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Vista Can Run Without Activation for a Year

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the procrastinists-in-luck dept.

Windows 357

An anonymous reader gave us a heads up on this article for people who like putting things off. It begins: "Windows Vista can be run for at least a year without being activated, a serious end-run around one of Microsoft's key anti-piracy measures, Windows expert Brian Livingston said today. Livingston, who publishes the Windows Secrets newsletter, said that a single change to Vista's registry lets users put off the operating system's product activation requirement an additional eight times beyond the three disclosed last month. With more research, said Livingston, it may even be possible to find a way to postpone activation indefinitely."

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357 comments

And how long.... (4, Funny)

Tanuki64 (989726) | more than 7 years ago | (#18372983)

...does it run with activation key? SCNR :-)

Re:And how long.... (3, Funny)

jkrise (535370) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373205)

Until Service Pack 1 comes out.
Or until you insert an Ubuntu CD.
Or until you stop the messy Windows Update service.
Or you keep posting negative comments about Microsoft on Slashdot.

whichever is earlier.

Re:And how long.... (0)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373507)

Well, heck. If that's the case, does anyone know how to remove the activation key from Vista?

Just don't bother... (0)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373573)

Can anybody come up with a single good reason to install Vista?

All I see on the 'net are tales of woe from people who were unfortunate enough to install it.

Even the NBMers are complaining this time.

Why bother? (5, Insightful)

BiggyP (466507) | more than 7 years ago | (#18372985)

Since microsoft have made it perfectly clear that they don't want anyone running their OS without paying, why continue to try, how about giving one of the many shiny desktop linux distros a go instead?

Re:Why bother? (2)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373015)

Yeah zactly. It's funny what people will put up with because they think they have to. If they only knew that if they organized they could wield power...

Put Gentoo CD in drive, install, no need for license key bullshit. When I get bored I play the piano, or if music isn't my fancy I turn on the xbox and play something. No need to pay the Vista tax to play video games.

Tom

Re:Why bother? (1)

abundance (888783) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373223)

Hey! A piano and a xbox cost more than Vista...

Re:Why bother? (4, Insightful)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373379)

Piano doesn't come with WGA. And I don't need a DRM key to play pieces out of a book :-)

That automatically tips the favour to the piano.

Tom

Re:Why bother? (4, Funny)

bigdavex (155746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373543)

Put Gentoo CD in drive, install, no need for license key bullshit. When I get bored I play the piano, or if music isn't my fancy I turn on the xbox and play something.

Right, you have to do something while it compiles.

Re:Why bother? (5, Insightful)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373049)

That is what they say, but I don't think that's true. They rather have me running Vista illegally than running Linux legally. Why? Because it increases their market share, which in turn benefits to them. I am also more likely to choose Windows in my business decisions or demand Windows Vista from my employer because "that is what I know".

For students and poorer people they damn well want them to pirate Vista.... They might one day become paying customers.

Piracy is a form of advertisement, as odd as it may sound.

(I run Debian Etch, thank you very much)

Re:Why bother? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18373235)

That is what they say, but I don't think that's true. They rather have me running Vista illegally than running Linux legally. Why? Because it increases their market share, which in turn benefits to them. I am also more likely to choose Windows in my business decisions or demand Windows Vista from my employer because "that is what I know".

Yep, because I want my employer sending out my pay check with the OS that's so insecure, I didn't even have to pay for it...

Re:Why bother? (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373263)

You are underestimating "Familiarity".... Besides, it's not just IT people that pirate. I've seen non-IT people pirate Windows before. Quite a lot of them do.... They usually spend a bit more time and get viruses easier, but they do pirate Windows.

Re:Why bother? (2, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373367)

it's not just IT people that pirate

My wife and I both use laptops which dual boot WindowsXP and Ubuntu. She has to run a windows application for her work and it doesn't work under wine so I got the free vmware player but got stuck because you need the commercial version to create a virtual disk.

At work we run Suse+vmware+windowsXP so I asked around in the IT department at work and got some good advice about working with vmware but the windows guys in IT acted like I was an abusive husband for giving my S.O. Linux to use and offered me vmware xp images from their network to take home.

I said thanks but I prefer to run my own copies of the OS, mainly because I can reinstall it any time I want. But the attitude of these guys was just take it, we don't care which surprised me a lot.

