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Vista to Include Stepped up Anti-Piracy Measures 549

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the only-os-that-comes-with-crutches dept.
snuffin writes to tell us the Washington Post is reporting that Microsoft announced stepped up anti-piracy measures being implemented in their latest operating system, Vista. From the article: "If a legitimate copy is not bought within 30 days, the system will curtail functionality much further by restricting users to just the Web browser for an hour at a time, said Thomas Lindeman, Microsoft senior product manager." Ars Technica also has coverage available on this new development.
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Vista to Include Stepped up Anti-Piracy Measures

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Buy XP or something else instead. Problem solved for us, Next?
    • by ZakuSage (874456) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @04:04PM (#16311743)
      Or, you know, use Linux, BSD, Mac OS X, or... hell I'd even use OS/2 before I'd use Windows again.
      • by iamacat (583406) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @04:28PM (#16312161)
        All it takes for one non-technical person to somehow get a machine with a pirated/falsely tagged copy and he/she will tell all friends that Windows looks like shit and doesn't support any word processors or games - only a web browser. I am just waiting for screenshots of the damage in a "I am a PC and I am a Mac" ad early next year. XP Activation screen was already "featured" in this WWDC keynote.
        • by bcat24 (914105) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @05:00PM (#16312723) Homepage Journal
          Hmm, here's a question for any Mac users here. Does OS X include any product activation/WGA type "features"? I've never used it (beyond drooling over it at my local Apple store), so I honestly don't know.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by noewun (591275)
            None whatsoever. No product activation. No serial number to enter. Just an install DVD.
    • This is GREAT news! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by KingSkippus (799657) * on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @05:40PM (#16313313) Homepage Journal

      Seriously, this is wonderful news! The more Microsoft screws its customers, the more likely they will be to seek out alternative solutions.

      I've used GNU/Linux off and on for a few years for various and sundry purposes. Three weeks or so ago, I finally sat down, figured out what I need--and don't need!--from Windows, and made the switch completely. I installed Ubuntu, and so far, it's been relatively painless. For every program I thought I couldn't live without, I've found several that work just as well or better. It's got its quirks, but Windows doesn't, right? And thanks to Cedega, I'm still even playing City of Heroes. :-)

      So personally, I hope they lock it down even more. I hope they develop uncrackable locks, and charge people out the wazoo for even thinking about booting up their computers that run Vista. I hope they make it so hard and painful to run software that people have no choice but to switch. For all of the Microsoft-bashers out there, it's a dream come true!

      I also hope that they do manage to completely lock out all pirates of the OS. That way, when the 90% of the real world that can't afford Windows all start using an OS like GNU/Linux, its market share will pretty much relegate Windows to that quaint little OS that used to be popular before everyone realized that they could get a lot more without even having to pay for it!

      On a related note, a buddy of mine just got a new job and he asked if he could use Linux on his workstation instead of Windows. They said, "As long as you can do your job, we don't care what you use." As more and more people do this, and companies realize that there is productive life after Windows and how much money they can save and how many problems they can avoid by moving out of the room with the 800-pound gorilla in it, I think you'll see things start to change dramatically for the better.

      Now, if only they could develop uncrackable DRM that screws up everyone's players. Oh, wait, Sony's already done it! YAY!

  • They Had Better (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @03:55PM (#16311561) Journal
    Well, they've been saying that all versions of Vista will ship on one DVD disc [com.com]. That's right, if you buy one copy, you will have all levels of Vista on the disc. When you want to upgrade, you simply buy a key to unlock.

    It would only make sense that they force user security down our throats at the time of installation. I don't agree with this or condone it, of course. It is also quite naïve of them to think that they can win the cat n' mouse game of license control with the hackers.

    "If a legitimate copy is not bought within 30 days, the system will curtail functionality much further by restricting users to just the Web browser for an hour at a time, said Thomas Lindeman, Microsoft senior product manager."
    Just one more reason to stick with XP for those applications that only run on Windows. I'll buy in around SP5. I hope this keeps the hackers busy so they don't have free time to dream up mythical Firefox bugs.
    • by russ1337 (938915) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @04:33PM (#16312239)
      >>>"That's right, if you buy one copy, you will have all levels of Vista on the disc.

      Cool! That'll saves me having to download a full OS when the crack comes out.
      • by Firehed (942385) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @04:56PM (#16312645) Homepage
        ?

