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Microsoft Piracy Plan Means Concerns for IT 278

coondoggie writes to mention an article on Information Week about possible unintended consequences of the Microsoft Software Protection Plan (SPP) discussed on Slashdot on Wednesday. The new initiative is intended to protect consumers from pirated software, but may cause major headaches for IT shops. From the article: "Microsoft will support SPP in current and future reporting and asset management tools such as System Center Operations Manager. 'On paper it might sound pretty good, but we have to see how it works,' says Jeff Allred, manager of network services for the Duke University Cancer Center. One of his concerns is that a reduced functionality mode kicks in three days after changing out a motherboard in a server if the software is not revalidated. 'That really jumped out at me. We change out motherboards in our servers all the time,' he says. The provision only covers a swap with a non-OEM motherboard, which Allred admits doesn't happen often."
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Microsoft Piracy Plan Means Concerns for IT

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  • Hey Ed's... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by shoolz ( 752000 ) on Friday October 06, 2006 @11:28AM (#16337759) Homepage
    Do you guys do that crazy thing where you, you know, verify the links in a story before clicking the Post button?
    • I believe the story was pulled for fear of the /. effect.

      I do not know about others, but would those people who believe that they need to be protected from pirated software raise their hand and stand up? I think it would be like looking at an Amtrak train wreck. Maybe Microsoft could consider selling an Kernel/OS/GUI where to be protected is an optional cost? This is were Microsoft could make profit. I even have a name for it, "Windows 98si, 64 bit Edition" it runs windows 16 bit, and 32 bit software on
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Actual link is to a Network World article. http://www.networkworld.com/news/2006/100506-micro soft-antipiracy.html?page=1 [networkworld.com]
  • HUH?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by abscissa ( 136568 ) on Friday October 06, 2006 @11:29AM (#16337779)
    Protect consumers from pirated software??? What if I don't want to be protected???
    • Get used to it (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Opportunist ( 166417 )
      Why do you think you should have a say when it comes to protection on your PC when you don't have a say when it comes to protecting your life? After all, all those cams, that screening, that data mining, all's just done for your protection!

      Do you want that? Did you agree to that? Does it matter what you want?

      When your consent doesn't matter in things like privacy, why do you think it would when it's only about software?
    • Re:HUH?? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SecurityGuy ( 217807 ) on Friday October 06, 2006 @11:39AM (#16337949)
      I so wish companies would stop the useless, transparent lies.

      "This $FOO is for your protection." No it's not. It's for THEIR protection, and most of the time that's fine. What's wrong with "We're videotaping you because we want to deter robbers."
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by billcopc ( 196330 )
        I am the pusher robot. I am here to protect you. I am here to protect you from the terrible secret of space.

        Pushing is not the answer. I am the shover robot. I shove you around. I am here to protect you from the terrible secret of space.

        (sorry, couldn't resist)

        Seriously, please pay MS so they can save me from me. I am my own worst enemy when it comes to working in my chosen trade. This will just lead more honest people to use 3rd party cracks and cheats to work around this crippleware so they can do
    • [insert "Won't someone please think of the children" line here]

      Anytime someone is doing something "for your own good", rest assured that they are doing it for their own gain.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Kjella ( 173770 )
      Well, the scapegoat is people who believe they've bought a legitimate copy, but in fact haven't. I mean, I'd be pretty pissed if I bought a Rolex or Levis or whatever and found out it was counterfeit. The fallacy is of course that the pirated version of Windows is 100% identical to the retail one, but I don't expect the general public to understand that. But that is the big difference between theft and piracy, the copyright holder isn't a party to the action.

