I am testing Windows 7 RC (Release Candidate) supposedly released in May ’07. This is an official Microsoft download – and anyone downloading Windows 7 to play around with it probably should be careful to download it from official sites. Other downloads could contain virus or trojan horse type of malware.
Anyway the new Windows 7 is supposed to be faster and easier to use, and it does have some nice features having to do with the program task bar, and windows manipulating that make things easier to do. The Desktop Gadgets (in Vista the Sidebar) are no longer glued to the side bar panel and can be placed anywhere on the desktop. You can read more about the improvements and new features in Windows 7 on the official MS web sites.
[screen shot image of Windows 7 RC May 09 including default? desktop background wall paper image – removed upon request from Getty Images.]
I am running Windows 7 RC in Vmware as a virtual machine because I didn’t want to risk any of my current hardware for this testing that could cause me hours of restoring or re-installing. The only machine I have that I consider good enough hardware to test this was my machine running Vista Home Premium which is an Intel Core 2, and thus I still do important enough things on it to not want it to be down for a few days.
Anyway in other news … supposedly the Windows 7 Activation has already been hacked and Released To Manufacturing Windows 7 Operating System has already been (stolen?) made available for download on the Internet. The exploit kind of reminds me of the CSS encryption for DVD original crack. Someone obtained a source material which contained a sort of “Master Key” which can be used to figure out and derive all other keys. Thus making the protection system a moot point.
Windows 7 Activation Already Hacked
Gregg Keizer, Computerworld
urday, August 01, 2009 1:05 PM PDT
Pirates have cracked Windows 7’s product activation just a week after the operating system made RTM and a week before it’s slated to reach users, Microsoft confirmed today.
The product key posted on the Web purportedly comes from Lenovo, one of Microsoft’s major OEM partners, and allows users to activate downloaded copies of Windows 7 Ultimate RTM (release to manufacturing), which leaked to the Internet last week, shortly after Microsoft announced it had finished the operating system.
According to Windows enthusiast site Neowin, one of the first to report the crack, a Lenovo disk image of Windows 7 leaked to a Chinese Web site, then moved to English-language domains. Pirates proceeded to retrieve the master OEM key and the OEM activation certificate from the .iso file. Microsoft lets major computer makers like Lenovo, Dell and Hewlett-Packard pre-activate new PCs at the factory to save customers the hassle, and provides OEM master keys for that purpose.
(more at the link above.)
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