        If you need to crack it, you don't have a legal copy. If you don't have to download it, you bought a legal copy.

        One can only assume that Microsoft's logic here is to encourage would-be pirates to at least buy the cheapest version, then crack their way up to Ultimate Deluxe Vista Supreme Meat Lover's Edition.
  • by shawngarringer (906569) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @03:55PM (#16311563)
    "Nothing for you to see here..."

    How fitting... Guess my hour is up!
  • by thrillseeker (518224) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @03:55PM (#16311567)
    Just what a business dependent on their software needs - an unproven "validity tester" shuts down your operations for three days while you're on ignore at the MS help line.
    • by Tackhead (54550) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @04:02PM (#16311705)
      > Just what a business dependent on their software needs - an unproven "validity tester" shuts down your operations for three days while you're on ignore at the MS help line.

      The ultimate DDOS: A worm that wanders random botnets of compromised XP and Vista boxen, phoning home with fake "Authenticate key 000001, 000002, 000003..." messages from all around teh Intarweb.

      One month later, Vista boxen all around the planet start to fall over for no apparent reason.

      (Historical precedent: Anyone who's ever bought a retail box with a CD key that was already revoked before the box was shipped, because teh warez d00dz were using keygens that mapped onto the set of actual, legitimate keys.)

      • Worm idea (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Vernalex (565965) <vernalex@vernalex.com> on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @04:18PM (#16312001) Homepage
        I just wish people would use their evil powers for a good purpose. I want a worm that extracts the product activation code and emails it out to everyone on their Windows Address Book and Outlook Address Book contact lists. This would totally ruin Microsoft's activation scheme and then they'd have to remove it along with the other junk they've tacked onto it (Genuine Advantage).
      • by Anthracks (532185) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @04:20PM (#16312021) Homepage
        (Historical precedent: Anyone who's ever bought a retail box with a CD key that was already revoked before the box was shipped, because teh warez d00dz were using keygens that mapped onto the set of actual, legitimate keys.)

        Had that happen to me back in the day when I bought a copy of Tribes 2 [wikipedia.org]. Unwrapped the box, popped in the CD, and bam: "This CD-Key is already in use. Please enter a valid key" or something to that effect. I ended up having to make a photocopy of the UPC and CD-Key sticker, and fax those to Sierra. Because of course, everyone has a copier and fax lying around their house.

        It eventually got resolved, but man was I pissed about spending $50 only to be called a pirate and locked out of my own game. Anyone remember the days when Sierra wasn't a worthless hack of a brand?
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by dan828 (753380)
          Ha! They started out that way. I'm still pissed at them for the Mystery House Adventure bug on my Apple ][+. Never did get to finish the damned game.
      • by jb.hl.com (782137)
        (Historical precedent: Anyone who's ever bought a retail box with a CD key that was already revoked before the box was shipped, because teh warez d00dz were using keygens that mapped onto the set of actual, legitimate keys.)

        That seems to explain all the WGA false positives, then...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @03:55PM (#16311569)
    About enought time to find a crack.
    • Precisely. It'll take someone in the know about 20 seconds to get around this. But it's not for people in the know, is it?
  • So what? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Ice Wewe (936718) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @03:56PM (#16311589)
    "If a legitimate copy is not bought within 30 days, the system will curtail functionality much further by restricting users to just the Web browser for an hour at a time

    As everyone at Microsoft knows, (or should have already figured out), everyone has too much of a life to spend more than an hour a day on the internet. ;-)

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @03:57PM (#16311591)
    From what I can tell, that's an improvement, which is why I use Opera.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @03:57PM (#16311601)
    This is a question I saw somewhere else regarding Vista, but I thought it was a good one, so I'll post it here. MS has partially justified their high OS prices in the past to help cover the costs of sales lost to piracy. If they make it virtually impossible to pirate the OS (which it sounds like their goal is with Vista), will the cost of the OS come down at all?
    • by fnj (64210)
      If they make it virtually impossible to pirate the OS (which it sounds like their goal is with Vista), will the cost of the OS come down at all?

      I think we all know the answer to that question.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TheRaven64 (641858)
      A more interesting question is, if they make it difficult to pirate the OS, how much will their market share go down? I keep a small Windows XP partition on my ThinkPad kicking around for the occasional game, but I wouldn't even do that if they didn't give me a free copy. Whenever I boot into it, I am reminded of how far Windows is away from being ready for the desktop.