      Owner -- Item --> thief
      Pirate A -- Item -->
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pete6677 ( 681676 )
      That's marketroid speak for "protecting our revenue stream from you". Many companies use this. Notice the wording of the annual letters from your cable company announcing the latest rate increase. They never say "we're raising rates because we can". They say "we're introducing these exciting new cable packages" and leave it up to you to figure out that if you want to keep getting what you've been getting you'll be paying $5 more a month.
    • Re:HUH?? (Score:4, Informative)

      by ultranova ( 717540 ) on Friday October 06, 2006 @01:31PM (#16339631)

      Protect consumers from pirated software??? What if I don't want to be protected???

      Then you are clearly a pirate, and as we all know pirates like to hump little cabin boys, making you a pedophile as well. Furthermore, pirates spread terror, so you are a terrorist too. Rot in secret CIA prison after being tortured to death, you enemy combatant scum, you !

      • Then you are clearly a pirate, and as we all know pirates like to hump little cabin boys, making you a pedophile as well. Furthermore, pirates spread terror, so you are a terrorist too. Rot in secret CIA prison after being tortured to death, you enemy combatant scum, you !

        You forgot the latest from Bush: Islamo-fasict.

  • You don't need Vista (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Atroxodisse ( 307053 ) on Friday October 06, 2006 @11:29AM (#16337787) Homepage
    To avoid all the problems with Vista, don't install Vista. Voila. Problem solved. It's like upgrading your OS every time Microsoft puts something new out is a disease that IT suffers from. There are companies who never upgraded NT 4 or 2000 who are doing just fine.
    • Well, from NT4 to 2k, you got some additional drivers and features, USB support and some other nice things (a new IP stack if I'm not entirely mistaken).

      Though from there on... I don't really see any improvement for me. What does XP give me that 2k doesn't?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        What does XP give me that 2k doesn't?

        On XP on a 32-bit box, you can allocate 3 GB for your apps, instead of 2 GB. Support for Physical Address Extensions (PAE), too.

        There is support for 64-bit machines on the 64-bit edition of XP or Windows Server 2K3.

        Better support for flat panel displays. (ClearType)

        XP will stay fully supported for quite sometime. Win2K is likely to be EOLed soon.

        • CRTs still seem to outnumber LCDs in businesses. Most business computers have exactly 0 64-bit apps. Most business computers have less than 3 GB of RAM. They tend to have 512-1024 MB.There's also some wireless stuff, which a lot of businesses don't need on desktops

          XP will stay fully supported for quite sometime. Win2K is likely to be EOLed soon.

          Bingo.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            CRTs still seem to outnumber LCDs in businesses.

            I work in IT for a Fortune 500 manufacturer. Virtually all of the machines in my server room are accessed via an LCD-based console manager. All of our new business desktops are coming with LCD flat panels (we're in the middle of a desktop refresh cycle). Plus, many users are on laptops.

            Most business computers have exactly 0 64-bit apps.

            Product Lifecycle Mangement (PLM) systems, which are very common in manufacturing-based businesses, are all 64-bit o

        • Win2k support will continue through 2010. Since XP came out not that long after, it only will buy you a couple more years (MS does security support for 10 years for each product, the EOL's them)
    • by TrekCycling ( 468080 ) on Friday October 06, 2006 @11:45AM (#16338037) Homepage
      The problem is Microsoft operating systems are full of security holes. So if you don't upgrade then eventually you end up on their "naughty" list and they stop providing you upgrades to the broken operating system they sold you. The solution is to switch to something else if you can.
      • Or you could just not connect your entire Windows network to the Internet without putting adequate, Windows-independent safeguards in place...

    • by T.E.D. ( 34228 )
      To avoid all the problems with Vista, don't install Vista. Voila. Problem solved.


      No, problem delayed.

      I had similar problems with XP, so I stuck with Win2K. I game, so I upgrade a lot, and would blow through the 3 or so reactivations quickly.

      Now, however, new games are refusing to install on 2K. So I'm going to be forced to upgrade, principles or no. Whee!
    • There are companies who never upgraded NT 4 or 2000 who are doing just fine.

      Not exactly doing just fine. As an employee of company, (that shall rename nameless, and for which I am not a spokesman), that still relies on NT4 I can tell you this is not by any means an easy feat.

