Wired has had a response from Microsoft in regard to the discussion, saying that it was a poorly translated email. The actual issue is the initial anti-piracy measure, which will disable the start bar, take away desktop icons and turn the background black. This was originally designed and implemented as the "Reduced Functionality Mode," a highly contested point of Vista. According to MS, there is no step-up in treatment of pirates - just following through with what was already promised.
Users of pirated copies of Microsoft's Windows Vista can expect some new features in the operating system starting this week. No start menu or task bar, no desktop, and a black screen after one hour of browsing.
Computerworld managed to get a copy
of email that was sent to a large Vista distributor this week. The email stated the following:
"Good afternoon, as of this week, Microsoft has activated a function in Vista called 'Reduced Functionality.' This is a specific function in Vista that effectively disables nongenuine copies of Windows. Therefore anyone who has a pirated copy of Vista will experience:
A black screen after one hour of browsing
No start menu or task bar
Please communicate this antipiracy initiative from Microsoft to your resellers -- note this function has only just been activated in Vista worldwide and therefore any issues with nongenuine versions will start to arise from now onward
Microsoft has stated before that pirated copies of Vista would be useless
and could just be a big scare tactic. On the other hand, this could actually be one of the anti-piracy measures that have been built into the OS. Should the former be the case then it's likely that we'll be seeing complaints about the manner on forum posts across the web.
A disappearing start menu and a black screen has to be a couple of the most creative ideas when it comes to anti-piracy methods. Other people will probably disagree with this as previous approaches barred access to the Windows Update servers and didn't disable any of the functionality of the OS.
Tell us your thoughts on how Microsoft is deciding to cripple pirated versions of its OS over in the forums