September 11th, 2007

Comp Lounging

Microsoft and Vista Antics

Only two weeks ago, MS had server problems which screwed up the Vista registration process. This locked out legitimate users and caused all sorts of problems. This is part of the (mis)named "Windows Genuine Advantage" program.

Now there's another interesting wrinkle. Vista is, of course, highly pirated. But all installations check in with MS through this WGA program in order to determine if it's legitimate. Up until now, there haven't been much in the way of consequences.

A memo sent out recently indicates that MS will enable anti-piracy features for unlicensed installs, rendering the computer unusable after an hour and requiring a reboot. (As an admittedly cheap jab, one could argue Vista does this already.)

What will happen when those pirated copies go dark? What will happen the next time WGA gets bollixed and legitimate installs get downed? Or is this all (as I suspect) a bluff and MS won't really pull the trigger on it? Fun times!