      First of all, there is no way to replace failed servers with new hardware and run NT4, unless you either use virtualization (i.e., VMWare, Virtual Server) to abstract the hardware or build your own servers. No currently marketed s

  • by rcb1974 ( 654474 ) <richardballantyne@gmail . c om> on Friday October 06, 2006 @11:30AM (#16337805) Homepage
    I believe this is the correct link to the story: http://www.networkworld.com/news/2006/100506-micro soft-antipiracy.html?t5 [networkworld.com]
    • "We change out motherboards in our servers all the time..."

      Please tell me where you're buying your server hardware from so I can avoid them like the plague!
      Where I come from, changing a motherboard in a server is a dire emergency, not something that one does on a whim.
      • by edmudama ( 155475 ) on Friday October 06, 2006 @11:55AM (#16338179)
        If the average motherboard lasts 3 years (we've probably seen less, due to bad/leaking capacitors on certain makes/models of motherboard) and you admin 150 servers in some datacenter, that'll average 1 motherboard/week.

        • If the average motherboard lasts 3 years ...
          .. and it fails you should replace the whole box with something modern. 3 years ago the largest hard drives were 100GB. SATA was just being introduced. The fastest P4/Xeon was 2.4GHz. No dual core. No DDR2. No gigE. Is it really cost effective to swap motherboards, transfering over all that obsolete hardware?
          • $300 to replace an identical server motherboard, plus an hour of time. Versus a complete set of new hardware, OS install, new set of drivers on an untested platform, etc.

            No thanks.
            • Even though that new server could do the job of 5 to 10 of the old servers? You must have some obsolescense plan for those servers - you can't keep them running forever. It seems to me 3 years is a reasonable lifetime for a box given how much things advance. And i assume if you have 150 servers they aren't all identical hardware, so you already must deal with a heterogenious environment.
              • "It seems to me 3 years is a reasonable lifetime for a box given how much things advance."

                Dude whose budget are you spending? I have several machines that are dual xeon 2.4Ghz that are around 3 years old. Those things have a shelf life of 5 years(normally; hard-drives are the only thing I usually have trouble with -- I use SuperMicro machines almost exclusively) and then with memory/processor/hard-drive upgrades I get *another* 5 years out of em (usually). $300 for a mobo vs $4500 for a new server (not
        • Wow, that's sad. I work for shop that uses mostly IBM equipment, and we get about 5 years on average between server hardware failures that are not hard-drive related. Motherboard failures are very rare, and usually the network cards or power supplies fail first.
          • by hurfy ( 735314 )
            This is where personal stories are handy ;)

            All of ours failed within a year...ok, ok, the only IBM one :)

            I assume a cap blew and they knew about em, the phone diag only took a few minutes and they sent a repair guy with a new MB.
        • If the average motherboard lasts 3 years

          No motherboard has ever died on me, despite being on almost continuously and generally being the cheapest crap money can buy. Just where do you get yours ?-)

  • Fully Intentional (Score:4, Interesting)

    by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn&gmail,com> on Friday October 06, 2006 @11:32AM (#16337827) Journal
    I can't RTFA because I think that link is broken but I would like to comment on the summary:
    coondoggie writes to mention an article on Information Week about possible unintended consequences of the Microsoft Software Protection Plan (SPP) discussed on Slashdot on Wednesday.
    What makes you think that Microsoft doesn't intend for people to not be able to swap motherboards? I would imagine that it is fully intentional. Prove me wrong. Keep in mind that any "consequences" that come with Microsoft's new anti-piracy scheme are probably well known by Microsoft and acceptable problems. That's what beta testing for this long is for.
    • What makes you think that Microsoft doesn't intend for people to not be able to swap motherboards? I would imagine that it is fully intentional. Prove me wrong. Keep in mind that any "consequences" that come with Microsoft's new anti-piracy scheme are probably well known by Microsoft and acceptable problems. That's what beta testing for this long is for.

