Guess which one Microsoft wants you to get

 Essentially there is absolutely no difference between a genuine and pirated copy of Windows Vista in terms of functionality. Sure, there is a very good chance that the counterfeit version of the operating system would contain malicious code and that the user experience would be gravely diminished because the fabric of the platform has been tampered with in the cracking process. But unless pirates get caught with their hands deep in the Vista cookie jar a pirated version of the operating system will function identically with the genuine product. Now, unlike Windows XP which was sent barefoot into the world, Vista comes with a built in Software Protection Platform that automatically reacts if the code has been or the product key have been mismanaged.

In this context, Microsoft has worked to emphasize the benefits associated with acquiring and using genuine software. “Improved user interface and innovative visuals and navigation with Windows Aero. Speeds up PC performance with readily available USB devices using Windows ReadyBoost. On-going access to updates and downloads such as Windows Media Player. Full features and protection from spyware and malware with Windows Defender. Access to product support from Microsoft,” the Redmond company revealed.

Of course that once the Windows Genuine Advantage mechanism does identify a pirated version of Vista, restrictions are set in place to drastically ruin the ride for pirates. And in the end, the Reduced Functionality Mode simply makes it all not worthwhile. A pirated copy of Vista, once detected will deliver “constant desktop warning if user is running a non-genuine version. Great new features are disabled, such as Window Aero and Windows ReadyBoost. Updates and downloads are denied, such as new releases of Windows Media Player and Windows Internet Explorer 7. Information stored on the PC may be exposed to on-going risks from spyware, and malware. PCs will go into reduced functionality mode if not activated with a valid product key,” Microsoft explained.

[Via Softpedia]