In less than a day after the Microsoft gave the Windows 8 final RTM version to OEMs, the Big Leakage started. First we got non-bootable images of Enterprise “N” editions with key embedded (N — means no Media Player), and now we got the real thing — good old Russian friend of all computer geeks WZOR released first Windows 8 Enterprise RTM x86/x64 and then Windows 8 Professional RTM x86/x64 which he claimed to be original MS images. To give you some facts let me list the IDs of those builds at the end of this article.
You may see quite a lot of people installed these releases already and have been testing heavily. Look at these forums:
If you hesitate which version to install, I suggest you install Professional. It can be activated through all channels by applying the right key, while Enterprise is VL only, as it is primarily made for corporate use.
As for pirates, there is no workaround yet to activate the leaked copies, although Microsoft activation servers are online and Windows 8 can be activated with legit keys such as MAK. In the trial mode Windows 8 goes into specific License Status — Notification State (i.e. there is no 30-day “grace” period), which is quite annoying:
- you cannot personalize Metro
- you cannot change Start Page or User Picture
- you have Watermarks of build number and non-activated stamp
Besides, there is a difference between SKU keys: Retail gets the metro message screen to activate, and Volume License gets the desktop watermark. The latter seems less annoying.
The great DAZ (hero of Windows 7 Loader) already admitted he would not create a similar program for Windows 8 RTM. It is more likely to see updated KMS Server Activator for Windows 8 from ZWT or other genius enthusiast. [If you don’t know what KMS stands for, read this article on TechNet]
Why DAZ believes it is difficult to simulate OEM activation now? Because it is so different now. One source revealed new changes in Windows 8 activation taken from internal Microsoft presentation. In short, in version OA 3.0 of OEM Activation will ensure that each PC with pre-installed Windows 8 will have unique product key in the BIOS and will be activated (physically) at the factory. If you know how old activation OA 2.1 worked, you’d understand it is completely different story now. In the past one OEM (e.g. ASUS or HP) used to have the same product key for every PC they shipped.
But as one guy said in a forum: “I don’t see the point; Microsoft has already taken care of discouraging piracy in Windows 8 — Who really wants to pirate a crippled OS that’s missing the start menu? Well, at least this feature will be something exciting for those up for a challenge in breaking the product activation.” That’s exactly my point — who wants to run Windows 8 and get in trouble even more? Do not pirate, stick with Windows 7, because that is what most big corporations will do — they will ignore Windows 8 for corporate use.