system. As a precedence, Windows Millenium was a dissaster. Only time will tell how all this unfolds.
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
Link Flag
Although piracy is wrong, it did indeed help Microsoft to grab such a large amount of the market.

How many people do you think actually used valid copies of DOS and Windows 3.1/3.11? I knew many people who simply made copies of DOS and Windows from each other's disks or disks from work. In fact, I didn't know many people who did own valid copies!

These days Microsoft already has a stranglehold, though, so even if piracy is severely cut down the competition will still have a bit of a fight.
Posted by ddesy (4336 comments )
Link Flag
Activation Existed in Windows XP as well
Guess you kinda overlooked that tho.
Posted by PhilMacD (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Sometimes activation existed
Activation did NOT exist for volume licensing customers or those who had a volume licensing key.

Guess you kinda overlooked that.
Posted by td1138 (42 comments )
Link Flag
Once again CNET misreports
XP does the same freaking thing! If you install XP you have 30 days to register either over the Internet or over the phone. This is no different.
Posted by ballssalty (219 comments )
Reply Link Flag
But you can bypass this with hack tools
Vista would take it a step further by having the Windows Geniune Advantage tool as standard as opposed to XP which allows you to have WGA optional (if you decline the WGA update, configure your update to ignore WGA, etc.)

This way, even if you were able to bypass the 30 day registration "request", WGA kicks in for ALL facets of Vista (updating media player, running IE 7.0, etc)...

I predict that with Vista's anti-piracy salvo, lots of users will stick with XP, move on to Linux, or the Linux community would be more pressed to come out with a better GUI interface for Linux... Microsoft would initially get more revenue from those with no choice but to upgrade to Vista, but eventually it would trigger a catalyst for people fed up with Microsoft's WGA "Spyware" and force people to try Linux (or at least make some other open source OS more popular)
Posted by roland827 (36 comments )
Link Flag
Once again you failed to read the article
which clearly discusses XP and it's activation scheme and how it's been changed in Vista. The evidence is that you didn't read the article, not that the author of the article misreported.
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Link Flag
No they didn't
The main point is that Microsoft has introduced newer and more harsh 'penalties' for not having proper activation. Namely that you can only browse for an hour.

Did you actually read the article?
Posted by jezzur (191 comments )
Link Flag
You guys don't get it
The activation model in XP was in previous versions of Office (2000). It was basic, and it was easy to get around once you figured out the process. Vista is a whole new monster. Think of it as the difference between using a network trace to sniff for clear text passwords vs. encrypted passwords. Which one is going to take seconds to get vs. one that takes hours or even days?

Just by making it a little harder, its more revenue. Truth is, if people didn't want to run Windows, they have other options. They are just either too lazy to try them or too stupid to figure out how to do the same thing on another OS.
Posted by FusedAndCondazed (26 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Wrong about Office activation
Office 2000 did not have XP style activation. I happen to have both Office 2000 Professional retail at home and Office 2000 Professional volume licensing version at work, and neither contain activation.
Posted by ddesy (4336 comments )
Link Flag
SOunds like some of you are pirates
Some of you complain about having to activate your software. Well that makes me think you're wanting something for free. If you were in Gates's position, I bet you wouldn't want to give away your software for free either. While Linux is free-as-in-beer, it wouldn't be for long if it was widely adopted.
Posted by thomaskray (15 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No I'm not a pirate&
However if I have get Vista (I would buy it because pirating is
stealing and I don't steal) and there is a way around the activation
you can bet I would use it. However I will avoid Vista as long as I
can because upgrading would mean I would also have to upgrade
hardware also.
Posted by jones_8099 (177 comments )
Link Flag
Do I want my OS for free? Yes, I do. But who doesn't? I don't like the MS licensing model now that doesn't take home users into consideration. See if you can replace a motherboard in a generic PC with an OEM license without having to purchase windows again...

The real bite here is that Microsoft is putting more onto the IT departments and increasing TCO as a result. For companies with a small IT department it may be the difference between staying with XP indefinately or using an alternative OS. For larger companies it will definately push back any migration plans. The real kicker with Vista will be the hardware requirements. Most companies are getting by on 256mb P4's with minimal video memory. Add in Vista's new requirements and talk of Thin Clients are back with a vengence.
Posted by Stormspace (1028 comments )
Link Flag
if you bought the software, why are you being treated like a criminal?!
Posted by baswwe (299 comments )
Link Flag
Can't believe what WIndows users will put up with
&gt;"Some of you complain about having to activate your software. Well that makes me think you're wanting something for free."

