Analysts: New Anti-Piracy Tools Will Delay Enterprise Adoption of Vista

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-10-05 Print this article Print

Many enterprises will not be allowed to use the new tools until they are available for existing production servers like Windows Server 2003, which isn't expected until some six months after Vista is released.

The new anti-piracy and validation tools that Microsoft plans to ship starting with Windows Vista and Longhorn Server will help ensure that there will be little corporate uptake of these operating systems in 2007, according to analysts.

That is because when Windows Vista is released to manufacturing in the next month, it will include the volume-license KMS (key management service), which will also be available for the beta of Windows Server Longhorn.

The same applies to Microsoft's Volume Activation Management tool, which will help with proxy activation. That tool can be run on a single machine that talks to all the machines in, say, a lab, and harvests the hardware identity data from them.

The single proxy machine talks to Microsoft, gets the activation identities back for all the machines, and then shoots this out to those machines and activates them. Customers can also use this method to activate their entire organization.

Click here to read more about the moves Microsoft has made to combat Vista piracy.

But the problem is that many enterprises are not allowed to run client or beta server software in production environments, so they will not be able to use these new tools until they are made available for existing production servers like Windows Server 2003, which is expected some six months after Vista is released to manufacturing.

"Those who are affected by this will have to get a waiver from their IT organization, use MAK [Multiple Activation Keys] or even OEM-activated machines," Thomas Lindeman, senior product manager for Microsoft's Software Protection Platform, told eWEEK.

"That has been the roughest thing we have gone through with this new platform and the new technologies, and we just couldn't get that worked on in time," he said.

But the consequence of the delay in getting the tool out for existing production servers will be a delay in the testing of Vista and Longhorn Server and the rollout of those technologies by enterprises, analyst Rob Enderle of the Enderle Group told eWEEK Oct. 4.

Is mandatory Windows validation a security risk? Click here to read more.

"The issue here is that KMS is what manages this, and you will have to run it on a Vista desktop machine or a beta of the Vista server. The proxy will not run on an existing Windows production server, like Windows Server 2003, at launch, only on the beta Windows Longhorn server," he said.

"Most IT folks don't deploy beta servers in production—some do, but they are clearly in a tiny minority. This does help assure that we are unlikely to get much corporate take-up in early 2007 outside of tests and early-adopter customers," Enderle said.

Next Page: Most enterprise are looking to a 2008 Vista rollout.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at www.eweek.com.


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