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Black Screens For Unauthorized Copies of Windows

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the black-is-the-new-black dept.

Windows 762

arcticstoat writes "In a bid to deter people from using pirate versions of Windows XP, Microsoft is now updating its Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) tool to introduce a few uncomfortable niggles for users of pirated versions of Windows. These include replacing the desktop wallpaper with a black screen every 60 minutes, although you can still replace it with your wallpaper of choice in the intervening period. As well as this, copies of Windows deemed to not be genuine will also have a translucent watermark above the system tray, which Microsoft calls a 'persistent desktop notification.'"

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762 comments

Black? Niggles? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24786065)

Too close for comfort.

colors (4, Funny)

globaljustin (574257) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786237)

now microsoft has officially left it's users black and blue [wikipedia.org]

Re:colors (5, Interesting)

racermd (314140) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786559)

What's funny is my desktop is intentionally black. Has been for years - through Windows 2000, Windows XP, and now Vista. I just like it that way.

Active desktop? Puh-leeze.
Pictures of cats? Why?!
Patterns? Too distracting.
Other colors? Meh.

I once tried BGInfo but even that was a black background with green text. It lasted a week before I took it out and went back to basic black.

Re:Black? Niggles? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24786245)

Ha, say it with a chinc accent.

Answer: Naggers (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24786261)

Question: People who annoy you?

Re:Black? Niggles? (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24786571)

Fo' shiggle, mah niggle!

Notifications (5, Funny)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786067)

Some one I know just doesn't download the the WGA notification (tells it never to download when it shows up in system updates) I... I mean he wants to know if that will still work?

Re:Notifications (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24786175)

I've wondered that too. Two of my PCs are currently using the same key. My install CDs & license keys are buried under dozens of boxes & books and I couldn't be bothered to spend 5 hours hunting for them just because XP needed a reinstall to get rid of the 120sec boot times and constant crashes.

If not, you can use http://www.wallpaperchanger.de/ [wallpaperchanger.de] to change your wallpaper every hour and the text is hardly going to show if you leave a few icons over it.

Can you bypass using WGA at all? (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786539)

I'm not that familiar with windows. Can you do the updates on XP without having WGA installed? I so, how? Any links on a guide?

Re:Can you bypass using WGA at all? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24786577)

google mublinder.

Re:Notifications (5, Insightful)

Sj0 (472011) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786557)

Same here. I've got probably 3-4 proper, honest Windows XP licenses, but I keep on having to find new ones because the key either gets lost or decides it doesn't want to work anymore because Microsoft thinks I'm a thief.

XP is the end of the line for me, because of these shenanegans. I've got an ubuntu CD ready for the day I just give up on Microsoft and their customer hating practices.

Seriously, consider this. When I pirate, I've never been kept out of a product I steal. Never. Not once. However, I've lost thousands of dollars in software to stupid copy protection schemes as a legitimate customer. They are disincentivizing ownership. I'm acually better off stealing than paying for it.

These idiots need a clue, and fast.

Re:Notifications (2, Interesting)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786185)

Whoever is on Slashdot right now with WGA installed(pirated copy or not) should bash their head into their monitor until their vision is nothing but a black screen.

On a kinda related note, what's up with that fancy translucent notification? Looks like more thoughtful design went into it than into the whole UI of XP itself(which is actually highly configurable with transparent windows menus etc -- google it -- but why the hell did microsoft keep such a flexible UI so locked down with that lame Blue and Green for so long?).

Re:Notifications (2, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786339)

Whoever is on Slashdot right now with WGA installed(pirated copy or not) should bash their head into their monitor until their vision is nothing but a black screen.

k. Ow...

why the hell did microsoft keep such a flexible UI so locked down with that lame Blue and Green for so long?

What the heck is so bad about it? I've never understood this, someone please enlighten me.

