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Slinky Sausage writes "There's been a steady stream of 'sort of' cracks for Vista coming out of the piracy groups, but a crack has been released this morning by "Pantheon" which is doesn't avoid Vista's activation — it exploits it! Apparently despite the requirements for everyone including volume licence customers to activate, Microsoft built in the capability for OEM system builders to pre-install copies of Vista without activating it over the internet. The crack works on any Acer, HP, Lenovo, Hewlett Packard or custom machine (as long as you have the BIOS of that machine available)."