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Piracy Windows Software Your Rights Online

Media Center Key Accidentally Gives Pirates Free Windows 8 Pro License 255

MrSeb writes "In an amusing twist that undoubtedly spells the end of some hapless manager's career, Microsoft has accidentally gifted pirates with a free, fully-functioning Windows 8 license key. As you have probably surmised, this isn't intentional — Microsoft hasn't suddenly decided to give pirates an early Christmas present (though the $40 upgrade deal from Windows 8 Release Preview is something of a pirate amnesty). ... The bug involves the Key Management Service, which is part of Microsoft's Volume Licensing system. Pirates have already hacked the KMS to activate Windows 8 for 180 days — but this is just a partial activation. Now it turns out that the free Media Center Pack license keys that Microsoft is giving out until January 31 2013 can be used on a KMS-activated copy of Windows 8 to turn it into a fully licensed copy of Windows 8 Pro. "
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Media Center Key Accidentally Gives Pirates Free Windows 8 Pro License

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  • by alphatel ( 1450715 ) * on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @12:01PM (#42055941)
    In order to get to the point where you can request the Media Center license, you first have to activate using a command line and kms server [] (internal or external)
  • Re:Too expensive. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sez Zero ( 586611 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @12:07PM (#42056019) Journal
    Apple sells hardware. Microsoft sells software.

    Telling MS to sell Windows cheaper is like saying that Apple should be giving away iPhones.
  • by Hans Adler ( 2446464 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @12:08PM (#42056021)

    As far as I know Microsoft *does* have a strong interested in being pirated in those jurisdictions in which they are not going to sell much anything. It's a question of market share and staying the monopolist.

  • by hawks5999 ( 588198 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @12:09PM (#42056051)
    This sounds less like a career limiting move a d more like a marketing ploy to get a bigger installed base for Vista 2.0 (or is it Millennium Edition 3.0?)
  • by ( 1036494 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @12:10PM (#42056061)
    I guess msft read the recent reports of abysmal sales for Windows 8 and decided to use its proven strategy of promoting piracy of Windows to drive up adoption.
  • by Vanderhoth ( 1582661 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @12:18PM (#42056203)
    I was about to say the same thing. It's kind of like how Adobe "allows" their photo shop suite to be pirated. They don't formally allow it and will adamantly deny it, but the truth is you get high school and collage students using the product for free, then when they get to the corporate world, where the money for Adobe really is, the corporations by the product that considered the norm for the field.

    Right now MS is having a hard time pushing Windows 8 few individuals want to use it and there's no way any major corporate entity is going to switch because they don't want to spend money to buy a product that's probably going to need weeks or months to for people learn to use properly when the existing product works just fine. By having Win8 pirated a wider population of individuals will be willing to use and get use to using it, which will be beneficial and essential to having Win8 adopted by the larger corporate community.
  • No point (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @12:18PM (#42056207)

    There is no point in Windows 8 being pirated. I wouldn't use it even if it was free or I was paid to use it.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @12:19PM (#42056221)

    Hey, we're giving our OS away for free, no license or hack needed!

    That which is given has no value?

    You're right. We should shut down all charities immediately. After all humanitarian charities didn't charge the recipients for all that food and medical aid they give to the poor and needy around the world. So obviously the food provided no nutrition and the medical aid didn't help treat any diseases. All because the recipients weren't charged money for them. </sarcasm>

    Really though I'd rather use Free Software than pirate an OS that's not worth paying for. That is valuable to me. Long-time Linux user here. I appreciate that some people want or need Windows. Good for them, they found something that fits their needs. But the fact I can legally download Linux for free absolutely does not mean it didn't meet my needs just as well as Windows meets the needs of others. In fact I have a non-tangible benefit that comes with it: the gratitude that people around the world would actually donate their time and hard-won expertise to provide people like me with such a good experience.

    Money is simply a tool to facilitate trade. That's all it is. Don't let it completely dominate your entire view of everything. As anyone who has ever truly loved someone knows, some of the very finest things in life are monetarily free.

  • Re:Too expensive. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Xest ( 935314 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @12:19PM (#42056227)

    £15 - £40 for an upgrade is too expensive for a piece of software you probably use day in day out every single day?

    If that's too expensive then what the fuck do you call every other peice of software on the planet that you probably get far less usage out of such as computer games that last for about 6 hrs play time and cost the same price?

    Of all the criticisms of Windows 8, price isn't one of them. It's the first Windows OS that actually has sane pricing options.

  • by leuk_he ( 194174 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @12:36PM (#42056489) Homepage Journal

    This is not a valid license. It is just a key that happens to work arround the current version of their anti-piracy control. But if you use this, and get an audit, you will have to shell out the full amount of a retail key ( 4 to six times the the price of a basic oem version). It might stop working at any time if you apply updates supplied by MS. They know what keys are published, and can block them if they want.

    This is very disappointing coming from a site that is very rigorous when it comes to the free GPL license. The MS license has at least to be paid.

  • by ameen.ross ( 2498000 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @12:47PM (#42056651)

    Emphasis mine:

    some of the very finest things in life are monetarily free.

    Mod parent way up

  • Re:M$ (Score:4, Insightful)

    by somersault ( 912633 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @12:58PM (#42056821) Homepage Journal

    I used Visual Studio in the early 2000s and I liked it, but I like other IDEs too. Delphi was what I used for developing GUIs for ages. The options for doing so in Visual Studio back then were a lot more complicated, either that or I just didn't know where they were. I find Eclipse a bit annoying, but I tried Netbeans recently and I like it. I also started using Emacs a few years ago for things like C, scripting and web page editing, and I like it a lot.

    So yeah, Visual Studio is one of the few decent products that MS produce (or at least it was 10 years ago), but it's pretty silly to suggest that people won't like the alternatives available to them.

  • by jonadab ( 583620 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @05:00PM (#42059875) Homepage Journal
    > > it'll require doing things that annoy large volume customers.
    > Since when has MS been averse to doing things
    > that annoy large volumes of paying customers

    Do you not see a difference between "large volume customers" (which, admittedly, should really be hyphenated) versus "large volumes of ... customers"?

    For Microsoft, there's a very big difference. Microsoft certainly doesn't mind annoying large volumes of their customers, as long as they're NOT the large-volume customers. This distinction explains, among other things, why Automatic Updates cannot be set to go ahead and install but wait up to 24 hours for the user to shut the computer down. Normal people are annoyed, because they don't want whatever they're doing with the computer to be interrupted. Microsoft's official answer is to set the updates to happen in the middle of the night. This answer satisfies Microsoft's large-volume customers, because they all leave all their computers running all night for no reason while the building is locked. Normal people shut the computer down at night, so then they get interrupted for a mandatory restart during their working day, but normal people don't matter, because they're not large-volume customers. This could be solved by adding a "wait up to 24 hours before forcing a restart" setting, but Microsoft can't be bothered to do that because the large-volume customers don't care.

Someday your prints will come. -- Kodak