Re:Notifications (4, Insightful)

nbert (785663) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786513)

From the very beginning of WGA the aim was to discourage those who don't know how to avoid it to buy a proper copy. MS has conflicting interests, which both aim at profit: Market share* and a low number of illegal copies. If they make it too hard to install a pirate copy they might encourage people to switch to free alternatives. Plus they have to sell Vista now, which gives a perfect opportunity to make it a little more annoying to run a pirate copy of XP.
I'd hate to give them just a cent for all the MS-related problems I had during the last years, but the good news is that many people switching to Vista can now sell their OEM licenses for XP (depending on what country they live in) and there is also a very huge chance to obtain a volume-license-key in my area. I'll legalize my copy in the near future, but not because I have to, but it has become so cheap. So the one time in a month I really want to play a decent computer game I don't have to worry about such things anymore.

*Market share usually means turnover, but in this case I'd argue that % of people using it is a far better number. Major competitors offer their OS for free or sell it along their hardware for a price which is rather abritrary. Software is a very special industry. It's not like the car industry, where fixed and variable costs have a relation...

PFFFFFT (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24786079)

Only fucking retards use WGA on a pirated copy. Good luck with your wild goose chase, Microsoft!

Re:PFFFFFT (5, Funny)

wiz31337 (154231) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786125)

Oh crap, get ready for another wave of "omg where is the start button" questions on the Ubuntu message boards.

Re:PFFFFFT (0)

iago-vL (760581) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786491)

Or people, like some elderly friends of my family, who were duped and don't understand why Microsoft is harassing them.

That's not too bad (5, Insightful)

faloi (738831) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786089)

At least there's not some odd hidden process that the users have no visibility to running in the background using resources.

Oh wait...

Re:That's not too bad (3, Funny)

gerf (532474) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786269)

I wish Ubuntu would do this, instead of having that ugly orange bird looking thing by default. Ugh. That's the first thing I change on any new system; all my backgrounds are plain black.

that's it? (5, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786099)

I'm impressed with Microsoft's forbearance.

Re:that's it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24786325)

Ha ha - I'm voting you the best troll best of the year! Give that man (or woman) a +1 !

Re:that's it? (5, Funny)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786377)

What are you talking about? For the average user, changing the wallpaper is one of the most important functions a computer can perform!

Help Vista or Linux? (4, Insightful)

Brad1138 (590148) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786101)

"Some sites have also suggested that this is a sneaky scheme to get more people to buy Windows Vista after disappointing sales of the new OS"

It's going to be very funny if this does more for Linux than Vista.

Re:Help Vista or Linux? (1)

Smoky D. Bear (734215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786151)

I'm pretty sure I'll never have this problem with Ubuntu!

Re:Help Vista or Linux? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24786335)

But that's not how it works. MS makes the "free" 'pirated' windows they got (probably from a shady computer shop bundling it with their cut-price PC, the people affected by this will mostly be the "unknowing" 'pirates') suck, so they assume that the free ubuntu must suck and/or be illegal too. I've already encountered people who think free linux is criminal because they're so brainwashed by the infofascist BSA crowd. It felt like that electrolytes scene from idiocracy when I tried to explain it - possibly my fault for not being clear enough, but they were so godawfully dumb I couldn't stand it anymore and pointed out they could buy a copy of linux from a company if they wanted, which felt like the "eventually he told them he could talk to plants" thing.

Vista Black Screen? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24786111)

Wasn't there a news item about Vista doing this as well?

Yawn.... (5, Interesting)

scarboni888 (1122993) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786119)

Can someone remind me why Microsoft wants to chase people off to other platforms again?

Re:Yawn.... (5, Funny)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786347)

Can someone remind me why Microsoft wants to chase people off to other platforms again?

They're increasing their users' pain thresholds so that they'll find Vista's annoyances tolerable.

Re:Yawn.... (5, Funny)

click2005 (921437) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786457)

Because they're hoping one or two might actually end up buying Vista.

The Vista Drake Equation

    N = R x fp x ne x fi x fe x L

where

    N is the number of Vista sales
    R is the number of reported WGA unlicensed XP install hits.
    fp if the fraction of those that care about a black screen & bit of text
    ne is the number of users with PCs that can actually run Vista
    fi is the fraction of XP users who dont have the brains to use Ubuntu
    fe is the fraction of XP users who dont use a tool to kill the WGA app
    L is the fraction of XP users too lazy to get Windows Update to skip the WGA app

S - Number of sales
X - Number of illegal XP copies

Great. (4, Interesting)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786121)

Most people I know who run 'stolen' software don't have the funds, are not otherwise law-breakers, and are not aware of alternatives. I've had great luck giving these people an OpenCD and explaining the law, and, in the case of small businesses, the BSA's tactics.

