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Microsoft to Lock Pirates Out of Vista

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Microsoft said Wednesday that it plans to clamp down hard on piraters of its next-generation operating systems, crippling both Windows Vista and Windows Server "Longhorn" if users fail to activate their copies within 30 days.

While the restriction of operating system features has been around since the advent of Windows XP in 2001, the new program takes that process a step further. It would also make widely distributed volume-license product keys -- traditionally supplied to corporations -- harder to use.

Called the Software Protection Program, the initiative is made up of several parts. The first move is to make certain features unavailable unless the user has confirmed their copy of Windows as genuine. Only licensed copies would have access to Aero -- Vista's new user interface -- and ReadyBoost, which uses a flash drive to temporarily add more memory to a computer system.

Additionally, the functionality of Windows Defender would be crippled, and optional downloads from Windows Update would be unavailable to the unlicensed user. Microsoft would also place a watermark on the desktop at all times that reads "This copy of Windows is not genuine."

The biggest change, however, is to the Windows activation process. With a number of corporate product keys publicly available on the Internet, activating a pirated copy of Windows Vista was quite easy as it only took one activation to prevent reduced functionality.

With Vista, the activation isn't permanent. If Microsoft discovers that the user has used a product key without authorization, it will force the user to reactivate his or her copy of Windows. Product keys may be blocked for a number of reasons, Microsoft says, including for abuse, stolen or pirate keys, or if the key was seized due to anti-piracy efforts.

"The Software Protection Platform has been under development for several years," Microsoft's director of the Genuine Software Initiative Cori Hartje said. "It brings together new anti-piracy innovations, counterfeit detection and tamper-resistant features into a complete platform that provides better software protection to programs that leverage it."

While Vista and Longhorn are the first to use the new technologies, the program would expand to other products in the coming years.

Hartje cited data from the Business Software Alliance that indicated 35 percent of all software installed in 2005 was pirated and unlicensed. This represented some $35 billion in lost revenue for the software industry.

"Software piracy is not a victimless crime," she said. "It harms consumers, businesses and other organizations every year."

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Posted

Good. Pay for the software ffs. If you don't like it's features, don't get it.

-Spenser

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Posted

I recall similar words just before Windows XP came out... activation will stop the pirates they said... and look how that turned out. All of these new measures can only hope to reduce piracy, and only in the short term. These measures will be cracked by innovative and intelligent hackers/crackers eventually.

Microsoft need to consider different methods to encourage more people to purchase their software instead of trying to lock out those who dont want to (or cannot afford to) buy their software. Providing added bonuses in-box, exclusive downloadable content, oh and.... price cuts! Raising the price and blaming the rise on piracy is only going to push more and more people away from the legal road, therefore the inverse is also true.

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Posted

I give the SPP a week after release before it's destroyed by masterminds.

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Posted

I recall similar words just before Windows XP came out... activation will stop the pirates they said... and look how that turned out. All of these new measures can only hope to reduce piracy, and only in the short term. These measures will be cracked by innovative and intelligent hackers/crackers eventually.

agreed.. but you have to admit they have come a long way since the release of xp.... i have one genuine xp and one notsogenuine and just based on the trouble i have gone through to get around wga i will be buying 2 copies of vista when released....

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Posted

you can only create a speedbumb in there way. you can not create a wall lol.

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Posted

It's pointless. I am sure Vista will be hacked and slashed before it's even on the shelf.

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Posted

why don't they just sell Vista at a very low price? I am pretty sure ppl will buy instead of using copy

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Posted

If Microsoft discovers that the user has used a product key without authorization, it will force the user to reactivate his or her copy of Windows. Product keys may be blocked for a number of reasons, Microsoft says, including for abuse, stolen or pirate keys, or if the key was seized due to anti-piracy efforts.
In other words, Vista will constantly try to call back to Microsoft. What about the people with no internet? Are they off the chart?

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Posted

Where there is a will, there will be a way. Thats all I got to say.

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Posted

In other words, Vista will constantly try to call back to Microsoft.

Wouldn't that be considered Spyware? *gets ready for lawsuit*

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Posted

I hate all this callback stuff - it'll slow the OS down.

