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Windows 7 Anti-Piracy Plans

CmdrTaco posted more than 4 years ago | from the not-the-background-image-no dept.

Windows 403

Slatterz writes "Microsoft has announced that the forthcoming Windows 7 operating system will contain a number of piracy 'tweaks' it says are designed to protect the interests of customers. Under the new regime users will be expected to validate their software in a much more precise way than before. Other Microsoft operating systems and anti-piracy measures, including Windows Genuine Advantage, allowed users to delay 'activation,' but Windows 7 will make it harder to ignore repeated messages. According to Joe Williams, general manager for Worldwide Genuine Windows at Microsoft, counterfeit software 'delivers a poor experience and impacts customer satisfaction with our products, particularly if users do not know that their software is non-genuine.' Williams gave the example of one piracy exploit that caused more than a million reported system crashes on machines running non-genuine Windows Vista before Microsoft was able to resolve it."

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403 comments

I Hope They Get Anti-Piracy to Work This Time (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 4 years ago | (#27880889)

So they can halve their user-share.

Re:I Hope They Get Anti-Piracy to Work This Time (5, Funny)

spud603 (832173) | more than 4 years ago | (#27880965)

You have it backwards. If hacking the copy protection is harder, then that just makes the task that much more alluring.

Re:I Hope They Get Anti-Piracy to Work This Time (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27881483)

lol

Re:I Hope They Get Anti-Piracy to Work This Time (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27881033)

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Re:I Hope They Get Anti-Piracy to Work This Time (5, Insightful)

againjj (1132651) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881705)

So they can halve their user-share.

... among people who understand what is happening, who are a small minority. The average person does not get it. All he knows is that "it doesn't work", and pay someone to "fix it", or simply buy a new computer. These people also are only vaguely aware that there is any other option than Windows (I actually originally wrote "any other option for an OS than Windows", but remembered that the average person does not really know what an OS is) and therefore a difficult time will not push people to other OSs.

What does that say about the product? (5, Insightful)

argent (18001) | more than 4 years ago | (#27880915)

"counterfeit software delivers a poor experience and impacts customer satisfaction with our products, particularly if users do not know that their software is non-genuine."

Since it's byte for byte identical whether it's "counterfeit" or "real", what does that say about Windows 7?

Re:What does that say about the product? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27881077)

Genuine windows was something dreamt up in the marketing department, but the theory is that "counterfeit" copies are virus ridden.

Basically this just isn't the case, and VLK editions are much nicer to use because of the lack of activation.
Windows XP 64 was especially awesome because it escaped Microsoft's focus on crappy anti-piracy bloat such as WGA, since it wasn't such a main stream OS. I've never had compatibility problems, so for me, pirated XP64 is the best MS OS ever.

Re:What does that say about the product? (5, Insightful)

egr (932620) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881475)

That's actually one of the main reasons why I still use XP on all of my computers, though I have access to free windows vista and xp through the school and even have genuine copies of XP, I still prefer pirated VLK. Activation is just a such pain in the ass, if you reinstall or just like to run multiply copies of system in virtual environment.

Re:What does that say about the product? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27881649)

Well, one of the main reasons non-legit copies of Windows are virus-ridden is because a lot of people with pirated versions stopped updating them thanks to WGA forcing them to go hunting for cracks every time a new major update of windows was released.

First time you go online for an update it requires you to download WGA. You can decline this if you want, but you can't update if you do.

If that would only have been a problem for the pirate, I'd say f*ck em. Problem is that such unprotected systems are easy targets for bot-nets, trojans, worms, viruses and so on, that makes everybody elses life miserable as well.

-- Lars

Re:What does that say about the product? (3, Interesting)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881837)

Genuine windows was something dreamt up in the marketing department, but the theory is that "counterfeit" copies are virus ridden.

Actually, they would be because Microsoft will block hacked ones from getting updates to fix glaring security holes. So when you look at the viral load of the interweb, just remember that you're looking at a lot of unlicensed copies of Windows that have been turned into botnet zombies. Microsoft's anti-"piracy" efforts make the world a less secure place.

Re:What does that say about the product? (5, Funny)

Captain Spam (66120) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881187)

"You see, when counterfeit software shows up in the hands of some unlucky customer, Big Louie, an associate of ours, shows up as well. After a spirited discussion of the matter with said customer, Big Louie tells us that the customer does not approve of the resulting experience counterfeit software brings and much prefers the experience of genuine software, wherein Big Louie does not intervene."