Re:Why bother? (4, Informative)

value_added (719364) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373449)

She has to run a windows application for her work and it doesn't work under wine so I got the free vmware player but got stuck because you need the commercial version to create a virtual disk.

Maybe try using the free vmware server [vmware.com] product and get unstuck?

Re:Why bother? (4, Insightful)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373491)

But the attitude of these guys was just take it, we don't care which surprised me a lot.

Not me... You have to realise that many IT people are not real IT people. Some just ended up on the job. They don't care about licenses. Heck, even those that studied IT often don't care. The prime task to them is: "Get it work". That this implies a pirated Windows is irrelevant to them. (Often they don't have to care because the company they work for has a Volume License anyway).

This is mostly an ethical question. Even more so than a legal one. To me at least... I don't really care that it's illegal to pirate, but I care about not *being* a pirate. However, many people do not make that distinction: "it'll get the job done, and that is enough". I admit to pirating Windows XP (I got a volume license copy), but I slowly but surely phasing out all my illegal copies to Linux or stick with the OEM copies I have. It's one of the reasons that my brothers machine runs XP Home instead of my highly customized XP Pro installation. It came with his OEM computer and is legal... but it does give me much more grief than my customized pirated versions....

Re:Why bother? (2, Informative)

spisska (796395) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373547)

She has to run a windows application for her work and it doesn't work under wine so I got the free vmware player but got stuck because you need the commercial version to create a virtual disk.

You may need the commercial VMware to create a virtual disk, but there's other free utilities that can create a virtual disk readable by VMplayer.

For example I used qemu to create a virtual disk holding and running XP under VMplayer (free) running on FC4. Works great, and completely free.

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18373589)

I got the free vmware player but got stuck because you need the commercial version to create a virtual disk.

qemu-img can quite happily create VMWare VMDK disk images, and there are countless online VMWare configuration builders [thewaffleiron.net] that allow you to create a .vmx file to go with it.

Re:Why bother? (2, Informative)

SiChemist (575005) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373591)

I have been playing around with the virtualbox [virtualbox.org] virtualization software. It works well on Windows and Linux and it's free for the full version.

Re:Why bother? (1)

BiggyP (466507) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373399)

I couldn't agree, more, this is the reason why Adobe doesn't bother with decent anti piracy measures in their software and Microsoft's solutions are decidedly half-baked, users continuing to use pirated software instead of investigating Free alternatives works nicely for those with the existing market presence.

Re:Why bother? (1)

douggyFresh (1076531) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373431)

We got free copies of Vista here, and it lasted about a week or so before we reverted back to XP (with the NT ui).
Some people just gotta meddle with things and break it. If I wanted a Mac I would have bought one.
It might be worth upgrading to VISTA Enterprise Server - no one in their right mind would put a graphic intentsive UI on a racked server in a lights off server room; no one would buy IIS7 if it was slower than IIS6!
So Vista free for a year - will it stay on your PC that long? For those who went to DevWeek2007 in London you would have got loads of feedback from those using Vista versa XP.
It might well be different if you you could check a tick box and have it run in lean mode or uncheck it if I wanted a christmas tree/disco of a PC.

That aside. Try doing pro C# development on it - boy you are gomma be frustrated. Why click once when you can click twice? Why have security pop-ups jumping up when one half of the OS talks to the other. There is no profile settings for "granny knows best" to be unchecked.
So when Vista has SP2 then I will think about it. Well try the Vista Server (IIS7 being the main motivator as that is way cool) but not on a PC that matters.
It would be interesting to see how well Vista 'Vanillia' might sell - or is 'lean&mean' vista also known as Linix ;-)
Just opinions.
Someone will buy it and as long as they are happy...

Re:Why bother? (2, Insightful)

bjoeg (629707) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373147)

Because a load of games are still not being made for shiny desktop linux distros.

Yes you may have Cedega, Wine and such, but they do not always perform well or able to run every game for that matter.

And yes, there are still loads of non-console gamers in the world and unfortunaly not all of them are willing to pay for Windows, and ReactOS is still Alpha.

Re:Why bother? (1)

BiggyP (466507) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373437)

And by continuing to buy these games you perpetuate the problem. Wouldn't it be possible to run all the games you want under XP at this point? Is there a reason why you would need to pirate Vista in order to play them?