No, I'm just spoiled by open source. Been using Linux for six years now and I'm not used to being bullied and lorded over by arrogant software companies. It's incomprehensible to me why Windows users allow themselves to be treated this way.

However, it's your choice so y'all just carry on whining.

&gt;"While Linux is free-as-in-beer, it wouldn't be for long if it was widely adopted."

Wrong. Some commercial distributions already exist, but so do many free ones. The commercial distro's have to bend over backwards and bundle a lot of extra value to persuade users to switch from the free distributions. It's a totally different experience from the way Windows users are treated.
Posted by HandGlad2 (91 comments )
Link Flag
Seems you don't understand the Linux license system.
Might want to take a look at that to get a better understanding of how it works, and why!
Posted by dland51 (91 comments )
Link Flag
Free as in Speech, not free as in beer
A small correction. free software (of which linux is a small but prominent part) is free as in speech not free as in beer. It may cost you financially but more often costs you only time to aquire the related knowledge.

The concept of piracy is completely foreign to the very lucritive world of Free Software and Open Source Software (F/OSS).

I think the real gripe here is not registering your OS but Microsoft's gaining a dominant position through the same level of morality they now seek to abolish. Do I want to buy software from a company who considers their own customers adversaries. In my case, the bigger turnoff is the unreasonable retail cost, license terms and inefficient bulk that dosXP has evolved into.
Posted by jabbotts (492 comments )
Link Flag
Sounds like you haven't been listening...
...to the news! WGA can, and does, sometimes identify valid copies of Windows XP as being pirated. If WGA is faulty enough to do this even ONCE it is too much.

Oh yeah, and Linux is free as in speech, not beer. Plus if you think it wouldn't remain free, you are ignorant of what Linux even is.
Posted by ddesy (4336 comments )
Link Flag
Activation / WGA Great - When It Works...
I'd like to note that I have absolutely nothing against "product activation" to verify that I have a legitimate product. I also had nothing against WGA until it screwed up on my PC and started claiming that I had an illegal version of Windows XP installed. This was an interesting report since it had recognised it as a legitimate copy for the purposes of downloading things like IE 7. In the end I wasted over an hour of my time getting this issue fixed. OK, not a huge amount of time but when you're under pressure to get a job done then time is very important.

Anyway, this isn't a problem for me as long as the implementation of it is bullet-proof. Start mucking around legitimate users and my support of the proposal dwindles very quickly.
Posted by kelmon (1445 comments )
Link Flag
1 week before release!
I would put my money on it being hacked with near perfection at least a week before the public release. All M$ has done is give the crackers an excuse to avoid sunlight for a few extra weeks.
Posted by jeffhesser (102 comments )
Reply Link Flag
That's my point...
MS wants to stop users like you who look for ways to beat the system. If you invented Windows, you would do the same thing that Gates is trying to do. Sure, free unlicensed computers for everyone would be nice but this is not utopia.
Posted by thomaskray (15 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You beat the system by not using Windows
A ton of governments and businesses in Europe have dumped Windows for Linux. It's not for everyone, but then again, neither is Windows.

I prefer OS X for desktops and Linux for servers, but the day is fast approaching when most users will use thin clients.

It won't be long until most business and home users won't know or care what their internet device runs, much like they could care less what runs on their cellphone.