      The way I see it, they're screwed anyway. You want to pirate your copy of Windows? Just run it in VMWare. You can clone off a thousand copies without Win
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        The company behind VMware, EMC Corp. makes roughly 9 billion in revenue, and 1 billion in profit a year. They have no reason to sell VMware really. So it's not that big a concern right nows.

        There are also open source replacements for VMware. Granted, they're arguablly not as good or integrated as VMware, but they do their job.
      • Good luck with that as EMC owns VMWare and they are no small company. Point well taken though as more and more servers are being virtualized for good reason beyond what you just mentioned. Would just be one additional bonus.

        As a side note, VMware server is now free as well. Definitely surprising from EMC.

    • What makes you think that Microsoft doesn't intend for people to not be able to swap motherboards? I would imagine that it is fully intentional. Prove me wrong.

      It probably was not so much intentional, in that some Microsoft executives got together and explicitly decided that inability to swap the motherboard was a specific requirement, as it was a consequence or side effect of attempting to identify a specific computer based upon hardware. Is it possible that such a meeting occurred? Maybe. Is it probab
  • "Alleged" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Speare ( 84249 ) on Friday October 06, 2006 @11:35AM (#16337885) Homepage Journal

    You can't underestimate the lowest rank of society, but I think a large portion of the general population would understand the issue a lot more if the mainstream press were to rephrase all those headlines by one word:

    • Microsoft Vista Will Lock Out Pirates
    • Microsoft Vista Will Lock Out Alleged Pirates
    • It isn't even an allegation, it is a suspicion, because nobody is claiming you're a pirate... they just lock you out if they suspect it. Generally, you get the chance to respond to allegations before shiat happens to you.

      Anyways, what's with all this bullshit of trying to tie your license to the hardware?

      That isn't how licenses work anymore in the real world. You buy a license (a piece of paper) that says you can use 'foo' for 'bar' users/processors/whatever.

      Since when did any broadly distributed piece of c
  • by Daemonstar ( 84116 ) on Friday October 06, 2006 @11:37AM (#16337915)
    We change out motherboards in our servers all the time

    Uh, it sounds like you need to find a better vendor if you're changing out motherboards "all the time". :P
    • by kindbud ( 90044 )
      When you have thousands of servers, even very reliable stuff, you can still get a couple of hardware failures a week with an inventory that size, and so "all the time" you have an some open RMA case for a replacement of one kind or another.
  • by wwiiol_toofless ( 991717 ) on Friday October 06, 2006 @11:39AM (#16337951)
    ...from pirated software"

    Yes, Microsoft designed and built that to protect us hmmhmmm.
    • Yes, Microsoft designed and built that to protect us hmmhmmm.
      Of course. Obviously, MS is the best provider of services. If MS gets hurt, it prevents them from protecting us. Therefore, by protecting MS, we protect ourselves. The logic is infallible, no?
  • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Friday October 06, 2006 @11:44AM (#16338019) Homepage

    Well, the article is Slashdotted, but I don't need any expert opinion or research to tell me what it means for IT. I'm the head of an IT department, and it means that I'll be avoiding updates to any Microsoft technology with any "Piracy Prevention", and when I do need an upgrade, I'll be looking for Microsoft alternatives. I have friends who head IT departments, and I'm getting the same sentiment from them.

    Not because we pirate. We're too afraid of the BSA sniffing around to do that. The problem is, these things cause problems, artificially created by Microsoft, for no reason. To stop piracy? If I pirated software, then I'd know where to find cracks for these things. Microsoft's "protection" wouldn't stop me.

    But I've made a general policy in my department that we've stopped purchasing or installing software that requires "activation" or any other kind of phoning-home. I've run into too many problems where an otherwise working computer breaks itself by the developers own purposeful code because I've done a normal, legal repair job. In a large organization, an instance of the IT dept. replacing some hardware or imaging a disk shouldn't trigger a flag as "suspicious activity".

