Microsoft

Vista pirates plunged in to darkness


An e-mail has been sent to a large Microsoft Windows Vista distributor entitled, "Pirated Vista -- A darkness descends!" The e-mail, sent from a local Microsoft representative describes what users of unlicenced copies of Windows Vista can expect after the activation of Vista's 'Reduced Functionality' mode. ComputerWorld obtained a copy of this e-mail which describes how functionality is reduced for installations which are suspected of being pirate copies:

...Anyone who has a pirated copy of Vista will experience:

A black screen after one hour of browsing

No start menu or task bar

No desktop

The e-mail goes on to explain that this feature has only just been activated by Microsoft, so issues will start to arise from now on. I'm not quite sure I agree with Rodney Gedda's opinion that this move proves Microsoft "still controls its software releases with an iron fist." Nor that "this marks the first global use of heavy-handed tactics for pirated copies of Windows." We have seen the Windows Genuine Advantage campaign disabling non-genuine copies of Windows XP in recent times; I wonder how long until we see cracks bypassing Vista's 'reduced functionality mode'? ZDNet already have a featured gallery describing how to get around reduced functionality in the short term...

28 comments
glennatcher
glennatcher

I also read on a microsoft blog that is email wasnt true at all.

jdclyde
jdclyde

If there is an off chance, your toast? If MS would spend as much time securing their products from hacking as they do from pirating, they would have a much better product. It would be interesting to see the size of the different departments and just what percentage of the total programming man hours are spend on copy right protections instead of providing a quality product.

AndyW360
AndyW360

A Microsoft representative has already annouced that this so called black screen is a hoax... "Microsoft was quick to debunk this e-mail warning of a Black Screen of Death. A Microsoft representative told Wired News "the reporter received inaccurate information," and that the company has not rolled out any updates to Windows Vista's anti-piracy platform." Not enough research on this story !

albert
albert

On the one hand, if someone is knowingly using a pirated copy, (as in stolen), well, don't they deserve heavy-handed tactics? On the other hand, when there is a WGA server error and some poor, law abiding, loyal customer is locked out right in the middle of an important PowerPoint presentation, is that any way to treat your loyal customers? When I first heard of WGA, the focus was more on enticing legitimate Windows users with rewards or perks. But, WGA has evolved to an ever growing stick, with few signs of any carrots. If MS continues to focus on punishment rather than reward, it will turn off more loyal customers. I see parallels in the DRM wars. More companies are doing away with DRM and focusing more on rewarding customers for purchasing their copies. Time will tell. But, I see old school tactics becoming -- well, old -- sooner rather than later.

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

A computer doesn't work without Microsoft in it.All of the computer design engineers threw everything into Microsoft's hands when they chose Microsoft.Several hundred dollars for a CD is too much.There's not enough knowledge on this Earth to pirate Microsoft.All software,even Microsoft,comes from somewhere in the Internet.I suspect that this somewhere is the battle zone between free and pay for software.

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