LiquidSky Windows Pirated/Cracked?(No its not)


I have always seen the company watermark shown on the bottom right that covers the LiquidSky logo. This is shown when Windows is not registered so it made me curious. I found my computer and brought up the properties and to my surprise it says Windows is NOT activated. This makes me wonder is LiquidSky running their business legally?


A watermark will show for all kinds of reasons like disabling driver signature verification.
If you had the ability to understandwhat you are reading you will find out it says windows server...because its a windows server user instance.
but most importantly...go troll somewhere else.


Excuse you for the insult but I do know it is Windows Server also. It is based on Windows 8.1. When I have disabled driver verification on Windows 10 for troubleshooting purposes; this watermark still does not appear. You are wrong. The watermark may show in safe mode but other than that; it should not appear if the machine is properly registered with Microsoft. In order to license millions of machines there is a way to do so and it so called "Microsoft Volume Purchasing" which they tell Microsoft approximately how many machines will be used and then Microsoft will then issue a universal product key that the company can use to license all their customers or "Clients" of the server. At least this is the legal way to do it and no watermarks should be shown and Windows should not say that it is not activated. I have worked on A LOT of network and seen MANY clients of servers and this watermark does not show up normally. Now I am sorry to the devs if this is not true but please fix your servers. If you are illegally using Windows Software which is Copyrighted, expect a nice large lawsuit.

EDIT: I just want to let everyone know that I love LS and satisfied paying for but I just thought it is kind of an eyesore to see the Microsoft waternark ontop of the LS Logo on the background.


I don't believe for any second that LS would be running "pirated" versions of Windows seeing how they are in talks with Microsoft to get the newest server version of windows. I strongly believe it is a matter of their configurations. Having said that I really do hope they fix them asap because I am very ocd about my desktop and I like it rather clean without anything on it, I can't begin to tell you how much I loathe that watermark, I've tried to find ways to disable it without success because it literally sends my anxiety through the roof. Also you can't customize the start menu theme because Windows says it is not activated. So please LS really fix this. :confused:


Your probably right that it is not illegal but I have OCD too lol and don't want to be caught using pirated Windows. I get tired of that watermark and I would feel safer if it said that Windows was activated.


Na if anyone were going to pay for that would be the owners in which the OS is running on and since LS owns these then they would be liable if such an instance occurred remember you as a customer pay to use it but don't own it so anything where legality of the OS and such falls on LS and them alone since its their systems and hardware.


This is ridiculous and the sort of nonsense that absolutely should not be tolerated.

This is a support forum and a place to bring bugs and other unwanted service interruptions to the attention of the LiquidSky staff. Not a circle jerk for how great LS is and how awesome it makes you feel to be able to use it.

WDSnav91 reported an error that the majority of us are seeing and it is something that should be brought to the attention of the LS staff. Insulting him and calling him a troll is unwarranted and silly. If you really want everyone to know that you love LS then go tweet about it or make YouTube videos praising the service. Don't run around trying to get people that are reporting bugs and errors to stop because you personally believe that makes life better. We want a service that has very few, if any, bugs.




I don't want us to get in a flame war; I am posting here for a discussion and to let the developer's know what we want. No flaming each other please and it is not needed as everyone is entitled to their own opinion.


They've stated somewhere else before (maybe Reddit) that the activation servers sometimes stall because of the large amount of requests coming from LS servers. If you restart your instance, the activation often is successful.


I have never had a time when it says Windows is activated. I always see the watermark in the lower right corner and Windows is not activated through the right click on pc menu.


Mine has also been showing that "activate Windows" watermark for a while. But I think someone on Reddit posted that if you delete your current instance and make a new one, it'll be fully activated and that watermark goes away. I haven't tested this solution yet (I've just been too lazy to reinstall everything on a new instance), but when I do I'll let you know how it goes.


you do not. Youre seeking attention. You have an issue, there is the support chat. The staff is very useful and you might have reported the issue instead of blatantly making a clickbait thread

wow please an hero much? go back to your hugbox. Reading that just made me fact just remembering it does.


Please read Devshard's posts and then come back to post. Again, this is a place to report bugs and NOT a place to flame or insult each other.


@POOnami @WDSnav91 dude people are going to flame people anywhere you are on the internet same go's for life, he's speaking his opinion just like i was good or bad, if you don't like it don't respond to it and just ignore it


His first point there is absolute garbage, that goes without saying. I'm very confused as to why he doesn't understand that the name of this sub forum is "Report a bug" which is exactly what you're doing. Personally, I think that the sub forum title is self-explanatory and clear. Perhaps there's a language barrier or a difference in idiomatic expression here? Either way, we should all just ignore that first point.