I wonder how long it will be before somebody comes along with a registry edit file that will replace the permanent watermark text with a link to Ubuntu?

Bull (3, Insightful)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786383)

> Most people I know who run 'stolen' software don't have the funds, are not otherwise law-breakers,
> and are not aware of alternatives.

Oh bull, if they can afford the computer they could have afforded to get the OEM preload instead of the pirate version from the neighborhood screwdriver shop. Or if they built it themselves then they damned sure could have sprung for an OEM copy when they bought the other bits. Most custom built machines are gaming rigs these days and if you can afford the video card for gaming you can afford a copy of XP. IF you can afford the GAMES you can afford XP... oh, they bootleg the games too.

And yes, they are probably lawbreakers in other areas too... anything THEY decide they should be able to do they probbaly do.

The only sensible thing is your attempts to get em on a legal alternative.

Stopping bootleg software should be the #1 priority of the Free Software movement as it is our primary competition. The main argument one hears when pitching Free (talking about individuals here, large installs do pay) is that they argue back that what they have is also free, in that it either came preloaded and thus they have no idea how much of the purchase price was the OEM licenses or they are using bootleg software that is 'free.' If people actually had to PAY for software like Office, OO.o would be installed a lot more often.

Re:Bull (1, Interesting)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786477)

Come out of your ivory tower.
You can get a decent 2 year old computer for 100 bucks.

Since they aren't breaking the law, I don't understand why that's brought up.

There are people that just use it for basic computing, not games.

"The only sensible thing is your attempts to get em on a legal alternative."
Which is what the poster is doing.

"Stopping bootleg software should be the #1 priority of the Free Software movement as it is our primary competition. "
true.

Wonderful; just another reason to pirate it (4, Interesting)

topham (32406) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786123)

Just another reason to pirate it since I've triggered the damn tool multiple times on Legitimately licensed product.

Re:Wonderful; just another reason to pirate it (3, Informative)

Howitzer86 (964585) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786233)

The funny thing is, you're a fool if you update WGA. Just set it to automatic notification instead of automatic download, then you can pick and choose which update you want. You can even tell it never to update that program again.

Re:Wonderful; just another reason to pirate it (2, Insightful)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786375)

The funny thing is, you're a fool if you update WGA.

What the hell? No you aren't. Microsoft makes you download it every time you get something off their site that isn't a critical update. So, to have WGA, all you need to do is want some software they make. That's not foolish in the least.

Re:Wonderful; just another reason to pirate it (4, Funny)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786277)

Maybe it's just me, but I usually set my desktop to black anyway as one of the first steps after an install. This sounds to me like a feature rather than a deterrent.

Re:Wonderful; just another reason to pirate it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24786479)

That's funny, because I've personally installed and successfully activated the same OEM copy of Windows XP on at least four different computers. Not one of them has ever had any authentication trouble.

*Innocent Whistling* (5, Informative)

loteck (533317) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786135)

Cough, Cough [thepiratebay.org].

*Continues innocent whistling*

Re:*Innocent Whistling* (2, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786481)

I have a machine on which I installed XP Home Edition from original media, but I couldn't find the jewel case, so I had no idea what the serial number was.. Turns out you can just google for keys [google.com]. One of them will work, and Microsoft never checks again.

Again? (1)

Mortiss (812218) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786139)

Havent MS tried to push something like that before already (via WGA)? - just changing the annoyance that comes when pirated Windows is detected?

They're kidding, right? (5, Funny)

stinerman (812158) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786163)

The first thing I do after installing XP is turn the wallpaper to black.

Apparently, pirating it saves me a step after install.

WTG, MSFT!

Re:They're kidding, right? (1)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786413)

All kidding aside, a pirated copy of Windows is often easier to install or at least easier to get along with.

