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Anti-piracy measures to increase with Vista

Written by Ben Reid @ 04 Oct 2006 16:27 User comments (49)

Anti-piracy measures to increase with Vista As part of the increased effort to make it harder to pirate its products, Microsoft has said its forthcoming Windows Vista will feature a new anti-piracy measure which locks people out of their PCs if the operating system hasn't been activated within 30 days of installation.
If Vista has not been activated with a legitimate product registration key in time, the system will run in a "reduced functionality mode", which will allow people to use a Web browser for up to an hour, after which time the system will log them out. If and when the system is eventually activated, it will return to full functionality.

The new technology is unlikely to affect consumers who purchase a PC with Vista pre-installed, but just those who buy the Operating System and install it themselves. "Everything is going to be good to go right out of the box," promised Cori Hartje, director of Microsoft's Windows Genuine Software Initiative. "This is more for those who install after the fact."

Microsoft will continually check if Vista was legitimately acquired, even after activation. For example, when downloading additional Microsoft programs such as Office, should a license key be deemed illegitimate, the user will be given another 30-day "grace period" to get a legit license key.

During the course of this "grace period", warnings messages will be displayed and Vista will block access to the certain tools, and if the system is not validated after the 30 days, the user will be locked out again.

Microsoft is also rethinking the way it licenses its software. It plans to scrap the current volume license keys, which are key codes 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.

Hartje believes the volume license keys have been widely abused, noting that, "Fifty percent of the piracy, we think, uses keys issued to volume licensing customers."


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49 user comments

14.10.2006 17:12

they already had something like this with windows xp... its been cracked over and over... =]

24.10.2006 17:12

How long until that gets bet. Where's "DVD JOHN"?

34.10.2006 17:12

Staying with XP and probably will switch to Ubuntu or OS X (legitimately on a real Mac) later.

44.10.2006 19:02

So what happens if there is a problem on their end. If I buy Vista (*cough* not likeley *cough*cough*), register it and then I get locked out because they screwed up, it sounds like I'm going to get screwed out of another $200 or so because they will think that I stole the CDs and have to pay for it again.

54.10.2006 19:23

....thanks for the heads up....don't feel an urgent need to switch for few years. I wonder what they are going to do for all the "Keys" used for MSDN subcriptions, or TechNet Subscriptions. I believe they are used on the "honor system" i'm sure those keys leaked out as well.

64.10.2006 21:04

THis is new ...2 years ago....SP2 is a activatin whore that wants valid MS only activation every time you chnage vid,sound,HD,CD/DVD (well not ever more like every 3) so with vista safe mode will be disabled eh? god I had to call in twice to MS to get my uncels PC up and running after a mini reinstall and HD,vid,ramm upgrades..had to call twice because the damn phone rep couldn't speak god they are bringing back the days of 95 when the phone rep told you to "go online" to fix a "no online" error..... Thanks but no thanks sticking with SP1 until SP2 is not henpecked into the ground then I shall move to Vista non SP1 when that gets un henpecked...I trust MS to screw thigns up I trust hackers and modders to "FIX" it,sicne MS wont even cover the lousey 100MB worth of SP1 updates I refused to buy a legit XPSP1 cd MS can burn in hell.....*blahblah blah rant ran blah blah* BTW my uncle spent 130$ on OEM XP pro SP2 and still had to call in.....sad

74.10.2006 22:01

What about people who don't have access to the internet (yes, I know there aren't many but they do still exist). Microsoft can't legitimately lock people out of their own computers just because they don't have an internet connection. (Well, I spose they can and will, but anyway)

84.10.2006 22:04

natony yes yes they an,even with the net it locks you out and you have to call in. you see everything is changing to a broadband world leavening everyone thats not on it out of the picture.

94.10.2006 22:24

Seeing that I'm a poor college student. I plan on sticking with XP for the next few years. The only reason I'd want to upgrade to vista is just because I enjoy having the newest thing, but I can't afford that. I went the piracy route with XP, looks like it's going to be a little tougher to do the same with Vista. Besides, all I use windows for now is to mainly play games. Right now I'm in the process of switching over to Ubuntu, because all I usually do is watch crap on youtube, and write papers for school now.

104.10.2006 22:28

bomber991 speaking of games how are un DRM/copy protected media going to play off game DVD/CDs when vista will only paly DRM/copy right verified stuff? It boggles the mind at what MS is trying to do...

