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Woundup Win2k slow progress, more on Whistler keys

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ZDNet has an interesting piece concerning the slow but sure growth of Windows 2000. The news that has dominated the Web sites since Windows 2000 was released a year ago is probably the deployment issue. Millions of companies have already either upgraded from NT or have been convinced, and upgraded from a Unix/Linux operating system. Why?

The piece claims that recent tests show Windows 2000 is the most reliable Windows ever (the barb is 'with the possible exception of NT 3.51) and is more flexible and dynamic. Also, Windows 2000 is the foundation for .NET. But companies are still wary of Active Directory, and Unix still remains a logical first choice in many case. It's going to be a long haul...

On the Whistler security issue, several users have e-mailed me different ideas about why and how this will prevent pirated copies from spreading. But to begin, the first e-mail I received today was about a crack already being available for the product key. It's unbelievable how fast people discover what Microsoft did, but it seems the file replaces the winnt32u.dll file in the /i386 directory.

A Mr. Demski has the same theory as I have concerning the new product keys for Whistler. "If every tester has their own unique key, and is leaked, [Microsoft] will know exactly which tester leaked it, and then will take further action." It's the obvious answer, and probably the one that makes the most sense if Microsoft really wants to crack down on piracy. Each product key works with a specific hardware configuration, and you must call in to Microsoft and activate the key when you first install Whistler.

After that, the only people who can use the key would have to have precisely the same hardware. Getting to unique, of course, is trickier. There's obviously a problem with Microsoft accepting over 500,000 calls from Beta testers to activate Whistler, and when it ships, it's going to be a lot worse.

Any tips, queries? Send them to Luis at The Register. ®

This week's Windows Roundups

Whistler beta requires product key, IE6 escapes
Whistler 2419, MS product names

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