Re:What does that say about the product? (2, Informative)

flitty (981864) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881219)

Ok, this needs to be translated from Marketing-speak.

"Essentially, Microsoft has put a killswitch/disabling tool in Windows 7 that can shut down/cripple versions of 7 that are pirated. Since this is marketing, we're going to couch the discussion in a way that sounds like we are doing this for the customer, so they know that the overpriced software called Windows 7 wasn't a copied version from a shady supplier."

The only reason this story is on /. is because it's Marketing Speak from Microsoft, so it's easy to bash. EVERY DRM/anti-piracy justification sounds like the linked story. BFD.

Re:What does that say about the product? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27881443)

Ok, this needs to be translated from Marketing-speak.

"Essentially, Microsoft has put a killswitch/disabling tool in Windows 7 that can shut down/cripple versions of 7 that are pirated. Since this is marketing, we're going to couch the discussion in a way that sounds like we are doing this for the customer, so they know that the overpriced software called Windows 7 wasn't a copied version from a shady supplier."

Actually, they are doing the non-customers a favor by disabling Windows 7, thereby ending the eternally miserable experience that is Windows. The real question is: when will Microsoft do their paying customers the same favor?

That's not true (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27881263)

Usually the pirates disable those incessant messages begging you to register. Which is the poorer experience?

Re:What does that say about the product? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27881431)

Since it's byte for byte identical whether it's "counterfeit" or "real"

Many time's it's not, and that's the point. Of course, MSFT doesn't give out checksums to validate..

Re:What does that say about the product? (1)

prsinghdua (1325661) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881639)

Completely broken as expected. And they will still find a way to pirate this in developing countries- if they just knew what linux was.....

The interests of customers? (5, Informative)

Jeremi (14640) | more than 4 years ago | (#27880923)

it says are designed to protect the interests of customers

Hahahaha!

Re:The interests of customers? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27880949)

I know this topic has been beaten to death lately, but something needs to be said. Microsoft has an uncritical--almost a worshipful--attitude toward odious degenerates. But before I continue, allow me to explain that I and Microsoft part company when it comes to the issue of ethnocentrism. It feels that the rest of us are an inferior group of people, fit only to be enslaved, beaten, and butchered at the whim of our betters while I think that if it were paying attention--which it would seem it is not, as I've already gone over this--it'd see that it wants all of us to believe that science is merely a tool invented by the current elite to maintain power. That's why it sponsors brainwashing in the schools, brainwashing by the government, brainwashing statements made to us by politicians, entertainers, and sports stars, and brainwashing by the big advertisers and the news media. Microsoft obviously believes that taxpayers are a magic purse that never runs out of gold. What kind of Humpty-Dumpty world is it living in? The answer should be self-evident so let me just point out that we must stop defending the covinous status quo and, instead, implement a bold, new agenda for change. If we don't, future generations will not know freedom. Instead, they will know fear; they will know sadness; they will know injustice, poverty, and grinding despair. Most of all, they will realize, albeit far too late, that we find among narrow and uneducated minds the belief that freedom must be abolished in order for people to be more secure and comfortable. This belief is due to a basic confusion that can be cleared up simply by stating that Microsoft has repeatedly been spotted destroying our moral fiber. When questioned about that, it either denies any knowledge of it or offers unbelievable and ludicrous explanations that only a surly fogey could believe.

I might have been dreaming but I believe I once heard Microsoft admit, sotto voce, that I am shocked and angered by its iconoclastic improprieties. Such shameful conduct should never be repeated. Microsoft's reasoning is circular and therefore invalid. In other words, it always begins an argument with its conclusion (e.g., that clever one-liners are a valid substitute for actual thinking) and therefore--not surprisingly--it always arrives at that very conclusion. Statements like, "We are now stuck with a patronizing terrorism bearing a human face--that of Microsoft" accurately express the feelings of most of us here. In an atmosphere of false rumors and misinformation, as long as the beer keeps flowing and the paychecks keep coming, Microsoft's habitués don't really care that when it says that granting it complete control over our lives is as important as breathing air, in its mind, that's supposed to end the argument. It's like it believes it has said something very profound.