Re:They're kidding, right? (1)

LodCrappo (705968) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786527)

I do exactly the same thing. I think maybe back in the days of CRTs I thought it would help save the screen (maybe it did?), and I just got used to it.

Every so often someone stops at my desk to ask what's wrong with my computer. They usually ask something along the lines of "What happened to your screensaver?", confused about even the name of the desktop background.

CHAOS? (1)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786169)

So if the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) tool somehow decides that a real copy is pirated, is my windows new thingabobbers then gonna be as pesky as that mosquito that I can't seem to find and kill, but which I can hear all through the night?

Good thing (1)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786187)

I always chose to not install WGA. Sure I check the box that says "do not ask me again" but every once in a while it still does. What requires WGA anyhow?

Re:Good thing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24786241)

I always chose to not install WGA. Sure I check the box that says "do not ask me again" but every once in a while it still does. What requires WGA anyhow?

Why do they let people get away with not installing it anyway? I'd have thought it would have been pushed out as a mandatory cannot be ignored update by now.

Re:Good thing (3, Funny)

sconeu (64226) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786501)

What requires WGA anyhow?

* Microsoft Marketing
* Microsoft Sales
* Microsoft Legal
* Bill Gates' wallet
* Steve Ballmer's wallet

I'm sure there are more that you can think of.

Re:Good thing (1)

no-body (127863) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786611)

Seems to me that you cannot download any "upgrades/fixes" unless you download WGA - at least that happens in some (non-US) distributions. In US distributions, you apparently have a choice to avoid installing WGA and keep updating.

Another push to get peopel using Vista (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24786189)

My prediction: M$ are squeezing the illegal XP market, trying to get them to use illegal Vista instead.

This is merely the first step, they'll eventually add checks for the most common cracks, followed by kill switches.

I bet that.... (4, Informative)

8127972 (73495) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786191)

It will still flag perfectly legal copies of Windows as being pirated. Just like it has in the past.

Re:I bet that.... (2, Interesting)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786453)

I bet it will continue to flag random people at a slowly accelerating rate, thereby pushing more and more people to Vista. That's probably what they think it will push people to, but hey - let's not disillusion them!

Fantastic (2, Insightful)

RollinDutchMasters (932329) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786199)

Given that there are a number of pieces of malware which break WGA and cause it to fail to validate (most of which are not trivial to clean out), why exactly would Microsoft have WGA punish them even more? I'd have to imagine that people with actual pirated copies of windows will just continue to not visit windowsupdate and continue to not have the WGA. I don't see this having a major effect on anyone except legitimate users.

My stance on WGA and Vista (3, Interesting)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786207)

If we assume that one of the purposes of paying for Windows were to provide the user^H^H^H^Hcustomer with a "better Windows Experience" by means of fixing bugs and improving the Operating System in the next version, and due to the fact that Vista Sucks, I say we got ripped off and piracy is our legitimate right.

And don't get me started into viruses.

Re:My stance on WGA and Vista (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24786385)

the fact that Vista Sucks

Stop drinking the Slashdot koolaid. Vista only sucks if you try to run it on ancient underpowered hardware, just like XP sucked when you tried to run it on your daddy's Pentium-II and Win95 sucked when you tried to run it on your grandpappy's 386.

Re:My stance on WGA and Vista (0)

bigstrat2003 (1058574) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786485)

If we assume that one of the purposes of paying for Windows were to provide the user^H^H^H^Hcustomer with a "better Windows Experience" by means of fixing bugs and improving the Operating System in the next version

So far so good...

and due to the fact that Vista Sucks

OH, and he whiffs! Falling for the old Vista Sucks meme! He really needs to learn that Vista doesn't actually suck, Bob.

I say we got ripped off and piracy is our legitimate right.

And ANOTHER miss! Wow, Bob, this guy really is having an off-night tonight. Hopefully after the game, his coach will inform him that the proper recourse for a company not making a product you like is to avoid purchasing it, not stealing their other products!

