Wow. Quite a slap in the face for Microsoft. Or is it more egg on face. But this confirms my continued rant that Microsoft is not serious about cracking down on pirated copies of Windows 7. If they were, they wouldn’t be so sloppy and half-hearted about making sure folks can’t bypass Windows 7 validation with ease.
The freely available Windows 7 Release Candidates (that you were able to download prior to the October 22, 2009 release) are supposed to start going into forced shutdown mode, for up to 2 hours at a time, starting on March 1, 2010. I have already talked about this.
These March 1 forced shutdowns were going to start happening at the same time that Microsoft was going to pushing the WAT (Windows Activation Technologies) update, KB971033, to SUPPOSEDLY crack down on pirated copies.
KB971033 has been available on a VOLUNTARY basis for three days. So, to keep YOU FOLKS appraised, I was checking the Web and blogs to see if KB971033 was causing any problems.
Found two things of interest. Somebody, albeit using a Virtual Machine, had tested KB971033 against a pirated copy of Windows 7. KB971033 didn’t flag it as not genuine! So much for WAT. As you can imagine the rampant software pirating community is already cock-a-hoop. But, they really don’t have to crow. Microsoft has NO INTENTIONS of cracking down on Windows 7. Having pirated copies of Windows 7 is the ONLY WAY Microsoft can claim the market share they desire.
The second thing that I discovered, to my amusement, is that somebody has already worked out how you can push-back the RC forced shutdowns by 30 days at a time! From the instructions provided, it is pretty simple too. Just three very straightforward and short instructions entered into the CMD field. Wow. So the Release Candidates can continue to function, unimpeded, for months … if not ever. Way to go Microsoft.
Well, that is the state of play today. Pirates: 1,000,000,000 Microsoft: egg-on-face.