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Microsoft

BBC Hails "fair" Microsoft XP SP1 472

Richard Bown writes "Continuing their current trend of only giving you half the story the BBC have this article on how fair and equitable Microsoft are these days. No mention of EULA changes."
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BBC Hails "fair" Microsoft XP SP1

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  • Karma Whoring (Score:5, Informative)

    by Wind_Walker ( 83965 ) on Monday September 09, 2002 @09:22AM (#4220439) Homepage Journal
    I think I'll link to a similar article at CNN [cnn.com]. It's a bit less biased.

    And, for anybody who is using XP, they say that the software (like IE, Media Player, etc) is hidden. But if I double-click on an HTML file, does it come up in IE anyways? Or does it say "File type not recognized"?

    </Karma Whoring>

    • Re:Karma Whoring (Score:3, Informative)

      by danheskett ( 178529 )
      Or does it say "File type not recognized"?
      Thats what it says. Same for media file types if you "hide" media player, same for Outlook Express files/email links if you hide OE.

      • by Wind_Walker ( 83965 ) on Monday September 09, 2002 @09:27AM (#4220490) Homepage Journal
        So it really is more that just a lip-service update... interesting...

        (Now that I have an XP user in my grasp...) How difficult is it to turn those programs off? Is it hidden in an obscure Control Panel setting, three pages deep in the "Uber-Advanced Options", with a dozen warnings saying "This will break your computer and ruin your marriage, not to mention bring war to peaceful nations and kill a dozen kittens"?

        • Re:Karma Whoring (Score:5, Informative)

          by clontzman ( 325677 ) on Monday September 09, 2002 @09:34AM (#4220545) Homepage
          It's actually at the root of the Start Menu and has been added to the left-hand nav of the Add/Remove Programs dialogue. I looked at it and it seemed fairly free of threats. You can say, "Use Microsoft programs," "Use current programs" or "Custom."
          • Yep, it can't be more obvious then were it is now. Well, perhaps on an icon in the middle of the desktop. But the Start Menu root is extremely visible...

            I wonder if this was a requirement MS had from the antitrust case. To have it easily accessible. I mean -- I would be less surprised if they placed an icon of the Windows Media Player on the start menu root.
          • Re:Karma Whoring (Score:3, Informative)

            by ncc74656 ( 45571 )
            It's actually at the root of the Start Menu and has been added to the left-hand nav of the Add/Remove Programs dialogue.

            Win2K SP3 adds a similar feature...but I'd recommend against installing it. In addition to the issues previously noted [slashdot.org] WRT SP3, I've found it's great at destabilizing Win2K. Two of my machines started bluescreening whenever a DirectShow filter graph involving their webcams (Orange Micro iBot [orangemicro.com]s) was closed, and I just spent the past weekend in Phoenix reloading everything on my father's computer because SP3 hosed his MSN setup and caused printing to run at a glacial pace. Now that all of the affected machines have been put back to SP2, all is well with the world again.

        • I don't think that how "Easy it is to turn off" matters much -- the real change will happen if the people who distribute XP on new PCs start bundling different apps for the defaults.. ie: mozilla as the browser -- Real as the media player -- Winamp to play mp3s/oggs... etc.

          That is who this new feature really targets.
    • Re:Karma Whoring (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Guppy06 ( 410832 ) on Monday September 09, 2002 @09:30AM (#4220519)
      "I think I'll link to a similar article at CNN [cnn.com]. It's a bit less biased."

      Less biased in Microsoft's favor != less biased overall.

      Let's not forget who owns CNN nw...
    • I think I'll link to a similar article at CNN [cnn.com]. It's a bit less biased.

      How is it less biased? It says the same damn thing.


      And, for anybody who is using XP, they say that the software (like IE, Media Player, etc) is hidden. But if I double-click on an HTML file, does it come up in IE anyways? Or does it say "File type not recognized"?

      Ok, you obviously didn't read the articles, either. The agreement was for NEW computers to be able to come with different default programs. The Service Patch isn't going to remove IE completely, and install Netscape for you!

