Microsoft is not doing a very good job at shielding Windows Vista from piracy. As a matter of fact, just the opposite, the Redmond Company is actually promoting cracks for Windows Vista. The first out of the two screenshots included at the bottom is a clear illustration of how – via Live Search – Microsoft is doing itself a
disservice. Entering the “Windows Vista Ultimate” query in Live Search produces some rather interesting
related results, such as “Windows Vista Ultimate Crack” and “Windows Vista Ultimate Activator.”
In all fairness, search engines are the shortest way to Windows Vista cracks, and Live search is by no means an exception to this rule. The algorithms involved in searches are also automated and designed to produce related results in accordance with user behavior. The alternative queries provided by Live Search are in this context an illustration of the fact that Microsoft does not filter or censor the results returned to user queries, even if it is in its own detriment. But recommending a crack for the operating system when the search does by no means imply an illegal workaround to activating Vista, is not only bad strategy but also bad business.
Actually clicking on the “Windows Vista Ultimate Crack” takes the user to a page with results, the first of which highlights the TimerStop activation workaround. Microsoft has been aware of the ‘timer crack’ or ‘2099 crack’ since early January 2007, and Alex Kochis, a senior licensing manager on the WGA team promised that Microsoft would take “corrective action soon”. Six months later, “soon” is yet to come.
But one thing working in Microsoft’s advantage when it comes to Windows Vista piracy is the Windows Genuine Advantage built into the operating system. Well, Live Search also manages to mess this up. A generic search for “Windows Genuine Advantage” with no other parameters also points out cracks, but this time to Microsoft’s own anti-piracy mechanism: “Windows Genuine Advantage Crack” and “Windows Genuine Advantage Bypass.”
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