I am no saint. As many of the online community have done, I have used software of various types that have been cracked or less than legal, and I have downloaded music. Just about a year ago, I stopped doing anything remotely illegal online with new regard for the law. I am an advocate of fair use, which means if I buy music on my desktop’s iTunes, I want to be able to use that music on every music player I own, forever. I am extremely vocal about DRM forcing us into a “one use per download” methodology.
Windows Vista like Windows XP, ME, 98 and even 95 will have a product key that you have to use to install the OS. The difference between the product key in Vista and the one in earlier OS’s like Windows 98 is Vista’s will actually do more than allow you to install the OS. Vista’s product key will regulate the amount that you are able to use the operating system, decide whether or not you are eligible for updates and will help Windows Genuine Advantage decide where it is going to stop you from using your computer sometime two months down the road.
As I have been advocating fair use I can not very well turn around and recommend that you pirate an OS, especially one that is not even public yet. Someone has come up with a registry hack that will allow you to do just that. This new hack will allow you to hack into Vista and use the product key you got with your Beta version of Vista and apply it to the RTM version.
My first reaction to this is. Why? Why should any of these software companies listen to us when we ask for looser restraints on music and software so that we are able to use it for our own purposes more easily? How can we expect them to be compliant when we are talking about cracking the OS that they have been taking so much time to release? I am not a Microsoft apologist, I am not apologizing that they have been wasting our time for months while they “work further” on Vista but I can say that Microsoft are people and they will respond as people.
At this juncture you might be wondering how I think Microsoft might “take this out on us” and I would point you to the upcoming Zune. Zune has reduced functionality, it won’t be able to play music that you have bought on the iTunes music store, if you share music you can only keep it for three days, there are countless reasons Zune is counter play to fair use advocates. Microsoft might very well decide that
“If they are going to screw with the OS…we’re going to tighten the DRM on Zune to prevent anyone from using anything but Microsoft licensed music….”
Don’t get the wrong idea, this is speculation of Microsoft’s “feelings” if Vista is pummeled by the same hackers who go after everything else they should be paying for.
If you want to use Vista, you should buy it, legitimately.