Microsoft To Snuff Pirated Vista Software

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft announced Wednesday that pirated versions of it's Vista operating system (OS) will be of "limited value" to anyone who has received a copy of the company's newest version of Windows. The new OS is said to have integrated anti-counterfeit technology, which disables the pirated versions from being used. (Source:

The software giant's announcement comes as a reaction to earlier reports that the key code to "crack" Vista's activation process was posted on peer-to-peer networks, Usenet groups and BitTorrent download sites. (Source:

Although Microsoft is "happy that customers are eager to begin using Windows Vista," they obviously do not support piracy of their software programs. (Source:

Software Protection Platform: Disabling the Bootlegs

In a prepared statement, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that the unauthorized versions of Vista will soon be disabled:

"The copies available for download are not final code and users should avoid unauthorized copies which could be incomplete or tampered. This unauthorized download relies on the use of pre-RTM [release-to-manufacturing] activation keys that will be blocked using Microsoft's Software Protection Platform. Consequently, these downloads will be of limited value." (Source:

Greg Keizer, of InformationWeek, explains how Microsoft's Software Protection Platform works in blocking unauthorized copies of the Vista software:

Microsoft's Software Protection Platform is "supposed to render the operating system inoperative if it suspects a product key is bogus. Copies of the OS whose product keys have been blocked eventually drop into a barely-usable state where only the Internet Explorer browser works, and then only for an hour before its user is automatically logged off."

Vista Wait Almost Over

The wait is coming to a close for PC users who are eager to get their hands on Microsoft's new OS. The company plans to widely release Vista to consumers for purchase on January 30, 2007. By the end of November, Microsoft plans to have Vista in the hands of businesses. (Source:

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