      Of course, not everyone gets free copies of Windows. I suspect a lot of home users got 'free' (i.e. pirated) copies from a friend, and

    • Yet another crisis (Score:3, Insightful)

      by nurb432 (527695)
      Nah, they will just invent another crisis to keep the prices up. Much as the oil companies do.
  • "If a legitimate copy is not bought within 30 days, the system will curtail functionality much further by restricting users to just the Web browser for an hour at a time, said Thomas Lindeman, Microsoft senior product manager."

    That's about how long it would take me to find and download a crack ;)
    • Re:cracked! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by garcia (6573) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @04:12PM (#16311899) Homepage
      That's about how long it would take me to find and download a crack ;)

      That's about how long it will take me to download Linux. As I said in this [slashdot.org] post about WGA, I'm no longer interested in playing MSFT's games. If I didn't have to have a Windows PC at home for my wife to do her job, I wouldn't be using Windows at all.

      I *despise* Linux on the desktop but I'm not about to use a crack that could be open me to more attacks than using the vanilla MSFT OS, have to deal with MSFT, and pay the crazy price point that they want for Vista. Nevermind the fact that my current machines will probably run the OS like shit.

      I'll suffer with OS X (which I also despise as a desktop OS), Linux, and my current interation of XP (heavily firewalled).

      It's unfortunate that this will do nothing but piss people off. But will that change anything? Nope.
  • Possible backlash? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BunnyClaws (753889) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @04:00PM (#16311665) Homepage
    Microsoft also is adding ways to more closely monitor for piracy among big corporate users, who tend to buy licenses in bulk. Microsoft plans to take similar tough measures with the forthcoming version of its Windows server software, dubbed "Longhorn," and to incorporate it into other products down the road.
    What happens when Microsoft comes up with false-positives with corporate desktops and servers who use an enterprise license? I don't imagine large corporations would tolerate this happening. This could possibly create some serious backlash.
    • by throx (42621)
      The Enterprise licensing operates differently. Apparently you install a licensing server at your business and point the clients to that rather than pointing at Microsoft's servers.

      And there is the obvious weakness.
  • Are you kidding me (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hiltmon (687674) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @04:01PM (#16311681) Homepage
    I'll stick with OS X and XP under Parallels, no ways I am letting MS install software on **MY** computer that can prevent me from accessing **MY** data. EVER! And its not going anywhere near my corporate network either. Fat chance! What if someone uses the same key as me, does this mean they can lock me or my company down remotely? Yikes!
  • by OneMemeMofo (901314) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @04:02PM (#16311701)
    The thing about this that worries me most is how long will it take a virus writer to learn how to mimic the invalid reply. I know Vista is supposed to be Virii proof due to how it will ask the user about any changes. However it seems that these types of strict DRM measures could be a hole in their anti-virii armor...
    • I can pretty much guarantee you that viruses will appear on Vista pretty damn quickly, never underestimate the stupidity of users.

      Also, after trying the Vista betas the first thing I disabled every single time was UAC.. I strongly suspect a lot of people will do the same, just to get rid of the annoying UAC window popups for the most menial of things.

      For example, just a couple of days ago one of my bosses at work brought his home machine in complaining that it wouldn't boot etc.
      Turns out, even though A
  • by purpledinoz (573045) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @04:03PM (#16311713)
    I'm sure this will be cracked before it even comes out. Why should I even switch to Vista? XP is stable (relatively) and runs fast enough. When I was running 98, upgrading to 2000/XP was a huge improvement in terms of stability, but I don't see any improvements that I'll find useful. Unless games start only running on Vista, I don't see myself changing over to Vista. I wish games ran on Linux natively. I would have switched a long time ago.
    • by BunnyClaws (753889) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @04:06PM (#16311793) Homepage
      Why should I even switch to Vista? XP is stable (relatively) and runs fast enough.
      Microsoft will force people off of XP and 2000 by refusing to support the OS and stop issuing security patches.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by XenoPhage (242134)
      DirectX 10 is Vista only. This means that in the future (3-5 years is the current estimate), games will be written using DirectX 10 exclusively, thus locking you into Vista. Of course, this also means that MS will be releasing the XBox 720 by then because the 360 does not support DX10.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by obi (118631)
      Well, if that's how you feel, why didn't you stick with Windows 2000? It's a lot less bloated than XP, and runs every program just as well. But it doesn't have the crappy "activation" "feature".