I challenge all of the Pecksniffian, revolting braggarts out there to consider this: Last summer, I attempted what I knew would be a hopeless task. I tried to convince Microsoft that we need to educate others about the manuscripts and newsgroup postings of lecherous energumens. As I expected, Microsoft was absolutely unconvinced. Isn't it historically demonstrated that Microsoft is full of angst and passion and venom? I ask because it has been doing "in-depth research" (whatever it thinks that means) to prove that it can ignore rules, laws, and protocol without repercussion. I should mention that I've been doing some research of my own. So far, I've "discovered" that Microsoft has spent untold hours trying to sell otherwise perfectly reasonable people the idée fixe that without its superior guidance, we will go nowhere. During that time, did it ever once occur to it that before I knew anything about it, I was once an onlooker at a few of Microsoft's mass demonstrations, without possessing even the slightest insight into the mentality of its companions or the nature of its biases? The most appealing theory has to do with the way that some people believe that one day Microsoft's partisans will drag Microsoft in front of a tribunal and try it for its crimes against humanity. Such people are doomed to disappointment, especially when one considers that those of us who are too lazy or disinterested to eschew grumpy simplism have no right to complain when it and its functionaries disarm us morally, make us rootless and defenseless, and then destroy us.

If you've never seen Microsoft make all of us pay for its boondoggles, you're either incredibly unobservant or are concealing the truth from yourself. In a recent essay, Microsoft stated that we should all bear the brunt of its actions. Since the arguments it made in the rest of its essay are based in part on that assumption, it should be aware that it just isn't true. Not only that, but it likes saying that there is something intellectually provocative in the tired rehashing of selfish stereotypes. Okay, that's a parody--but not a very gross one. In point of fact, it is more than a purely historical question to ask, "How did Microsoft's reign of terror start?" or even the more urgent question, "How might it end?". No, we must ask, "Has Microsoft ever considered what would happen if a small fraction of its time spent trying to restructure the social, political, and economic relationships that exist throughout our entire society was instead spent on something productive?" Any honest person who takes the time to think about that question will be forced to conclude that it is offended by the truth. Of that I am certain because I'm at loggerheads with it on at least one important issue. Namely, Microsoft argues that we ought to worship pathological, craven vandals as folk heroes. I take the opposite position, that we could opt to sit back and let Microsoft display an irreconcilable hatred toward all nations. Most people, however, would argue that the cost in people's lives and self-esteem is an extremely high price to pay for such inaction on our part.

Although Microsoft's ultimata represent a new drossy ethos that puerile, goofy bloodsuckers will eventually use to lock people up for reading the "wrong" types of books or listening to the "wrong" classes of music, our long-corrupt legal system is parlously close to establishing a precedent that will enable Microsoft to turn once-flourishing neighborhoods into zones of violence, decay, and moral disregard. An obvious parallel from a different context is that Microsoft's more than disrespectful. It's mega-disrespectful. In fact, to understand just how disrespectful Microsoft is, you first need to realize that it refers to a variety of things using the word "photodisintegration". Translating this bit of jargon into English isn't easy. Basically, Microsoft's saying that things have never been better, which we all know is patently absurd. At any rate, it attributes the most distorted, bizarre, and ludicrous "meanings" to ordinary personality characteristics. For example, if you're shy, Microsoft calls you "fearful and withdrawn". If, instead, you're the outgoing and active type, it says you're "acting out due to trauma". Why does Microsoft say such things? Let me give you a hint: Microsoft has never disproved anything I've ever written. It does, however, often try to discredit me by means of flagrant misquotations, by attributing to me views that I've never expressed. In the end, the costs of Microsoft's convictions outweigh their benefits. Still, I recommend you check out some of Microsoft's outbursts and draw your own conclusions on the matter.

Because we continue to share a common, albeit abused, atmospheric envelope, Microsoft's most steadfast claim is that anyone who disagrees with it is ultimately unsavory. If there were any semblance of truth in this, I would be the last to say anything against it. As it stands, however, whenever anyone states the obvious--that it's what I call mentally deficient half-wits that make snivelling statism possible--discussion naturally progresses towards the question, "What does Microsoft hope to achieve by repeatedly applying its lips to the posteriors of loquacious thieves?" The answer may surprise you, especially when you consider that if Microsoft continues to inculcate possession-obsessed suggestions, I will be obliged to do something about it. And you know me: I never neglect my obligations.

