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Vista Can Run for 365 Days Without Activation

Windows expert Brian Livingston said on March 15, 2007 that it is possible to run Windows Vista for a minimum period of one year without activating it. ComputerWorld published Livingston's statement.

Livingston explained that by changing Vista's registry only once users could delay the OS's product activation eight times more beyond the three indicated earlier. Livingston believes some more research may bring out a way to even put off activation indefinitely.

Microsoft has reacted sharply to the registry change, calling it a 'hack', a word referring to an illegal online activity.

According to a recent report, the entity of activation hack for Microsoft's Windows Vista OS has been established, said David Lazar, director of Microsoft's Genuine Windows program via e-mail. Although these reports are not yet confirmed the company is quick in monitoring efforts trying to place hands on Microsoft intellectual property. PCWorld published this on March 15, 2007.

To Lazar's e-mail, Livingston came back saying it was not a hack; rather it was a documented feature of the Vista OS. Livingston supported his view by referring to Microsoft's online support documents where it delineates the relevant registry key. It is also not speculative, he said. For that Livingston demonstrated his proposition at a Web conference, saying his team had run it several times.

In February, Microsoft confirmed that it was possible to use Windows Vista for 120 days without requiring its product activation software. That extends it four times more than the maximum time period of 30 days that the company maintained the operating system would take to shut down.

Microsoft illustrated the key as "SkipRearm" on its support site. SkipRearm tells whether it is necessary to run the Windows Software Licensing Rearm application. Doing that a computer brings back the Windows system to the earliest licensing state. According to system procedure all licensing and registry data that relate to activation is either eliminated or put back in place. Any additional period timers are also reset.

Livingston said by altering the SkipRearm keys from the default value 0 to 1, it is possible to use the earlier "slmgr-rearm" command again and again.

Related article: Vista Not Fully Secure, Says McAfee

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