      My guess is you probably liked some of the few useful features (wireless, PPPoE, faster booting) or the useless, "bling" features, and in the end you upgraded after all. Or you got a new PC and you couldn't be arsed to demand one without XP (and the microsoft tax) installed.

      So, if that's why it's likely you'll repeat
  • ...lines of code too, I bet. This is a "master of the obvious" type of article and it frustrates me.

    Perhaps the interesting comment isn't that there will be anti-piracy measures, but how the anti-piracy measures will be deployed. To point, what is the technology behind this statement: The company also said it has added more sophisticated technology for monitoring whether a system is pirated.

    "If you're a pirate, we're not going to give you all the functionality!" Um, OK. This isn't really news.
  • by alphasubzero949 (945598) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @04:04PM (#16311735)
    From the Ars article:

    Unlike Windows XP, Vista will monitor the activation status of the computer even after the initial 30-day period. If the technology later decides that a key is no longer valid, through either a software update or via some other means, it will give the user another 30-day period to rectify the situation.

    So, in other words, MS has every right to revoke your license for whatever reason they desire? Am I the only one who finds this disturbing?
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by hiltmon (687674)
      I am also very disturbed by this. As an IT guy in a corporate, my bet is the users will ignore the message until its too late and then get pissy at us for not just fixing it (while we wait for MS phone support).
  • Heard this before? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by caluml (551744) <slashdot@spCOWam ... minus herbivore> on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @04:07PM (#16311803) Homepage
    I think we've heard this with every Windows release since 2000.
    "Oh, but this one will stop pirates."
    "Oh, but this one will be much more secure."
    "Yes, we'll play more nicely with the standards."

    Frankly? I hope they make the anti-piracy measures 100% effective. More people might be pushed over the tipping point, and give Linux a try.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ThinkFr33ly (902481)
      First of all, Windows Activate *has* reduced the piracy it was intended to reduce. It was never meant to keep everybody from pirating Windows. It was meant to keep the casual "oh, sure, here is my Windows CD" type of pirate. And it works perfectly. See this KB article [microsoft.com].

      MPA helps reduce casual copying by making sure that the copy of the product that is being installed is valid and that it has been installed on the computer in accordance with the product's EULA. Installations that are not compliant with the EU

  • Well, that leaves two options:
    1) Their system is cracked. Then everything is as before and piracy runs rampant to the benefit of MS's monopoly.
    2) Their system is not cracked, in which case people just stick with (cracked) XP for years to come. When they are finally forced to upgrade (by artificial planned obsoletion, of course), they either wait for a crack to be made (go to option 1) or finally dump Windows.
    But I know people who will never pay for software. My hope is that by that time (>5 years from
  • Announcement (Score:5, Informative)

    by Daemonstar (84116) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @04:13PM (#16311919)
    Here is the official announcement [microsoft.com] made today by MS, if anyone cares. :P
  • I wouldn't have any problem with this provided that it:

    a) Lets me do offline authentication in a non-cumbersome manner.
    b) Lets me do (a) for, say, an officeful of machines... again in a non-cumbersome manner
    c) Is accurate, and doesn't decide to accuse me (or my users) of pirating a copy that's actually legit
    d) Doesn't require me to call microsoft, and either sit on hold, talk to some guy with a thick foreign accent, or talk to a bloody voice-agent...
    e) For corporate, see (d), but I never want this to
  • by pscottdv (676889) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @04:15PM (#16311939)
    I am a member of the Microsoft Action Pack (MAP) subscription. It comes with, among other things, 10 Windows XP Pro licenses. I am currently using only one Windows XP Pro license from my MAP subscription and the WGA Notification Tool flags it as counterfeit. Apparently Microsoft is distributing counterfeit copies of Windows XP Pro themselves. Of course, the WGA Notification Tool says that I owe Microsoft a wad of cash to get a "legal" copy. I got it from them, how can it not be legal?

    My daughters have a computer direct from Dell. The hard drive went out. When I reinstalled Windows XP Pro on it using the activation code on the sticker, Activation flagged it as counterfeit. I had to call Microsoft and go through a long and complex process before I could get to a human who let me activate. Guess what, the new (refurbished) drive from Dell went out and I had to go through the whole process again. This time they asked some rather pointed questions, but eventually let me Activate.