This is not to say that imperialism is a growing threat to society and should be outlawed. It is merely to point out that this is not Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia, where the state would be eager to sharpen intergroup tensions. Not yet, at least. But I want to move as expeditiously as possible to indicate in a rough and approximate way the two tasteless tendencies that I believe are the main driving force of modern particularism. That may seem simple enough, but it would be great if we could create greater public understanding of the damage caused by Microsoft's hatchet jobs. Still, if we take a step, just a step, towards addressing the issue of clericalism, then maybe we can open people's eyes (including our own) to a vision of how to fight the good fight.

It goes without saying that Microsoft's victims have been speaking out for years. Unfortunately, their voices have long been silenced by the roar and thunder of Microsoft's collaborators, who loudly proclaim that honesty and responsibility have no cash value and are therefore worthless. Regardless of those pharisaical proclamations, the truth is that it occasionally shows what appears to be warmth, joy, love, or compassion. You should realize, however, that these positive expressions are more feigned than experienced and invariably serve an ulterior motive, such as to endorse a complete system of leadership by mobocracy. Microsoft has planted its adherents everywhere. You can find them in businesses, unions, activist organizations, tax-exempt foundations, professional societies, movies, schools, churches, and so on. Not only does this subversive approach enhance Microsoft's ability to subvert time-tested societal norms but it also provides irrefutable evidence that I find it necessary, if I am to meet my reader on something like a common ground of understanding, to point out that difficult times lie ahead. Fortunately, we have the capacity to circumvent much of the impending misery by working together to find the inner strength to make technical preparations for the achievement of freedom and human independence.

Now, I hope Microsoft was joking when it implied it was going to impale us on the pike of incendiarism, but it sure didn't sound like it. The only weapons Microsoft has in its intellectual arsenal are book burning, brainwashing, and intimidation. That's all it has, and it knows it.

For the nonce, Microsoft is content to issue a flood of bogus legal documents. But in the coming days, it will expose and neutralize its enemies rather than sit at the same table and negotiate. Microsoft flagrantly abuses rules and regulations and then complains vehemently when caught. (Actually, pouty troglodytes demand the advantages other people have earned without the disadvantages, like having to earn them, but that's not important now.) Some organizations are responsible and others are not. Microsoft falls into the category of "not". We must overcome the fears that beset us every day of our lives. We must overcome the fear that Microsoft will develop mind-control technology. And to overcome these fears, we must do something about the continuing--make that the escalating--effort on Microsoft's part to trick us into trading freedom for serfdom. Let me leave you with one last thought: Opposing Microsoft's testy, vindictive remonstrations actively and earnestly is the moral duty of every good human being.

Re:The interests of customers? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27881065)

tl;dr

Re:The interests of customers? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27881279)

Like many of you, I am sick and tired of being misinformed and disinformed by Anonymous Coward. That's why I'm writing this letter, to subject Anonymous's squibs to the rigorous scrutiny they warrant. Let's start with my claim that the last time I heard Anonymous ramble on in his characteristically bibulous blather he said something about wanting to suppress all news that portrays him in a bad light. I feel sorry for the human race when I hear stuff like that. While it is not my purpose to incriminate or exculpate or vindicate or castigate, this was true long before the latest scandal broke. (Note the heroic restraint stopping me from saying that you'll never hear Anonymous admit he made a mistake.)

One wonders how Anonymous can complain about unscrupulous thieves given that his own perorations also aim to endorse a complete system of leadership by mobocracy. I have one itsy-bitsy problem with his vituperations. Videlicet, they create anomie. And that's saying nothing about how according to him, all any child needs is a big dose of television every day. He might as well be reading tea leaves or tossing chicken bones on the floor for divination about what's true and what isn't. Maybe then Anonymous would realize that it's time that a few facts had a chance to slip through the fusillade of hype. If you doubt this, just ask around.

Re:The interests of customers? (3, Funny)

Bellegante (1519683) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881465)

Now, I didn't read any of that, of course, as it was long and boring looking. But as I scrolled downward to click reply, I noticed a general negative tone, and Microsoft was mentioned a few times. Since you seem to be saying something bad about M$, preach on, brother!

Re:The interests of customers? (2, Insightful)

v1 (525388) | more than 4 years ago | (#27880981)

Even for MS, this is surely shoveling the BS to astonishing new heights.

I think they'd be better off just not commenting on it at all, rather than trying to completely BS us. At these levels all it's doing is insulting our intelligence. Really, who wouldn't cough up their coffee if they had someone trying to say that to them with a straight face?