      And as far as "hiding" goes, you don't need a damn service pack to do it. It's called the "delete" button. Any shortcut anywhere (including the IE icons) can be deleted.

      Jesus, the gov't has no business having anything to do with technology.
      • Ok, you obviously didn't read the articles, either. The agreement was for NEW computers to be able to come with different default programs. The Service Patch isn't going to remove IE completely, and install Netscape for you!

        It's still a valid question, and from the other questions, and experience with the Win2k release of this thing that occured a couple weeks ago, it does pretty much what he's asking about, which is ignore the fact that there's a program that can open it until you install something else that will.

        And as far as "hiding" goes, you don't need a damn service pack to do it. It's called the "delete" button. Any shortcut anywhere (including the IE icons) can be deleted.


        That isn't quite the same thing, as double-clicking an html file would bring up IE unless you also removed the IE files themselves (not just the shortcuts). You'd have to go into the registry and edit/remove the file type associations.
    • According to the aricle at CNN:
      More significantly, though, it will allow computer manufacturers and consumers to switch off and conceal Microsoft's e-mail, Web browser, Internet audio-video player and other software programs. That gives computer vendors and users the option to select rival software -- instead of Microsoft applications -- as default programs.
      Which is all fine and dandy, except for the unfortunate reports that, since XP shipped with few bugs, PC makers are going to be slow to implement it [com.com]. And to think this was exactly what they wanted a while back...
    • I think I'll link to a similar article at CNN [cnn.com]. It's a bit less biased.


      CNN = AOL Time Warner = Big Microsoft competitor

      But of course, this is the media so they would never be biased.
  • But I'm curious (and not running XP)... Is there any truth to the rumor that Windows XP with a hacked/unauthorized serial number won't allow you to install the service pack?
    • The word is that there are two widely circulated keys in particular that are targeted. Not sure if SP1 will disable those systems or if it will just refuse to install
    • It won't install on a copy with the infamous FCKGW-... key from the Devil's Own release, released months before XP went retail. They also disabled another one, which is pretty unknown and not at all as wide spread it seems.

      Some are saying that MS disabled all serials for the "Corporate Edition" starting with F and P.

      What happens if installing on SP1 with the FCKGW key then?

      You'll get a message similar to "this key is pirated -- blabla -- you need to immediately obtain a legal key". Then I recall your copy of XP needs activation and you get this timer before it's *completely* deactivated and you're *forced* to phone MS to use the crap. :-)

      Needless to say, there are ways to change a key before installing SP1 without uninstalling XP.

      Also, there are a key generator (yes, that "Blue List keygen") available for XP that generates keys not detected as illegal by SP1.

      So, in the end, not much has been changed in the warez scene from this. Integrated Windows XP SP1 Corp Ed. ISO's with working serials are already floating around.
      • The problem is, SP1 now has XP sending your serial number and hardware ID to MS, so if they start working on a whitelisting system, the pirates are going to have to get more creative.

        Previously this information wasn't sent, so the option of blocking like this wasn't available.

        Still, at £240 a pop (yay, half a grand to get XP on both my desktops), there's plenty of reasons for the crackers to do something about it. I *really* do hope MS have the sense not to start an arms race that's just going to waste a lot of people's time, just for a handful more legitimate copies of Windows. If they make it too hard to crack, alternative OS's will just become the path of least resistance, Office apps and games or not.
  • by October_30th ( 531777 ) on Monday September 09, 2002 @09:22AM (#4220448) Homepage Journal
    Uh... how is the story biased and a "half-truth"?

    Because it doesn't bash Microsoft?

    It would have been nice of the submitter to make his case instead of just linking to the article and whining how "wrong" it is.

    • by ericman31 ( 596268 ) on Monday September 09, 2002 @09:42AM (#4220610) Journal

      The main problem with this article is that BBC makes it sound as if there was already a final settlement in the anti-trust case. Nowhere in the entire article do they point out that there is only a proposed settlement, and that Microsoft's actions are being taken to try and forestall more restrictive penalties by the government. And, finally, the method used for "hiding" the MS software doesn't help much for those who don't want to use them because the other software manufacturers have to write their software to take advantage of the changes. Of course none have done it yet, so you actually cannot change your default browser to Netscape right now, no matter what MS says.

