I read the Windows Secrets newsletter, and the past several issues have been about activation issues in Windows Vista. First, you can install the Windows Vista Upgrade on itself, so you don’t necessarily need to have a previous copy of Windows. (But who in the world doesn’t already have a Windows computer?) Now, you can keep using Windows Vista for as long as you want without activating it by using a simple command to keep extending the deadline out 30 days.
It’s called “SkipRearm”, and Windows Secrets makes it sound like a bad thing that will be exploited by hackers and bad computer makers and sellers.
You see, those criminals are always going to pirate the software, no matter what Microsoft does. Vista is no different; if Microsoft doesn’t want to frustrate legitimate users, the pirates will be able to get by.
Also, Microsoft has stated that if pirates are going to steal software, they want it to be theirs. This is actually a good point. It makes sense for them in terms of market share. Why do I use Windows and Office? Because everyone else does. I need that compatibility. If it becomes impossible to pirate Windows and/or Office, pirates will move to open source alternatives. That means there’s a good chance that I, and other college students, could easily switch away from Microsoft, too.
I commend Microsoft for making Vista activation so transparent to end users, and I hope they continue to do this in the future. This is a respectable thing for Microsoft to do. Software piracy is up to the user. If you want to act within the law and go buy a copy of Vista, please do so; that’s what I’ll be doing, and you should do the same. It makes me feel good to know that I actually have control over my software– that I’m not totally at the mercy of Microsoft’s activiation scheme.