Just a day after Windows Vista and Office 2007 went gold, there were pirated copies floating about the interweb. The copies came with everything you need, including a license key and a way to avoid Microsoft's pesky activation scheme. But don't get too excited, says Redmond...pirated Vista may be a bit quirky
. Oh, but thanks for the interest.
According to Microsoft, pirated copies of the OS will be of "limited value." First, the company states that the pirated version was a pre-RTM (release-to-manufacture), and left the statement ambiguous enough as to hint that it could have been intentional. If you do
opt to continue, MS says to be very careful of "tampered" versions of the code, which might be malicious.
If none of that is enough to dissuade you, it has been said that the activation keys bundled with the pirated version will "break" via another measure at a later date, due to Microsoft's Software Protection Platform.
Oddly enough, the discussion this time had little to do with piracy...Microsoft specifically chose the term "pre-release copies." One can almost imagine the smile as the PR department talked, stating that "Microsoft is happy that customers are eager to begin using Windows Vista."
Did Microsoft genuinely outsmart the pirates this time? Or is this just an effort to look in control of the situation? Only time will tell.