updated 12:10 pm EST, Tue December 4, 2007
Vista 'killswitch' removed
Bowing to pressure, Microsoft will soon remove an anti-piracy measure from Windows Vista that cripples the software, say Reuters and BBC News. Vista Service Pack 1, which should be available in the first quarter of 2008, will strip away software that renders Vista all but unusable if the Windows Genuine Advantage tool deems an OS illegal. The difficulty, Microsoft has admitted, is that it in numerous cases the tool has misreported copies of Vista, locking legitimate users out of their own purchases.
Instead, says Microsoft VP Mike Sievert, Genuine Advantage will merely scan systems occasionally, checking to see whether they are properly activated. Invalid copies will trigger notices with a link to purchase a legal copy. "It's worth re-emphasizing that our fundamental strategy has not changed," Sievert notes.
Reflecting this, the Pack will also close two loopholes used by pirates: one which lets pirates simulate activation, and another which artificially extends the time limit between installation and mandatory registration.