We all thought that Microsoft was asking for trouble when the company announced previously that it would be including all the versions of Windows Vista on a single DVD, setting the stage for those in the know to crack the disc and save themselves some cash by installing Ultimate when they likely bought (ok, probably pirated via BitTorrent) a Vista DVD. Well, Microsoft has fired the first salvo in this war on pirates -- according to The Associated Press, the Redmond crew will be taking "much harsher steps to curtail piracy" than in years past. First, the company will "deny access" to some of the "most anticipated features," including Windows Aero, the new GUI. Then, Vista will start issuing ransom demands (we're not kidding about this part), demanding that a legitimate copy be bought within 30 days, or else. What would such consequences entail? How about limiting Web access to an hour at a time? Further, what about not being able to open documents from the desktop or "run other programs such as Outlook e-mail software" ? However, the article goes on to say: "Microsoft said it won't stop a computer running pirated Vista software from working completely, and it will continue to deliver critical security updates." So for those of you keeping score, Microsoft wants to make using your computer as miserable as possible, while keeping it as "safe" as possible, ok? Now, if we were betting types, we'd guess that the odds are pretty favorable that this anti-piracy measure will be defeated just as fast as PlaysForSure was.