    In my organization, I think we're likely to have more Macintosh purchases. Users like them, they're easy to fix, disk imaging is INCREDIBLY easy, they're reliable, and they work great with our Windows and Linux servers. And we'll see more Linux servers. If Microsoft wants my business back, they can stop trying to limit their OS to do less for me, and start working on how they can improve it to do more for me.

    • But I've made a general policy in my department that we've stopped purchasing or installing software that requires "activation" or any other kind of phoning-home.

      Don't most OSes and applications do that to check if there are updates? It seems every time I turn onmy machine some application wants to update itself, be it Firefox, Windows, my printer driver, Acrobat Reader, etc etc. All of these things have something in common - they have to "phone home" (or at least check with some server outside my LAN) per

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Skreems ( 598317 )
        The difference is, if an app or OS tries to phone home only to check for updates, it won't stop functioning if it can't get through. With phone-home activation schemes like Vista, a failure will cripple the system.
      • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Friday October 06, 2006 @12:36PM (#16338813) Homepage

        I'll tolerate Firefox's checking for updates because I have no reason to believe that anything nefarious is going on, I can disable it, and in no foreseeable case will Firefox's developers purposefully sabotage Firefox in the update because they're trying to extort money from me.

        That said, I still disable the automatic updates. I like having a button that says, "Check for updates". It makes it easy to update the software when I choose to do so. I hate automatic updates, however. Even assuming I trust them, they always seem to drain system/network resources at inopportune times.

        And a printer driver looking for updates? I wouldn't tolerate that. If my printer is working, I don't need an update, unless it's a security issue. And if the printer is capable of causing a security issue, you need to change your OS.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by inKubus ( 199753 )
      It will be crackable. Everything is. M$FT just needs enough time to get around a big upgrade cycle for businesses. They want to DELAY piracy, not stop it. Granted, the main point is that it's going to cause annoyance to users who actually paid. But a lot of those organizations use a license manager server so it's not really that big of a deal. Or use the enterprise versions of the product that allow imaging and the other stuff you mentioned. And how hard is it to reactivate the product after you swap
      • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <nine.times@gmail.com> on Friday October 06, 2006 @12:30PM (#16338731) Homepage

        I swap hardware plenty often enough to make software that requires activation a big PITA. When I need it done, sometimes, it's fairly urgent and I don't want to have to call Microsoft to get things reactivated.

        I'll grant you that Microsoft isn't the worst offender of these "activation" schemes. I have software in house that requires activation, and if you reformat the same computer, reinstall on the same exact hardware, it won't recognize that it's the same computer and activation won't work. On the other hand, with this same software, if you reimage to a different hard drive and put it in the original computer, it will recognize that the hard drive is different and shut down. This company doesn't offer instructions on what to do if you have a problem with activation. They don't offer a public tech support phone number or e-mail address. The only way I've been able to reactivate it is to call their main line, get transferred 3 times, and get put on hold for an hour and a half.

        So, yeah, it could be worse. I tolerate software that requires activation so long as they offer an "enterprise" version that doesn't have any of this "piracy protection", and that's what I'm doing with Windows, Office, Photoshop, etc. right now. That means you get to pay extra and jump through additional hoops for unbroken versions of their software. It's not ideal because you don't necessarily get OEM prices or the upgradability of retail versions, and though you can buy their "assurance", it means a yearly charge for "free" upgrades. Meanwhile, Microsoft hasn't released a new version of Windows in 5 years, and the new version they're supposed to release soon, I don't want. So once any "piracy protection" shows up in an enterprise version and prevents me from doing reasonable things, I am done putting up with it.

