Windows XP: A Free Copy of Bob in Every Box?

By  |  Monday, March 29, 2010 at 6:59 pm

I didn’t include this in my history of Microsoft Bob, but maybe I should have–and it’s too fascinating not to share.

In 2008, in Microsoft’s own TechNet magazine, Windows team member Raymond Chen reported that the Windows XP CD included some dummy data as part of an anti-piracy scheme, and that the person who implemented it had some fun with the project:

…he dug through the archives and found a copy of Microsoft Bob. He took all the floppy disk images and combined them into one big file. The contents of the Microsoft Bob floppy disk images are not particularly random, so he decided to scramble up the data by encrypting it. When it came time to enter the encryption key, he just smashed his hand haphazardly across the keyboard and out came an encrypted copy of Microsoft Bob. That’s what went into the unused space as ballast data on the Windows XP CD.

Even if it’s true, it’s a delightfully urban legend-y tale. And no, it didn’t appear in the April issue of the magazine–but it’s almost the same story as one that was an April Fool’s prank.

We’re talking about Bob here, so anything’s possible. Bob being snuck onto Windows XP CDs is no stranger a concept than Bob existing in the first place…

 
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  1. Backlin Says:

    Well, the dog made an appearance…