Now this is a cool story from ArsTechnica.com:

Windows XP Service Pack 2 available to pirates

Posted 05/09/2004 @ 11:28 AM, by Ken "Caesar" Fisher

A Microsoft product manager has said that the company has not made any effort to prevent Windows XP Service Pack 2 from installing on computers without properly licensed copies of Windows XP. SP1 was released with anti-piracy measures aimed at rendering pirated copies of XP inoperable. Barry Goffe, the product manager who spoke with ComputerTimes, explained the decision.

"It was a tough choice, but we finally decided that even if someone has pirated copy of Windows, it is more important to keep him safe than it is to be concerned about the revenue issue," he added. "Having these unsecured users means bigger worm and virus outbreaks - which also impacts the Internet and consequently, our legitimate users as well."

The issue of protecting pirates with software updates and the like is a hot one. Many are quick to say that pirates deserve to be unprotected, but recent attacks have shown that everyone suffers when major worms hit the scene. Even those users who use non-Microsoft OSes can be affected by deluges of e-mail, Internet slowdowns, and other headaches caused by the side effects of the latest worm. Goffe was clear that this does not represent a change of heart at Microsoft, saying that "for SP2 we'll make one exception."