Re:The interests of customers? (3, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881019)

eh, I like this part. " Williams gave the example of one piracy exploit that caused more than a million reported system crashes on machines running non-genuine Windows Vista before Microsoft was able to resolve it." versus the "WGA was broken and so only the people who had non-genuine copies were able to use Vista".

Re:The interests of customers? (5, Insightful)

kilo242 (774305) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881229)

Also,

" Williams gave the example of one piracy exploit that caused more than a million reported system crashes on machines running non-genuine Windows Vista before Microsoft was able to resolve it."

Versus the two million crashes on machines running genuine Windows Vista?

but it's now WAT instead of WGA (5, Informative)

ILikeRed (141848) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881401)

Oh, you mean like that time that the Massive Microsoft WGA meltdown fingered legit Vista and XP owners as pirates [computerworld.com] ?

Lot's of fun I think - but since Microsoft is changing the name from WGA to WAT you should trust them to put the kill switch in your computer [computerworld.com] ;-)

I'm so happy I can do all my computing without having anyone's kill switch in my computer... sorry was I gloating?

Re:but it's now WAT instead of WGA (5, Funny)

Amazing Quantum Man (458715) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881747)

Soon they will rename it as "*The* Windows Activation Technologies", at which point it will be known as TWAT.

Re:The interests of customers? (1)

horatio (127595) | more than 4 years ago | (#27880985)

According to Joe Williams, general manager for Worldwide Genuine Windows at Microsoft, Windows "delivers a poor experience and impacts customer satisfaction with our products..."

There, fixed that for ya.

Re:The interests of customers? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881061)

Yeah, especially since it's followed by, "Other Microsoft operating systems and anti-piracy measures, including Windows Genuine Advantage, allowed users to delay 'activation', but Windows 7 will make it harder to ignore repeated messages."

So they make it harder for customers to activate when it's convenient for the customer, and makes it harder to ignore the nagging to activate. And the purpose of that is to protect the interests of customers?

The name "Windows Genuine Advantage" has always seemed like a cruel joke.

It's true! (1)

Mr2001 (90979) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881169)

Microsoft executives are "customers". They buy things!

You didn't think they meant "Microsoft's customers", did you? ;)

Microsoft is not public (1)

vuo (156163) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881809)

Rather than just laugh at it, let's point out that the Microsoft tax is not like a real tax. If your friend pirates it, you personally lose no money. Rather, Microsoft loses money. It has been common knowledge that the amount of currency raked in by Microsoft is in no way proportional to the cost of developing the operating system. (If it was, shareholders would be firing someone.) The real problem here is that we, the people, give the corporations these rights. If the people objected, these imaginary rights would disappear immediately. The concept of a corporation was invented rather recently, and for the most part, it didn't even refer to a private enterprise in a competetive market, but an organization authorized by a real autocratic king to hold a legal monopoly. What's the difference - in real terms, not BS legal ones - here to begin with?

Official position (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27880927)

Hi, I do not work for Microsoft but I think I finally understand their official position:

"Windows is NOT free. As in beer *OR* as in speech. Oh, and we *WILL* charge whatever we feel like." /bitches

Re:Official position (3, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881079)

So what, you thought MS was a bunch of open source hippies all this time who were only being stopped from releasing the source of the entire OS for free by the tyrannical Bill Gates?

Really? (3, Funny)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 4 years ago | (#27880967)

Are there really people who have a pirated copy and really believe that it's a copy that they have a valid license for? I seriously doubt that more than .05% of people who are running pirated versions of windows actually thing it is geniune. This is just going to annoy people who got mislabeled as pirates, while all the pirates find an easy way to disable this "feature".

Re:Really? (5, Insightful)

plover (150551) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881069)

One of the biggest sources of piracy Microsoft is trying to clamp down on is the local "Joe's Computer Hut"-type shop. Joe puts together motherboards and chips and sells $300 computers, including Windows. But what Joe's customers don't realize is that Joe is installing pirated copies. WGA, for all its nasty ills, is supposed to provide a way to find out if your copy of Windows is really genuine. (Of course if it's not, you're completely screwed, unless you agree to help Microsoft bust Joe for piracy.)

Re:Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27881445)

WGA, for all its nasty ills, is supposed to provide a way to find out if your copy of Windows is really genuine.

WGA is nothing more than software to force users to pay the Microsoft Tax.

