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Microsoft Kills Windows 7 Activation Leak

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 49 comments

Microsoft has acknowledged the leak of a special product key to Windows 7 Ultimate.

Microsoft's director of Genuine Windows Alex Kochis officially acknowledged the leak of a "special product key" for Windows 7 Ultimate RTM (release to manufacturers) in this blog, saying that the leaked key was meant to activate copies of the new OS pre-installed by a certain OEM partner (Lenovo).

Kochis also said that customers who purchase PCs with Windows 7 from Lenovo shouldn't experience validation issues despite the leak, however Microsoft has moved to prevent PCs from being sold that use the key in question. His blog also indicates that the leaked key will still work, but will be easily identified.

"Windows 7 already includes an improved ability to detect hacks, also known as activation exploits, and alert customers who are using a pirated copy," he said. "There is a hack that is said to enable, when paired with the leaked key, a system to install and use a copy of Windows 7 Ultimate. Both the hack and the key are indications that a copy of Windows may not be genuine. The Windows Activation Technologies included in Windows 7 are designed to handle situations such as this one, and customers using these tools and methods should expect Windows to detect them."

Hochis also added that Microsoft's primary goal is to protect users from becoming unknowing victims, claiming that pirates (or customers who use pirated copies of Windows 7) are at a greater risk of identity theft and malware.

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Top Comments
  • 25 Hide
    fogartini , July 31, 2009 10:40 PM
    Canceling torrent
  • 13 Hide
    riquisimo , July 31, 2009 10:50 PM
    it wont matter. Pirates will find a back door anyways. If it can be protected, it can be disabled.
  • 11 Hide
    Anonymous , July 31, 2009 10:50 PM
    I love how its always "to protect people from virii and identity theft" rather than they just want their money since it really doesn't make you more vulnerable.
Other Comments
    Display all 49 comments.
  • 25 Hide
    fogartini , July 31, 2009 10:40 PM
    Canceling torrent
  • 1 Hide
    megamanx00 , July 31, 2009 10:48 PM
    Figured they would. Of course pirates will still hack it. Anyway I'd like for them to spend more time making sure the OS works right. I'll probably get win 7 eventually, but I'll wait till they put out a few patches for it ^_^. At least they did good buy letting alot of customers be lab rats, uh, I mean valued RC testers :D . Hopefully it won't have too many issues at launch but memories of the state of the Vista and XP at retail launchs don't fill me with hope :) 
  • 13 Hide
    riquisimo , July 31, 2009 10:50 PM
    it wont matter. Pirates will find a back door anyways. If it can be protected, it can be disabled.
  • 11 Hide
    Anonymous , July 31, 2009 10:50 PM
    I love how its always "to protect people from virii and identity theft" rather than they just want their money since it really doesn't make you more vulnerable.
  • 9 Hide
    ohim , July 31, 2009 11:00 PM
    asfewI love how its always "to protect people from virii and identity theft" rather than they just want their money since it really doesn't make you more vulnerable.

    and if you take a lot of time and invest a lot of monney makeing an OS wouldn`t you like to protect your monney ?
  • 0 Hide
    Ciuy , July 31, 2009 11:01 PM
    fogartiniCanceling torrent


    haha

    same
  • -2 Hide
    reasonablevoice , July 31, 2009 11:20 PM

    "and if you take a lot of time and invest a lot of monney makeing an OS wouldn`t you like to protect your monney ? "

    Well, no shit sherlock. He is pointing out that they are lying or greatly exaggerating the "risks" so it sounds like they are looking out for their customers when they are just trying to scare people into not using a pirated copy.
    I have a technet sub, so I don't have to worry about cracks and hacks, though if I didn't I would be running a cracked copy for sure.
    $200-300 for an OS? No thanks.
  • 0 Hide
    tamalero , July 31, 2009 11:40 PM
    theres new versions of orbit already, and they're all reporting it works, wondering if microsoft will suddenly disable them once windows update kicks in XD
  • -6 Hide
    nachowarrior , July 31, 2009 11:51 PM
    well i've still got 4 months left on mine, It's on a secondary HDD anyway. Someone will come out with a build 7600 crack again before the release of the retail version. If not I'll simply reinstall windows every 4 months, that's good practice anyway to help ensure a clean and efficient operating system, only takes about an hour or 3 if you have all your content backed up properly (depending on game installs).
  • -8 Hide
    nachowarrior , July 31, 2009 11:54 PM
    Not to mention the fact that win 7 is still unstable compared to xp when multitasking. Not sure if i even want to keep it yet. Sage tv no longer works, and WMC crashes every 4-10 minutes, not to mention it steals focus when i'm trying to do other things like gaming. 300 dollars for something that has less functionality than something already in place? I second that "no thanks" stated above.
  • 0 Hide
    shims506 , August 1, 2009 12:04 AM
    why wont you disable

