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Microsoft : Vista SP1 will make pirates' life harder

In an interview published on the 4th of December on Microsoft's corporate website, Mike Sievert, Corporate Vice President, Windows Product Marketing, disclosed some information about Vista SP1 anti piracy features.

Microsoft will make life for counterfeiters more difficult by closing two known exploits which were used by pirates.

Sievert added that the first exploit is known as the OEM Bios exploit, which involves modifying system files and the BIOS of the motherboard to mimic a type of product activation performed on copies of Windows that are pre-installed by OEMs in the factory.

The other one is called the Grace Timer exploit and attempts to reset the “grace time” limit between installation and activation to something like the year 2099 in some cases.

PCs with pirated copies will get regular messages telling them that their operating system is illegal. Unlike previous versions of Windows (including the original version of Vista), there will be no reduced functionality mode.

However Sievert was quick to point out that all installations of Windows Vista need to be activated and that the system will continue to validate on a regular basis to make sure that the products are properly activated.

Microsoft has already applied the same process to the Windows XP Platform whereby a Genuine Validation application is downloaded and runs to check whether the operating system is genuine or not.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.