ATTN: SWITCHEURS! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18373157)

If you don't know what Cmd-Shift-1 and Cmd-Shift-2 are for, GTFO.
If you think Firefox is a decent Mac application, GTFO.
If you're still looking for the "maximize" button, GTFO.
If you don't know Clarus from Carl Sagan, GTFO.

Bandwagon jumpers are not welcome among real Mac users [atspace.com]. Keep your filthy PC fingers to yourself.

Re:Why bother? (1)

jimstapleton (999106) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373219)

In my case, I'd rather pay $200 or $300 every 2-3 years for windows on my machine than have Linux for free. I've just had too many bad experiences with Linux (and no, I'm not just talking about back in 2000, I'm talking about as recently as attempts from june to september or october of last year, and periodic attempts every six months to a year prior to that as early as 2001 or 2002).

If I didn't have the money, and didn't know about FreeBSD, I probably /would/ pirate Windows so that I could have something useful and functional, or more likely than that, just use an older version that I legitimately have a copy of.

Linux is definetly better than it used to be, and for people who don't administrate their systems (i.e. call on family and friends to do it), it's a perfectly fine OS, but for some people who administrate their own systems, it can still be a challange in a lot of ways.

Re:Why bother? (1)

BiggyP (466507) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373485)

So what's useful and functional about FreeBSD and Windows that make them better choices than Linux?

Re:Why bother? (1)

xtracto (837672) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373247)

Because I can not run the applications I need to work? like SPSS.

And no, i wont use R. I tried believe me but I would need to spend another two months of my PhD in order to learn another programming language just to make some ANOVAS, MANCOVAS, T tests and F-tests.

And no, it does not work under wine.

And no, I wont buy the *overkill* packages like Matlab or mathematica even if they are avaiable vor linux.
And no the open source "versions" of SPSS (namely PSPP) are crap at best, as with most of Open source projects, they *start* fine but they are halted after the planning and a bit of developing have been done and the developer gets bored.

And yeah, I know I can run it in Windows XP. I will do that, this post is just a descriptive example of why people would get Vista instead of Linux, when the applications they use become available for Vista and then they become available ONLY for vista.

MMD-IDGAF

Re:Why bother? (1)

Lunar_Lamp (976812) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373607)

I just want to agree completely with this post. SPSS is the only reason I keep my windows disks around really. I don't keep windows installed as I don't use SPSS often, but I know that every so now and then I'm going to need to crunch numbers for a week in SPSS, and when I do so, I'll just install it in VMware. You're right about the alternatives though, there's nothing that comes close yet. I guess if I needed to use it more "professionally" I would learn to use R, but as you said, that's a big outlay of time for a low return.

Re:Why bother? (1)

cbelle13013 (812401) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373341)

Or just pay for the OS? I assume most people who spend their time trying to crack windows and not pay for it are the computer types and not the mother-in-law types. For $300, over the course of 5 years, thats incredibly cheap to have something that will (for the most part) work out of the box, provide easy access to updates, and generally install most programs correctly. I've used cracked versions of 2000 and XP, and both of them can be a pain without having the latest service packs, or waiting for the service packs to be cracked for install.

On the other hand, Ubuntu is great and thats what Dell should go with!

Re:Why bother? (1)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373461)

Better yet, why not give a Mac a try? If gaming took off seriously on the Mac then there is no reason at all to have Windows in the home. Period. OpenGL would be back in vogue, and a real competitor to DirectX. I for one would welcome Mac gaming if it was a serious contender.

Re:Why bother? (2, Insightful)

BiggyP (466507) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373519)

But then you're swapping one expensive proprietary system for a similarly expensive and more proprietary one, where's the sense in that? Gaming on the Mac is in a slightly worse state, for commercial titles, than gaming on Linux from what i've seen.

At least if you're pirating vista or installing Linux you don't need to switch to another provider's hardware.

Re:Why bother? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18373567)

Not once gaming gets the main focus. Apple desperately wants a comeback and to make a dent this time in the Windows market. They wont ignore gaming and they may even enter the console market. Linux is a no money market in most peoples minds, most people want things for free. I dont need to pirate Vista, I can get it as an employee for piss cheap, I refuse to even use it when I can get it FREE. Now thats a telling story. (I work for Microsoft). Just ask every one of our execs except Balmer, they all prefer Macs :) Windows Vista is a work of shit.

