Windows 8 May Fight Piracy Via the Cloud

Last month we reported that Windows 8 may feature a cloud-based backup feature. The news stemmed from two Microsoft job listings which discussed a possible connection between Windows Azure, web-based services and Windows 8. The news also stemmed from a set of slides released earlier this year suggesting that cloud-based computing would play a vital role in Windows 8.

Now there's an indication that Windows 8 will synchronize several key kernel files directly from Microsoft cloud servers, possibly preventing piracy while also providing instant system updates without requiring a reboot. Windows 8 will supposedly use backup kernels if an Internet connection is unavailable, however the OS will contact Microsoft servers and download the latest files whenever the connection is re-established.

Currently it's unclear how Microsoft will "whitelist" computers and/or licenses. At this point everything is mere speculation, with this latest bit of cloud-based insight stemming from an unnamed source. However the rumor also coincides with previous reports that user accounts would be located in the cloud, saving roaming settings and preferences that would be associated with the user across multiple Windows-based devices.

There's no question that cloud-based services will play a major role in Windows 8. As previously mentioned, Microsoft was seeking a Windows System Engineer to “play a role as we integrate our online services with Windows 8." Another listing sought out a Software Development Engineer to help with work on "a Windows Azure-based service and integrating with certain Microsoft online services and Windows 8 client backup."

Will storing key kernel files on cloud servers help prevent piracy? It's a given that hackers will find a way to enable offline operation, however that could mean pirates couldn't go online. What's the fun in that?

  • kelfen
    Microsoft get a life! piracy isn't an issue
  • Onus
    Hey M$, if your cloud-based constructs mean that the machine I built myself is no longer a "Personal Computer," then you can bet I will not be running Windows 8.
  • jsheridan
    If they have finally found a way to keep piracy down (or even stop it) maybe they will drop the prices of their OSs..... or double them.
  • Destroysall
    Hold on a second, when is Windows 8 coming out?
  • amk09
    kelfenMicrosoft get a life! piracy isn't an issue
    I have several friends who pirated Windows 7. It may not be a HUGE issue, but it's there.

    That being said, I'm not too fond of this all.
  • tpi2007
    I will not buy Windows 8 if this is anything but optional.

    Microsoft: if you release a good product, people will buy it. That is the rule. You made Windows Vista and people didn't buy it. You made Windows 7 and people bought it.

    It really is that simple. Haven't you learned from DRM schemes in the music industry ? Just make a good product. Period.
  • rohitbaran
    Well, they can try all they want. It is an action and reaction thing. They come up with different ideas, so the pirates can.
  • theholylancer
    you know, a simple hosts file edit and a home server solves this issue faster than you can say, where is the crack?

    common... Ubisoft did it and it didn't work, what makes M$ think it can??
  • e1m0
    First of all, it doesn't matter how awesome their product is, a lot of people will still pirate it. Period.

    Second, if this happens, you know there will be hackers who put their pirated win8 machines behind servers that spoof Windows "activation."

    And third, I can't wait for windows 8! Particularly storing profiles on the cloud... as long as it's free...
  • dargon_supreme
    Windows is very popular because it can be easily cracked... You can get it anywhere. No Windows piracy = end of Windows hegemony.