115.10.2006 5:27

I'll stick with XP, I'm satisfied with it I can't see anything in Vista that's worth spending all that money to upgrade my PC and buy a new operating system.

125.10.2006 7:06

No matter what Microsoft does to try to stop piracy someone will be able to bypass it. The only people these new security measures will affect are average joe's who dont know jack about computers. Hardcore pirates and people with some knowledge will easily be able to find the patches and fixes. Im sure people will also release patches to get around all this DRM bullshit. Im sure if iTunes was used by as many people as Windows, the fairplay DRM wouldnt stand a chance.

135.10.2006 7:31

I have read all these post and one thing comes to mind. If I owned Microsoft and I was losing millions I would be trying to do something too. If someone stole your car, (which has happened to me) you would not be happy I dont think your response would be cool, I get to by a new car and I hope the new owners enjoy my old ride. You would be on the phone calling the police and crying. Just because microsoft make tons of money does not mean they want to be ripped off nor should you think you can rip them off because they are loaded. I do belive if they lowered there prices this problem would fix itself. Really how much money does Bill and all his CEO, CFO, Presidents, and vice presidents need. But in hind sight Bill Gates did rip off Apple.

145.10.2006 7:56

Well it's nice to know we're all considered thieves and cant be trusted with our own computer/s using an unreasonably costing software hmmm 300 bucks still for an os over 5 years old, greed wouldnt have any thing to do with anyone getting over on a conglomerate such as MS. set the technology at a reasonable price and who would need to circumvent? "oh yeah to protect us from us being theives and all"

155.10.2006 8:34

Windows Genuine the DRM for SOFTWARE with big brother there to always grope you in all the wrong places at all the wrong times...

165.10.2006 10:03

Charlieco: What 5 year old MS OS are you paying over $300 for?? MS XXX Server XXX??? Because thats the only thing I know of that still costs that much. And if you are talking the server editions then that really is non relative to the costs and piracy measures of a new OS that is *NOT* in the server or enterprise class of products. Any version of XP (including pro and 64 bit versions can be had for WAY less than that! A friend just ran across a 64 bit PRO that was going for under $80!) so I suggest that before you buy you might want to google around for prices.

175.10.2006 10:25

Just as lxfactor said: Its already been cracked, if they include Phone activation hackers will just find out the algoythm and KeyGen the thing like the did with XP. Yes, you can make it harder to pirate but you can't make it impossible.

185.10.2006 11:15

Being locked out of your own PC by Vista, two things, don't buy it, and FDISK (I know, its the long way around things). As for only being able to play DRM music, what about the people who actually buy CDs in stores? Can they not use MP3 players with a computer running Vista on it? To the best of my knowledge, a store bought CD doesn't have DRM on it. Of course, MS doesn't care about those people they want you to use their new media player 11 music store, whatever its called. All i can say is I am about to force myself to learn Linux and just switch to Ubuntu. It doesn't cost $200, and you don't have to worry about not being able to do what you want with it.

195.10.2006 14:50

duckNrun: Set foot into any staples, etc... xp pro still retails for 299+tax

205.10.2006 15:20

Pointless. To every engineer, there is a reverse engineer.

215.10.2006 21:54

I am in no rush to upgrade to this OS, XP works just fine and until it is "obsolete", I'll be sticking with it. my 2 cents.

225.10.2006 22:30

@natany If someone is not online then all they need do is ring ms for an activation code,symatec have a similar thing for their products i would assume ms will do the same,so sleep easy *winks*

236.10.2006 4:53

Im in the process of switching to linux so i dont have to put up with MS's bs any more

246.10.2006 6:24

linux is still a mythical beast to me it has gotten better drivers support is stll kinda 50/50 but the main thing keepign me from it right now is the 2 DX game running programs are not free and one has a monthly fee,I'd rather pay 100 for the OS and have that with it....