Flaws in their software require me to pay for Anti-Virus/Anti-Spyware sofdtware so I'll pay them once they fix the problems.. probably around 2040.

Win XP is all I need. I still dont see the need foor DirectX10. If you caant make a game good using DX9 then you really shouldn't be writing games. Graphics (the only improvement DX10 gives) is the least important part of games. If EA spent 10% of what they spend on making games look pretty on actual gameplay/story they might actually sell some games.

Re:Really? (5, Informative)

Jamie's Nightmare (1410247) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881617)

One of the biggest sources of piracy Microsoft is trying to clamp down on is the local "Joe's Computer Hut"-type shop. Joe puts together motherboards and chips and sells $300 computers, including Windows. But what Joe's customers don't realize is that Joe is installing pirated copies.

And I used to work for one. I took a job in Florida working for a company (AVC Concepts of Bradenton, Florida. Now defunct.) that did just that. The owner sold computers with pirated copies of Windows XP installed. Around this time in 2006, Microsoft started to distribute WGA. Needless to say, we got calls from customers who's machines were flagged running pirated copies. It was my job to pick these machines up, bring them back to the shop and replace the pirated OS with a legitimate copy.

My boss instructed me to lie to customers and tell them that they had a valid copy, but that Microsoft's own Windows Genuine Advantage was fouled up. Blame Microsoft. It's an easy excuse that customers easily accept without much fuss.

Re:Really? (4, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881653)

Sure, but here's the question: How does that help Microsoft's customers? It doesn't help the customer who bought a computer from Joe, because their computer now has stopped working until the customer pays more money. On the other hand, that customer isn't even Microsoft's customer, because that person hasn't bought anything from Microsoft.

As a Microsoft customer, I don't see how hurting Joe or hurting Joe's customer can help me at all. I can tell you that I've had difficulties in the past with Microsoft's activation and WGA, so I know that these things can hurt customers.

So that leaves two possibilities, as far as I can tell:

  1. Microsoft is lying when they say WGA is meant to protect the interests of their customers.
  2. Although I have purchased many of copies of Windows and Office through Microsoft's eOpen program, they do not consider me a "customer".

Either way, this inclines me even further to look for an alternative vendor. I don't like when vendors lie to me, and when the vendor says, "The customer is always right," I want that to be me. When I'm giving someone lots of money, I want them to be trying to keep me happy, and to be reluctant to screw me over.

Re:Really? (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881083)

I think that the anti-piracy stuff for folks that don't know its pirated is more common in non-US and western European locales where you can buy impressively authentic looking XP/Vista on the street for $5.

No one who gets XP/Vista "from a friend" thinks its legit, unless they're very clueless.

Re:Really? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881337)

Yeah, but who really thinks that it's genuine when it only costs $5 while the real retails (non street vendor) are selling it for $100. It's a fake rolex. You know it's fake, but you can still tell the time with it, so you probably don't care.

Re:Really? (5, Insightful)

Applekid (993327) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881143)

Given how hard it is to compete with Dell and HP, I can see smaller system builders wanting to give in to the temptation of not paying the microsoft tax and using the savings to put a pirate version of Windows to make a more attractive price point. Of course, they could put a free OS on it but that would only further enforce that they sell machines that "aren't like the big boy's".

Re:Really? (5, Informative)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881157)

Actually, I've seen it quite a bit. Usually what happens is a non-techy person will ask the neighbor kid to fix their computer. The neighbor kid puts on a pirated version because of laziness, anti-MS feelings, lack of a product key, etc. The non-techy person doesn't know the difference and never does manual updates, so they don't find out until WGA tells them.

Re:Really? (4, Insightful)

_Sprocket_ (42527) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881643)

The neighbor kid puts on a pirated version because of laziness, anti-MS feelings, lack of a product key, etc.

Or that finding the original media and product key for the box in question is either impossible (no media came with the box - that's what the hidden partition is for) or just nearly impossible ("maybe it's with all those manuals and boxes in the attic"). Dealing with a consumer Windows box is a PITA.

Re:Really? (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881257)

Well I think that what Microsoft has tried to claim is that WGA is supposed to protect people from installing pirated versions that might have malware or other malicious hacks pre-installed. It is possible to slipstream hacks into an install DVD and then try to sell it as a real copy. So theoretically WGA could help customers detect that.

