Microsoft’s upcoming operating system, the successor to XP, isn’t out yet but it has still managed to be cracked (in a sense). Vista will be out Jan. 30, 2007 to consumers, earlier for Microsoft’s preferred big business clients.
With Windows Vista only just going “gold” … the first cracked versions have already hit the pirate boards. [It’s] called Vista BillGates. It doesn’t feature any activation cracks itself, and the supplied product key is just for the installation. The activation crack is a separate download, and works by replacing the licensing components with components from beta builds. Then using a product key from Beta 1, Beta 2, RC1 or RC2, the Gold version of Vista can be activated online. In this sense, it’s not a true crack.
It’s going to be a lot harder this time around to crack Windows and continue running the cracked version for any extended period of time, because Microsoft has tightened up their activation requirements. Windows XP got increasingly more difficult to maintain if you were running an illegal version, and I have a feeling Vista will carry the trend.
A full version of Office 2007 Enterprise was released on the boards a few hours after Vista. Unlike Vista, Office 2007 uses Volume Activation 1.0 (no activation required), so it’s unclear how Microsoft is going to be able to counter its dissemination in future.
It looks like Microsoft’s problems with piracy aren’t going to go easily. Not only do they have the lion’s share of users, making for a nice big target, but the software still doesn’t seem airtight. Not to mention all the features they scrapped just to bring it to market. Not like they have anything to worry about at my firm – we’re still tightly wedded to the Windows regime.