Microsoft is taking the fight to software pirates and is
stepping up its anti-piracy efforts with Windows Vista and Windows
"Longhorn" Server. The "Software
Protection Program" as it's called will disable key Vista components
for non-genuine installations. Likewise, Microsoft Volume Activation 2.0 will
make it harder for pirates to get away with using volume license keys. While
Vista and Windows "Longhorn" Server will be the first products to use
the Software Protection Program, Microsoft hopes to extend the technology to
other software products in the near future.
With the Software Protection Program, customers will be
asked to activate their copy of Vista with a valid product key within 30 days
of installation. If the user fails to do so, the operating system will operate
in a "reduced functionality mode." In reduced functionality mode,
users will not have access to ReadyBoost, the Windows Aero user interface, Windows
Defender or optional software updates. Users will, however, still be able to
access critical security updates from Windows Update.
Microsoft also has the option to deem an installation of
Windows Vista invalid at any time. Cori Hartje, director of Microsoft's Genuine
Software Initiative goes on to explain:
If the software is
discovered to be counterfeit or non-genuine, the user may be asked to
reactivate their copy of Windows. Product keys can be blocked for a number of
reasons, including if the product key is abused, stolen, pirated or seized as a
result of anti-piracy enforcement efforts. Product keys can also be blocked if
they are beta or test keys and have been disabled, if there were manufacturing
errors in the keys or if the keys have been returned.
For corporate customers, Microsoft Volume Activation 2.0 is
in place to deliver increased protection and management of customer volume
license keys in managed and non-managed environments. “This helps provide a
more secure deployment solution with multiple, flexible options for customers
using volume license keys to deploy many installations of the Windows Vista
operating system in one location. This process can be done in batches or
individually by PC,” said Hartje. “These improved security and deployment
technologies for volume licensing keys benefit customers by reducing the risk
associated with the theft, leakage and illegal use of their volume licensing
keys, as well as ensuring that the copies of Windows in an organization have
not been tampered with.”
Software piracy is a major thorn in the side of Microsoft
and it's doing everything in its power to help combat the issues with its next
generation software products. Hartje remarked that 35% of all software installations
worldwide were pirated or unlicensed in 2005 resulting in industry losses of
$35 billion USD.
For more details on Microsoft’s Software Protection Program,
you can view the company’s white
quote: How is that ridiculous? The requirements are clearly stated, and my guess is that nearly EVERYONE that will be installing Vista has an internet connection.
quote: I find this retarded. Microsoft makes billions. Im sure they can afford to lose a bit of money to the piraters so that they dont have to drive their customers Crazy.
quote: Microsoft blows and lost my business a while ago when they tried to tell me that my store bought copy of windows XP was pirated. I phoned them and they said that its not genuine because i changed my system configuration(i put in a new CPU) so i told the guy over the phone to go screw himself and i just used a WGA fix to get rid of their crappy WGA stuff and turned off Auto update.
quote: The "Software Protection Program" as it's called will disable key Vista components for non-genuine installations.
quote: This is too nice a program actually, if I were MS I wouldn't just disable some features -- I'd have it disable the ENTIRE OS.
quote: Do you HONESTLY think that MS would WANT their system to glitch up and cause their honest-paying customers problems?
quote: I don't care what you say my opinion is the same...
quote: Everyone on the site can disagree with my point...I don't change mine.
quote: It just so happens that MS comes out with this system...I'd say the same thing if "fill in the name of your fav software company" came out with this system.
quote: Bottomline: I think its rich how everyone largely at least agrees that piracy is wrong and from a business perspective most can understand the impact it has on the bottomline (my god over 30 BILLION?)...yet no one expects any system like this to be in place.
quote: Finally, funny you guys are worried about a simple server glitch disabling your OS to your computer....do you folks realize how much our physical well being and financial well being is relied upon on computer systems everyday of our lives? What if they glitched?
quote: Well there are laws about that stuff.....yep and their are also laws against companies that deny you service and product access when you paid for them too.
quote: Oh here we go with the whining on this one...
quote: Simply put: I use MS. I purchase MS. When MS needs me to activate my software, I call or verify via my internet connection. I have never experienced a wait time longer than 15 minutes to complete this process, or a similar process designed to deter piracy. Ever.
quote: And for those of you complaining about the time-wasting inconvenience of dealing with such a process, I ask you this: will activating your OS waste as much time as you've spent complaining about it on this forum, or searching for your illegal key or patch online perhaps?
quote: Copyright protection / piracy deterence is HERE TO STAY. If you don't like it - hack it at your own risk, or don't use the product at all. As for me, I'll gladly confirm my copy is authentic, and I'll gladly take the free support that goes along with my genuinely purchased product.
quote: Errr, the chances of your legal copy of Vista being locked up are tiny.
quote: Remember everybody hating the idea of HD disk formats using copy protection? Ask them why. They will never say it but it is because they can't rent and burn like they do DVDs now days.
quote: And for the disabling part... I think XP had something like a limit of 5 installations (I think a separate installation is determined when the OS detects a different MB) per week on a single serial number before it blocked it.
quote: Not sure I agree with you about the pirates wouldn't want it done to them. If I was able to program, I would only do freeware.
quote: As it only takes ONE person cracking it to basically void even the most advanced protection scheme.
quote: will my Emu 1212m be supported? Or hows about CubaseSX?
quote: Hmm, my motherboards latest and greatest drivers? Well since its free, maybe Ill have lots of FREE time to sit and wait for software/hardware/drivers to be supported.
quote: Its the most nonproductive productivity software availible.
quote: Activating online is ripe for problems too. Say I buy Vista retail, install it on a PC and the mobo dies. Then I take parts and create a new PC with a new mobo, and reinstall Vista. When activating online, will it not look like I'm trying to install on another PC? How will MS react to this?
quote: Mac OS-X with macintel machines sounds very good,at every day right now too