A lot of the advertising campaign and the controversy, real or manufactured, over Windows XP focused on the OS's anti-theft features.
It has become painfully obvious however, that illegal installation files that bypass registration for WinXP were available within hours of it being for sale.
While everyone assumed that some method would be devised in order to avoid the registration process, no one could have imagined the speed with which these "bypass" files found their way onto the internet, through Far Eastern sites at first, and then on to Warez sites.
Yesterday Malaysian Street Markets offered the latest Windows OS for a mere 1.3 USD. An interesting photograph that proves the speed of the black market in the Far East can be seen in the TaiPei Times. (You can find the link in the download section).
Another interesting feature of the activation files is that they were compiled using publicly available monitoring tools. The simplicity and basic nature of the files, strongly suggest that someone in Redmond greatly underestimated the intelligence of the Cracker comunity.