Microsoft knows this, which is why they are desperately trying to break into new markets with XBox, Zune, etc. Their Windows/Office empire has peaked, and while it will take quite some time, will eventually decline and disappear.
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Link Flag
Good for them and I hope it lasts but realistically speaking. It's only a matter of time till the Chinese etc hack it and someway bypass these security features. The only way which will help curb the counterfeiting is only for their governments to enforce copyright laws once and for all!!!!!
Posted by josephatshop (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I don't care what MS does to pirates -nt
no text
Posted by john55440 (1020 comments )
Reply Link Flag
M$ allowed the piracy of Windows NT server for years to gain market share. If you remember, Novell had the major share of the Network operating system market until M$ came onto the scene and offered windows NT server. How did M$ win over the 70% difference from Novell? Novell used to charge people for CAL's that you had to purchase and was sent to you on a floppy. M$ decided that they would offer their NOS and allow users to add CALS freely and the "Pay for them later" honor system. Obviously it was the IT folks who gave M$ the market share by piracy, but for M$ to allow piracy then to gain total control of the NOS market then start cracking down on piracy is lunacy. Call the kettle black. The only reason why M$ has what it has today is because of piracy and m$ thieving other peoples ideas and software. Now they want to critisize other people for doing exactly what they did and got away with. Shame on you M$!
Posted by pchesels (20 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ermmm, no...
Microsoft have always required that to use a CAL you MUST have purchased it prior to use to be legally licenced. They have never offered a 'pay for it later scheme'.

Even if they did 'allow users to add CALS freely' - which they still do - then why shouldnt they enforce you actually purchasing the license to go with them - not to mention for the OS itself.
Posted by richto (895 comments )
Link Flag
If that were true...
If that argument was true, then why isn't Apple's Mac OS the #1 OS today? There was no protection on that OS from copying either. You could clone a disc and slap that into another machine in just a couple of minutes. We better add Apple to that list of guilty parties- well, them, and IBM, and of course Linux is guilty because they made the OS free- obviously in an effort to derail Novell by your logic.

I think you need a OS patch for your water bucket, sir. :)
Posted by Vegaman_Dan (6683 comments )
Link Flag
So it sounds like a good idea. But what about all those crazy people who have no internet connection? If they can't connect to the internet to prove it's a paid for copy, then they just waisted money on a computer they can only use for 30 days.
Posted by Amazingant (146 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Activate by phone
if you can't connect to the internet. That's how it works now and if you'd read the article you should have seen that MS will still offer that option.
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Link Flag
More Power to 'em
I tried out RC1 for a month. Utter garbage. The UI is a fricking mess. Go and try to modify your network settings. I dare you. It will take you 20 minutes. Just try and find how to change the computers name. Its nothing like XP/2Ks. The new graphic subsystem? A joke. Windows own screensaver crashes once a week or so. FireFox crashes once a day. Right clicking in some apps crashes the app until you scale the UI back from Aero to classic. If this is what the final version of Windows Vista is supost to be MS can keep it. I know they have done a good job on the undercarriage of Vista but Id pull out my hair if I had to use this GUI on a day to day basis. So MS can do whatever they want to getting pirates off their OS. I wouldn't touch this OS with a 10 foot cattle pro or at the very least a new version release. Maybe Vista 2010.
Posted by Jonathan (832 comments )
Reply Link Flag
To risky to use hacked software version.
The number of bad hackers is on the rise. They will hack windows vista and release it to the public along with back doors and spy ware built in. They do not work for free. You get free software, they get free hardware. I installed an illegal Photoshop copy from bittorent. My antivirus did not find any virus or something wrong, but the firewall started to complain about Photoshop trying to reach the net& and it was not trying to call adobe. If they can hack the program to bypass registration, why not add extra lines of code to do something else? And what best way to infect a machine than this one?

So my days as a pirate are over.
Posted by palapaquete (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Bill, is that you?
"Cracked" software is safe. Stop spreading lies.

While I'm sad that you happened to get a malignant version of Photoshop I cannot agree with your generalization. The scene is functioning as it pretty much has since its conception. As long as you get legit releases from legit sources you should be fine. I've never bought a piece of software in my entire life and yet I've never come close to what you describe.

And besides, with the world being what it is, I could just as well rustle up some odd example of how some cracker actually removed spyware or call-back. It doesn't prove a thing either. Use common sense and don't let yourself be intimidated by the industry and their propaganda.

As for the article, obviously, no one is going to use a legit dvd to install from when you can download a privacy protected cracked and otherwise much improved version from the net. I mean seriously, give it a few months and industrious people out there will have removed all the MS bugs, making the user experience all the more enjoyable. And so, as noted by others here, the real suckers will be those that bought the product. Now, what did you learn from this?
Posted by Bjorn Hallberg (1 comment )
Link Flag
The activation probably won't stop the hardcore pirate but may put more of the kabash on the "casual pirate" which I think is what they are going for.
Posted by chuchucuhi (233 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This will hurt legit users
Many people with valid copies of XP were hurt by the spyware known as WGA.