256.10.2006 9:36

I stand by my origional comment. You can always find some people overcharging for anything. But just because Staples and perhaps others are charging $300 for XP does not mean that is what someone has to pay. I'm certain that just like on Ebay, some 'in the world' retailers would be more than happy to charge you more than something is worth. However there are two ways of looking at this: 1) something is worth the cheapest price it sells for 2) something is worth the highest price it sells for and those who pay less have received a 'bargain' I follow #1 above, apparently you follow #2. Nothing wrong with following either of those choices mind you. Just a matter of world view. To me since I can EASILY buy ANY version of XP for under $130 (and depending on the day and sale often considerably less than that) this is the UPPER price of the OS and I would NEVER value it higher than that. However since you can find it at a Big Box store for (not) suprisingly a lot more than that you place a higher value, or cost, on it. Myself, I think that Staples is raping their customers and these poor sheeple are paying WAY MORE than they have to. Sad thing is many people are like you and feel that if Staples, Best Buy, Sears or any other Box tells them something costs $XXX then of course it really is worth that much and they gladly hand over their money, only to insist to others that that big box price is the TRUE value or cost or what they wasted their money on. It's most likely a psychological defense mechanism. People don't like getting ripped off and so to insure their feelings of ego they 'must' (read: instead) believe that the other person is wrong, got a really good deal or some other thing like that, instead of just acknowledging they got screwed and overpayed for an item that really costs less than they were told. Here's a thought. Go buy that version of XP at Staples and leave it unopened. And then come back here and see the highest price someone will pay you for it. Chances are it will not be anywhere near $300 but instead the selling price YOU get will more likely approximate the REAL cost of that OS (or any item). cheers!

266.10.2006 9:39

I can find XP pro sp1-sp2 for80-130,cant seem to find anything cheaper than that.

276.10.2006 13:35

Personally I dont see Vista taking off outside of new PC sales. Lots of average Joes would have to upgrade their computers and that is work they wouldnt be willing to do for a new OS. Also, as long as the popular games run on XP there is no reason for most of us to get Vista. The only thing that would make it worth while (barely) is Halo 2 and the Halo fanboys already have it on Xbox anyways.

God hates console fan boys.
May the way of the hero lead to the Triforce.

286.10.2006 13:45

Vista is ok at beast but with each annaoacne it the reason tog et it dissapear

1.Audio/Video lockdown.
2.Big brother MS is always with you.
3.Resource Hungry

Hell XP is is great why not boost its compatibly/speed while lessing its resource needs to think they could have killed lunix if they did this....

Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

Check out my crappy creations

296.10.2006 14:11

Why run out and buy Vista just because it's the latest thing? LMAO. Jeez folks stick with XP is it works well for you, heck I didn't upgrade from Win98 to XP untill earlier this year! Are you all like the new car buyers that just HAVE to have the newest crap they spew out? Relax and use your computer for fun and productivity instead of twiddling with the OS all the time sheeeeesh.

306.10.2006 14:15

Fiji5555 true true,vista is not a necessity yet,in 2 or 3 years it will be because of the way it works like XP nearly everything will be made for vista....

316.10.2006 14:57

become a linux user.....its free to use...then downloadload a program called wine...its under the gpu licensing. this program allows users to use MS Products in the Linux Platform, photoshop, word, things like that. im using suse 10.1 that i bought for 12 bucks with the linux magazine at your local hastings video store...screw windows, they are to boggy, to pissy, and to much to even care about anymore... The Signal has spoken his peace...

326.10.2006 15:00

signal I might try it when I get a 2nd PC up and running,no I will try it pu$$y footing around with MS is tiering however I do know that to run DX games it dose cost.

336.10.2006 15:29

Follow the light path, switch to linux :D I've never consider it before, but right now, with so many information in the net, is the moment to make the change, if the online community would've been so big and informated as it is now whe M$ gave us that piece of $%&/ of Windows Me that would be the end of that blood sucking emporium, lets start a new movement online, every time you upload a video on youtube, a blog note, lets just put something like Dont waste your money on vista get high on linux hahaha or whatever, and maybe add somelinks to newbie to linux webpages Lets boycott vista, before it boycotts us because all the cool things are f9or vista only and 70% of our computers will be slow as heck on it

346.10.2006 15:44

Gradical I didnt waste my money on XP when I first got it the 2nd tiem I got it I got it from a friend that gave me there install CD for the comp they bought but upgraded a year or so later,probably do the same with vista once Windose genuine can be removed but then I think..whats the point 30% of the time I play videos,30% of the time I play games(with videos) 20% of the time I play MP3s theres 80% of my interest in PCing gone since vister locks sht down 0-o

357.10.2006 4:26

We get the SW free at work, but I'm tired of this nonsense. I've been looking for an excuse to finally switch to a Mac. I think I just found one.