More DRM madness (-1, Troll)

john-da-luthrun (876866) | more than 7 years ago | (#18372991)

More evidence that DRM and similar systems are totally ineffective against attempts to circumvent them. The only people they affect are "innocent bystanders" who don't know how to get round the problems caused by, for example, "false negatives" in validation/activation.

Re:More DRM madness (2, Informative)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373007)

I have no problem whatsoever with activation. If people do not want to pay MS prices then there are alternative OSes they can use. There is nothing at all wrong with a company trying to ensure that people actually *pay* for its products.

This is the first time I've heard of Windows Activation being referred to as DRM. I think your knee just jerked, or perhaps you thought blasting DRM would garner you postitive moderation.

What you *should* get is -1 (Offtopic)

Re:More DRM madness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18373035)

How can you not consider activation to be DRM? Activation prevents you from installing and using in a place without telecommunications, or where said communications are too expensive. It also has the small problem of how to activate when the company goes under (the company of course doesn't care about this aspect).

Re:More DRM madness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18373225)

You can activate by mail. Besides, so few people purchase computers in places where telecommunications are severely limited that the point's moot. As for Microsoft going under... I don't think we'll ever see that in our lifetime.

Re:More DRM madness (1)

Marcus K (1047844) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373251)

Because DRM is technologies that is used to control the usage of a product. If Microsoft added the restriction that more than one person might not use their operating system simultaneously and a system to control that, it would be considered as DRM.

Re:More DRM madness (0, Offtopic)

Creepy Crawler (680178) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373083)

---I have no problem whatsoever with activation. If people do not want to pay MS prices then there are alternative OSes they can use. There is nothing at all wrong with a company trying to ensure that people actually *pay* for its products.

Registering a product (serial number or likewise) is one thing. Things can be made inconvienant for the casual copier. No technology will deter the big guys, not now, not ever. So, any sort of burden you set up will be absorbed by the honest guy. At worst, you'll alert the honest guy on how to use your programs the way the big pirates do.

---This is the first time I've heard of Windows Activation being referred to as DRM. I think your knee just jerked, or perhaps you thought blasting DRM would garner you positive moderation.

Erm, it IS DRM. Or have you been living in a cave when MS brags how they can completely revoke drivers for the 64 bit vista, or how they can deny activation by their many means.

When a computer gets "revoked" after I PAID my cold hard cash with, I WILL still have it work by hook or by crook. If you call or treat me like a thief, I will become one.

---What you *should* get is -1 (Offtopic)

But you should get a -1 (Retarded, didnt think it through).

Re:More DRM madness (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18373309)

No technology will deter the big guys, not now, not ever.

Simply because a copy-protection system can be cracked doesn't mean that it won't deter piracy. Although a fence around my yard won't prevent someone determined from entering, it will keep most people out.

So, any sort of burden you set up will be absorbed by the honest guy.

If activation is handled properly (which Microsoft doesn't do) it provides no burden whatsoever. For example, the racing simulator Live For Speed [liveforspeed.net] uses an easy, painless activation scheme to deter piracy. Activation need not be a burden.

When a computer gets "revoked" after I PAID my cold hard cash with...

I wonder how often that happens to legitimate copies? Unless Microsoft isn't careful with its database of activated clients, I'm not sure how this could potentially occur.

Re:More DRM madness (3, Insightful)

aeschenkarnos (517917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373207)

This is the first time I've heard of Windows Activation being referred to as DRM.

Digital? Check. Rights? Check. Management? Sure looks like it to me.

Again I say! (3, Funny)

arpy (587497) | more than 7 years ago | (#18372999)

Tag it: "defectivebyaccident"!

Re:Again I say! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18373451)

It's no accident. They're desperate to get people using vista. "Pirate" or not "pirate". As long as it's their shit and not that eeevil *shudder* Leenux!

I wonder what would it take for the masses to smell the rat and jump the boat. A nuke?

How long before Microsoft patches Vista (5, Insightful)

lthown (737539) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373003)

Seriously, they do have this little windows update thing that sends out updates, I'm sure it's mostly trivial for them to fix the flaw

Re:How long before Microsoft patches Vista (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18373029)

Doesn't it need to be activated to receive updates?

Re:How long before Microsoft patches Vista (2, Insightful)

jurgenaut (910416) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373039)

If you were sitting on an unactivated Vista, would you update this?

