Microsoft is already on the back foot against the pirates as torrents of both Vista and Office 2007
hit the web, before the products have even been released to the general public.
This news comes with a twist however; despite the fact that the pirated versions are genuine copies of the fully released Vista, they can only be activated through a loophole where Vista is re-coded to accept previously released beta activation keys. Microsoft aren't completely defenceless in this situation either, the beta versions of the operating system are timebombed to expire on June 1st 2007, which will mean the pirates will need to find another way round that come Summer next year.
Vista hasn't been the only Microsoft product targeted by the pirates in recent days. Office 2007 is also now available on torrent sites, only requiring an activation key as opposed to the online activation. The whole situation is undoubtedly causing a bit of a headache to Mr Gates.
This headache won't be lessened by the fact that Jim Allchin
has had to release a blog post
specifically stating that Vista isn't safe to run without virus scanners. Earlier this week Allchin was reported
as saying that he was happy to let his child use Vista without an anti-virus. He has now retraced that statement somewhat:
"The point I had been trying to make (albeit unclearly) is that Windows Vista includes new security features that can dramatically help improve our customers’ security for certain situations. I was asked a question about how I rated the protection provided by Windows XP with Service Pack 2 and whether or not it was still effective. I ended up telling a story about how the machine my seven-year-old son uses has no antivirus software installed because it runs in a very locked down configuration, which includes only being able to visit websites on an approved list (approved through the parental controls feature in Windows Vista).
He also has no access to email or instant messaging and he doesn’t run as an administrator of the machine. In fact, parental controls in Windows Vista requires that the user you apply controls to is not running as an administrator. Email, phishing, and other social engineering attacks are definitely among the most prevalent attacks that home users experience today, and his machine has been locked down in these regards."
So it looks like you will need an anti-virus after all, Norton and McAfee can breathe a collective sigh of relief.
Did you expect Vista to be pirated so quickly? Let us know in the forums