His second point is valid though. I glanced over the title and read the post so I didn't realize it at first. Saying something is Pirated/Cracked is fairly accusatory. None of us know why the Windows activation watermark is showing up and there's a number of reasons why it could happen. It might be a KMS error or a problem with the Volume Licensing agreement that's been dealt with. Or it could be that the licensing agreement changed for the new version of Windows Server but they haven't finished the process of testing and installing WinServ 2016 on all their servers yet. Or it could be that Microsoft changed the instance activation process and that hasn't fully been implemented. Those are the most likely scenarios I could come up with off the top of my head. It remains to be seen what the cause of that activation error is and how it will be resolved.

There's a lot of people using and signing up for the trial right now though. More importantly, LiquidSky has been promoting their service pretty aggressively and expanding all over the world. It is highly unlikely that they would draw that kind of attention to themselves if they were using a pirated/cracked version of WinServ for all the cloud instances. More importantly, LS doesn't own any of the datacenters they're based out of. Server farms have strict rules when it comes to this kind of thing, especially if it occurs on a large-scale implementation. If they were using an illegal Windows license one of the data center's sysadmins would have noticed by now and shut the whole thing down. The legal structure around liability is complex but more importantly it would seriously impact the reputation of the data center so there's zero chance they would let it stand. You might sneak through their notice if you were renting a very tiny bit of their resources and running a few instances. But there's no way it'll go unnoticed when you have hundreds of instances being created.

Perhaps if you changed the title to something like "Windows Activation Error" or another non-accusatory wording it would calm this fearless crusader down while still allowing you to report the bug.

As far as personal liability in this goes we have absolutely none. If anything, in the absolutely unlikely scenario that there was an unlicensed version of Windows being used and LS was taken to court over it we'd probably end up getting paid money. A bunch of law firms would start contacting everyone that paid for LiquidSky to ask them to be part of a class-action lawsuit against them. So as it stands, this is a win-win situation for us. If its just an error then it'll be resolved and we'll get to keep using LiquidSky. If it isn't and some illegal action is taking place then we'll get a payout for the class-action and perhaps get back the money that we paid for using LS. There is no possibility of us facing legal consequences for this at all. That would be the equivalent of everyone that had one of the exploding Samsung phones before the recall getting sued or arrested for carrying an incendiary device/terrorism/assault with a deadly weapon. It's the company's fault, not the customers.


Wouldn't you be accusatory if you saw the software your using is reported as not activated. The Micrsoft process of activating is not XP. It has advanced procedures that do NOT mess up. It could be true that they are in the process of transferring their license but this process takes about 5 seconds to upgrade a Windows. I am sure they could have it installed within a day but we are still experiencing the error since weeks ago. I have upgraded Windows on many machines and Windows will usually activate within minutes of installation which is what made me suspicious.


So there are a couple of things at play here. Let's start with the basics:

An accusation occurs when you believe that someone has committed a crime and you have sufficient proof to back that up or you have, at the minimum, enough proof to provide an investigative authority a reason to look into the matter.

Defamation (i.e Libel and Slander) occurs when you make an accusation with no discernible proof and is more-or-less unverifiable.

Now that we have those two definitions established, let's see if the logic follows through and passes common sense muster. You believe that LiquidSky is using a pirated version of Windows for all of the instances that we are using. The evidence you have to back up that assessment is that many of us have been seeing an "Activate Windows" watermark when we log into our LS Desktops. In order to address this issue, you decided to make a post about it on the LiquidSky support forum seven days ago and brought it to light. There are really only two possible scenarios here:

Scenario A: You are absolutely correct and LiquidSky is using a pirated version of Windows and they've decided to commit a very serious crime on a large scale.

Scenario B: You're absolutely wrong and there are many things that are happening in the background that you are unaware of and leveled an accusation with insufficient proof.

Now we'll play these two out to their most likely conclusion and see which seems more likely. If scenario A was true, then why would this post still be here for seven days? This forum, the content within it, and the domain that it's hosted on all belong to LiquidSky. It would not take very long for someone to delete the post, ban you from the forums and remove all trace of it. Personally, I've never committed large-scale fraud and IP theft crimes but if I did then I would put some effort into hiding the crime instead of letting it be talked about for a week. If I were a part of this grand conspiracy, I would have banned you, deleted your LiquidSky account, deleted the post, all support emails, literally anything that I had that connected to you would be gone. But that's just me. Perhaps the conspirators at LiquidSky are significantly less intelligent and fail to possess even the slightest bit of common sense.