    I have told all of my clients *not* to accept the license agreement for the WGA Notification Tool. Too bad they won't have that option when Vista comes out.

    Microsoft had better get its house in order with this WGA stuff or expect a huge class action suit. My understanding is that it is illegal to tell people that they owe you money when they do not.
  • If I were a large Microsoft shareholder, I wouldn't be too happy about this. We all know that no software is free of bugs. How long do you reckon it will take, especially with such a juicy target, before the "anti-piracy" system is hacked, and used for a massive DoS attack? Use genuine Microsoft Windows, and get Genuinely Hosed !

    I really don't think it will make a dent in MS's real piracy problem, anyway, which is CD manufacturing operations in places like Russia and China, not penny-ante copying by Unc

  • But if I am in IE, in anything dating back to win98se, I can type in the address of what part of the computer I want to get to.

    I wonder how they are going to curtail that, seeing as how IE is so tightly integrated with the rest of the OS?
    • by jb.hl.com (782137)
      IE and Windows Explorer are being seperated in Vista, and the address bar will be disappearing from the latter in favour of breadcrumb navigation.
  • Come on, people (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eebra82 (907996) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @04:16PM (#16311961) Homepage
    I can't believe why so many Slashdotters are complaining about the decision to limit internet access for a product that isn't activated/paid. Do you get better treatment at Wal-Mart for walking out with products that you ignored to pay for?

    Microsoft is spending hundreds of millions of dollars on development and marketing of Vista, so it is only fair to ensure that piracy isn't as ongoing as it is today.

    After all, it's your free choice to select from many other fully functional operating systems if you refuse to use Vista. Or even stick to a fully functional Windows XP.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by hiltmon (687674)
      The issue we have is not paying for it or getting it legal like, the issue is that MS in their infinite wisdom can possibly lock us out later on if they 'think' we are using an illegal copy - even after we've paid for it. What if we replace the video card, requires reactivation, what if some software triggers it, reactivate or get locked out - no deal! Will not pirate it, but will not pay for it if they gain some control over **MY** computer!
    • Re:Come on, people (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Rob the Bold (788862) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @04:44PM (#16312419)
      I can't believe why so many Slashdotters are complaining about the decision to limit internet access for a product that isn't activated/paid. Do you get better treatment at Wal-Mart for walking out with products that you ignored to pay for?

      M$ would be cutting you off because they think you didn't pay. And software never has bugs, right? So I guess you wouldn't mind some goon at Wal*Mart tackling you, handing you over to the local Wal*Mart detention center and incarcerating you (all on their unquestioned authority) all because they mistakenly think you shoplifted?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SuperMog2002 (702837)
        Your analogy can be improved by pointing out that said goons ignore the fact that your goods are bagged and you have a receipt. The cashier has to personally verify that you paid for your stuff, and if they don't remember you or are no longer on the floor, tough cookies. After all this, the same or another goon can tackle you again for "stealing" the exact same items and repeat the entire process.
    • Re:Come on, people (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Night Goat (18437) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @04:52PM (#16312543) Homepage Journal
      I just don't like being treated like a thief when I'm a paying customer. It's the same reason I don't like when I go into stores and they want to search my backpack. I'm not a thief. If you catch me stealing something, fine. But don't just assume I'm dishonest. I'll pay for what I owe.
    • Re:Come on, people (Score:5, Insightful)

      by asuffield (111848) <asuffield@suffields.me.uk> on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @05:31PM (#16313195)
      I can't believe why so many Slashdotters are complaining about the decision to limit internet access for a product that isn't activated/paid.


      The current version of their code for checking this, in the form of WGA, is notorious for giving false positives on large numbers of legitimate boxes, causing the annoyware to kick in. Microsoft are fully aware of this, to the point where they have written a piece of software which can detect that it is happening - they have not fixed the problem, their solution is for you to reinstall Windows. Microsoft are saying that in Vista, it won't just annoy you, it will lock down your computer. We have absolutely no reason to expect the Vista version to be any more reliable than the current one.

      We are talking here about a deliberately induced, box-crippling bug as an additional feature of something that already does not work properly. It's not hard to see why people are complaining, if you look.

      Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get back to working on the plans to migrate the desktops away from Windows. When this disaster is forced onto the market, I'm going to need them.
    • by foreverdisillusioned (763799) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @09:30PM (#16315917) Journal
      My completely spiteful answer is I hope that M$ loses as much money as possible through whatever means possible, including piracy and customers lost due to stupid and inaccurate anti-piracy measures such as this.