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Posted

It's about **** time Microsoft stepped this up. But if they really want to stop piracy why give pirats a system at all? Why let them run "non-genuine" Windows with only a few things taken away? Why not block them entirely? YOu know what, you get a legit key you have no problems. You pirate, Microsoft doens't owe you ANYTHING.

If they don't like it, pay for it like the rest of us honest customers or use something else.

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Posted

Make the wall higher....they'll only extend the ladder.

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In other words, Vista will constantly try to call back to Microsoft. What about the people with no internet? Are they off the chart?

This Operating System will self-destruct in 5 seconds! :laugh:

But the number solution to stop piracy of their OS is;

1) Lower Prices

2) Stop making ****ty updates (they are going on 2nd and 3rd iterrations of "fixes", that is totally unacceptable)

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Posted

Good luck Microsoft, you'll really need it.

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Posted

agreed.. but you have to admit they have come a long way since the release of xp.... i have one genuine xp and one notsogenuine and just based on the trouble i have gone through to get around wga i will be buying 2 copies of vista when released....

Wga is easily bypassed theres a cracked hotfix about that deals with WGA.

besides vista will be cracked probably be on torrent sites as soon as it hits RTM (remembers XP)

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Posted

why don't they just sell Vista at a very low price? I am pretty sure ppl will buy instead of using copy

Well, as much as I would like to believe that, I think that even at lower prices, people who would pirate the software, would pirate it anyway. While price may influence some, it does not account for all.

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Posted

Just lower the price and everyone will buy it, jeesh.

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Posted

if it has a code it can be rewritten.

oh and AMEN to that primexx!

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Posted

It's about **** time Microsoft stepped this up. But if they really want to stop piracy why give pirats a system at all? Why let them run "non-genuine" Windows with only a few things taken away? Why not block them entirely? YOu know what, you get a legit key you have no problems. You pirate, Microsoft doens't owe you ANYTHING.

The problem is that identifying pirated copies of Windows is not as simple as it sounds. The method is imperfect and prone to errors. Even though those errors are rare, they do occur. By completely shutting users out if "non-genuine" software is detected, MS opens themselves up to lawsuits. Imagine if a company's computer infrastructure was shut down because the activation system mistakenly thought Windows was pirated. Definitely could happen, and MS is taking a risk because of it.

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Posted

Well, as much as I would like to believe that, I think that even at lower prices, people who would pirate the software, would pirate it anyway. While price may influence some, it does not account for all.

Well I agree with you it won't change everybody's mind but I'm prettu sure many of them will buy it including me.

I have a legal xp pro cd and another one for my wife's pc. There is no way in hell I will buy 2 copy of vista at the price we all know.

So unfortunatly, I will not upgrade and stay with XP like many other persons

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Posted

It's about **** time Microsoft stepped this up. But if they really want to stop piracy why give pirats a system at all? Why let them run "non-genuine" Windows with only a few things taken away? Why not block them entirely? YOu know what, you get a legit key you have no problems. You pirate, Microsoft doens't owe you ANYTHING.

If they don't like it, pay for it like the rest of us honest customers or use something else.

That would ber eally stupid, because we've all heard the horror stories of people having LEGIT copies of XP, and having to call god knows how many people to get things working.

If they just locked it out straight away, it would cause even more havoc when their activation/checking goes wrong (which I will bet money on it happening).

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Posted

why don't they just sell Vista at a very low price? I am pretty sure ppl will buy instead of using copy

Microsoft has programmers to pay, along with their marketing team, testing team, partners, etc. Not to mention Microsoft has spent a fortune on Vista, which they also have to make back.

Yes, I know someone will say Microsoft has lots of money, but investors and shareholders want revenue and profit coming in and not the money that's been sitting there for years.

Also, for those that are claiming here that calling home is spyware, a lawsuit will not work this time. Expect Microsoft to make it clear on their EULA that you give them the right to check your copy of Windows to make sure it is genuine. Since you will have to accept the EULA to install Vista, you have no other option, not even having Jesus suing them.

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Posted

Oh comeon, the same discusion weve got with xp...

Oh wait, vista needs an activation *shocked* as your current os-xp does :laugh:

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