  • by fermion ( 181285 ) * on Friday October 06, 2006 @11:45AM (#16338047) Homepage Journal
    One big reason that I left MS Office was that once the data was in MS Office it was hidden from me. Also, if I did not upgrade regularly, other persons who had upgraded might have trouble reading my files, as well older versions. In other words, there was a significant loss of functionality if I did not continue to pay for the software.

    This was effectively punishing paying customers if they did not continue to pay as often as MS wished. This is a common practice, most products go out of data in a few years, but the MS disregard for paying customers tends to be a bit more extreme. This new proposal is the ultimate indication of that. Your software, that you paid for, has a time bomb that could jeopardize your business, and there is no way to guarantee that it will not affect you.

    MS would say, just give us a call and we will fix it. But if I need something ready 10 minutes from now, I need to know that I will not have to call MS because they won't treat me as a paying customer.

    • "One big reason that I left MS Office ..."

      F/OSS fans, take note. We should be encouraging this sort of thing as much as we can.

      We should also try our hardest to eliminate software piracy. Most of you already know why, but a few need a reminder:

      Ninety-something% of people who are prevented from pirating Windows or Office or whatever are not> going to purchase same. Generally, they can't. They don't have $200. They are going to find a cheap or free alternative. Piracy hurts free software more than it

  • So, eseentially, once you have everything registered to Microsoft, and then you say "you know, I think the mobo in this system sucks. I want to upgrade it for Doom 54" all of the software that you had will have to be re-purchased as the new mobo is not registered to the software. That sounds like a GREAT idea! Just like when the Xbox's were kicking people off of XBL when people had replaced their HD's, and the mobo and HD marriage number didn't match what MS's databse said it should... What a fucking dis
    • "Just like when the Xbox's were kicking people off of XBL when people had replaced their HD's"

      Er, opening your Xbox is against the MS terms of use and instantly voids your warranty, so they legally have every right to ban you from XBL, considering the moment you open the box you are potentially installing any sort of undetectable mod chip, or any other plethora of hardware changes that subvert MS' security and networking model.

      Of course, there is documentation all over the place on how to swap in a new driv
    • by CAIMLAS ( 41445 )
      That's exactly the idea.

      MS wants to be the sole authority on what can and can not play on a Windows machine. They're trying to turn it into an appliance, ala XBOX360.
  • Huh?? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sm62704 ( 957197 ) on Friday October 06, 2006 @12:06PM (#16338357) Journal
    The new initiative is intended to protect consumers from pirated software

    Protect the customers from pirated software?

    The customers? WTF???

    Zonk, can I have some of what you're smoking? Microsoft is protecting themselves from pirated software, not you or me.

    Sheesh.

    On a slightly related note, it appears that my XP installation is on its last legs; every Windows update makes it slower and slower. As I type this, it keeps momentarily hanging, and there's nothing running but firewall, AV, Firefox, and Winamp.

    Damn I am not looking forward to reinstalling it at all. I won't be "upgrading" again; I wish my vid card would get along with Linux. Maybe I'll try Ubantu this time. Anybody know how to get ANY flavor of Linux working with an ATI with an S-video out and a really old 14 inch HP monitor?
    • Zonk, can I have some of what you're smoking? Microsoft is protecting themselves from pirated software, not you or me.

      Reminds me of how Macrovision used to bill their vertical blinking interval tampering as "Quality Protection" as if people wouldn't know the difference between the bear shit and the buckwheat.
    • On a slightly related note, it appears that my XP installation is on its last legs; every Windows update makes it slower and slower.

      Nah, this is the prototype RFM implementation which requires you to reinstall Windows once a year. ;)
  • by nsayer ( 86181 ) * <nsayer&kfu,com> on Friday October 06, 2006 @12:07PM (#16338359) Homepage
    I guess we never learned anything from the mid 80s.

    Software copy protection and DRM don't work. You annoy legitimate users who have a corner case (usually enough for them to buy a competitor's product) and the h4x0rz work around it. The few pennies you save are more than made up for with bad publicity.
    • Yeah, most people I know who used to be all against software piracy are getting pissed at copy protection and have asked me for no-cd cracks for games and so on. It's pretty bad when "legitimate" users are cracking the fucking software they paid for. It's not even just bad, it's pathetic, and downright stupid.

