Thursday, December 14, 2006

Update on Windows Vista 'Frankenbuilds'

The Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) team blog published information on on the steps planned to deal with what Microsoft insiders refer to as "Frankenbuilds". This term was first made public by the WGA team in November when they reported the first sightings of such counterfeit versions of Windows Vista. A "Frankenbuild" is constructed of files from an RC build with an RTM build, creating a hybrid that bypasses activation.

From The 'Frankenbuild' monster:
"Windows Vista will use the new Windows Update client to require only the "frankenbuild" systems to go through a genuine validation check. These systems will fail that check because we have blocked the RC keys for systems not authorized to use them. In other words, the wrong key is being used. The systems will then be flagged as non-genuine systems and the experience will be what we announced back in October (direct link to doc)- including losing certain functionality (e.g. Aero, ReadyBoost) and the system will have 30 days to activate with a good product key. If they don't produce a new product key within 30 days, they will then only be able to access their system in what we call reduced functionality mode - a mode which limits their use to one hour with their default web browser. I want to be clear here that even though they can only use their browser for an hour, we will never limit their access to their data. A user can always -boot their PC into what is called Safe Mode. Safe Mode is a mode of using Windows that has limited driver, display and networking support - but allows a user access to all their files."
Before you buy your next computer, make certain it is Geunine. For a listing of vendors currently in litigation for allegedly dealing with pirated/counterfeit Microsoft software see the Microsoft Piracy Alerts.

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