Windows Vista SP1 Overhauls WGA

According to Microsoft, Windows Vista piracy rate is already less than half of Window XP's, but this is still not enough for the Redmond giant.

The first Windows Vista Service Pack's primary goal is to fix the new operating system's security holes and bugs as well as to boost its performance. Microsoft, however, plans to take advantage of the much anticipated service pack in another way: to make Windows hackers' lives harder.

According to Microsoft, the new service pack will put a stop to the 2 main Windows Vista activation hacks: The OEM BIOS hack where hackers modify the computer's BIOS to make it look like a licensed OEM BIOS, and the 2099 Hack which extends Windows Vista activation grace period to the year 2099.

The new service pack will also change the way Windows Vista handles inactivated installations past the grace period. "Under this new system, no features will be disabled. Instead it will be a notification-based experience similar in some ways to what we have done with XP. A user of a system that has not been activated and gone through the 30-day grace period to activate will, when logging in on the 31st day, see a dialog box on a plain black background," said Microsoft group product manager Alex Kochis.

"That will give them two options: Activate Windows now, which will bring up all the options to do this, and activate Windows later, which takes them directly to their desktop, which will be exactly the same as it had been the last time they used it, except that there will be a plain black background and a message in the lower right hand corner over the system tray telling them that their copy of Windows is not genuine," Kochis added.

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