Skip to comments.Vista to Take Hard Stand Against Piracy
Posted on 10/04/2006 11:35:01 AM PDT by ShadowAce
SEATTLE (AP) - Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)'s forthcoming Windows Vista will take much harsher steps to curtail piracy than previous versions of its operating system, including crippling the usefulness of computers found to be running unlicensed copies of the new software.
The world's largest software maker said Wednesday that people running a version of Windows Vista that it believes is pirated will initially be denied access to some of the most anticipated Vista features. That includes Windows Aero, an improved graphics technology.
If a legitimate copy is not bought within 30 days, the system will curtail functionality much further by restricting users to just the Web browser for an hour at a time, said Thomas Lindeman, Microsoft senior product manager.
Under that scenario, a person could use the browser to surf the Web, access documents on the hard drive or log onto Web-based e-mail. But the user would not be able to directly open documents from the computer desktop or run other programs such as Outlook e-mail software, Lindeman said.
Microsoft said it won't stop a computer running pirated Vista software from working completely, and it will continue to deliver critical security updates.
The company also said it has added more sophisticated technology for monitoring whether a system is pirated. For example, the system will be able to perform some piracy checks internally, without contacting Microsoft, Lindeman said.
Microsoft also is adding ways to more closely monitor for piracy among big corporate users, who tend to buy licenses in bulk.
Microsoft plans to take similar tough measures with the forthcoming version of its Windows server software, dubbed "Longhorn," and to incorporate it into other products down the road.
The crackdown shows how much more seriously Microsoft has started taking Windows piracy, which for years has been extremely widespread in areas such as Russia and China. The Business Software Alliance, a software industry group, estimates that 35 percent of software installed on PCs worldwide is pirated.
In recent years, the market for Windows - one of Microsoft's main cash cows - has become more saturated. That's left the company eager to make money from users who may otherwise have obtained illegal Windows copies.
Microsoft has already instituted tougher piracy checks for Windows XP users who want to get free add-ons such as anti-spyware programs. But until now, the warnings and punitive measures were mainly seen as annoying, rather than debilitating.
Cori Hartje, director of Microsoft's Genuine Software Initiative, said the company now wants users to notice the difference between legal and pirated copies of Vista.
"Our goal is to really make a differentiated experience for genuine and non-genuine users," Hartje said.
Analyst Roger Kay with Endpoint Technologies Associates noted that Microsoft has the right to curtail illegal distribution of its software. The new piracy measures, he said, "seem harsh only in comparison to how lenient it has been."
Nevertheless, Kay said he expects that the anti-piracy tactics will keep some people from upgrading to Vista from the current operating system, Windows XP.
"There will be an XP backlash, which is to say people (will) cling to XP in order to avoid this," he said.
Kay also doesn't expect the new piracy measures to be that effective against hardcore pirates, who have built de facto businesses selling illegal Windows copies. But he thinks it will stop some lower-level piracy.
After many delays, Redmond-based Microsoft is expected to release Vista to businesses in November and consumers in January.
Good Luck, Micro$oft!
Ruh-roh. Microsoft may well see lawsuits when OEM versions of Vista are erroneously identified as pirated - as with the current anti-piracy software they have. This will undoubtedly end up costing some business somewhere a bunch of money.
Microsoft is just itching for a customer revolt.
who will actually buy vista I wonder?
It's practically a given that this tool will have false positives and hurt some company's network and productivity.
Having used Vista Beta 5484 and RC1, I'll say this - if you have modern hardware, it's probably worth the money.
But Vista is a real bear.
The most interesting thing about Vista is that it demands:
1) I'd say over 1 Gig of Ram - 2 Gigs is probably ideal, for now.
2) A high-end video card. Well, not high end - but higher than any integrated graphics chipset, and many low-level stand alone cards.
The real bitch is going to be on Notebooks, most of which - even many "high-end" ones - have integrated graphics. A lot of people are going to be mighty pissed when the find out that their $1500 Lattitude or Thinkpad can't run full Vista with Aero Glass.
It's also a given that the EULA will indemnify Microsoft against any damage their software may do you their customers.
And in most cases, being "denied" Aero will be a feature.
LOL -- once they start inflicting this on millions of legit customers (every one of their anti-bootleg systems to date has had a very high false-positive rate, and I see no reason to suppose they're going to do any better this time), there will be hell to pay.
"Good Luck, Micro$oft!"
It's a win/win for Microsoft and the alternatives. More people will pay for their software, so Microsoft will keep their revenue stream intact.
However, more people will look for alternatives, Apple and Linux. Linux will be the big winner.
The long term effect will be that people, (college kids), who have switched to Linux at home because that's what they could afford, will begin to demand what they've used at home, at work.
Microsoft knows the model well, it worked for them in the early days of the PC when you could steal all the Microsoft stuff you felt inclined to steal.
I just don't see the need to move to vista in the first place... I don't see anything REVOLUTIONARY about it.
Time to 'Think different'...
Only stupid people. An operating system is only supposed to serve as an abstraction layer between apps and the hardware. If it weren't for Bill Gates, people wouldn't have this moronic idea that merely running an operation system is supposed to be an "experience" and an end in itself.
This isn't gonna go over well.
I'm guessing the crackers are the vista beta testers.
Nope. I'm gonna watch the adoption rate of this closely to see how measures like this affect customers' attitudes.
Im loving Ubuntu too much to care about Vista.
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