Microsoft recently announced that Vista, its new desktop operating system, and Longhorn, its new server platform, will both include a new anti-piracy technology called Microsoft Software Protection Platform. The Business Software Alliance’s most recent report estimates that 35% of software installed around the world is pirated.
The new platform will require users to register their copy of Vista or Longhorn or face limited functionality. This is nothing new. Microsoft has attempted to place similar limits since the release of XP. The new platform might more aptly be described as an “expanded” limitation. Among the features likely to be disabled are Aero, the new graphics capability in Vista. More persistent “You are using an unlicensed copy of Windows” messages are also likely.
Microsoft will apparently continue to allow unlicensed users to receive security updates. Pirated or legal, compromised copies of Windows put everyone at risk and create bad press for Microsoft.
For more information, please see Microsoft White Paper on Software Protection Platform.