Seriously? Nobody even bothered to read the first sentence of the submission?
Apparently lots of people did and are also griping about it. Are Slashdot "editors" capable of feeling embarassment?
Back to the discussion...
Since Microsoft clearly intends to create a disparity, there will certainly be those who defy it. What will Microsoft do to prevent bootleg patches of XP from being sold to the unwashed masses? How will they stop China from supporting 100 million bootleg XP users? And how easily will it be to crack Microsoft's controls? How big will the Windows XP patch market be?
Unless these third-party patch vendors are claiming to be Microsoft then they're not in any way "bootleg". If Microsoft no longer wants to do this but someone else does, what's the problem? How would this be different from (i.e. less legitimate than) publishing a device driver, AV suite, or other system-level software?
Do the submitter and "editor" not understand what the word "bootleg" means, or is there a real problem here I'm just not seeing?