      None of that is MS bashing. This is. MS is a monopoly. They know they are a monopoly. People like Steve Ballmer within the executive circle of MS have no intention of letting go of their monopoly. Unless Judge Kollar-Kotelly takes very restrictive and punitive measures against MS they will just continue to do this, again and again. The obvious solution, one which would actually benefit the country economically, is to first penalize the company for it's actions, and then, after the penalty phase, split the company into at least two parts, perhaps three, with each new company restricted in a fashion that will help to prevent future monopolistic behavior. The first time I bought MS Office (Office 95 Pro) its cost was 10% of the cost of a reasonable PC ($200 vs. $2,000). Now the cost of MS Office is $499 (Office XP Pro). A reasonable PC is about $1,000 (office automation, web surfing, etc. not a gaming machine). Not only is Office XP not 250% better than Office 95, it's not even 100% better. I refuse to use Office anymore. Unfortunately at work I have to, since it is our company standard. That may change, according to some rumblings I'm hearing. In the meantime I will never again spend any of my own money on MS products.

      • Of course none have done it yet, so you actually cannot change your default browser to Netscape right now, no matter what MS says.

        You can't? Why does IE tell me "This is not the default browser" every time I try running it?
      • The only "fair" solution would entail MS being split into a sufficient number of parts that no one part was as large as it's largest competitor. (A one person delta would suffice here.)

        "fair" is in quotes because I don't believe that a fair solution is actually possible. But that's as close as I can come. O -- and the various companies should be forbidden recombining for a period of, say, 20 years. And they all have full rights to the IP of their parent.

      • Of course Ballmer has not intention of changing unless he's forced into it. Why would he?

        Microsoft deserves to be bashed, but the naivete of /. posters who castigate them for continuing to do what made them all rich is stunning.
        • So, do you break the law whenever you want to unless someone forces you not to? Come on. What's with double standards. Either you obey the law, or you don't. Either you behave ethically, or you don't, irregardless of whether someone makes you do it or not. I'm not castigating the MS crew for doing what made them rich, I'm castigating them for breaking the law. These guys could have gotten rich without breaking the law. They have a fairly decent business model, their products are user friendly, by and large. The Win95 GUI is one of the best and easiest to use for a desktop operating system. It is quite possible to get rich and behave ethically. The folks running MS don't behave ethically, and that's my problem with them.
      • Well, I have to say I goofed. Yes, with Mozilla 1.1 (I have no idea about Netscape 7) it does indeed work with the MS Program Access and Defaults applet. When I first installed Win2K SP3, none of the ISV software worked with it. I hadn't upgraded Mozilla yet. I did this morning, and I can indeed make it the system default, hide IE, etc. However, IE is still there, and half the system still uses it (like Windows Explorer, for example). I was basing what I said off experience from a few weeks ago. Oh well.

        But here's the real issue. I don't want to install IE or Windows Media Player. I don't like the products, and I don't like the EULA that comes with them. Since I must install them if I install Windows, I went with a better, in my opinion, solution than Microsoft's window dressing solution. I got rid of Windows on my home PC.

  • Does anyone have other examples of problems with the BBC's reporting? I always thought of them as rather good, but then again I'm an American, so I'm mainly comparing them with American news... :/
  • by photon317 ( 208409 ) on Monday September 09, 2002 @09:23AM (#4220452)

    Is the article accurate? The settlement was just to "hide" the bundled software? There was no part indicating that the services offered to IE, Outlook, Media Player, etc by the OS have to be available to competitors, so that they can integrate and interoperate as seamlessly? No wonder 9 states dissented.
    • I thought the settlement was still pending, this was just an attempt by MS to garner support for the less restrictive version of the settlement that is pending.