      Why do I wish them so much ill, do you ask? Because I've probably bought around 6-8 copies of Windows that I will NEVER use. I was FORCED to buy them due to Microsoft's predatory marketing practices, which forbid all of the major OEMs (which have the best prices by far--even for desktops, nowadays it's usually significantly cheaper to wait for a good Dell deal than to build from scratch) from selling desktops and laptops without a copy of Windows.

      Our justice system has failed us. They convicted MS of monopolistic practices and utterly failed to do anything about it, and I've indirectly paid hundreds of dollars in license fees I am NOT using (I use Linux exclusively, except for a single gaming box.) They include BULLSHIT, UNENFORCABLE crap like "you may not resell this OEM copy", even though this clearly violates the first sale doctrine, and yet shitheads like eBay go along with it and won't let you sell your OEM copies of Windows. And it gets even better--now many OEMs (like Dell) don't give you any reinstallation CDs--you don't even have the option to make your own, anymore. So, even if I did use Windows, I'd be forced to use a pirated copy when it comes time to reinstall windows (and don't give me that "it's stable now!" crap. I have XP and while it's lightyears ahead of 9x, you most certainly can NOT use it regularly for YEARS without experiencing significant slowdowns and other problems, often unresolvable by malware removal programs.)

      So, in conclusion: fuck Microsoft. They've stolen hundreds of dollars from me personally (and God knows how much nationally or worldwide), so don't expect me play fair if and when I'm ever forced to use Vista in the future.
  • by OrangeTide (124937) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @04:22PM (#16312061) Homepage Journal
    Where thousands of copies of Windows are unknownly purchased but Microsoft does not actively try to refund them? I have a workstation right here that has a Windows key on it, but it runs Linux. (our SDK is linux only). Why hasn't Microsoft noticed that this product key was sold and never accessed their site, they know who bought the license they should just cut us a check.

    Getting the actual windows refund is a lot harder now than it used to be. And with microsoft strong arming the industry to preload machines with Windows, I'm not sure why they are worried about piracy. If you bought a computer it probably has a legitimate copy of Windows on it (whether you want it or not). or am I wrong here?

    Also, Vista isn't out yet? Will it support Duke Nukem Forever?
  • by Tom (822) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @04:24PM (#16312101) Homepage Journal
    Over here in Germany, it is highly illegal to excert de-facto power of this kind. You can't just disable software "because you can" just like you can't just fire someone "because you can". The courts have a very dim view on what is, essentially vigilante "justice", because this kind of action directly undermines the power of the state.

    I certainly hope that some big company gets its IT systems disabled by a bug in the restriction management and sues MS to hell and back. I know a few companies who'll suffer tremendous losses if their entire IT is down for a day or two.
    • by Rob the Bold (788862) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @04:37PM (#16312289)
      Over here in Germany, it is highly illegal to excert de-facto power of this kind. You can't just disable software "because you can" just like you can't just fire someone "because you can". The courts have a very dim view on what is, essentially vigilante "justice", because this kind of action directly undermines the power of the state.

      Careful with that terr'ist, talk . . . you might just find yourself renditioned.

  • This will force those that illegally use Windows to switch to a REAL OS... Linux. :)
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by solidsponge (1009369)
      Id use linux if I didnt have to learn how to program so much. I installed linux, I thought yes this is good. I had to install some nvidia drivers. In windows you click one file. In linux I had to type out a lot of code. It gave an error saying install this first, I went to install that, it said install this other thing first...At that point I thought okay so if its going to be like this all the time I really dont think ill bother. I was having to learn about bizarre coding to install some graphics driv
  • by GodWasAnAlien (206300) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @04:51PM (#16312517)

    I guess they are following the trend and missing the obvious.

    For economic reasons, there is a maximum amount that people are willing to spend on software licences.

    If you crack down on people making copies, that does not mean that they all rush out and pay for a new copy.
    Some stick with what they have, some switch to Linux or ReactOS (eventually).

    The copies served as free marketing. Some would get hooked and eventually buy a copy.

    This is similar to music. Cassette/CD/MP3 copying did not kill buying music, it added to demand.
    Too much copy-protection, drm and controls will not increase demand, and may actually decrease demand.