Are they *trying* to push people away? (4, Insightful)

Ynot_82 (1023749) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786231)

I know several people who've bought new machines in the last 6 months
and been forced to have Vista pre-installed

they didn't want it
so pirated XP

are they trying to push people away?
cause it won't take much to annoy your userbase onto trying alternative OS's

And I'll tell you what,
once your average "mere mortal" Windows user, for whatever reason, tries Linux, and likes it
his testimonial goes a long way with other mere mortals in the same boat

Re:Are they *trying* to push people away? (0, Flamebait)

Skye16 (685048) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786427)

Trying to push people who aren't paying for their products away?

God forbid any company do such a thing! IT'S THE FREELOADERS THAT MAKE THIS COUNTRY FREE!

Seriously, if they don't like Vista, the best thing for them is to either a: buy XP or b: get smart, enterprising geeks like yourself to help them with this "linux thing".

If they like it, use it! It's good for people to use what they like!

Some people won't like it, and they'll decide not having a crappy (to them) experience is worth the X$ MS wants to charge them or the Y$ it costs for a Mac.

But for fuck's sake, don't act like pushing people who didn't pay for the right to use your product away is a bad thing.

Re:Are they *trying* to push people away? (3, Informative)

Ynot_82 (1023749) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786625)

"Trying to push people who aren't paying for their products away?
God forbid any company do such a thing!"

they paid for Vista (included in OEM cost of machine)
most see it as unacceptable to pay twice

"Seriously, if they don't like Vista, the best thing for them is to either a: buy XP or b: get smart, enterprising geeks like yourself to help them with this "linux thing"."

A) no can do - XP is not (apart from select machines from Dell) sold anymore

Don't act all high and mighty
these are not people intentionally out to get something for nothing
these are people who want to write their university coursework
and are dissatisfied with the OS thrust upon them
they paid money to MS, so obtain MS's prior OS

I don't know about "mere mortals" but ... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786531)

after a few sixpacks my thirty years in the software business just goes away, and for some unaccountable reason people start calling me "Joe".

Wake up and smell the exodus... (1)

barnyjr (1259608) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786271)

Microsoft needs to get a clue and realize that they need to make Windoze free. Linux is making giant strides in the usability department (albeit still a long way off for a lot of people) and people are going to get tired of shit like this. Microsoft is starting to remind me of the recording industry. Either adapt to the way things are changing, or go the way of the dodo. They can still make mountains of money from their other products...

Re:Wake up and smell the exodus... (1)

Urd.Yggdrasil (1127899) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786597)

Yea I mean, how dare they expect to be paid for a product they made. How dare they. How DARE they!

Trend Setting Style (1)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786283)

I can see it now... at a social site near you...

omg guyz. how 2 do iconz? i made my scrn black like all cool screenies r. but i cant make genuine windows iconz lyk evr1 haz. plz help!!!!!!

Watermarks - they're the new black.... which is also the new black.

Oddly enough - most Windows systems I have to deal with already have a black background.

Pfff.... No imagination (5, Funny)

Adeptus_Luminati (634274) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786299)

They need to get more creative. Here's a few ideas:

1) Cause the NIC to drop random ammounts of packets at random times.

2) Change the wallpaper from Black Screen to one with a letter ending with "... The police are on their way".

3) Every 2 minutes all keys on your keyboard get randomly swapped around.

4) Swaps the mouse buttons. Or moving the mouse left, moves it right, up, down, etc.

5) All print jobs only result in large words in upper case saying "PIRATE ALERT!"

6) Boot sequence and shutdown sequence get 5 minutes added on to them. Hey MS, don't forget to make sure you cause the hard drive light LED to flicker a lot while the users wait around so they think it's something going on. While you're at it, randomly flicker that HD LED every few minutes for 20 seconds at a time.

7) Every 10th web page visited would be redirected to goatse (is that site still around?)

You get the idea... now hurry up so that people get fed up faster and switch to Linux.

Re:Pfff.... No imagination (3, Funny)

ooburns (1254768) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786459)

And change the Windows XP logo at bootup to large, frindly letters that read Don't Panic.

I always set my desktop backgrounds to black (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24786313)

Thanks for saving me a step, Microsoft.