      I keep hearing Gollum in the back of my head "niccce MS...MS play niccccce with lovely PC industry, M-esssssss not try to be bad, no, no, MS be good...yessss, my precisousssss O-essssssss"

      Still, I also don't see what's wrong with the article. I can't recall reading any news stories that didn't just give the one side anyway. Sometimes they'll throw the opposing views a bone. But this really didn't have any opposing views... it was just a little fluff piece about the availability of the SP and what it did. No big deal.
    • Is the article accurate? The settlement was just to "hide" the bundled software? There was no part indicating that the services offered to IE, Outlook, Media Player, etc by the OS have to be available to competitors, so that they can integrate and interoperate as seamlessly? No wonder 9 states dissented.

      Many of the services you mention (perhaps all?) are available for third party developers. As an example, I am writing this using Crazy Browser [crazybrowser.com] a web browser that uses the IE engine but has a different UI (blocks pop-ups, browser panes etc.). I know there are APIs (e.g. this one [microsoft.com]) to the Media Player that allows third parties to integrate it into their applications. I'm not sure about Outlook.
  • Contents (Score:4, Funny)

    by arestivo ( 459117 ) on Monday September 09, 2002 @09:26AM (#4220475)
    Contents of Windows XP SP1:

    - Tools (1 Mb)
    - Random Files just to keep anybody from even considering downloading this (132 Mb)
  • Data protection act (Score:5, Interesting)

    by oliverthered ( 187439 ) <{oliverthered} {at} {hotmail.com}> on Monday September 09, 2002 @09:27AM (#4220489) Journal
    UK companies that have taken data from me can-not agree to the terms of Microsoft's ELUA, any company found agreeing to the terms will be violating the data protection act by potentially allowing Microsoft to access my data.
  • by jsonmez ( 544764 ) on Monday September 09, 2002 @09:28AM (#4220502)
    Among the bug fixes and security updates are a set of tools that let people hide the existence of Internet Explorer, Outlook Express, Windows Messenger, and Windows Media Player.


    Gee, thanks for allowing me to hide the stuff M$, everyone likes having useless software that still takes up disk space and probably still loads DLLs into memory that they can't see. I want the ability to remove the stuff, not just hide it. If I wanted to just hide it, I just wouldn't look at it!
  • ...fairly easy to apply onto a warezed install.

  • Finally... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Schnapple ( 262314 ) <tomkidd@viatex[ ]com ['as.' in gap]> on Monday September 09, 2002 @09:33AM (#4220534) Homepage
    Windows 2000 Service Pack 3 already has the "Set Program Access and Defaults" bit, which should be (I think) the same as the version in XP SP1. True to form it lets you choose the Microsoft version or the "current version" and lets you hide the Microsoft version if you like. It also specifies "Hide this Program", not "remove" or "disable", so it's not as if it's lying to you.

    Now here's the funny part. In my opinion Windows Media Player is freaking great. It's fast, it's not bloated, and it plays crap like MPEGs wonderfully. As a result, when I install a piece of software like (shudder) RealPlayer or Quicktime or (oddly enough) the new Winamp that tries to take all this back from WMP, it annoys me quite a bit. This lets me easily switch back to WMP. Same goes for IE, though rival browsers are better about that.

    Also, for those of you who have problems wherein the Sun Java VM won't run certian things that the Microsoft Java VM will and vice versa (oh, the irony...) then you'll love the feature where you can chose which Java VM to use. I wonder if this will help or hurt Java in the long run...

    • It's fast

      How mmany of the media player components are preloaded therefore making it appear to start and load faster? How many other MS applications must be installed for Media Player to work correctly? I don't know the answer but I do know this effect hinders quite a few applications that compete with MS products. This is the main reason that people are not happy with simply "hiding" an MS application, they want to get rid of it completely and free up some system resources for other things. Open Office and K-Meleon are two examples of products that offer preloading to speed things up. If you could remove the unused MS preloading the effect could be two-fold.

      it's not bloated

      Depends on what you are using it for. If it was the ONLY video, audio, and whatever else player you planned on using then maybe. It may stack up to a comparable size of like third party applications that performed the same fuctions.
    • Fast and unbloated? It's a pig compared with the default CD player that comes with Win2K. As an example, when I put in a disc, the CD player starts immediately (well, I have it running already), but the WMP takes 20-30 secs before it interrupts playback and tries to take control. You call that fast? I just wish I could stop WMP from trying to play my CDs [google.com] - it's slow and bloated, and I don't need such a big app to do such a simple task.
      • Open notepad, paste this into it:

        REGEDIT4

        [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\AudioCD\she ll \play\command]
        @="C:\\WINNT\\system32\\cdplayer.e xe \"%1\""

        Save it, rename it from .txt to .reg.