      Of course, I've only bought something like 2 pieces of software in the last 5 years, other than a couple games I bought as gifts for others. I started getting more and more reluctant as games required
  • by QuantumFlux ( 228693 ) on Friday October 06, 2006 @12:19PM (#16338567)
    I used to work as a subcontractor in a classified secure facility. We ran into an activation nightmare not once, but twice. The problem was that the PC I was installing onto didn't have (and would never have) an internet connection, nor was there a commerical phone in the room where the machine was. The rest of the operation was all Suns and SGIs, but my boss insisted on a Windows machine, which had to be a retail version because we weren't supported by the facility host company and we couldn't use our company's volume license because of association issues.

    What ended up happening is that we had to walk through the XP Pro "enter each line into your touch-tone phone" thing without the phone, writing everything down, leave the area, call, write down everything the phone system told us, then come back into the area. Something messed up the first time and it ended up taking over an hour to get it done and working. We had a similar (but not quite as frustrating) experience activating Macromedia Flash.

    Given how bad this experience was (and this was pre-WGA!), I can't imagine what a nightmare it would be if Vista suddenly decided it wasn't legit in that sort of environment. I have heard from my former co-workers that they've basically abandoned that machine and are using linux for all their day-to-day work. It interoperates better with the big iron anyway.
  • That has been a problem from Worries for Windows onwards. Changing a piece of hardware requires a very precise process or you end up with an unusable system, and it hasn't improved since other than Windows now at least knows more devices and won't totally collapse in a heap if you get it wrong.

    But despite all that, companies will switch to Vista in droves.

    The argument: other lemmings use it..

  • Activation (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ajehals ( 947354 ) <a.halsall@pirateparty.org.uk> on Friday October 06, 2006 @12:58PM (#16339139) Homepage Journal
    Just wondering as I have not seen anything official on this, but what happens when a product that requires activation is EOL'd by Microsoft? I understand that support and patches will stop, but that is often less of an issue for large businesses with internal tech suport and decent security in place, but what happens if you need to reactivate a product? Will the activation system still be available or is this yet another method of forcing corporate and home customers to carry out periodic upgrades?

    Anyway,
    Thanks
  • The new initiative is intended to protect consumers from pirated software . . .

    I'm so happy microsoft is looking out for me. I'm tired of turning on my computer and finding someone loaded a suite of Adobe programs on my computer that I haven't paid for.
  • by 6 ( 22657 ) on Friday October 06, 2006 @02:15PM (#16340321)
    I would like to draw attention to the phrase, "The new initiative is intended to protect consumers from pirated software".

    HUH?

    protect consumers from pirated software? Protect? Are unathroized copies of Windows raping and pillaging towns along the Atlantic coast?

    To my knowledge there has never been any harm to, "consumers".

    The measure is intended to protect Microsoft from losses from authorized copying.
  • Don't Panic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vtcodger ( 957785 ) on Friday October 06, 2006 @03:27PM (#16341299)
    OK folks, now don't panic, but it is time to execute your preplanned exit strategy from Microsoft. Walk. Do not Run. Walk to your previously planned exit and calmly depart Windows. There is nothing to worry about here. The ship really is sinking, but it'll take quite a while. Heck, even the rats haven't left yet.

    Eh? What's that? You don't have an exit strategy? My God man, have you been paying no attention at all for the last four years? You've slept through all the warnings? You didn't think through XP Registration and where it was headed? You slept right through WGA? Maybe you should panic. Best get cracking on a plan. The rest of you slow down, take your time BUT GET THE HELL OFF THIS SHIP BECAUSE YOU DON'T WANT TO STILL BE HERE IN FIVE YEARS

You will be successful in your work.

Working...