Last week we reported on Windows 7 being pirated in the wild. This week, Microsoft and Lenovo are trying to repair the damage, locking out pirates.
Last week's news
about Windows 7 being pirated will have come as no surprise to anyone. Now, the battle is on to repair the damage. Microsoft has said that it has the ability to disable, but has not yet (as we write) deactivated the pirated registration code. When they do, those pirated versions will fail Windows Genuine Advantage and start to close down. Of course, the pirates can use them off the network, but where's the fun in that?
Lenovo has explained in a statement
what happened. "An ISO image [loaded on a Lenovo system] containing the Windows 7 RTM (release to manufacturing), OEM key and marker file, was stolen and placed on a hacker forum in China." However, what will happen if Lenovo ships any of its systems with the dodgy OEM key? Hopefully it has time to remedy that situation before some very angry customers start calling the company up.
Pirates won't be seeing this screen anytime soon
Microsoft explained itself in this article
, which rightly points out that this problem has been easy to fix as no legitimate copies are currently out there. It will be a different issue when real copies of Windows 7 with a stolen key are sold on, potentially, many thousands of machines. So, one step forward in the battle against the pirates. But will the next step back be a lot harder to fix?