U.S. Army Base Allegedly Using Pirated Windows 7

Earlier this month, the government shelled out $50 million USD to Apptricity due to the U.S. Army using Apptricity's software on more servers and workstations than licensed. Now one soldier stationed in Qatar has stepped forward to reveal that the Army is allegedly using pirated copies of Windows 7 as well.

According to the report, this soldier claims that 18 computers in the education center at his base, Camp As Sayliyah, run unlicensed copies of Windows 7, and has done so for quite a while. Even more, these computers clearly state that the operating system is not a genuine copy of Windows 7.

Images provided to TorrentFreak show one Windows 7 computer displaying the "Windows 7 Professional product key you typed in is invalid for activation" error. Another image has the error message "You must activate today" and another shows "Windows 7, Build 7601, This copy of Windows is not genuine" at the bottom right of desktop.

The soldier told TorrentFreak that currently this is the only time he's seen a military base running unlicensed Windows software on desktops and laptops. He claims he approached his superior about the piracy issue, but so far nothing has changed.

"I am not anti-government in any way, but I have been in the army a long time and I feel the army should be kept honest and accountable for what they do, especially when it is so public and a hot button issue in these times," the soldier said.

As TorrentFreak points out, it's quite possible that the Army has keys for these computers, but they're misplaced. Maybe the IT administrator didn't think using pirated copies would be a big deal for the Army overseas. The latter scenario wouldn't be surprising given the way the Army handled Apptricity's software, which lead to the lawsuit and $50M settlement.

Regardless, Microsoft may be a bit forgiving given it just signed a $617 million licensing deal to bring Windows 8 to the Army, Air Force, and Defense Information Systems Agency.

  • Scott Evers
    just because they didn't activate it doesn't mean it's pirated, is this the new low IQ army?
  • DroKing
    corporation's puppet much? that guy is an idiot.
  • house70
    There is no personal accountability; if indeed using pirated copies, the Army will end paying the tab for this. Now, if an individual pirated a movie or a program, he/she can easily end up in jail and having to pay the equivalent of an entire Blockbuster store full of movies. But in this case... nah.
  • de5_Roy
    tomshardware does not support.....
  • sactownbwoy
    I'm currently in the military and this happens all the time. It isn't blatant piracy like the soldier tries to make it out to be. The military has corporate licences for the machines. There was/is probably a probelm with the KMS.

    I just returned from a deployment and we were having problems with our KMS which caused our machines to say we were using unlicensed copies of Win7 and Office. Once we got it fixed, the was problem solved.
  • techguy911
    This story is fictional the US Army uses Windows 7 Enterprise license they have no need to pirate windows what is happening is their installs are managed through centralized PXE servers which image a given computer with the relevant AGM image.
    An update breaks WGA and has to be fixed or re-imaged, AGM-imaged machines are configured to receive updates only through a military Altiris server.
    People should really research stuff like this before making a big deal of it and thinking it's news worthy material.
  • chrisso
    Yes, I bet the army boys cant access (ahem) 'adult material' either.
  • Zetto
    "This story is fictional the US Army uses Windows 7 Enterprise license they have no need to pirate windows"
    Indeed, for this to even generate an article shows the lack of knowledge or sensationalist tendency of the editor/publisher. The whole article should be removed ASAP, what is this, IT Enquirer?
  • Amdlova
    microsoft gives 30 days for activate. if you renew your windows is not pirated.
  • Devoteicon
    So how does this soldier know what pirated software looks like? Hmm? Maybe he needs to be investigated...