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Counterfeit Rate of Vista Half of XP

Although Microsoft admits that counterfeit rates are difficult to measure, it says it has metrics that show how Vista’s authentication system "is a proven and effective way to combat piracy. Customers want to know the status of their systems, and how to take action if it turns out they were victimized," according to Microsoft VP Mike Sievert.

Microsoft’s statistics are based on Windows Genuine Advantage validation failures, along with other internal data.

Microsoft’s statement on counterfeit data comes as it reveals new piracy prevention plans for Vista’s first service pack. "What is changing with SP1 is the nature of the experience for those systems that are never activated or that fail validation," said Sievert. The service pack will also help prevent users with legitimate installs from being affected by Vista pirates.