        Double-click the file, let it update the registry. That's it.

        If your OS is not in C:\winnt\, just change that part.
    • The once promised object orientated operating system?

      Oh, yeah, thats right, that was back when they had OS/2 to kick around, which handled multiple applications per file type much better than Windows, and that was the promised hope.

      The concept that here is a file of a certain type, and you have the following programs that say they can handle it, which one would you like to open, with this one as a default?

      The fight over file types in Windows is more about control of the user by the corporations involved than any thing else.
    • In my opinion Windows Media Player is freaking great. It's fast, it's not bloated

      I've tried WMP several times, including the latest, and I find this statement above to be the complete opposite of my experience. Compared to WinAmp 2.x, it is slow as FUCK loading MP3 playlists and playing, and I get a ton of snap/crackle/pop while listening to MP3's, which I attribute to the increased CPU load that WMP places on my system.

      Then again, I "only" have a 1Ghz system with 400MB RAM!

      The only thing I use WMP for now is playing non-quicktime movies and burning audio CD's from playlists (in windows xp).
  • When I try to access Microsoft's only *obvious* updating feature, I get this message:

    Thank you for your interest in Windows Update

    Windows Update is the online extension of Windows that helps you get the most out of your computer.

    You need to be running a version of Internet Explorer 5 or higher in order to use Windows Update.

    Download the latest version of Internet Explorer

    Once Internet Explorer is installed, you can go to the Windows Update site by typing http://windowsupdate.microsoft.com into the address bar of Internet Explorer.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...would be that he obsesses over legalese in EULA.

    I mean, under any standard EULA, they can still reformat your hard drive, install other apps, delete files, etc etc etc all under the "not responsible for anything" clause. It's all just CYA. The new stuff just there to cover their asses if you sign up for Windows Update or want Windows Media Player to automatically download codecs.

    Complain about Microsoft having DRM on by default when you rip CDs. Complain about how XP bugs you to sign up for Passport all the time. Complain about all the security holes. Complain about the oppresive activation stuff.

    Hell, complain about the whole concept of EULAs if you want.

    There are tons of things to complain about. When Microsoft starts arbitrary installing stuff without asking, complain about that. But this Slashdot obsession with a few frickin' changes in Microsoft's EULA is the biggest sign yet that you people need to GET A LIFE!
  • by tbmaddux ( 145207 ) on Monday September 09, 2002 @09:39AM (#4220582) Homepage Journal
    What happens to Windows Update, which requires the use of MSIE, if a user chooses to "hide" the MSIE browser? How is that user going to download the inevitable patches that will be needed for XP SP1? Is Microsoft providing a new stand-alone update application (a la Apple's "Software Update"), and if so, how secure is it? Or, have they retooled Windows Update to work with non-MSIE browsers?
    • You just go to the updates web page and download the fixes manually, just like the pre-Windows Update age.
    • I'm using Win2K at the moment (I'm at work), and I downloaded SP3 which also gives this option. However, after reading your post, I clicked the Windows Update item in the Start menu, and lo and behold, IE popped up.

      I use SuSE at home, and being a relatively new Linux user, I really appreciate the YaST update system available, which updates various essential and non-essential software. One imagines this would be welcome by the majority of Windows users.

    • XP has had a stand-alone WindowsUpdate program that appears in the systray since release.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    BBC (by and large) has the best news coverage, it beats ANY news out let in US hands down.Less hype, and more complete on issues that matter to most of the world, and it's not being "LEAD AROUND BY THE NOSE" by the US Goverment like CNN and the rest of the US news media.
  • 133MB (Score:2, Troll)

    by Draoi ( 99421 )
    ... to remove a bunch of icons from the desktop???

