Microsoft Using Cracked Sound Files in XP?

Dennis Faas's picture

Oh, the irony.

In the middle of an industry firestorm launched by Microsoft against software pirates, the tech world's most hardcore investigators have discovered that the Redmond-based company has been using cracked .wav files in its Windows Media Player. In its most recent operating system -- XP -- Microsoft is allegedly running hacked music files for its background sound.

Microsoft has attracted intense scrutiny in recent weeks over the release of the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA). WGA is Microsoft's pioneer program in the war against software piracy, as it rather forcefully "offers" users the chance to download a legitimacy test of its Windows operating system. Most of the controversy comes from rumors that WGA, when installed, reports back to Microsoft HQ, even long after a system has been proven legitimate.

Thus, it is Microsoft's determined war against piracy that makes the investigative discovery by Tech Republic so fantastically ironic. Apparently, once Windows XP's .wav folder is opened in notepad, users can find the line "LISTB INFOICRD 2000-04-06 IENG Deepz0ne ISFT Sound Forge 4.5". (Source:

The importance?

DeepZ0ne was the cofounder of the Warez consortium Radium, a group responsible for thousands of music cracks since the year 1997. DeepZ0ne and Radium are most famous amongst hackers for the cracking and circulation of Sound Forge 4.5, Sony's professional audio editing tool. In considering the line Tech Republic found in the Windows XP folder, it is possible (even likely) that Microsoft used the cracked version of Sound Forge to save over $400 on .wav files for its Windows Media Player. (Source:

Clearly, everyone is innocent until proven guilty -- even Microsoft. But the discovery by tech investigators is revealing of the industry aggravation over the company's fanatic attack on software pirates and the effect it is having on the average user.

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