Microsoft tries to stop Vista piracy monster

Microsoft has issued an update to Windows Vista that's intended to stop a piracy monster.

The software maker said Thursday that the update is aimed at thwarting a technique that was letting some people use pirated versions of the operating system without going through the software's built-in product activation. Microsoft has dubbed the approach "frankenbuild" because it works by combining test versions of Vista with the final code to create a hybrid version.

"Windows Vista will use the new Windows Update client to require only the 'frankenbuild' systems to go through a genuine validation check," Microsoft said on its Windows Genuine Advantage program blog. "These systems will fail that check because we have blocked the (product) keys for systems not authorized to use them."

Although Vista was only released to businesses last month--and won't hit retail shelves until late January--it has been making the rounds on the Internet, and there have been several reported hacks to bypass its built-in security mechanisms.

View: Full Article @ C|Net News

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I'm the first to tell you that doing what you can to stop piracy is necessary for your bottom line and to protect your resources. The ideas and effort the piracy group @ MS have put forth certainly have changed the way companies address piracy. I have tested RC1 and RC2 of Windows Vista. After using these builds for many months I only wish their inventiveness and ideas were used more effectively. Vista is nothing but a gui patch on top of XP. Now I know it was built from the ground up. I know all of the time and effort that went into it. I'm just not seeing anything that makes me HAVE to own it. I've reinstalled XP because my copy of Vista stopped connecting to the internet. (Nasty unfixable bug) Now that I'm using XP again I find that I don't miss Vista. There was nothing with it that I needed. No killer app. I shut Defender off, limited the indexing capabilities (slowed the machine down), and disabled the annoying User Control nonsense. My point is that Vista to me seems to be an upgrade for those businesses who purchased the software assurance AND for a way for MS to boost their profits. With the peer to peer network MS has created with this "piracy" scheme, I can't help but wonder why I really need it? Flip 3d? Search in my Start menu? Aero? Vista was a good idea 5 years ago when most of its features weren't available as a download. Perhaps in the future MS should put the piracy team in charge of creating actual OS features. Maybe then we'd get fresh ideas and an even better way of telling us we all need it.

I'll probably pick up Home Premium next June when my RC expires. But, also, it all depends on how well it's received by the gaming public and the developers.

Grab an OEM copy of XP from Newegg for about $100. They all have upgrade coupons for Vista. I may get my copy that way in the future.

Quote - acrophile said @ #5.1
agreed... make it affordable, make it available...

You must thing Vista was done in 3 months...i am sure it has been in development for over 5 years and the cost is probably extremely high. How the hell could it be sold for $50.00? Quickbooks Accounting software sells for over $250.00 and that's nothing compared to a full operating system. Buy a new PC and you will get Vista but quit complaining about the price.

The prices are extremely reasonable if you ask me with Vista Ultimate coming in at $199.00 for an upgrade and Home Premium is $139.99.

Quote - shishyan said @ #5.3
wondering how Adobe products pricing compares to a full OS like vista.

Yeh windows vista ultimate = 360usd. Adobe photoshop = 800usd

What a nice comparison

Adobe's products are horribly overpriced as well. They use the production excuse, same reason M$ charges $1000 or more for windows server 2003.

Since Vista went RTM, no bugs were fixed yet there are still tons waiting to be fixed, they rather spend resources on this useless crap, fighting windmills again. Those who used cracked Vista now will simply find another way, anything can be cracked.

Shadow: if I pay for a product or service, I want it to work. In this case, I can't complain about bugs and they are not obligated to fix OS at all, which is really retarded. I do use other OSes, but since Microsoft practicaly has a monopoly on this market, I still need to use Windows from time to time and there is no way I'm paying for it. Sure, if it was cheaper, $50 or so, I would, but $200+ is too much. For $200, I want this system to work almost perfectly, from what I've seen in RTM, I'd call this an alpha or pre-beta release.

In fairness, how are you supposed to fix a bug if people are using a hybrid version that has all sorts of mismatched files in it? Plus I dare say this would be a rather easy thing to block (they can block RC2 keys, scan certain files to see which version they are etc.).

Quote - Kushan said @ #4.1
In fairness, how are you supposed to fix a bug if people are using a hybrid version that has all sorts of mismatched files in it? Plus I dare say this would be a rather easy thing to block (they can block RC2 keys, scan certain files to see which version they are etc.).

Okay, I agree, people should not (don't have a right to) complain if hacked version doesn't work. My version is not cracked, but there are only updates for Defender (which I don't even need), what about bugs still in there from RC1 and RC2? What have they been doing for past month since RTM came out?! They also should implement anti-piracy features, of course, but they have priorities mixed imho, call me crazy, but I think stability, performance and features have WAY higher priority then some antipiracy crap that a regular user won't ever even notice...but they do, since all this activation junk is turning against legit users. People will crack it and those who want cracked version will get it, one way or the other.
Microsoft's war against piracy reminds me of war against marijuana: there is no way to stop it, you can get it absolutely anywhere, yet governments spend millions to address this problem and the effect is oposite: people are annoyed by it. Even more: like with drugs, when people go to dealers and get bad dope (resulting in health problems), here people use badly cracked OS, resulting in worms and stuff will affect their computer and worms will spread. My comparisment is extreme, I know, but if you think about it...
IMO, Microsoft should opensource or in some other way open their OS and release home version for free, selling only Ultimate/Enterprise/Business editions with more software included. By opening, people would improve and adjust OS by their needs (not like now, when OS is based on what some geek think people need), more computers would be patched and communities would be created, resulting in making Windows true nextgen OS, right now it's just an OSX/Linux+Beryl wannabe.

Too little too late. Anti-piracy methods are a waste of time and resources and will always fail in the end.

Quote - j0j081 said @ #3.1
spoken like a true pirate.

Yeah, but what he said was true. MS still has not caught on or done anything about the cracked versions of MCE 2005