A pirate group Pantheon, which allows a pirated, non-activated installation of Vista (Home Basic/Premium and Ultimate) to be properly activated and made fully-operational. This certainly is a blow for MSFT in terms of Vista Product ActiviationStrategy. Who would ever think that OEM/hardware was the vectors to look into. Still no response from MSFT.
"Vista uses System-Locked Pre-Installation 2.0 (SLP 2.0). It allows the “Royalty OEMs” to embed specific licensing information into the operating system which Vista can activate without having to go back to Microsoft for verification. The licensing components include the OEM’s hardware-embedded BIOS ACPI_SLIC (which has been signed by Microsoft), an XML certificate file which corresponds to this ACPI_SLIC and a specific OEM product key.
Pantheon released a bundle which includes the certificate files from ASUS, Dell, HP and Lenovo along with OEM product keys for Vista Home Basic, Home Premium and Ultimate, and an emulator which allows the BIOS ACPI_SLIC driver for any manufacturer to be installed without requiring the system to be physically running that hardware. For example, you can install the ASUS certificate information on any machine, not just an ASUS."