Re:How long before Microsoft patches Vista (2, Interesting)

Tanuki64 (989726) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373069)

True, windows simply is not trustworthy. I mean automatic updates are something great, but a company, which uses such a system to further their own interests and not that of their customers is simply unacceptable. Ok, one can say that if I use a pirate copy I cannot complain, but even as a legit user I'd be bound to be a plaything of Microsoft's political interests. Best example is how fast they updated their DRM routines. I doubt that a user complained that he could do things with his windows, which he should not.

Nope, the only way to use windows is in a virtual machine without network access.

Re:How long before Microsoft patches Vista (4, Interesting)

kripkenstein (913150) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373339)

True, windows simply is not trustworthy. I mean automatic updates are something great, but a company, which uses such a system to further their own interests and not that of their customers is simply unacceptable.

100% agreement with you. Notice, though, how (at the end of TFA) Microsoft's position is that product activation is for the benefit of their customers. Something along the lines of "products hacked to avoid activation may be faulty" and such. So, a forced patch through Windows Update would be 'for the good of the customers', to save them from the perils of running WGA-less Windows. War is peace, and all that.

One can only hope that in the long run such anti-consumer activity will come back to haunt them.

Re:How long before Microsoft patches Vista (2, Funny)

jkrise (535370) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373241)

Seriously, they do have this little windows update thing that sends out updates, I'm sure it's mostly trivial for them to fix the flaw...

It is not a flaw... it is a feature. Will corporates or home users willingly shell out big bucks for 8-times more hardware resources just to find the new OS cannot be pirated easily like the old one?

Every OS from MS-DOS onwards has been piratable by design, for a reason.

In DOS, you run format b:/s to get a pirated boot floppy with io.sys, msdos.sys and command.com.
With Vista, you hack a few registry settings, and MS will pretend not to notice.

Re:How long before Microsoft patches Vista (1)

Khuffie (818093) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373469)

8-times more hardware, eh? And where'd you pull that number? Out of your ass?

Thought so.

Can't wait (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18373009)

for some twit to tag this either 'haha' or 'defectivebydesign'

Why Vista? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18373019)

Yes, delaying activation is fine, but why would you want Vista in the first place? My laptop died recently and I bought a replacement Thinkpad. It came pre-loaded with Vista Business. I gave it a try for two weeks.

- Despite having 1GB RAM, the laptop ran like a glued snail.
- Network speed was inconsistent and seems to be bound to movements of the sun.
- Many printers (including my HP 2600n) are still unsupported. Not sure if this is HP being their usual crap self or just a complete inability to get Vista to play properly with network printers.
- Aero. Why?
- So many features like "Map Network Drive" have now been moved so they can only be access from specfic areas like "My Computer"
- The updated XP style for control panel etc is really frustrating.
- When opening some MS Office 2007 applications, the screen would corrupt then everything would hang for about 3 minutes.
- Maybe a problem with Vista's sound libraries? Music sounded tinny through Vista, but cleaner in XP on the same machine.

Anyways, enough of that bollocks. I've wiped the whole disk and installed XP pro again.

Re:Why Vista? (1)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373325)

Hate to nit pick astronomically, but...

Sun doesn't move much.

It moves, but, not by much...

Re:Why Vista? (2, Insightful)

n0rr1s (768407) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373535)

I hate to nitpick too ;)
But...

How much the sun moves depends on your frame of reference. It's cruising round the galactic centre at a fair ol' rate, for example.

Re:Why Vista? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18373595)

Many printers (including my HP 2600n) are still unsupported.
Haha. You were suckered into the age-old "host based printer" scam. "Host based" printers don't internally support a standard printer language like PostScript or PCL. Instead, the printer only supports a proprietary protocol which requires a specialized, vendor-provided OS-specific driver. Only in a few cases have people been able to reverse-engineer a subset of these protocols.

A major disadvantage to this for consumers that it allows manufacturers to "sunset" older printers.

That's why I only buy standards-based printers - it allows me to decide when my printer is no longer viable. All of my printers are more than 10 years old, and I have no plans to retire any of them.

Printer manufacturers don't provide host based printers in order to save inordinate amounts of money per unit - the chipsets required to support PCL and/or postscript are very inexpensive. This is all about vendor control.

So... (1)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373021)

Why don't they just change the system clock?

Re:So... (1)

taffeylewis (669473) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373101)

Because Vista sets the system clock from the Internet when you boot up. Besides, that's the oldest work-around in the book. Used to do that with evaluation software in the 80's.

