Microsoft Windows’ infamous “blue screen of death” has become synonymous with an operating system crash or freeze, but that’s nothing compared with what users of pirated copies of Vista worldwide can expect from now — a black screen of darkness.
In an e-mail to a large Windows Vista distributor titled “Pirated Vista — A darkness descends!” — a local Microsoft representative made it quite clear what Vista pirates can expect to happen to their unlicensed installations.
A copy of this e-mail was obtained by Computerworld.
“Good afternoon, as of this week, Microsoft has activated a function in Vista called ‘Reduced Functionality.’ This is a specific function in Vista that effectively disables nongenuine copies of Windows. Therefore anyone who has a pirated copy of Vista will experience:
A black screen after one hour of browsing
No start menu or task bar