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Thread: Microsoft to lock pirates out of Vista PCs

  1. #1
    Darth Sushi's Avatar Sushi Lord
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    By Joris Evers
    Staff Writer, CNET News.com
    Published: October 4, 2006, 6:00 AM PDT


    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.

    "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.

    Source: http://news.com.com/Microsoft+to+loc...tag=nefd.pulse

  2. News (Archive)   -   #2
    Damnatory's Avatar OTL BT Rep: +6BT Rep +6
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    Those Ubuntu Linux CD's I recieved a little while back are looking all the more appetizing...

    Though I'm sure that when it's time to abandon XP for Vista, there will be numerous hacks to remove the limitations.

  3. News (Archive)   -   #3
    LackOfInterest's Avatar O_o BT Rep: +2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Damnatory View Post
    ... there will be numerous hacks to remove the limitations.
    Exactly, microsoft will come up with 1 way to stop pirated copies of windows and people will find many ways to get around it or remove it. Its just a never ending process.

  4. News (Archive)   -   #4
    Retired
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    I don't understand why so many people use a cracked version of Windows on their home computer.
    I don't pay for most of the software I use but I don't mind paying ~100/150 euros for an OS I use every day.
    Last edited by {I}{K}{E}; 10-04-2006 at 08:32 PM.

  5. News (Archive)   -   #5
    Busyman™'s Avatar Use Logic Or STFU!
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    Quote Originally Posted by {I}{K}{E} View Post
    I don't understand why so many people use a cracked version of Windows on their home computer.
    I don't pay for most of the software I use but I don't mind paying ~100/150 euros for an OS I use every day.
    ....and have approximately a 6-year life span.

    The sticky part is when you have more than one computer to upgrade.

  6. News (Archive)   -   #6
    Hairbautt's Avatar *haircut
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by {I}{K}{E} View Post
    I don't understand why so many people use a cracked version of Windows on their home computer.
    I don't pay for most of the software I use but I don't mind paying ~100/150 euros for an OS I use every day.
    Agreed. I've never had anything against M$ anyways...
    _________________________________________________________________________________________
    Last edited by Alien5; Jun 6th, 2006 at
    06:36 PM..

  7. News (Archive)   -   #7
    peat moss's Avatar Software Farmer BT Rep: +15BT Rep +15BT Rep +15
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    I never pay for anything Microsoft , never have never will . That's a promise , if I run in to trouble I'll try some thing else .

    Why the fuck do I have to pay for an O/S for my spanking brand new computer ? Like it works with out it ? Give me a fucking break !

  8. News (Archive)   -   #8
    Skiz's Avatar (_8(I)
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    Quote Originally Posted by peat moss View Post
    I never pay for anything Microsoft , never have never will . That's a promise , if I run in to trouble I'll try some thing else .

    Why the fuck do I have to pay for an O/S for my spanking brand new computer ? Like it works with out it ? Give me a fucking break !
    Sure it will run without it.

    Windows is just one of several OS's. Any one of which you'll have to buy.

    @IKE - I'm the same way. I'll always buy my OS and my anti-virus. I like the peace of mind.



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  9. News (Archive)   -   #9
    peat moss's Avatar Software Farmer BT Rep: +15BT Rep +15BT Rep +15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skizo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by peat moss View Post
    I never pay for anything Microsoft , never have never will . That's a promise , if I run in to trouble I'll try some thing else .

    Why the fuck do I have to pay for an O/S for my spanking brand new computer ? Like it works with out it ? Give me a fucking break !
    Sure it will run without it.

    Windows is just one of several OS's. Any one of which you'll have to buy.

    @IKE - I'm the same way. I'll always buy my OS and my anti-virus. I like the peace of mind.

    Your missing my point Skizo , I "think " an Operating system should be included with a new system or at the very least an OEM version at a very low cost . Yes I can use a "free" O/S but thats not the point .
    Last edited by peat moss; 10-05-2006 at 05:00 AM.

  10. News (Archive)   -   #10
    now i am lost trying to follow the logic

    if you buy a new system (not home built) i always thought they came pre installed with an operating system.

    even if you build your own box i still dont understand your thinking,why is it microsofts fault and not the hard drive manufacturers for not pre installing an operating system?
    or maybe we can blame the motherboard maker and so on .

    i as well purchase windows.

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