15.11.2004, 22:20

Panagiotis Kolokythas

Gotcha: Did Microsoft use Warez for Windows XP?

Has it ever crossed your mind to use the editor to open a WAV file installed with Windows XP? Nobody will do that – that’s what Microsoft probably thought. After all, countless WAV files are stored on a computer, and they are to be heard, not to be looked at, right? We did it nonetheless and made an incredible discovery....
Has it ever crossed your mind to use the editor to open a WAV file installed with Windows XP? Nobody will do that - that's what Microsoft probably thought. After all, countless WAV files are stored on a computer, and they are to be heard, not to be watched, right? (This is an english translation of the article "Erwischt: Hat Microsoft für Windows XP Warez genutzt?")
No, not exactly. Our colleagues over at Macwelt gave us the idea. We tried it and examined some WAV files that are stored on a drive with a newly installed Windows XP. And we made a stunning discovery.
In fact, we didn't even have to search for very long, as coincidence lent us a helping hand. In the Windows system directory, we had our first find, in the directory
"Windows\Help\Tours\WindowsMediaPlayer\Audio\Wav".
Located there are exactly nine WAV files, with a size between 80 and 360 Kilobytes. They serve as background sound during the Windows Media Player Tour. When you open one of these files with the notepad, you at first only see scrambled letters. Of course, you think, it's a sound file, after all.
But things become interesting when you scroll down to the very bottom in notepad. Located there is a type of watermarking, which records the software that the Microsoft musician used to create the WAV files.
We found the following text there:
LISTB INFOICRD 2000-04-06 IENG Deepz0ne ISFT Sound Forge 4.5
At first, that sounds anything but spectacular. It seems as if the Microsoft musician or the freelance musician commissioned by Microsoft used the Sony-made software "Sound Forge" (formerly Sonic) in its 4.5 version. Sound Forge is a tool for professionals and enables users to create WAV, AIFF, MP3 and other music files priced at $400.
On its face, all that's not unusual: Microsoft uses professional software. Who would've thought? But wait a minute, who or what is "DeepzOne"? Bingo!
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