My life as a Windows 7 pirate

Ever wonder how Windows 7 pirates work? So did I.

So I did some research and tried a couple of interesting tools commonly used in the hacking community.

The results were eye-opening.

Details in my new post at ZDNet:

Confessions of a Windows 7 pirate


Questions? Comments? Feel free to leave them here if you don’t want to endure the free-for-all in the Talkback section there.

6 thoughts on “My life as a Windows 7 pirate

  1. Ed,

    A very illuminating article. As someone who works for a software company, we use dongles to protect our software. I don’t like pirates as much as the next guy, but you have to wonder how many normal people get caught up in these dragnets. Look at all of the DRM problems games have, for instance.

    However, I get very worried about activation procedures and things like that. Assuming a dongle doesn’t have a timer to explode, it should last in perpetuity as long as you can plug it into a computer. Activations… not so much. Plus, as a small OEM, we don’t get the kind of stuff the big guys do when shipping out systems, so when I send out RMA drives with preinstalled OSes, I have to jump through hoops to make sure all of the license info is right.

    Sure was a lot easier to take care of my customers in the Windows 2000 days…

  2. I don’t worry about Microsoft activation, because I know the company will be around.

    I do worry about activation from little-bitty companies whose future is uncertain. I’d rather have a central activation service that is in the business.

  3. Very good story. I enjoyed how you attacked this story unabashed without fear of any negativity. That made it 100% effective. I hope folks get the clue now that pirated software is not the way to go. I just hope the software industry responds with better pricing. Which to me seems to be the key reason that most choose the pirate route. I’m starting more and more to become a fan of the “software as a service” model. Just seems more realistic to pay for software continually to ensure on-going protection for operability and needed features. At least on the business level. For personal use I see the open source movement as becoming more likable. For games, the model used by Steam is unbeatable.

  4. Ed

    A good read. I certainly don’t condone piracy but its an interesting look at the other side. I agree with Narg also that more reasonable pricing for software could go a long way to reducing piracy.

  5. Hello all. win7’s preemptive shutdown cannot be stopped as far as i concern. Moreover Win7 is the fastest selling OS now in market, which is a great news. I realy wonder How microsoft designed the 2hr shutdown after march 1st, there was no software crash or any other problem in this shutdown. Sir can u illuminate me with the preemptive shutdown of win7?

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