    The tools banish all appearances of these programs from the desktop screen, the start menu and the taskbar on the bottom of the screen.
    Bloatware or wha'? :-) It's significant that the article states that only the icons are removed not the underpinnings ...
  • Well, I really believe the problem is not in simply giving out peices of software with their operating system, it is more deep.

    They can give as much programs with their system as they like, but they should build it WELL. Windows lacks all these programers who give there time free to recheck the code and add to it, this is what makes Open source powerful.

    Well, my main point here is, what kind of people would accept 'hiding' the software as 'not giving out' the software. This is nonesense in my opinion. Well whether they allow you to download it freely, give it to you directly, or hide it doesn't make a difference. Other compitiors should find something better in their services so people usually get to download it, and well, they usually do!

    The main problem with this software is that we don't know what's there, we pay the money and we don't get but the surface. Who would accept a house built for him without knowing what substance was used to build it, nobody. We still don't know much about windows source code. We can't find the bugs they produce with their rush in building more.

    Another small point I'd like to mention, the best way to fight the Microsoft syndrome isn't law (the way it's going on now), but users. If everybody still buys windows, everybody always usees it, then it's *clearly* gonna have a monopoly, but if we can use, or develop, systems that none-geeks can use, systems directed to the masses, and still NOT monopolized, then we will be able to KILL Microsoft's lust.

    Well, so let's all format C: for now ;) (if we have one)

  • by stratjakt ( 596332 ) on Monday September 09, 2002 @10:02AM (#4220755) Journal
    This just reads like a tiny little abstract about SP1. I don't see the one-sidedness at all. It says to me 'Microsoft is being more fair than it has been'. This is true.

    It doesn't try and pin a halo on Microsoft, it doesn't advocate them. It just says that they've complied with part of the DoJ bargain, and SP1 ships Sept 9th.

    IMO, saying that MS is now 'more fair', reinforces that they've been completely unfair in the past. In that sense, it's a slam more than a boost.

    Its just a blurb, theres not enough room to be one-sided. There's not enough to even quote.

    Is it that any news item about computers that doesn't rant about 'MS world domination conspiracy theories' like a homeless schizophrenic is one-sided?
    • I think the issue here is the way the changes are portrayed.

      When I RTFA, it seemed to suggest that Microsoft has made major concessions to the world's anti-monopoly bodies by removing a few icons from the desktop and start menu, and that MS is now a much nicer company, having given in to the little people.

      The problem there is that most people assume that if the icon's not there, neither is the program. Not everyone's as tech-savvy as the average /. reader - if they can't see it, how do they tell the difference? If the BBC says it's an improvement, surely it must be?

      Mainstream media educates the public, and it'd be good to get mainstream media to understand the issues and technology involved (don't forget, the writers at the BBC are professional _writers_, not coders).

      If you think this 'change' has been misrepresented to Joe Public, mail the BBC [mailto] and let them know what's up. You can't fault them for not knowing everything, but you can let them know where _you_ think they've got it wrong.

      btw, please be nice - this bunch are usually good enough to have a real person reply to your comments. Show a little respect for people doing something right ;)

  • Don't be too harsh (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Derkec ( 463377 ) on Monday September 09, 2002 @10:07AM (#4220785)
    While we sit around here and bitch and moan about everything under the sun, most people don't have a clue that anything is amiss when MS releases a press release that says, "ok, you win we'll play fair now." At least this journalist, took the time to add the stuff at the bottom that pointed out pending litigation and such.


    As a community, we need to do a better job of educating those around us. Quickly and loudly issuing press releases and the like to respond to the PR campaign of slimeballs. At very least, we need to talk to friends and family who are not tech savy and explain on a basic level what's going on.

  • by blixel ( 158224 ) on Monday September 09, 2002 @10:07AM (#4220787)
    The update also fixes many security loopholes

    What the hell is a security loophole? Is that when a hacker can root a system based soley on political red tape?

