What is the only copy of Windows Vista ignored by hackers, pirates, bootleggers and p2p users alike? Is there such a thing? This is unheard off… Has Microsoft finally stroke gold with a variant of its operating system that is immune to piracy?
The fact of the matter is that while Windows Vista was hitting the shelves starting on January 30, 2007, dirt cheap copies of the operating system have also became available. On the streets of China and Latin America counterfeit Vista went for as low as $1 dollar, but no more than $10. Microsoft, through the voice of Alex Kochis, senior licensing manager on the WGA team, acknowledged the existence of the pirated copies of Vista and welcomed the small price as an indication of the fact that the bootlegged operating system is worth next to nothing.
Furthermore, Microsoft claims that with its anti-piracy strategy it has managed to make it unprofitable to pirate, commercialize and illegally own copies of Windows Vista.
However, Microsoft has another strategy at its disposal, because Windows Vista Starter Edition is immune to piracy. I have searched high and low, but I have not been able to find a single trace, a link, a crack or a reference of a pirated copy of Vista Starter.
In essence, Windows Vista Starter is a stripped down version of Windows Vista Home Basic. And while pirated copies of Vista, from Beta 1 to Beta 2, RC1, RTM and the retail DVD are up for grabs on peer-to-peer networks, counterfeit Windows Vista Starter, the version designed for emerging markets is nowhere to be found. I think this is a first for Microsoft. I wonder how long will it last? Or maybe it is the turn of a new page for the Redmond Company.
Microsoft, Windows Vista, Piracy