Vista is now gold and shipping to happy OEMs who are merrily installing it into new machines and then handing it off to their pirate friends in deepest Asia and Eastern Europe who have already succeeding cracking the bugger. It’s not quite a crack — they’re just using parts of the Beta releases to ensure that the cracked Vista ignores most of the licensing requirements — but it’s still wonderful that Microsoft’s well-intentioned efforts at tracking your every move and ensuring that everyone pays their fair share or dies is already crumbling in the harsh glare of fifteen minutes spent with a 12-year-old hacker in Minsk.
Activation hasn’t quite been cracked yet, though. That will require the 12-year-old to email his friend in Moscow with the PhD in computer science and who works as a cab driver because he can’t find a decent job in high tech. The PhD will then reverse-engineer the activation scheme and write a program in C++ to slam it to bits.