Microsoft Readies Vista for Piracy Wars

Besides an advanced graphics engine, a new file browsing technology, and an updated interface, the next version of Windows may make some computers almost completely useless.

So let’s say you’re one of those nefarious types who likes to install Windows but doesn’t like to pay money for it. You’d be branded a pirate, Jolly Roger or not. In the early days, you had the run of the rum-filled seas, swapping serials numbers like shanties at the pourhouse. Then, the port authority (Microsoft) introduced its CheckIn system with Windows XP to put an end to your swashbuckling days. You were able to invent counterfeiting schemes that worked around all the documentation needed to drop anchor on your own hardware.

But with its largest payload in years (haha!) set to make port soon, MS has upped the security on its ship. For example, instead of just nagging you to register, Windows Vista will start limiting some services, such as web browsing and access to the files on the desktop. This goes far beyond the annoying “if you’re not legit, you don’t get Nilla wafers!” approach used previously, and goes straight to “we don’t care if you have our cargo, we’re putting you in Davy Jones’ locker!” It’s a move that’s going to put the average computer nerd squarely in their camp. That last sentence, lads, was sarcasm.

After so many years of fighting their users instead of courting them, Big Redmond is again using the stick instead of the carrot to meet its bottom line. Of course, Microsoft says this protection is to keep their stuff from being stolen in China and Russia where anti-piracy laws are token at best. That is a legitimate complaint, but rolling that crap out here is just really going to piss off some its customers who are at risk of the big switch. We mean people who want simple computing, not red tape. When people are tired of jumping through hoops just to use hardware they spent real money on, they start looking for alternatives, and at this point in the OS wars (oh, yeah, they’re back) that’s the very last thing they want or need.

Vista to take a hard stand against piracy
[Yahoo! News]