Monday, November 20, 2006

Windows Vista 'Frankenbuilds' spotted in the wild

We've heard a lot about the security in Windows Vista as well as the anti-piracy measures. The following report was made on the Windows Genuine Advantage Blog:

Last week saw a reported leak of an RTM build of Windows Vista. The reports I read indicated that there was an RTM build to download from a P2P network or via Bittorrent and instructions for 'hacking' by cobbing together a couple of files that were released with Windows Vista RC1 and using an RC1 or RC2 product key. Thus in our hallway this version has is being referred to as a Franken(stein)-build of Windows Vista.

As most of the coverage I have seen notes, since the product keys being used with these builds were meant to be used with RC1 builds and were not intended for long term use ultimately these installations will be of limited value. If anything this event shows the demand for the improvements that Windows Vista offers.

The post ended with the question: "does this mean Windows Vista is cool?" and a respondent replied: "No. It means you can't stop people using Vista for free, no matter how hard you try."

It appears that those pirating Vista are overlooking that the product keys will ultimately fail and the illegal versions of Vista will be fairly useless. What irks me is that these people who steal software are the very ones who are responsible for upping the cost for everyone else. It takes additional research and development to add the anti-piracy mechanisms to the software. In addition, because of them, every time the rest of us holding legal licenses want to download software from the Microsoft site, we need to go through the WGA song & dance.

It doesn't matter if it is software, a music CD, a video game, a coat or a loaf of bread. Stealing is stealing.

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