The greater broadband speeds available since the launch of Windows XP have made it a straightforward proposition to download illicit copies of Vista. Rather than going through the tedious business of running something like the key generation we've heard from Register readers that some people on either side of the Atlantic has surreptitiously used the activation codes printed on boxed copies of Vista to get their system up and running. Use of cameraphones to capture these codes makes the process a breeze, we're told.
We don't know how widespread this practice is but it creates a headache for Microsoft, as pirates activate the codes before they are used by legitimate users.
Activation codes visible on unpacked boxes? Unbelievable.