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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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  • Too expensive. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ZorinLynx ( 31751 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @12:06PM (#42055995) Homepage

    Windows 8 really needs to be less expensive. The cost is ridiculous. Even Apple, King of Expensive Shit, sells their OS upgrades for $20.

    Come on, Microsoft. Stop being asstards.

  • who cares (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @12:23PM (#42056305)

    I had Windows 8 Pro fully activated a month before it was in stores. People don't know how to use Google these days?

  • by causality ( 777677 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @12:36PM (#42056481)

    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.

    I really don't understand what they're doing with Win 8.

    I recently bought a netbook that came with Windows 7. I strongly prefer Linux, so it wasn't very long before I repartitioned the drive and installed the OS of my choice. But before I did that, I decided to gave Windows 7 a try, just for the hell of it. I was a bit impressed, actually.

    I generally don't like the Windows way of doing things. I prefer the transparency of a *nix system, the storage of important settings in plain text files, the central package manager instead of being nagged about updates for lots of individual programs, the way I don't need malware scanners, the ease with which open source programs can be modified and studied, the fact that drivers are generally maintained with the kernel and not by third parties, the power of the command line, the ease of automation and scripting, the huge variety of choices for graphical desktop, the simple fact that my Linux distro of choice (Gentoo) doesn't assume I'm clueless and thus doesn't get in my way, the ease with which I can find out what caused a problem and fix it and it stays fixed, and the general Open Source philosophy.

    Those things about Windows that I don't like are not going to change anytime soon. So it's just not for me. But, having said all that, when I tried Windows 7 I thought that Windows had come a long way. It was stable, solid, and slick. It seemed to me to be what most people wanted: a highly improved and polished XP.

    Then I learn about Windows 8 and I'm wondering what the hell the people at Microsoft are thinking. It's as though they want to sabotage themselves. What do they hope to gain here? Is it just that the days of Win 9x made them too arrogant and they don't appreciate that people have more options now? Or what? I haven't seen them pull something like this since either Microsoft Bob or Windows Millenium.

  • by DragonWriter ( 970822 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @01:07PM (#42056971)

    "Apple sells hardware. Microsoft sells software. " Mission statements aside, they both sell software and are in competition with each other.

    Apple is a hardware company (that also makes software to support the hardware) that has been slowly pivoting to sell online services and serve as the middle man in content delivery.

    Microsoft is a software company (that sometimes also makes hardware to move the software) that has been slowly pivoting to sell online services as serve as the middleman in content delivery.

    Apple dropping prices on iPhones and Microsoft dropping prices on Windows and similar software both make sense in that context -- where they are competing with firms that are already optimized to sell online services and serve as the middle man in content delivery and which are also delivering hardware and software -- at low prices -- to support the online services / content delivery business (e.g., Google, Amazon.)

  • by BoRegardless ( 721219 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @02:44PM (#42058293)

    Warren Buffett in the late 90s as a traveling buddy of Bill Gates was asked if he invested in Microsoft and Warren replied that he didn't invest in things in which he didn't understand the long term profitability.

    Warren in retrospect was entirely 100% right. If you can't come up with good reasons for people to buy your products at what is attractive to them, they will figure another product to buy.

    Probably 95% of the users of MS Word could do everything they normally need on Open Office software. That doesn't bode well for MS long term.

  • Microsoft and piracy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bmo ( 77928 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @03:43PM (#42059047)

    It has been known for years, and publicly admitted by Bill Gatess 14 years ago that piracy is Microsoft's key to building and keeping market share. While Ballmer has threatened in the past to turn up the anti-piracy knob to 11, that was all bluster. The goal is not to eliminate piracy, but make it just inconvenient enough for most people.

    If you are willing to jump through the hoops to pirate Windows and Office, Microsoft would rather you do that than try any alternative at all. Because they know that those who try alternatives and get by with "good enough" are gone for good.

    Bill Gates' original "Open Letter to Hobbyists" can be completely disregarded as the writing of a naive young man soon to figure out that piracy builds market share.

    My "diagnosis" of the situation is that this was not by accident. My prediction for the future is that Microsoft will not fix this, or at least make a half-hearted attempt to make it look like it's harder. They will not close this hole.


  • by TheSkepticalOptimist ( 898384 ) on Wednesday November 21, 2012 @03:52PM (#42059157)

    Don't equate Linux vendors to charities that provide nutrition or treat disease, seriously, what a douche statement. People can happily live without any OS, but living without medicine, clean water, or without disease is where real humanitarian efforts are required. Nobody is going to be sainted for provided a free copy of Linux. And I think Microsoft and Bill Gates have done more to provide real humanitarian efforts donating billions to the world from the revenue generated selling their OS then Linus or the Linux community has ever done.

    Money is not just a tool for trade, it's an unfortunate requirement to provide the kinds of services lacking in 3rd world countries to save lives. A device supporting Angry Birds is not very high on the list goals for a developing country.

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"