Nagware (3, Interesting)

Speare (84249) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786331)

So, Windows is essentially a nagware product now? Choose to pay or not, depending on whether you think it'll be less painful? When will they append third-party advertisements to every file you save? When will it whisper subliminal insults into your audio stream?

this happened to me, a legit user (4, Interesting)

pezpunk (205653) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786357)

i paid for windows vista ultimate edition *waits for laughter to die down* but after a few months, i discovered that the machine i installed it on had some dodgy RAM and i had to replace it. i don't know if it was because i changed the RAM or because the bad RAM corrupted something, but after that Microsoft decided that my copy of Windows was pirated, and put a permanent message in the lower-right corner of my machine telling me as much, and refused to let me use certain features, such as the Aero graphics enhancements.

personally, i suggest microsoft take a page from our founding fathers, and adopt a more "innocent until proven guilty" attitude (for example, offering a way to call them up and verify your CD Key) before implementing more draconian punishments upon the convicted!

Re:this happened to me, a legit user (2, Informative)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786555)

You paid for it... I hear you get support with that. Much better support than IRC, mailing lists, or direct email addresses of potentially helpful developers. How did your paid support work out? If it didn't help, were you able to sue them for damages?

Re:this happened to me, a legit user (1)

Butisol (994224) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786569)

I couldn't agree more. Something like, "This operating system will go into reduced functionality mode in seven days due to suspected la la la. You may call 1-800-***-**** to verify that your copy is la la la and keep full functionality. Thank you for being our customer, and we're extremely sorry about the whole Windows Vista thing." How hard is that?

Same on Vista (1)

poached (1123673) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786359)

It's the same behavior on Vista. It won't let me update windows defender, replaces my desktop screen with black, and has that "your copy of windows is not genuine". Lovely. For people pirating Windows XP, look for the corporate edition so your copy will pass WGA test without cracks. For vista lovers, well, even a corporate edition will require activation so I don't know the solution there.

Running unverified cracks from the web is like having sex with a prostitute without protection - don't do it. Your computer will end up with a funny itch.

Re:Same on Vista-About That Corporate Edition (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786613)

For people pirating Windows XP, look for the corporate edition so your copy will pass WGA test without cracks.

Is the Corporate Edition anything different than just a particular corporate license key?

And where can you display the license key on an existing system? Registry? System Properties?

As for authorized copies of windows (1)

KeepQuiet (992584) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786363)

They give you a blue screen very often. See? By paying for it, you can get the color version.

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24786389)

Great ID!;anyway;

Yet another nail in microsoft's coffin. I.E., excuse to move to unix.

Back when I used Windows (98) my desktop was black (1)

Britz (170620) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786405)

Black is a good background color. When first I used IceWM I had a black background as well, but changed to the default blue of IceWM, because I liked it better. I know have the default blue of KDE without a picture. I think black would be good for many people with an awful taste they dislike themselves...

That sucks! (1)

Mr. Flibble (12943) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786407)

Unfortunately, I am using a legitimate copy of XP. I would like so see what would happen when my basic black wallpaper (with no image) got replaced with a basic black wallpaper with no image.

Another push to get people using Vista (4, Insightful)

Shamenaught (1341295) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786409)

My theory: This isn't actually an effort to get more people buying windows directly, but to maintain market dominance. M$ are squeezing the illegal XP 'market', trying to get them to use illegal Vista instead.

This is merely the first step, they'll eventually add checks for the most common cracks, followed by kill switches. This comes after service pack 1 removed the kill switch from Vista, making it less risky to pirate.

Whilst this might see a few people jumping ship to Linux or something, I'm guessing M$ decided the risks of losing a few freeloaers outweighed the importance of removing the XP-shaped-thorn from their side.

Get everyone doin' the downgrade, that way people will be used to it for when windows 7 comes out. M$ have learnt their lesson, and won't be creating any more good operating systems any time soon. It's less profitable!

Black? Seriously? (4, Funny)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786421)

Yeah, that'll turn the h4xx04z away. Want to really make it worthwhile? Force a pink-on-pink color scheme, license the theme song to "My Little Pony", and play that in an uninterruptable background loop on all available sound devices. That'll do a lot more to keep a kid honest than would making his desktop look 1337.

