Minor Tweak Allows Free Windows 7 Ultimate Install

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In general, we tend not to report on relatively minor hacks, but the simplicity of this one really makes it attractive. Basically, there’s a very minor Windows 7 tweak that basically allows users to choose what flavour of Windows 7 they want to install for themselves.

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According to Windows Secrets, the tweak is as simple as having a look through the Windows 7 install disk, finding a single specific text file and then deleting it. Afterwards, the user can then choose which version of Windows 7 they’d like to install. If nothing else this means you can save yourself a fortune on Windows 7 Ultimate by just picking up a copy of Windows 7 Basic and going a bit Dr. Frankenstein with the install disk.

It’s very strange that Microsoft let this slip through, especially since, according to the people who discovered the method, it’s demonstrably working on the Windows 7 RTM (release to manufacture) disk, which means that this will likely be doable with Windows 7 when it releases on October 22nd.

If nothing else, we’d imagine people who’ve upgraded their Windows 7 installs will have some trouble patching, unless of course the Windows 7 CD-keys can’t be used to differentiate between versions, in which case it’s quite difficult to see just how Microsoft might fix the whole business. Apparently though, versions installed in this manner only have a shelf life of 120 days… it’s possible MS might simply wait people out.

The fact is though, this looks an awful lot like carelessness. The fact that the “hack” is the relatively simple deletion of a text file is just a little embarrassing.

For a little more detail, including instructions, check out Windows Secrets here.

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