Microsoft warns software pirates

October 7, 2006

Microsoft Corp’s upcoming Windows Vista computer operating system will include technology that is designed to prevent pirated copies from fully functioning, the software giant said.

Reduced functionality is already a part of the Windows XP activation process, but Windows Vista will have a reduced functionality mode that is enhanced, Microsoft said on its Web site on Wednesday.

Microsoft said the upcoming releases of Windows Vista and also Windows Server “Longhorn” will be the first two products to ship with the new anti-piracy measures included, but more Microsoft products will eventually adopt the technology.

Windows Vista systems must activate with Microsoft as genuine within 30 days and failure to do so will result in “reduced functionality mode” until successful validation occurs, Microsoft said.

Customers that use genuine versions of Windows Vista will get an enhanced set of features that will not work on non-genuine or unlicensed versions of Vista, it said.

Users of non-genuine Windows Vista software will also be notified by the appearance of a persistent statement in the lower right hand corner of their desktop that reads: “This copy of Windows is not genuine.”

A Wall Street analyst said on Wednesday that Microsoft will most likely ship the Windows Vista system on time and meet its deadline for both corporate and retail consumers.

Goldman Sachs analyst Rick Sherlund sent a note to clients saying Microsoft may be ready to send the final test version of its much-anticipated Windows upgrade later this week or next week, indicating that Vista will be available for business customers in November and retail PCs by late January.

Windows Vista, five years in the making, has been postponed by Microsoft several times.

Microsoft Windows sits on more than 90 percent of the world’s personal computers and the Windows business accounts for about 30 percent of the company’s $44 billion in revenue.


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