On the other hand, I don't particularly see that as the effect of WGA. For one thing, if someone is clever enough to engage in that sort of behavior, it wouldn't surprise me too much if they figured out some ways around WGA. Once you know how to get around it, you can slipstream it right into the disk. You could even have everything phone home for updates in order to find ways around any updates that Microsoft issues to WGA. At least in theory.

But beyond that, if the intent was to help the customer detect that their version of Windows was not genuine, then why would they then use that technology to disable the computer? Why not just issue the warning and allow things to continue as they have been? The only answer is that they think the customers won't care, because the customers will not be disadvantaged by using non-genuine Windows. It's just DRM, and it has all the same problems that DRM has when you have DRM-wrapped music or movies.

Re:Really? (0, Flamebait)

0racle (667029) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881457)

The only answer is that they think the customers won't care, because the customers will not be disadvantaged by using non-genuine Windows.

And they're right. Without any consequences, everyone would just continue using their pirated Windows without paying MS a dime. Until MS gives Windows away, they are entitled to whatever they will charge for it if you want to use it. Until you pay, you are not entitled to use it at all.

Re:Really? (1)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881699)

Or, people like me that have a valid license yet "Windows Genuine Advantage" reports is illegal. That's a great customer experience right there... especially since nowhere does it let me dispute or have it fixed... just a link to buy software I already bought. (Win XP Pro SP2)

Hasn't MS learned *anything* over the years? (5, Funny)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 4 years ago | (#27880973)

It's amazing that after all this time Microsoft still believe they can win the fight against piracy. As long as there is someone that builds anti-piracy measures in there will be people willing to hack around and take them out. Equal and opposite forces. Look at the iPhone for example; it took very little time for people with no previous knowledge of the device to have a working solution for jailbreaking the phone and installing pirated apps. MS needs to come up with viable solutions instead of crippling the user's experience.

Oh, shit, that's right, we're talking about Microsoft. Never mind; carry on with Ubuntu installs. ;-)

=Smidge=

Re:Hasn't MS learned *anything* over the years? (5, Interesting)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881057)

As a user of an OS that is actually zero cost, I would love to see MS actually enforce piracy protections effectively. That is one way to grow linux use. Once people figure out they can no longer "borrow" their buddies disk, they will start looking for alternatives.. and really, you don't even have to be 100% successful. If you make the process difficult enough, people will give up!

Re:Hasn't MS learned *anything* over the years? (5, Funny)

MikeUW (999162) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881717)

If you make the process difficult enough, people will give up!

Sounds like the first few times I tried to switch to Linux.

*ducks*

most people won't care (4, Interesting)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#27880989)

because they buy their copy of windows with a new PC from Dell or HP and it's tied to the hardware and probably won't need to be activated.

for the DIY it probably makes sense to buy a technet sub and get "free" Ultimate copies of the OS. my msdn license keys for Vista say up to 10 activations and you can give it out to other people for "marketing purposes"

Re:most people won't care (1)

s2r (461076) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881287)

Aren't those licences valid only for the one year? Until the following year's subscription?

Re:most people won't care (2, Informative)

Applekid (993327) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881317)

my msdn license keys for Vista say up to 10 activations and you can give it out to other people for "marketing purposes"

Does it actually say that? Last time I checked out getting an MSDN subscription for free OS and goodies I saw the part about "non-production evaluation purposes only" and figured it's not worth the potential risk opening myself to surprise audits, especially after signing up for a subscription with my real name and address.

Re:most people won't care (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881461)

That is the primary reason why Genuine Disadvantage is so pointless. Almost everyone who owns a PC has licensed copy of Windows. People are not going crazy upgrading their old PC to Vista or Windows 7 as that would be Stupid because it will run so slow on these systems. So piracy of Windows is really low. Office on the other hand is a different story. But GA It gets in your way if you want to Virtualize your OS (Or worse Virtualize a boot partition so you can swap them around), or upgrade your Computer to much, or just transfer your drive to a new computer. Then you have to call Microsoft get the bunch of junk and say yea yea I have only one copy per PC... This is the third time I called you this week.

They are making peoples lives difficult for no good reason. I can see strong DRM in office, however Office has much weaker DRM then windows.

+5, Funny to Microsoft (5, Insightful)

earlymon (1116185) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881003)

...it says are designed to protect the interests of customers. Under the new regime users will be expected to validate their software in a much more precise way than before... Windows 7 will make it harder to ignore repeated messages.