Re:So... (1)

Tanuki64 (989726) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373131)

Because Vista sets the system clock from the Internet when you boot up.
Really? This is interesting. What happens when you don't have internet access? Or if you pull the cable and connect later?

Re:So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18373243)

Vista runs without keeping track of the time, in alternate dimension mode.

Should be good enough for the home user (2, Funny)

smchris (464899) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373059)

Win9X seems to have conditioned a lot of users to think that reinstalling every 6 months or so is normal anyway.

Re:Should be good enough for the home user (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18373427)

It's a shame that nobody's used Win9x in something like 6 years, isn't it?

That is intentional. (3, Interesting)

nietsch (112711) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373065)

On the one hand MS tries to make life hard for the small time infringers (most of them), but on the other hand they still need to be number one of most infringed software, so there needs to be a backdoor. They need to be the most infringed because the infringers are the easiest turned customers. If there were no ways to get around MS licencing tricks, there would be no more potential new customers when the next release of Windos arrives.
My Father decided to buy a fresh Vista licence after using illegal versions before. That lasted about 3 days, then he decided to switch to linux (no, it had something to do with a 64bit intel compiler that was beer-free on linux only).

Re:That is intentional. (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373085)

on the other hand they still need to be number one of most infringed software, so there needs to be a backdoor

Yes you are right. Its always been that way. But I don't understand why they don't come up with a legitimate trial version. Download it for free. Run it for a week then activate it by credit card.

Re:That is intentional. (1)

complete loony (663508) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373363)

Partly, but mostly I think because they sell their OS to businesses, and if something business critical can't be run because of some silly activation problem there better be a work around.

Article is a troll!!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18373073)

Vista Can Run Without Activation for a Year

...as if installing and falling in love with Linux would take so long.

Ubuntu even installs faster and easier than Windows.

If Microsoft want to support the migration to Linux they shouldn't make such trollish statements!

This isn't news (5, Informative)

cdrudge (68377) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373079)

There are hacks out there to modify the countthe activation timer [keznews.com] so that it never times out. The cracking group Parardox also supposedly released a crack [engadget.com] that is suppose to emulate a bios to bypass the activation process all together.

Re:This isn't news (1)

Cythrawl (941686) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373555)

Actually if you can also mod your System BIOS so it looks like an OEM according to Vista (SLIC). Install Vista with OEM key (they are generic and some OEM's even use the same keys) Install the OEM's Digital Cert, Vista is instantly activated and will never expire...
You can even get pre-modded BIOS's for most popular motherboards now so you dont have to do the hacking yourself.

This has been around for like 4 weeks now...

I'd give links, but Im sure its against the rules so I wont..

If they blacklist the current OEM keys' then most of the PC's sold thru Dell, HP, Asus will also be blacklisted. Wont be good PR thats for sure... and even if they do its only a matter of using Keyfinder on the latest OEM install to get a new key.

The Paradox one will probably be worked around as it modifies the (VISTALDR) Bootlader and it will only be a matter of time before M$ releases a patch to fix that.

Ah well.. Vista's AntiPiracy lasted what... a month.....??

Edit the SkipRearm Key (4, Interesting)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373107)

Microsoft tells ya how to do it [microsoft.com].

How long before we see this as a Slashdot user name? "Hi, I'm Skip -- Skip Rearm."

Why do this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18373145)

When the Paradox bios emulator allows you to get a genuine registered pc.

Just extends the captive marketshare... (1, Insightful)

jkrise (535370) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373169)

The lazy bums who will not learn Linux... the resellers in Asian markets who cannot upsell the new OS which requires 8 times more RAM just so the home user can surf the web... the so-called sysadmins in Corporate settings who will not learn ipconfig, iptables and basic Unix commands... and prefers to get one more worthless certification on Vista instead..

The mindshare monopoly of the retarded lethargic users is critical to Microsoft.

Riddle me this. (1)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373311)

Who's the real retard? The folks who pirate Vista or the geeks who can't understand why someone would want to pirate Windows over the oh so easy to use Linux?

Re:Riddle me this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18373389)

Who's the real retard? The folks who pirate Vista or the geeks who can't understand why someone would want to pirate Windows over the oh so easy to use Linux?

Neither. Those who pirate Vista are to be pitied, not abused by being labelled retards.
Geeks never understand anything except technology.... hell they don't even know how to get laid... no point calling them retards.

