If you've been keeping up to the news, you'll likely be aware of the fact that Vista's activation code scheme for anti-piracy has been cracked by using a brute-force method, allowing any pirates to download Vista and just let the cracking program do its work.

I find this insanely ironic. Microsoft's little plan for ensuring that everyone will buy a legal copy of Vista completely backfired. Now this wouldn't be so bad if it stopped here. Windows XP was highly pirated, and yet it doesn't seem to have hurt Microsoft too much. No. The real problem here for Microsoft is that this method finds legal keys from copies of Vista that haven't yet been activated (and now won't, if the cracker decides to use the key before the person).

I've said this before, and I say it again: anti-piracy methods are counter productive. It prevents a few users from ilegally-copying the software, but the results are far worse. The pirates always find cracks for the software (and I mean ALWAYS), and instead it inconveniences the legal owners who may simply want to run their video game without the CD in the drive.

And so Microsoft gets what they deserve. Now, not only will they have the problem of piracy on thier hands, but, as the article explains, Microsoft will have to deal with the angry people who can't activate their software because the key "is invalid". Or, like the article describes, they could offer trade-ins for the keys, but that would also backfire for them. Microsoft's in a dilemma, no doubt about that.

Serves them darn right, and not a minute too soon.

10 Years
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Last Post by jwenting

I agree with you. When you look at mac os x, apple doesn't require its users to activate it, it never has, and they don't really have piracy problems. I guess apple ins't as big, so they don't need to worry about it, and if they were, they would start adding some activation to their products, so it's not all ms's fault.


Apple doesn't need to worry because there's no way to get a Mac without MacOs...
There are millions of computers out there however that can run Windows and get sold or built without a Windows license (including all those Macs since a few years).

Piracy protection is absolutely vital. Not only does a company loose all rights to their intellectual property if they don't protect it, it also prevents the majority of at least casual piracy.
You'll never stop the pros, but at least you're going to get rid of kids giving each other copies of their discs they got for their birthdays.

The ONLY people who state that protecting your property against criminals is useless are those criminals, who want to create an easier working environment for themselves.
Anyone else is smart enough to realise you should lock your door when you leave your house even if a determined burglar will find a way to open that lock.

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