Cracked software remains in Windows

, posted: 27-Jul-2006 11:09

Jolly RogerGeoff Palmer has interesting blog entry over at PC World. He's picked up on some old German stories in PC Welt and tecchannel (links go in German language pages) which state that cracked software was used to generate the audio files for the "Welcome to Windows" tour that plays the first time you boot up after installation.

The 2004 PC Welt story says the Radium group which specialised cracking music software broke the copy protection of SoundForge 4.5, an audio editing program sold by Sony.

Checking on what Geoff wrote, I looked in the:


directory, where the below files are found:


A quick "strings" on the files above shows that files have these text strings at the end:

Sound Forge 4.5

Had a look a through recent Windows XP SP2 installation discs here, and they still have the audio files which really do look like they were created with a cracked copy of Sound Forge 4.5. They're date-stamped 24/08/2001.

This is incredibly disappointing. We can't tell if it was Microsoft developers or sub-contractors outside the company who created the files, but it's neither here nor there. I don't want to have cracked software on my computer. I doubt corporates whose systems are regularly audited by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) would be happy about it either.

Like I said, this issue first appeared in 2004. Why hasn't Microsoft removed the files by now through Windows Update and updated the installation discs?

Update TechRepublic story on the above from 2005 here.

Other related posts:
Fighting with Windows 8
The Windows Phone 7.5 bouncing tiles bug
Windows Live Essentials betas seem good, but oh so flaky

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