The next point here in Scenario A is one that relates more to you than LS. You've discovered that a company may be committing a crime, and your moral core will not allow you to let this stand. I applaud your character and genuinely wish I had the strength to prioritize principles over material gain. This is where I get confused, though. Instead of alerting the authorities or bringing this issue to the attention of Microsoft or engaging in a bit of investigative journalism to crack the story wide open your choice was to make a post about it on the LS support forum. Perhaps I'm not intelligent enough to even begin to comprehend the strategy you are pursuing to correct this injustice. Or is it that you believe the moral choice here is to provide LS with an opportunity to admit to their wrongdoing and redeem themselves somewhat? If its the latter, then I once again applaud you and be grateful that some twist of fate allowed me to interact with someone possessing such a superior moral foundation.

Let's move on to Scenario B. In this case, it seems very likely that no part of the LS staff would do anything about this post or the issue and continue on until the problem is resolved. This lines up with the fact that this post has been up for 7 days and you have not been banned. More significantly, there's two more basic principles we need to establish before moving on: Occam's Razor and Hanlon's Razor. Occam's Razor states that when you have two explanations for a phenomenon, the one that makes the least number of assumptions is the valid one. In other words, the simplest explanation is the right one. Hanlon's Razor states that one should not attribute to malice what can readily be explained by stupidity. A better way of stating that is to say that most mistakes come out of not knowing better rather than an attempt to harm. When we apply those principles, the explanation that makes the most sense is that LS signed a contract to upgrade their WinServ volume license to WinServ 2016. Once that agreement was put in place the timeline to put in all of their tweaks and optimizations and test it to make sure everything works was much, much longer than originally envisioned. The mistake was that the timeline and work needed to move everything to WinServ 2016 was not properly considered.

Now when that mistake happened, obviously the Volume Licensing Activation server would reject all non-WinServ 2016 licenses. The agreement signed has a completely different version of the software than what it was expecting. So what's the ideal solution in this case? Sign a new agreement with Microsoft for the old version of Windows Server until the development process on WinServ 2016 is completed and then sign another one for WinServ 2016? Or would it be to simply let the inactivated old instances slide until the upgrade and migration process is complete instead of engaging the services of two sets of legal teams to draw up pointless contracts? In the eyes of someone with such exceptional morals such as yourself, perhaps the latter is the better solution. However, business and ethics rarely align and spending money wastefully on useless legal services is a surefire method to bankruptcy.

Windows does activate quickly, especially when it comes to Windows Server instances. That is a fact. The idea that the Volume Licensing Activation Server does not mess up is very naive. Perhaps you have had some experience installing Windows on multiple machines and worked with the Volume Licensing tools. It is unlikely that you have ever done automated instance creations and license activations on the mid-size scale that LiquidSky does though and even more unlikely that you've done it on a large-scale implementation. If you had, then the accusatory tone and your insistence that it is valid would have never existed in the first place. I believed you were in the right to bring this to the attention of the LS Staff and attacking you for that was wrong. I also believe that making an unfounded accusation with very little proof and an essentially non-existent understanding of the legal agreements surrounding software licensing is wrong.

If you truly believe your suspicions are correct, then contact Microsoft regarding the matter and obtain proof. Or have an attorney draft a letter to LS demanding an explanation for this as a paying customer and show everyone that there is something illegal occuring. Until a single shred of proof exists, the only true statement here is that some instances are not being activated. Anyone that attacks you for being accusatory without even a whisper of proof or an explanation that makes sense logically is absolutely correct.

It is my hope that you'll consider everything I've written and take some time to realize that perhaps a very minor overreaction may have occurred on your part, and rectify that immediately.


Sorry but I am kinda tired of this subject. I read the subjects and all I can say is that I hope it is subject B.


Hi @WDSnav91,

I know the post is old (seems I don't know how old as I have noticed a "magic date" on the forums of Nov '16 which I suspect is the date these posts were migrated from elsewhere) but I thought I would try and provide some useful information that may help with an understanding of what's happening but I can't confirm whether this means it is completely legitimate or not, even though I don't think there is anything to worry about at all with this topic.

I personally don't enjoy seeing the watermark and hope it's sorted in the future.

So, there are a few ways companies handle Microsoft licencing and the operating system verifies this based on the type of key/method used.

In this case, it appears that a MAK key is being used (normally used by companies to allow multiple activations in a single key) and when I ran slmgr /ato from a command line (because the GUI system settings app seems to be broken/purposely disabled) it reported back the following.

I wouldn't be concerned about this as Microsoft licencing can be very complex and frequently companies struggle to get the right amount of licences perfect, MS are not going to shut the company down if it's slightly off and the licencing itself is an internal topic for LiquidSky to deal with, the annoying watermark is the part which affects us as customers and I would like it gone please :slight_smile:

Hopefully that helped in some way.