    back ground intelligence transfer and windows update

    wouldn't that work and stop them from receiving info about your computer
  • 7 Hide
    duckmanx88 , August 1, 2009 12:10 AM
    nachowarriorNot to mention the fact that win 7 is still unstable compared to xp when multitasking. Not sure if i even want to keep it yet. Sage tv no longer works, and WMC crashes every 4-10 minutes, not to mention it steals focus when i'm trying to do other things like gaming. 300 dollars for something that has less functionality than something already in place? I second that "no thanks" stated above.


    thats just karma for not buying the software for a measily $50.
  • 4 Hide
    apache_lives , August 1, 2009 12:12 AM
    you can go fishing and expect the bait to not be attacked as it hangs around in the water for everyone to nibble at - your OS WILL be hacked Microsoft.

    All your activation are belong to us :D 
  • 6 Hide
    redgarl , August 1, 2009 12:15 AM
    LOL @ M$ trying to argue that pirates aren't going to be able to crack W7 easily.

    Some pirated copies of some software are actually better than the original... the sad truth.
  • 2 Hide
    redgarl , August 1, 2009 12:23 AM
    ohimand if you take a lot of time and invest a lot of monney makeing an OS wouldn`t you like to protect your monney ?


    If the OS was called Windows Millennium or Vista... would you argue about ripping off customers instead of antitrust big companies like Microsoft?

    The same Microsoft unable to design a proper heatsink for the 360 that managed to screw up so many customers due to the bad design. The same one destroying PC gaming with the horrible xbox trash port philosophy Games for ... Live?

    Look, I got my legal copies of XP and Vista through MSDNAA. I don't plan to buy another Microsoft Product in my life. Hell, they even scrap MSN messenger... HOW COULD IT BE POSSIBLE???
  • 0 Hide
    apache_lives , August 1, 2009 12:25 AM
    redgarlLOL @ M$ trying to argue that pirates aren't going to be able to crack W7 easily.Some pirated copies of some software are actually better than the original... the sad truth.


    Yeah cause then you dont have to ring Microsoft to activate after you use your licence so much!
  • -7 Hide
    nachowarrior , August 1, 2009 12:28 AM
    duckmanx88thats just karma for not buying the software for a measily $50.


    Nooooo, it's not karma, it's just unstable. If you hadn't noticed, karma doesn't apply to math. 1+1=2 and on is on and off is off. no matter what. Which means that windows 7 is still below par for the course.
  • -3 Hide
    computabug , August 1, 2009 12:48 AM
    One of the reasons why I don't use windows... This crap exploits the power of my pc to use it against myself.

    Go Linux. Screw the games that don't run on linux... my gtx260 may be overkill for HL2, but w/e, I ain't using an OS that spends half its time trying to make sure I'm legit and the other half actually working. I like Linux, 100% working ;) 
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , August 1, 2009 12:56 AM
    i'm having my illegal copy of windows 7 from torrents sites on my hard drive and i'm planning to install it in the next couple of weeks and see how it works.maybe if i'm satisfied with the product i'll buy an original copy from store in october
  • 2 Hide
    nurgletheunclean , August 1, 2009 1:43 AM
    my gtx260 may be overkill for HL2, but w/e, I ain't using an OS that spends half its time trying to make sure I'm legit and the other half actually working. I like Linux, 100% working


    Microsoft's foothold on PC OS is DirectX. Linux is great if all you want to play is a handful of OpenGL titles. But the vast majority of games need DirectX, which leaves Non-Windows users out in the cold.

    As for the main story, of course Microsoft is going to invalidate the Lenovo key, it's easy to do before PC's actually hit the market.

    Once Lenovo or any other manufacturer ships a couple million units, Microsoft won't be able to invalidate the Key. Exactly why Vista remains compromised. This is all just PR for Microsoft, since none of it really matters one way or the other. 95% of MS OSs are purchased by OEMs anyway. Laptops for $400 will come with Win7--so who's rushing out to upgrade their old PCs with Win7? A handful of enthusiasts-small potatoes. How many enthusiasts run an illigit copy? Even Smaller potatoes.

    Again here's the age old question. If copy protection was perfect, does that mean pirates would buy the software? Or simply go without, or go with a free alternative?

    As long as OEMs buy the software MS will be satisfied.
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