Windows

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
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.

Big Ole Jack
Big Ole Jack

If I were Microsoft, I'd be giving Vista away because nobody I know, including myself, wants anything to do with that piece of sh*t excuse for an OS. Usually, stuff that's valuable and actually in demand is pirated, but I simply can't see software pirates wasting their time and effort on pirating an OS that most people will end up cursing and throwing out the windows (no pun intended) once they realize the problems they have subjected themselves to.

Locrian_Lyric
Locrian_Lyric

Oh, let say like 2600 magazine would send a little note to M$ saying... "Don't bother, we're not interested"

mikea5402003
mikea5402003

I just ordered a System from Lenovo that XP SP2 on it.

rleavitt
rleavitt

I was just at Dell's web Home User site and the XPS can be order with XP

Big Ole Jack
Big Ole Jack

if one does not want to buy a system with Vista. That's what is annoying to many people, including me.

royhayward
royhayward

If you go to Dell or HP, the machines on the front page are all Vista, but pop XP into the search and it takes you to a page that lists the models and packages that are shipping with XP. Of course before you check out you are subjected to a multi media plea from Bill asking you to choose Vista. there was such a backlash from the consumers that HP and Dell were able to continue shipping XP.

Big Ole Jack
Big Ole Jack

It's a challenge for the average consumer who wants nothing to do with Vista but is having it forced down his/her throat by a company whose sales tactics equate to radical religious fanatics who won't have it any other way other than their own. If someone wants XP on a new machine, they have to buy from a small outlet that custom tailors the PC, or buy a separate OEM version of XP and reinstall it in place of the Vista crap that ships on new PCs' from Dell, Lenovo, Gateway, etc. There is one such company out there in the USA that is still proudly selling their machines with XP Pro SP2 and all work and support is based in the USA. The company is called SysteMax and I personally like that they stand for the American worker and don't outsource anything overseas.

jayson.allen
jayson.allen

for a day or two, until I got caught by the forever-to-copy-a-file bug. Oh, and the "are you sure you want to do this?" followed by the "are you sure you're sure?" followed by the "I'm only gonna ask 3 more times...are you sure?" prompts. I'll stick with XP and Debian Linux, until all games are DX10 requirements... which should be around Service Pack 6 or 7.

Justin Fielding
Justin Fielding

I must say I run Vista on my iMac and the whole "are you sure you're sure" thing has really gotten old. Ok so I could remove it and put XP back on but I really can't be bothered as I only use it to mess around with flight simulator anyway :)

jdclyde
jdclyde

Sure, a few people will find a use for manure, but to the rest of us it is still just sh1t.... :0

royhayward
royhayward

At least that is useful as fertilizer.

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 !

royhayward
royhayward

Left hand: "We are going to get you, you pirates and thieves. Muhahahha." Right hand: "No, we like you. We would never do anything evil. " Left hand: "Watch out we are going to get in and turn off your PC from the inside." Right hand: "We love you guys, lets all sing a song." Sounds like some people in Redmond are not talking to each other.

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.

bewolfe
bewolfe

The last os microsoft put out was win2kpro,in my opinion. I look at the MS progs this way: dos .a start, win3.1 bad win 95 better win98se best, win me-bloatware. The Nt series 3.11 workstation bad, nt4 better, win2k pro best, xp ok???, vista bloatware. I already have 3 linux machines ubuntu 6, suse 10 and Redhat 9. I want to try Fedora and BSD too.