Retards would be those who shill for MS on Slashdot, instead of spending their lifetime on more fruitful pursuits. Like you, perhaps?

Re:Riddle me this. (1)

mgblst (80109) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373429)

Still you!

Nah, just kidding, it was that linux geek.

Firstly, a lot of people have never even heard of Linux, how would they? Does redhat take out huge billboards all over the world...NO. Most people are to inept to use a computer in the first place, never mind start fooling around with OS.

Re:Just extends the captive marketshare... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18373331)

What is funny about the parent post? It's insightful, not funny.
If it weren't Microsoft it'd be funny though.

Re:Just extends the captive marketshare... (1)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373347)

"so-called sysadmins in Corporate settings who will not learn ipconfig, iptables and basic Unix commands"

Why would they need basic unix commands and iptables under Vista? Or were you trying to say "ifconfig" there?

Re:Just extends the captive marketshare... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18373349)

the so-called sysadmins in Corporate settings who will not learn ipconfig, iptables and basic Unix commands...

Wow. You unix nerds still haven't gotten over your bizarre fetish with obscure commands in a console? It's 2007 for crying out loud. Move out of your parents' basement!

Re:Just extends the captive marketshare... (4, Funny)

value_added (719364) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373369)

the so-called sysadmins in Corporate settings who will not learn ipconfig, iptables and basic Unix commands..

$ ipconfig
bash: ipconfig: command not found

$ echo "alias ipconfig=ifconfig" >> ~/.bashrc

It's never ceased to amaze me the sheer number of workarounds one collects when using or administering Windows systems. To say nothing of endless variations of regkeys and values that must be memorised, but change frequently enough to remind you that the sum total of your knowledge is mostly a collection of useless trivia.

MS certs and career advancment (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18373463)

Look, the fact is, like many other sys admins, I work in Windows because it pays the bills, sure *NIX admining pays more, but there are few jobs and many university types gobbling them up as fast as they appear here in the midwest. also, my emplyer pays for MS training and certs, so I would be foolish not to get them as they mean the potential for greater money when my evaluation comes up...I like and use Mac OSX and Linux, but hey, MS pays the bills at this point, that is just how it is..

Re:Just extends the captive marketshare... (1)

Digital Vomit (891734) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373571)

The lazy bums who will not learn Linux... the resellers in Asian markets who cannot upsell the new OS which requires 8 times more RAM just so the home user can surf the web... the so-called sysadmins in Corporate settings who will not learn ipconfig, iptables and basic Unix commands... and prefers to get one more worthless certification on Vista instead.. The mindshare monopoly of the retarded lethargic users is critical to Microsoft.

Yeah, shame on us for wanting to use a computer to actually be productive!

Re:Just extends the captive marketshare... (2, Insightful)

adnonRT (888328) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373593)

Sysadmins are creatures that follow the money trail friend. If the company wants a Win based platform as their workhorse, then the sysadmins are getting certs on that platform. Why on earth would you go through the trouble of learning Linux if what you need is a cert on Win2003 server administration? That sounds like you are setting yourself up for either getting fired for being a complete chuckle head who doesn't know his company's O/S of choice well enough to be able to audit logs or getting passed over on a potential raise or promotion because you couldn't take the time to learn the GD O/S that your company uses and HIRED you to learn and administer for them. Knowing linux commands is definitely a good thing to know, however, for a Windows sysadmin, it is NOT mission critical.

Right now, getting certs on anything non windows related if you are a sysadmin at a company that uses windows is a hobby. Until you get paid for what you know, it is just a hobby. Me? I hate windows and Vista especially. BUT I get paid to administer it so I do what needs to be done to do that well. That includes renewing certs, researching the myriad exploits that are out there everyday, and dealing with crap ware from Redmond. My linux know how is, for the moment, just for my home use and pleasure. Maybe one day I will run into a company or organization that uses a unix based system instead of a doze based system.

EDIT: What I have tried in the past is to approach my CIO with the idea that we could use linux for certain things or resources and each time he doesn't want to hear it. So this forces me to learn what they want me to learn. BECAUSE of that, Linux is just a hobby....for now.

Hmmm (1)

BillGatesLoveChild (1046184) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373203)

> With more research, said Livingston, it may even be possible to find a way to postpone activation indefinitely.

