There was never any doubt in my mind that Vista was going to be hugely pirated and cracks are already floating around the P2P networks. Hey, wouldn’t it be cool though if you didn’t even have to worry about entering a product key and activating Vista? According to TG Daily this is already reality In Thailand:
We bought our Vista RTM copy in a regular store in an upscale mall in Bangkok. Vista, along with other expensive software, was prominently on display at several stores with prices ranging from $2.50 to $5.00 (US).
Photocopies of the front and back box covers are usually displayed along with a three digit number. Customers simply write down the numbers of the software they want to purchase and take them to the store’s cashier. After paying in the store, it takes about ten minutes for a runner to bring a freshly burned copy of the software.
According to media reports, every few months the Thai police sends people to raid some of the stores, but the officers often end up empty handed. Since the DVDs are burned off-site, there is often no contraband at the store. In addition, stores appear to be well connected and are often told in advance when the police will raid the mall.
So for $3.50 they were able to purchase a copy of the final Windows Vista that was hot off the press…literally. The instructions for installing it say that you need to set your BIOS clock ahead to year 2099 before installing Vista and then set the clock to the correct time once Windows is installed.
Is it really that easy to crack Vista? I know that you don’t need a product key for installation (which is obvious that would be a problem for Microsoft) and then this trick is supposed to “extend” the length of time that you have to activate Vista, or that is what I assume it is doing. This is so old-school and it boggles my mind how Microsoft could not have prepared for that? I would also assume that since Vista would still be operating in “trial mode” that there wouldn’t be a problem with WGA verification.
Thanks to “cannontrane” for the tip!