Many people that are stupid enough to buy Vista will get burned by a bug or two. If even one legal customer gets locked out wrongly, MS will pay large.

There are already lawsuits over there last wga screwup.

This is simply bad business. The funny thing is that interest in Vista is already extremely low, in all markets, but especially in the business sector. It seems like MS is working hard on making interst even lower.
Posted by qwerty75 (1164 comments )
Reply Link Flag
I have to agree&
Having been caught up in the whole Corporation vs. Piracy war myself, I have to say that I agree.

When the whole WGA madness came on the scene, I got stung by a faulty installer for a free program that MS was offering. The fault was in the programs ability to communicate properly with the various elements within WGA. Generally I was treated well, but always with a tinge of -well talk after were sure that youre not a pirate.- in the conversation.

Like advertisers that use overly militant ads to try and sell me crap that I dont want, companies that are trying to act like police forces will meet the same fate as far as Im concerned - Theyll get the boot from my computer.

Im definitely not above learning a different OS and will watch with great interest to see if the nightmare of WGA is repeated with the next version of Windows before I make a final decision.

If the new legitimacy verification process for Vista is not bullet-proof, many people will be left with a bad aftertaste for MS products.
Posted by Ghost Spider (27 comments )
Link Flag
What about re-installs?
When I used to run W2K, I reinstalled at least twice a year, and with 98/ME I had to reinstall at least every couple of months. I'm also the guy that was always upgrading hardware on my machines. So the question is, would the o/s lock me out if during a reinstall I add a new videocard, firewire card, or hard drive?

I'm very glad that my Windoze PC kept crashing and dropping frames when I started editing video, so I switched to what I then called "Mac-in-trash." Then I noticed I was using my Mac for e-mail and internet because it didn't crash and didn't get viruses. Now I own 4 Macs, and gave away my last PC at least a year ago, if not two...
Posted by sandsunsurf (10 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Sounds Like ...
Sounds like you don't need to worry about reinstalls (unless you plan to install Vista on one of your Mac's).

But, while I did find it best to reinstall Windows when I ran ME and earlier versions (though not as often as you describe), XP is a much better beast. I've got three machines (mine, my son's and our laptop) and all run just fine without any reinstalls (two oldest installations are three years old).

mark d.
Posted by markdoiron (1138 comments )
Link Flag
How is this different?
I don't see how this is different from the xp activation that can be "worked around" in less time than it takes to install the stupid thing.

if there going to charge what they say they will for the full experiance, then I can't see how they really think key codes are going to baffle students who have grown up used to downloading cd images cracks and working with registrys.
Posted by xhable (96 comments )
Reply Link Flag
RE:How is this different?
Server side authentication and encryption
(Trusted computing) can make it significantly
different from previous versions if Microsoft
wants to. A simple patch or registry hack would
not help in such a case.
Posted by Mallardd (47 comments )
Link Flag
Pain to Keep MS
The whole point is that Microsoft can defend it's business practice, as it should. The problem will come with the implementation. There will be many headaches as people who have legitimate licenses will have issues. This will create a customer service nightmare for MS. Because of this issue, I can see many people keeping XP for many years to come. Also, since the hardware requirements are much higher, people will be looking more at other operating systems, either upgrade and purchase a new Mac or replace Vista with Linux. I think that we will see a greater increase in the amount of *nix based system in the wild that has been in the past.

Poor MS. They have always had a difficult time with customer service...
Posted by jypeterson (181 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Just Validates Purchasing Vurtualization Software
While Microsoft has a right to protect its Vista OS I am sure people will consider virtualization software more that ever now since XP (and even Win2K) is sufficient enough for most users. I know I have many copies (legimate copies by the way) of various Windows OS's from the constant upgrading I have done over the years and it would be just as easy for me to stick with my older copy of XP and Office 2000 on a Linux box running VMware rather than upgrade to one of the many flavors of Vista. I already own an Intel iMac and have been testing Windows 2000 and XP using Parallels virtualization software and I must say that with the way it works I won't be standing in line at midnight waiting to get a copy of Vista when it does finally arrive.
Posted by pilaa (253 comments )
Reply Link Flag

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