It's just been around a week since the previous threat of cracking Vista almost worked -- until we found out it was fake. Well, this time around, a Vista crack appears to be working this time, as numerous reports have said that it works, and the crack has already been exposed for a few days already. The logic seems reasonable, too.
All the crack really is, is a simple BIOS emulation that takes advantage of the fact that Vista has been preinstalled and activated on a number of machines sold by retailers. The BIOS emulation allows someone to fool the computer into thinking that it's installing on a legitimate machine. And it's all done with a software driver.
Should Microsoft be surprised? Heck no. People have been trying to break into and crack Vista's anti-piracy system for a while. So I'm not in the least bit surprised if this method works, or if alternative ways of circumventing the activation system are discovered. Microsoft should consider itself lucky that Vista lasted even this long after so much pressure from the whole group of hackers that exist out there.
Another thing that Microsoft can consider itself lucky over is that this method is far better than the previous one if it had worked. The other method involved finding legitimate keys using brute-force methods, whereas this is simply avoiding the actual activation of the product.
I'm no security expert, but I think it's a pretty safe bet that it's possible to patch this security hole *somehow*, and doing so would greatly discourage the crack as no one would want to run an outdated system. I'm still wondering how or when Microsoft will respond to this, though.