367.10.2006 4:47

ChiefBrdy XO was a hard pill to swallow coemign from 98 game wise,and once they made genuine its a pill that makes you sick to boot. vista will be like XP on steroids....can soemone tell me whats the best general and up to date lunix package for music,videos has the most/best drivers I dont mind spending 80 on it sometimes downloading stuff is just to much of a pain (dailup/sat net)...

377.10.2006 6:44

Windows would be a wonderful operating system if it was Open Source, but it isn't, thus the problem. There aren't enough programmers who are checking the software to fix all the bugs that pop up. Face it Windows has more holes in it than Swiss Cheese and I'll bet Vista wont be any different. Why people are wasting their time pirating this crummy software is beyond me. I use windows for gaming and a couple of other things. For the rest I switch to Linux for email and surfing the web and any other Office related task. I talk up Linux all the time and here's why. Any old machine will run some form of Linux. Every time they upgrade Windows you are forced to get a new computer in order to run it. Linux does not need Anti-virus programs, or maintenance programs to keep it running. Linux does not have to be defragged, scanned, prodded and poked to keep it up and running. Best of all its Free and so are most of the programs it runs. Windows comes in only three flavors (Vanilla) Home, (Chocolate) Professional and (Strawberry) Server. Linux comes in every flavor of the rainbow. How can you beat that? Believe me the more you use Linux the more you'll fall in love with it. Piracy and DRM, what's that? We Linux folk never worry about that. LOL

387.10.2006 7:02

This is the perfect timming to change for Linux! Lets get started!

397.10.2006 7:58

Lets assume (for 1 second) it really gets impossible to crack Windows. So, the next question is: How much people really want to pay for the OS, considering what they already have paied for the computer or the parts itself ? When you really thing about investing on an OS, you may start to more seriously consider Linux. May be Vista will be (finally) the effective rise of Linux ... will see.

407.10.2006 11:03

Why would anyone in their right minds want to give their money to a company that is constantly working against the consumer in one form or other. I've just recently built my first Linux machine and I'm loving it. Granted I'm just barely learning how to use it but the Linux community is always willing to help a dumb newbie like myself. Microsoft won't be getting any more of my money.

417.10.2006 19:30

For me, the only thing worth considering with vista is the 64 bit management which all new software will be based on, but considering all the DRM stress and other dislikes, xp 64 would do it just fine, without all attached extra ati-consumer crap. And yes, I'm going to start learning about linux, and see how it goes.

429.10.2006 16:48

It has been out for a while some where. I bought a OS disk on eBay more than 6 months ago and it had something like this system but not as elaborate. I must have got the beta process. It did not cost near $300. I prefer that to the no-OS-disk that comes along with your new computer. That totally sucks. MS also wants to verify that your software is licensed before you get any freebees. Even though my software is licensed, I still did not want some software thing doing who knows what on my computer. I know they have a back door on their firewall.

439.10.2006 17:03

I'm thinking about going over to a Mac. Their systems have always been superior to Windows.

449.10.2006 17:06

THe newer OS x's are not better than XP at least XP SP1 minus the DRMINESS of windose genuine,so staying with XP is preobly better unless you don't play video games.

459.10.2006 17:17

enough linux fanboys reply to this post yet? damn...

469.10.2006 17:27

Alaphic Hardly,a fanboy cant see past reason :P MAC OS runs less programs and less hardware so meh Lunix is better than mac in that it runs more sht.... its all board as it is long I guess,I will only put up with WIndose as long as someone has made fix's for it so I don't have to have big brother all up in my arse when I paid for the damn OS... it is simple jsut say no to DRM and windose genuine.

4712.10.2006 7:51

The problem i have with Linux is basically that I am a gamer. I know that Linux is a cleaner OS, as far as bugs and work arounds, than Windows, it runs faster, cant get viruses, spyware, it's open source, and it's free. the only problem with Linux is 99% of the programs available say "requires Windows XP". The last time I saw a game that had Linux on the package was a Blue Star show about 8 years ago, and it was Doom 2. Windows is to Linux as corporations are to The US government, they payoff software companies to use their format, at least that is how it feels.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 12 Oct 2006 @ 7:53

4812.10.2006 7:52

OOPS! double posted.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 12 Oct 2006 @ 7:52

4912.10.2006 9:36

you in luck wine plays a few DX games and theres a pay version that plays ALOT of DX games.

I just dont have a 2nd PC to play with right now.

can someone recommend a good lunix distro for gamers and media playing?

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 12 Oct 2006 @ 9:41

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