webgruntaux
webgruntaux

LINUX VS. XP: A NOVICE'S PERSPECTIVE About three months ago, I downloaded Ubuntu and gave it a try. Though I have extensive experience with DOS and Windows, I had no experience with Linux. I tried to look at and judge the experience as though I had only novice- or beginner-level experience with computers. Here is the result of my test. Ease of install-- I was amazed at the ease of Ubuntu's installation. The only problem was that Ubuntu didn't have a driver for my video card and the card maker didn't have a driver for Linux, so I was using a generic driver for it and not getting maximum performance or resolution. XP had the same problem (no built-in driver for that card), but whereas a trip to the card maker's web site resulted in getting the correct driver for XP, there was nothing there for Linux users. This wasn't Ubuntu's fault, but it did make the Linux install more difficult. Result: XP wins this category, but not by much. Support-- I posted a request for help with the video card driver issue on a Linux newsgroup and within 24 hours was directed to a web site that had simple, step-by-step instructions for downloading and installing a driver that gave me full use of the card. Nice! As I browsed the newsgroups, I discovered that the Linux groups are crammed with many of the best techs around who are eager to provide excellent solutions for folks who are new to Linux. However, the same can be said for Windows groups and message boards Result: a tie. Interface-- The interface looked better and was easier to use than Windows XP, and I had at least ten thousand hours of experience with Windows XP and zero with Linux! That's one incredibly intuitive interface Ubuntu has. But there's more! Because Linux is open-source, anyone can write a GUI or other modifications to it. That means if you don't like the look and feel of Ubuntu, you can download other distros until you find one you do like. The result: Ubuntu is far and away the clear winner here. Built-in software-- Ubuntu came with lots of utilities, applications and simple games. So does XP, though while I only investigated the relatively few that I actually use in XP. They were pretty much the same. Result: tie Internet access setup-- Ubuntu obliterated Windows XP on ease of internet setup, too. With a fresh install of XP, I had to download my wireless NIC driver on another computer that already had internet access, install it on the XP system, then manually go into my network settings and enter my IP address, default gateway, etc. On Ubuntu, while I was trying to figure out how to do this, I accidentally discovered that it was already done. Ubuntu had done it all automatically! Result: Ubuntu wins by a comfortable margin. Web browser-- XP comes with Internet Explorer. Ubuntu comes with Firefox. Both are easy to use and intuitive, but FireFox has thousands of plug-ins available that let you add virtually any feature you can think of. Internet Explorer doesn't. Ubuntu wins this one too. Software availability: There is a ton of freeware and shareware available for Windows, as well as utilities, apps and games available in all price ranges. Most games and popular apps don't yet have Linux versions, but as Linux grows in popularity, that will continue to change. Result: XP wins... for now. Ease of installing new software-- I was able to download some software for Linux, but there was no obvious, apparent way to install any of it. With XP, you just double-click on the downloaded file and follow the instructions. Once I learned how, I'm sure it would be easy to install stuff into Ubuntu--but it does require that learning, so... Result: XP wins Performance-- Ubuntu ran faster on fewer system resources. Ubuntu wins. Price-- Ubuntu is free. Got that? *Free.* There's no charge, no license key, no online registration, not even any advertisements. It's constantly being updated with improvements and has automatic security updating built in. Just download the Ubuntu ISO and burn it to a CD. When the next release comes out, it will be free, too. The folks who write Ubuntu make their money providing network server software and support, as I understand it. So by providing Ubuntu free to end users, they grow their business. Microsoft operating systems aren't even close to free, and their prices keep going up. Result: This one isn't even a contest. I'm tempted to give Ubuntu one point for every dollar it saves me over the cash I'd be shelling out for XP, but that's not really in the spirit of this test. SCORES XP: 3 Ubuntu: 5 CONCLUSION: Despite Ubuntu's point-lead, the lack of software and driver availability and lack of ease of installing new software make XP the best choice currently for the novice or beginner, and for people who want to play high-end games and use most popular applications. However, if you're not into high-end gaming and if you're on a budget or don't mind getting your hands dirty so to speak with learning a little about installing software and also running the alternative apps available, You should try Ubuntu. PREDICTION: Hundreds of thousands of people are working to improve Linux, and it's getting better all the time. Once program installation becomes easier, the rise in popularity of Linux will increase, and with that, software and driver availability will also increase. Possibly as early as one year, probably within three years and almost certainly within five years, Linux will beat or tie Windows in every category. Once that happens, it's only a matter of time before a critical mass of users is achieved and with that, the majority of both computer manufacturers and end users will make the switch. If I had any Microsoft stock, I'd sell it now.

NaughtyMonkey
NaughtyMonkey

Especially in the software categories. Other than games and a few specialized applications, you can get any app you want in Linux, and they are free. No browsing the web looking for apps that are free only to find out that they are limited unless you pay for them. Ubuntu is especially easy as well. All you do is go to add/remove apps, select the apps you want, and it will download and install them. Unless you have customized your kernel or other changes it will go without a problem. Also included apps you are way off. XP doesn't come with an office suite, but Ubuntu and other distros do. If you were thinking that XP comes with Wordpad so it is the same as Open Office, you are way off. When Windows ships with Office installed we can talk. Also, any apps that do come in both, say like a simple text editor, the Linux version will be much more feature rich and usable. You may not be able to get all of your apps for Linux, but there is definitely a comparable application that will do the job just fine with all the same features without costing you a dime. All you have to do is tell it to install and you are done. Another one that may be a little off is support. Yes both have support groups to go to for help, but the Linux community can do much more for you. Say you couldn't find an app. In the Windows world you would just have to wait on someone to decide to develop it. In the Linux community you could put a request out to developers and if someone found it worthwhile, they would develop it. Again, free. The install part doesn't sound right as well. You say XP wins because you could get a video driver from the manufacturer website. This has nothing to do with an install, but should go under software or hardware support. Also a simple question in a forum got you the answer you needed. The results should really be more like: Ease of install winner - Linux Interface winner - Linux Support winner - I can see this still being a tie for most users but could lean in the favor of Linux with the right situation. Built In software winner - Linux Internet Access - should be hardware support Hardware Support winner - I would say a tie. Even though Windows has much better support from the manufacturer community, Linux has drivers for a lot of hardware and it is getting better every day. Also if a manufacturer doesn't support a popular OS it shows they are only concerned with a section of their customers. I would much rather have hardware from someone who is concerned with all of their customers. Web Browser winner - Linux even though Firefox comes for Windows too, but you are more secure under Linux. Software Availability winner - Linux, you may not be able to get Photoshop, but The Gimp works just as good and they are all free. Software Installation - tie since Windows does make it easy to install, but Linux is easy too. The fact that you couldn't figure out how to click install in the linux interface just means you were downloading packages. This is not required and in Ubunutu especially the package manager is great. You can also install from command line using apt-get. Performance winner - Linux Price winner - Linux Result Totals XP - 0 Linux - 7 btw, I have only been using Linux for about 6 months and Windows for 20 years and now use both every day.

links
links

Windows getting worse, all flash and no go... LTO4

DLrocker
DLrocker

Made you look

jdclyde
jdclyde

It is becoming clearer all the time that some people really ARE a waste of time and space.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

And that's the only thing you've been able to come up with? Incidentally, I opened "View All Posts", so -you- didn't make me look. But now that I know your attitude, I can assure I'll never look at your garbage again.

links
links

Cheap and lame is how I would describe your efforts at being funny... LTO4

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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