An astute Windows user was intrigued by the holographic image on the face of the Windows Vista Business DVD and decided to take a much closer look, discovering in the margin a microscopic photograph of three men. Just who they could be? The user posted a blog entry mentioning the discovery, which was noticed by a few others in the community and has prompted a number of people to contact us in Windows to find out just exactly what is going on.
The real story is interesting, but conspiracy theorists will be disappointed to learn that it is not the result of a deliberate attempt to deceive. The photo displays members of the team who worked on the Windows Vista DVD hologram design. Microsoft’s Anti-Piracy Team designed a counterfeit-resistant digital “watermark” for the non-encoded surface of Windows Vista DVDs. The photo in question is only one of multiple images contained in the hologram design, all of whose inclusion serves to make it more difficult to replicate a Windows Vista DVD. The other images are of old master works of art that are in the public domain. These images are part of numerous other security measures that have been designed into our media, packaging and certificates of authenticity. Hence, even though this image has been reproduced on the Web, there are many other features providing further security.
The images are less than 1mm in size and are not visible to the naked eye, so must be viewed using optical magnification. Their presence does not affect the contents of the DVD any more than would applying a label to the front of an audio CD you may have created at home. These security measures were never intended to be impossible to find, but rather difficult to reproduce. While it’s extremely difficult to replicate a holographic design in general, the inclusion of original images makes it that much more so.
Incorporating optical security into our physical media is just one of many efforts to ensure that Microsoft customers get what they paid for. You can learn more about Microsoft’s anti-piracy measures at our How To Tell site; the holographic images used on the Windows Vista Ultimate DVD are discussed here.
Via: Windows Vista Blog