Robert McLaws: Windows Edition

Blogging about Windows since before Vista became a bad word

Microsoft Cracking Down on Vista Cracks

Microsoft went on the offensive today regarding the recent Vista pirating efforts coming out of China and other countries. The WGA blog posted a brief comment, while the PR department issued a wide-ranging press release.

With the exception of products purchased by customers under volume license agreements, users can be confident that 100 percent of the copies of Windows Vista advertised for purchase or download prior to the January 30, 2007 consumer general availability date are counterfeit, and that any new PC purchased and pre-loaded with Windows Vista prior to general availability is improperly licensed or counterfeit software, and carries a risk of hacks, Trojans or other malware.


As part of its ongoing efforts to protect customers, Microsoft will periodically review product keys that appear to have been leaked or stolen, and will thoroughly investigate reports of system file tampering. Because a system file tamper compromises the integrity of the operating system, and puts the user at risk, reinstallation of the operating system may be required. For product keys that have been determined to be illegally obtained or distributed, Microsoft will block these keys, which will eventually result in the system losing access to product enhancements and having certain features disabled.  In some cases, the user will be asked to reactivate with a genuine product key. Failure to reactivate will result in that copy of Windows Vista being placed into a reduced functionally mode, as explained in our October “Software Protection Platform” announcement. It is important to note that even in reduced functionality mode users can always gain access to their personal data.

In the event illegal workarounds or other counterfeit Windows Vista code are posted to the Internet or become available through other means, Microsoft will take appropriate action to protect users from the risks of using counterfeit copies and to protect its intellectual property. Microsoft may take additional steps to stop the spread and use of counterfeit versions of Windows Vista by releasing updates to the software, and then distributing the updates using various mechanisms, such as posting them on and/or through Windows Update. 

Counterfeit software packages in Brazil.

Counterfeit software packages in Brazil.

This week, Microsoft released such an update, which detects tampering of Windows Vista by mixing files from various test and final versions of the software in order to work around licensing mechanisms. When detected, these unauthorized copies will be given a 30-day grace period, after which they will be placed into a reduced functionality mode. This week’s update will only affect systems that are running a specific binary-tampered version of Windows Vista (emphasis mine).

Come on pirates. You thought Microsoft was going to sit on the sidelines this time?



  • Bob Jones said:

    What about modification of theme files? I know Microsoft don't need to cater for them, but I have used modified theme files to be able to use custom themes ... I'm glad I didn't have to re-activate because of it.

    December 14, 2006 7:54 PM
  • Speaking of the FSF ... I don't understand why these people think all software should be free. Nothing

    December 19, 2006 8:01 PM
  • the guru said:

    Why do you even bother? At first, evrything was lovly, it was Windows XP and i got it with cpu... Then evrything got changed. Nov i cant even change my motherboard without reactivating. I have to buy evry year a new windows, becuse i cahnge often computer components. For example, i cahnge motherboard, cpu and vga, add memory and hdd, and bamm, i need new windows to be bought. And thas not all. Latly the microsoft had bought down a WGA. A legal spyware! That was the last for me.... I quited using legal windows, and putted away my legal windows xp, downloaded pirated xp, and am using it right now. BTW: Computer stays clean out of MicroSoft Bullshit stuff, i have no longer problems with WGA, i can change hardware as much as i want, well, im proud to be pirate.... Now about Windows Vista, as there probably will be also many diturbing things, i wil continui to use prirated edition of windows, maybe Windows Vsita... BTW: I even sold the on copy of windows xp i bought, that didint reactivate.... Evil evil evil! MS, you suck!

    December 23, 2006 11:36 AM
  • billbo bangass said:

    u stupid dumbasses, if u think microsoft is crap, or u think theyr trying to rip u off......THEN STOP USING THEIR PRODUCTS!!!!!!!! no 1 is forcing u to buy microsoft products. there are many MANY other solutions. go buy a mac, or download a gui version of linux. stop crying and "claiming" microsoft is ripping u off, when ur just a stupid dumbass that keeps buying their products. in NO way am i a fan of windows, but i dont sit around crying about them.

    January 18, 2007 8:59 PM
  • Dweeb said:

    I kinda agree with Mr Bangass, but that was before our Exchange (2k - yeah, a little dated, but such stupidity takes years of hard work) box croaked today. When that happens to you, and you attempt to build a replacement box, and install Exchange and try to recover the stupid store files (talk about eggs in one basket), you ***WILL CRY*** and cuss and yell and *** and scream. For hours and fruitless confusing hours you will cry, until it's so ridiculous, and the hilarious and meaningless error messages beat you to a pulp, it actually gets funny, and then you'll just be along for the ride. No other software system does so many stupid infuriating jokish things like Windows and the stuff that runs on it. Just my 2 cents; Hey...I'm in hour 14 of trying to get Exchange to act sane. I'm insane. I'll get it, but not because I'm smart, but simply persistent.

    How does this relate to this little blog? I'll never buy MS with my own money (I haven't for years and years), and in fact recomend almost anything else (I use FreeBSD). MS should not get paid for try try try try try and try again -- maybe it'll work this time. Nope. Never. At least, no more.

    This reminds me of the best tech support deal I ever experienced. A few years back, when Exchange 2k bombed that time, we paid $200 for 8 straight hours of MS phone support, and had three and four techs on the line, all wondering why in hell Exchange wouldn't install. It finally did, and nobody had a clue why. Wow, what a tech support bargain. In all, MS tech support IS good, but I guess practice makes perfect. Whatever, time for SP2. Oh. Dammit, now WHY would THIS install use update.exe and not setup.exe? WTF??? More wasted time for nothing...

    January 28, 2007 11:01 PM
  • February 22, 2007 8:19 PM
  • M. Zubair said:

    MS is not so simple as it seems. U will c in few months, they will change their policy when many of the people in third world country wont be able to buy their new product "vista". MS is, i think is proving to be an agent of pentagon, and they want penetration in each country, to each office and home. To keep on doing this ultimately MS will keep their product running, even illegally. U ALL WILL SEE THAT.

    March 2, 2007 9:05 AM
  • May 22, 2007 5:40 PM
  • July 22, 2007 7:57 AM