Microsoft Goes After Piracy Hacks With Vista SP1

"Reduced functionality mode" isn't coming back, but Microsoft has other tricks in the pipeline to encourage those using pirated copies of Vista to upgrade to legitimate versions.

With Vista SP1 expected to be released to the public next month, the company is going to "disable two of the most common exploits to our product activation technology," a.k.a. OEM BIOS and Grace Timer, wrote Senior Product Manager Alex Kochis on the company's Windows Genuine Advantage blog last week.

"This means that users who have the exploits loaded on their systems will find those exploits disabled by SP1, and they will be asked to activate their copy of Windows Vista," he wrote.

In the meantime, Microsoft is releasing an update via Windows Update for some versions of Vista via Windows Updates that simply identifies the exploit.

"It's important to note that this update does not disable the exploits it finds -- it simply alerts customers that exploits exist," Kochis wrote. "When we first release the update that enables Windows Vista to detect the exploits we will also make available a separate removal tool as a download. In the future we will integrate the removal of the exploits with the detection."

For more details, read the blog post here.

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Becky Nagel is a contributor to Application Development Trends. She is the editor of ADT's sister sites, and, and is co-editor of You can contact her at [email protected].