The ‘Frankenbuild’ monster

Over the last few weeks, we’ve seen a number of attempts at workarounds for Vista product activation.   As of now there are at least two distinct workarounds that have worked to some degree, but I’m sure there are more on the way.  One of these workarounds we have affectionately named “frankenbuild” because it involves cobbling together files…

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New WGA Notifications Released

Yesterday we released the latest WGA Notifications Tool for Windows XP. This update includes a number of new features and I thought everyone might like to know about it. In addition to updated anti-piracy capabilities, this update incorporates and improved user installation and validation experience. First there is a new installation wizard (below) that provides more context…

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Windows Vista ‘Frankenbuilds’ spotted in the wild

Last week saw a reported leak of an RTM build of Windows Vista. The reports I read indicated that there was an RTM build to download from a P2P network or via Bittorrent and instructions for ‘hacking’ by cobbing together a couple of files that were released with Windows Vista RC1 and using an RC1 or RC2…

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Can numbers stand on their heads?

Sure they can but then they’re just upside down numbers. Ed Bott posted on his personal blog a link to a post by blogger Long Zheng asking (tongue-in-cheek) if the numbers in the report can be turned on their heads? For example, does the fact that 25% of the sites surveyed in the research try…

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Windows Media Player 11 released

As I’m sure most of you know Windows Media Player 11 was released yesterday. WMP11 is of course available for Windows XP in addition to being preinstalled in Windows Vista. As an out of band release for XP, and a pretty major one at that, WMP11 has integrated genuine Windows validation into its setup much…

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My Story

In my ‘what’s the risk‘ post about the research done by IDC (PDF) on the risks of obtaining or using counterfeit software I mentioned I would share a personal experience with a site of the kind the research describes. The video below was captured from a sandboxed system connecting to one of these sites and…

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What’s the risk?

Could using counterfeit software be risky in and of itself? Yesterday we posted a report done for us by the research firm IDC that investigated what risks someone might face using counterfeit software. Some of the results are pretty surprising. Most surprising to me were the degree to which even searching for hacks or cracks…

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IE7 now available

As most of you probably already know IE7 is now released and available for download. See the IE blog announcing the release from earlier this week. As those of you who have installed the release or beta releases of IE7 already know it does include a validation step during installation. I have my XP laptop set…

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WGA service outage

Earlier this week a server on the backend of the WGA service experienced a bug that resulted in a temporary outage. As a result, some systems were incorrectly flagged as being non-genuine, and we want to confirm for those who contacted us about this that it was indeed an error.  The WGA team apologizes for…

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New technology to protect Windows Vista and other products

This morning Microsoft announced a new set of technologies that will be included in the RTM of Windows Vista and Windows Server codenamed ‘Longhorn’ that are designed to prevent piracy of Windows Vista as well as the next release of Windows Server.  The technology collectively is called the Software Protection Platform (SPP).  Though SPP is…

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