Microsoft is doing everything within
its power to deter pirates from using unauthorized copies of Windows
Vista. Its latest move disables a key feature in Vista, but is it enough to deter pirates?
Microsoft's latest strategy is to
the fancy Aero Glass user interface for pirated copies of Windows
Vista. A Microsoft representative told CNET yesterday that a software
check will be in place to verify the authenticity of a Windows Vista
install. "Those who are not running genuine Windows will not be
able to take advantage of the Windows Aero user experience."
Pirates will join the poor souls who
don't have enough graphics horsepower to enjoy features such as
windows and Flip3D.
While the final hardware requirements are not available for Vista --
besides requiring a genuine copy of the operating system -- a user's
graphics card will need a Vista-specific WDDM driver, at least
1.8GB/sec of memory bandwidth and a minimum amount of graphics memory
based on screen resolution.
In the end, I feel that disabling Aero
Glass isn't enough for pirates -- I say shut down the whole operating
system. A quick check shows that an OEM copy of Windows XP Home, XP
Professional or XP Media Center Edition can be had for $90, $145 and
$115 respectively. Is that too much to ask for an operating system
that you will likely be using everyday for the next four to five