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No Aero Glass for you

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 disable 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 transparent 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 years?

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

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