Volume Activation 2.0 requires a corporate user to either do a onetime activation through Microsoft servers (MAK) or companies can host a local activation server which does not talk to Microsoft (KMS). The only difference is KMS requires re-activation once every 180 days. However as long as there’s a local KMS server it’s simple to keep Windows Vista activated.
The hacker’s release is a VMware image of a permanently activated KMS (Key Management Service) server which allows local activation of Windows Vista Business/Enterprise Edition. As such, it’s not true that the workaround will be usable for only six months. Press reports stating so are written by people who don’t know what they’re talking about. The "client" Vista activates every six months, not the server, which in this case is permanently activated.
Volume Activation 2.0 is only built into those two editions. Companies which buy 25 numbers or more of the OS would be given the KMS to simplify the activation process. For it to work, users have to type in the non-virtual Vista two commands which launch the same Visual Basic script with different options:
cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs -skms vm_vista_ip
cscript c:\windows\system32\slmgr.vbs -ato
The hack was released under the name of Bill Gates’ wife, Melinda Gates. The actual name of the pirate scene release is "Microsoft.Windows.Vista.Local.Activation.Server-MelindaGates." Cracked copies of Windows Vista started flooding the internet soon after the operating system was released to manufacturing and ahead of its official release. However, the lack of a corporate activation key made most of them useless. Some activation cracks were apparently released, using some beta files from RC versions of Vista, but apparently they didn’t work for everyone.
This only shows that while Microsoft tries to block illegal users from using its operating systems, they will not be able to prevail for long. For every security system there’s always a workaround if you have physical access to the machine, that’s a rule every security expert knows. Everything can be cracked eventually, if it’s worth it.