    "You have to give me the administrator password because according to section F paragraph 18 of the EULA..."
  • XPSP1 already hacked (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WCMI92 ( 592436 ) on Monday September 09, 2002 @10:16AM (#4220850) Homepage
    Found this earlier today:

    http://www.trwxp.kit.net/xp_sp1.html

    Also, a download for SP1:

    http://download.microsoft.com/download/whistler/ SP /SP1/WXP/en-us/xpsp1_en_x86.exe

    This thing is a fucking pig... 137MB.. Woah! Lots of bugs...er..features fixed here.
  • by reallocate ( 142797 ) on Monday September 09, 2002 @10:22AM (#4220904)
    >> "Continuing their current trend of only giving you half the story the BBC have this article on how fair and equitable Microsoft are ...

    What's your problem? Do you expect a professional news organization to adopt the posture of a place like /. and use innuendo, bias, sarcasm, unsupported assertions and unverified claims to support their own agenda? The BBC report is a straight news piece containing not a single word of BBC opinion. They're reporting on the pending XP patch that responds to the mandate of the court. If you think they should do a piece on the EULA, send them an email.

    Curious to see evidence of their "trend of giving you only half the story..".
    • >>The BBC report is a straight news piece containing not a single word of BBC opinion.

      The title of the article is "Windows plays fair with rivals". Sounds like an opinion to me.
      • Yes, a sloppy headline.
      • The headline's not great, but it's not too bad. The article is about Microsoft being more fair to their rivals. The article also points out that not all the States have bought in on the settlement and are still sueing. It's a lot less misleading of a title than the ones that are often here at Slashdot. It's hard to sumarize an article in a half dozen words. They didn't do that bad.
  • My legal copy? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by emarkp ( 67813 )
    I wonder if this will affect my legal copy of XP? I activated it with a hack I found, because MS has no right to sell me something and then force me to ask permission to use it. The hack works not by avoiding activation (that is, some hacks work by eliding the code that queries to see if the system is activated), but by performing whatever is necessary to tell the system that it's activated (if I try to activate, it says "already activated").

    Activation is just DivX warmed over. I have no intention of submitting to it.

    • "hack I found, because MS has no right to sell me something and then force me to ask permission to use it."

      That's a pretty lousey reason. Activation takes thirty seconds and doesn't require personal information.

      Microsoft has the right to protect their copyrights. Something like 80% of all windows copies ever purchased (OEMs excluded) were installed on more than one machine.
  • Do programs that use a browser to render their content still use IE to render after it's been 'hidden'? Do programs that insist on popping up IE windows, despite your 'old' browser default settings, still pop up IE windows?
    • Probably yes, since those applications use the Internet Explorer API's. What would you want them to do? Just "not work" ?

      I think this is hardly to blame on Microsoft. They're not responsible for other people's programs and the APIs they use, obviously.
  • by GoatPigSheep ( 525460 ) on Monday September 09, 2002 @11:23AM (#4221300) Homepage Journal
    Continuing their current trend of only giving you half the story the BBC have this article on how fair and equitable Microsoft are these days. No mention of EULA changes."

    Yes that's why I come to slashdot.org, for pure unbiased reviews of windows! *snicker*
  • by nagora ( 177841 ) on Monday September 09, 2002 @03:27PM (#4222792)
    For the hard-of-reading the posted BBC item says:
    1. MS have made changes due to a ruling on "fair" competition. The word "equitable" does not appear anywhere in the story,
    2. That MS has been "found guilty of abusing its market dominance",
    3. That the DOJ thought that MS was abusing its market share,
    4. That nine states are holding out and that a ruling is pending, and
    5. People have been installing software to cut out some of MS's crap already (PC Lite).

    The item could have gone into more detail but what it does say is pretty straight-down-the-line factual and is not "half the story" as the poster claimed. Sure, there's no mention of EULA changes but, since they're not legally binding anyway who gives a toss? It's only a small piece, not the history of Windows!

    TWW

The price one pays for pursuing any profession, or calling, is an intimate knowledge of its ugly side. -- James Baldwin

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