Windows Vista Headlines

Here are some news or blog stories involving Windows Vista.

Vista really does have driver issues! Tom Raftery, a consultant in Ireland, was sent a laptop from Microsoft, so they could get feedback from him on Windows Vista, and apparently it came with some driver issues. Looking at the bottom, the Windows sticker says XP, so he thinks it was upgraded and not a clean install.

Should Apple be making fun of Vista UAC? George Ou takes Apple to task for their commercial making fun of Windows Vista User Access Control, or UAC, and says that anyone who says UAC is a pain has not really used Vista, and that a Mac makes you do more when privilege escalation is needed.

In a related article, Microsoft partner: Vista less secure than XP Security company Kaspersky says that UAC will be so annoying that everyone will disable it and they call in to question whether security in Vista is really better than XP or not.

Can a Rootkit Be Certified for Vista? an eWeek article asks what do hackers think of Vista? This is a nice post about Vista, UAC and security in general, one hacker, H.D. Moore, is trying to get his Metasploit Project certified by Microsoft, and says that the $500 will get you in the door with their conveyor belt approval process. Metasploit is the leading open-source exploit development platform.

Microsoft allows bypass of Vista activation Brian Livingston talks about how Microsoft has added one line to the registry that will allow you to postpone Windows activation, simply by changing a 0 to a 1. Here are the steps you need to take to change it:

Step 1. While running a copy of Windows Vista that hasn’t yet been activated, click the Start button, type regedit into the Search box, then press Enter to launch the Registry Editor.

Step 2. Explore down to the following Registry key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows NT \ CurrentVersion \ SL

Step 3. Right-click the Registry key named SkipRearm and click Edit. The default is a Dword (a double word or 4 bytes) with a hex value of 00000000. Change this value to any positive integer, such as 00000001, save the change, and close the Registry Editor.

Step 4. Start a command prompt with administrative rights. The fastest way to do this is to click the Start button, enter cmd in the Search box, then press Ctrl+Shift+Enter. If you’re asked for a network username and password, provide the ones that log you into your domain. You may be asked to approve a User Account Control prompt and to provide an administrator password.

Step 5. Type one of the following two commands and press Enter:

slmgr -rearm
rundll32 slc.dll,SLReArmWindows

Either command uses Vista’s built-in Software Licensing Manager (SLMGR) to push the activation deadline out to 30 days after the command is run. Changing SkipRearm from 0 to 1 allows SLMGR to do this an indefinite number of times. Running either command initializes the value of SkipRearm back to 0.

Step 6. Reboot the PC to make the postponement take effect. (After you log in, if you like, you can open a command prompt and run the command slmgr -xpr to see Vista’s new expiration date and time. I explained the slmgr command and its parameters in my Feb. 15 article.)

Step 7. To extend the activation deadline of Vista indefinitely, repeat steps 1 through 6 as necessary.

Microsoft?s Windows ?Fiji? on track to debut before Windows Seven Mary Jo Foley talks about the next release of Windows Media Center, how it will come between the core Windows releases.

Windows Vista: more than just a pretty face A LONG article from Ars Technica talks about all kinds of stuff coming in Windows Vista, the good and the bad. The new APIs and all-new graphics stack are not the only things new in Vista. There have been major improvements in Vista’s approach to secure computing, and many low-level changes to improve the experience of using the OS.