I set my background to black anyway... (0, Redundant)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786437)

I've long set my background to black. I'm glad to see that the rest of the pirating world is conforming to my standard.

Grump

A Transparent Attempt (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786447)

This is nothing more than a blatantly transparent attempt to force people to upgrade to Windows Vista by making XP as unpalatable as possible. The same thing has been done all the way back to Microsoft Office 2000 which has a WGA of its own despite being several versions out of date now. Mcirosoft does its best to try and prevent you from moving your legal copy of Office 2K to your new machine instead of buying a whole new version.

The problem is that Microsoft can't even compete successfully with itself and retroactively makes previous versions of its O/S and Office products more and more miserable to use with every passing year. Someone should be in jail for touting that Windows Genuine Advantage is actually a good thing for the customer.

Re:A Transparent Attempt (1)

dedazo (737510) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786573)

Too bad Vista does exactly the same thing.

What they want is for people to stop pirating their products.

Uh oh (1)

kilodelta (843627) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786455)

All our machines were imaged by one of our investor parent companies. I hope to hell they're legit copies. Just checked, the product key sticker matches the registry so I think I'm good.

The GNU Desktop Virus: +1, Challenging (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24786483)

should be the Microsoft Windows de-installer.

Windows Genuine Annoyance (3, Informative)

Morgaine (4316) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786499)

This latest feature is just one more reason for people to run pirate copies, with that particular "Advantage" disabled.

Microsoft really doesn't get it. The only way to make people buy your software is to make it useful and friendly, not by making it annoying.

This is just a small part of Microsoft's huge misconception about operating systems. No Microsoft, people don't buy operating systems to benefit you, nor to benefit third parties like content providers. People buy operating systems to benefit THEMSELVES.

Such a simple concept, but apparently incomprehensible to Microsoft.

windows genuine advantage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24786505)

so what is the advantage part of this stuff?

Sweet! (2, Insightful)

gillbates (106458) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786525)

Relative: Why does my computer lose my wallpaper and give me a black screen every hour?

Me: Ah, that's just Vista for you. You have to pay Microsoft to get rid of that.

Relative: Why? Why should I have to pay Microsoft? Why doesn't it just work?

Me: A.) It's not Linux, so it won't "just work" no matter what you do, and B.) You didn't really expect Microsoft to let you use their computer for free, did you?

Relative: Um, I already paid for it-

Me: Yes, you paid for the computer. But you didn't pay Microsoft. You have to pay Microsoft before you can use it. You own the computer, they own the software.

Relative: So wait - you have to pay for both the computer and Microsoft?

Me: No, I use Linux. I only have to pay for the computer.

Relative: But if I paid Microsoft, I'd own both the computer, and the software, right?

Me: No, you would own just the computer. Microsoft would still own the software.

Relative: But I could move the software to a new computer if I bought the software, right?

Me: No, that's not how Microsoft works. You pay them, and you get to use the software on that computer. They still own it - you don't - and you can't move it from computer to computer.

Relative: So let me get this straight: I pay Microsoft for software, and they still own it?! What kind of $&*!@ is that?

Me: Yep, that's how proprietary software works. You get to use it, but you can't own it.

Relative: So how is it that you don't have to pay Microsoft?

Me: I run Linux.

At this point, it starts to sink in that pirating Windows isn't doing them any favors. As far as I'm concerned, if you want to use proprietary software, you can pay for it.

Re:Sweet! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24786567)

yeah, but if your relative is heterosexual they'll be out of luck. that's the price of not being a common filthy faggot.

Just pleasing their customers (1)

ichbineinneuben (1065378) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786533)

On the MSDN WGA blog, MS writes "Our research has clearly shown that customers value the ability of Windows to alert them when they may have software that is not genuine..." Wouldn't you like to review that "research"?

Malware (1)

changa (197280) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786547)

I wonder when malware will duplicate the look to give them a "Bargain" on a genuine copy of XP.

"Just give your credit card and for $30 your windows will be legit!"

Obligatory... (0)

ZackZero (1271592) | more than 5 years ago | (#24786603)

There's a patch for this whole thing, and it's been out for ages. In some cases it's even easier to use.
It's called Linux, and it's free. Get it today.
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