I wonder what will be pushed out in tomorrow morning's Auto-Update?

given last weeks article... (2, Interesting)

pjr.cc (760528) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373211)

Given last weeks article about how ms want people to pirate their products and that they do it so that people would eventually turn to the "legal" route, does anyone believe this was found by "accident"?

seriously, hasn't this always been the way? give people a way to run MS's products pirated? maybe im just an old cynic..

Why even bother? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18373267)

I've been a computer programmer (i.e. old-style language for "software engineer") for 26 years. I've owned various systems over the years with various OSes (Amiga OS, Windows, Linux, Macintosh Classic and MacOS X). These days, I daily use Linux and MacOS X.

Of all the OSes I've developed on, I'm the most impressed with MacOS X. The user-experience on the Mac is a joy. Linux doesn't have a great user experience, but I use it for developing embedded systems (what I do mostly professionally these days).

As for Microsoft's offering? Ugh. I was the least impressed with Windows. Windows made no sense to me. For a multi-billion dollar company, Microsoft's documentation was really poor. Their API was inconsistent and frustrating, especially when the docs said one thing and the OS did another.

Vista? Not even gonna bother. I think I'll stick with an OS which trusts the fact I actually bought it. I can't afford to be separated from my work because the OS decides its time for me to reverify myself as a legitimate user and I forgot where I put the darn activation key.

Years ago, people told me they didn't like Apple because it was a one-vendor hardware solution. Well Windows has turned into a on-vendor software solution. How is that better?

I think the public really should speak with their feet on this one. There are alternatives. People should use them until Microsoft gets off its "us against the world" mentality.

Re:Why even bother? (2)

kestasjk (933987) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373529)

Sometimes I wonder if these people aren't affiliated with Apple..

These Apple posts always read like an Apple "Hot news" testimonial;
"I'm a long time big business guy who researches cancer, is a long time software engineer, or applies computers to art, who has high standards and has tried everything.
What do I use you [don't] ask? Apple OS X; it's stunning, and the user-experience is breathtaking, it truly is the center of my digi-life. And, for a limited time only, it starts at only $399.

Your life. Your potential. Your Macintosh.
Think different."

Security Update for Windows Vista (KB666666) (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18373269)

Download size: 773 KB , less than 1 minute
A security issue has been identified that could allow you to compromise your Windows-based system using regedit and gain control of your licensing destiny. You can help protect our destiny by installing this update from Microsoft. After you install this item, you wil be required to restart your computer.

OK, so where IS the skiprearm usage count stored? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18373319)

Anybody know? One of the sysinternals utils to watch registry modifications during
use ought to pint it up...

Off topic? (0)

supachupa (823309) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373487)

This may be off topic, but I think that this is the perfect time to switch to a new operating system. The menus and interfaces are so different in Vista/O2K7 that we all need to relearn how to use them anyway. This time could be spent with new users on Linux(or OS X)/OpenOffice.

Round and Round and Round It Goes... (3, Interesting)

dpbsmith (263124) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373575)

It doesn't stop pirates.

But it does deny access to paying customers... some of Microsoft's biggest and best customers.

So Microsoft needs to put in a backdoor so that their support professionals can take care of those customers over the phone.

But if you're telling hundreds of people about a backdoor, sooner or later it will leak.

So Microsoft will need to patch the backdoor.

But if they do that, once again, they'll be screwing their best customers.

So they'll need to open another backdoor. Quite possibly the new backdoor will be opened by the very same patch that closes the SkipRearm backdoor.

Microsoft doesn't benefit from this. Microsoft's customers don't benefit from it. The only people who benefit from it is the computer trade press and Slashdot, which is assured of an endless stream of news stories to talk about.

So... (1)

PhotoGuy (189467) | more than 7 years ago | (#18373583)

While I agree this is slightly interesting, it's not terribly useful, since it's likely that a mandatory auto-update will plug this hole soon. And without updates, the first of the many-to-be-found-exploits in all the new Vista code, will leave you vulnerable. It's rather ironic (and convenient for MS) that Windows' shoddy security, and the associate desperate need for updates, gives them a lot of control of forcing updates on you to plug activation and genuine advantage holes and such.

Thankfully for XP (which is where I level off anyway, why bother with Vista), there's Autopatcher [autopatcher.com] and similar sites, which allow a *far* more convenient way of getting and applying patches than MS update. Don't know if there is anything similar for Vista, or if it's possible or will be permitted to continue by MS.
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