  • Extortion (Score:5, Insightful)

    by opusman (33143) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @04:57PM (#16312663) Homepage
    How does this make Microsoft any different from the writers of those blackmail viruses that encrypt your data and won't let you access it until you pay them?
  • by Digital Vomit (891734) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @05:17PM (#16312955) Homepage Journal

    I think Vista will be the last OS Microsoft ever puts out.

    Once Google releases an OS, it's over for Microsoft.

    • by DragonWriter (970822) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @06:37PM (#16314103)
      I doubt it will be the last OS Microsoft releases, but it might be the last one they sell, at least at the consumer level.

      Now that they'll have established the infrastructure needed to govern a subscription OS, I wouldn't be surprised if the next Microsoft OS will be rented year-to-year, in its consumer versions, with a mandatory and automatic upgrade if you renew once its successor is released. Product "end-of-life" will be a lot more concrete...

      I mean, they've been openly pursuing software-as-service, and they've built the infrastructure to extend that to the OS.
  • by einnar2000 (985070) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @05:28PM (#16313135)
    So if I don't buy a license, I can restrict the kids in my house to 1hr Internet usage a day?
    I don't see the problem here.
  • Will weaken users (Score:5, Insightful)

    by HermMunster (972336) on Wednesday October 04, 2006 @07:13PM (#16314629)
    Not every install of a product is illegal even though it isn't activated. Essentially I take it that if you don't activate your product in 30 days you are to be considered illegal. The vast majority of users have no idea when and/or if their software is illegal.

    Questions for me remain about how they will determine the illegal nature of the software. How often will they check. Looking back at their genuine advantage notification program it was a piece of shit that only the lowest form of life would have though up and/or sanctioned. That's my opinion. Your's may vary. It was deceptive in how they put it on and it was deceptive in what they were collecting and how they were operating. It also opened up the door for alot of other companies to copy Microsoft, hence you might have 10-20 different programs monitoring your computer software use and then reporting back to their servers. Microsoft is no more entitled to put their crap on my computer than any other software vendor is so that just opens a pandora's box. Give them license to do it and you give license to every other software vendor to do the same thing.

    Microsoft isn't particularly bright. 40% of those identified as invalid were actually valid. How many of the Vista copies will be considered invalid and still be valid?

    What Microsoft seems to forget is that there is no compelling reason to purchase or upgrade to Vista. XP is a solid OS which meets the requirements of the vast majority of the world's users. If Vista had some die for feature or they had some features that were critical or even compelling in some minor way maybe most people would be justified in opening their computers up to Microsoft's heavy handedness. The new version of the OS just has nothing of any real value for the average user to justify the exceptionally high cost of the software (even in upgrade), the enormous cost in hardware upgrades required, and then the repurchasing of software that is more than adequate for what we have today.

    If you look at any software product that might be developed for Windows Vista you'll probably not find a single one that has any real upgrade value. What more can you do to an elephant other than feed it more and hope it grows? The beheamouth software of today doesn't need to torture our computers more in the future by adding bloat when everything is in them.

    When we had the changeover from DOS to Win 3.x we had reason to upgrade. Protected mode applications, cooperative multitasking, memory management, consistent interface, etc. Everyone could learn the basics of a GUI and they'd have a chance at using any given software product that came out for the OS. When Windows 95 came out it gave us preemptive multitasking and a new interface with alot of major changes that helped in networking, and maintenance. You weren't forced to put up with any Microsoft bullshit about activation, DRM, lockouts, spyware, etc. It did have problems with the system resources, just as 98 and ME had that followed it.

    2k and XP were great upgrades to the OS. Alot of existing hardware worked and worked well. It was well designed and it protected applications from crashing the whole OS. There were some seriously compelling reasons to upgrade to 95, 98, 2k, and XP. But Vista just doesn't have it. Even their security features beg the question about what will happen to XP's security once Vista is out. Will Microsoft extort our purchase of Vista by not protecting XP as well as they did Vista? It is mostly Microsoft's fault that XP has the problems they have today and by all measure the security in Vista has never been guaranteed to protect us any more. It hasn't even been hinted at. Right now Microsoft could say XP is the most secure OS on the market (whether that is true or not), just as they will say that Vista is the number one secured OS. Neither would be correct. The fact remains that if they believe it they will try to sell it.

    From all that I have read people are able to hack the kernel already in Vista. T

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