Friday, October 06, 2006
Microsoft's Vista to cripple pirated software
SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) - Microsoft confirmed that its soon-to-be-released Vista operation system was designed to cripple pirated copies.
A beefed-up "Software Protection Platform" partially disabled illegitimately obtained Windows Vista or Windows Server "Longhorn" programs, according to the Redmond, Washington, software giant.
The anti-piracy feature switched unauthorized copies to a "reduced functionality mode" and routed users to a website explaining the situation and how to remedy it, most likely by paying for the software.
"Microsoft anti-piracy technologies cannot and will not turn off your computer," Cori Hartje, director of the company's Genuine Software Initiative, explained in a release.
"Reduced functionality mode in Windows Vista will allow the user to use the browser."
The Vista security feature was a more disabling version of one on the operating system's predecessor,
Windows XP, according to Microsoft.
When the anti-piracy software spies illegitimate copies of Vista or Longhorn it alters them to a "non-genuine state" that requires the user to reactivate the program.
"At no point will a user lose access to his or her personal data based on the genuine program, nor is personal data ever transferred to Microsoft," the company said.
"However, it will be obvious to a user, and anyone else viewing the PC, that the PC experience is not equivalent to that of a user running a genuine copy of Windows Vista."
Vista's release had been delayed while engineers tuned the software and it was on track to be released early next year.
Microsoft estimated that one in five copies of its Windows software on computers worldwide was stolen, unlicensed or counterfeit. Windows programs run approximately 90 percent of computers.
The Business Software Alliance reported in May that 35 percent of computer software used worldwide was pirated. The alliance estimated the value of the illicit software at more than 35 billion dollars.
Source: Yahoo News