That's it - I cannot top that - I can't even try.

This is just precious... (5, Interesting)

Aphoxema (1088507) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881005)

Any code made by someone can be broken by someone.

Some consumers have already realized they don't have to put up with this bullshit, I hope more do every day.

Re:This is just precious... (1)

Kildjean (871084) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881515)

Yup... that was the 1st thought that came to my mind... whatever MS does to tighten the security in windows7 so its less pirated, some joe schmoe in his mom's basement will crack it. Like this dude Orbit30... W7 releases, and Orbit releases a working patch.

Fine (5, Insightful)

dedazo (737510) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881075)

As long as this doesn't victimize legitimate users. That's where the whole anti-piracy thing usually breaks down.

What about all of the false-negatives?!? (5, Interesting)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881087)

"Williams gave the example of one piracy exploit that caused more than a million reported system crashes on machines running non-genuine Windows Vista before Microsoft was able to resolve it."

WTF do you care what happens to people running pirated copies? Why don't you tell us about all of the times WGA has screwed up legitimate installations with false positives? I've actually had to "hack" a few falsely tagged installations so they'd run until I had time to go through the hassle of getting my system re-legitimized. And I don't maintain that many windows systems. I can only imagine the shitstorm that could be caused in a company with thousands of identical systems that, through some quirk, got nailed with a false positive from WGA.

WGA does absolutely nothing to protect legitimate consumers. Nothing. The only thing WGA can do to any specific installation is disable it. It can't ENHANCE or IMPROVE the system in any way.

Re:What about all of the false-negatives?!? (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881651)

WTF do you care what happens to people running pirated copies?

This isn't about people who intentionall use pirated copies. This is about Bulk, whoelsale pirate copies, where the user has paid someone full price for what they think is a legitimate copy of windows.

Re:What about all of the false-negatives?!? (1)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881721)

WGA is also Spyware, it reports back to Microsoft the list of software applications you installed on your computer and other things.

How about selling licenses at a reasonable cost? (4, Insightful)

Rix (54095) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881119)

Can you really blame people for piracy when you set the retail price of a license at $100-$200 and the big OEM price at $10-$50?

Pretty soon it'll be easier to get a windows license by buying a netbook and throwing the hardware away.

Re:How about selling licenses at a reasonable cost (1)

Endo13 (1000782) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881361)

Duh. Why do you think they came up with Starter Edition for netbooks?

Re:How about selling licenses at a reasonable cost (1, Troll)

Burkin (1534829) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881419)

To ass rape people in poorer countries that couldn't afford to be ass raped at the higher premium cost?

Re:How about selling licenses at a reasonable cost (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27881449)

OEM licenses aren't transferable, so technically you still would not have a legit license in Microsoft's eyes.

Re:How about selling licenses at a reasonable cost (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27881629)

Actually it's not legal to 'transfer' an OEM copy of windows to another machine, it can only be run on the system it's sold on, according to the licensing agreement.

Maybe one of the 'tweaks' hinted at is tying groups of service tags to specific hardware configurations (or IDs) on the server side of the activation process, to add a technical barrier on top of the legal one.

Satisfaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27881129)

impacts customer satisfaction with our products

I think all users of pirated software are quite satisfied with their software but Im sure their experience goes downhill once they see nag screens.

Gratuitous lies (1)

bzzfzz (1542813) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881145)

TFA contains some of the most gratuitous and blatant lies I've seen in print since the 2008 U.S. elections ended.

So, Microsoft goes to great pains to refuse to patch software that it thinks might be pirated. Then, someone finds and exploits a bug in Microsoft's code. Malware problems affect everyone because the distribution of the patch is restricted. As a result, customers should be more careful to be sure that their software is genuine, and Microsoft is going to help them do this so that their systems can be properly patched for everyone's protection.

The mind reels.

I could almost understand Microsoft's point if they didn't consider installation of an OEM version of Windows on another machine after the original one has failed to be "piracy."

"protect the interests of customers" (5, Insightful)

iamacat (583406) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881149)

Do what you have to to protect your bottom line, but do not bullshit like this. Customer interests would be equally served with an unobtrusive alert that would let them know that the software is probably counterfeit but not interfere with their work.

Although, I doubt it will really help MS financially. Everyone else is moving away from DRM - think of iTunes - and throughout the history of commercial software, most successful companies were the ones that stayed away from parallel port dongles, non-standard floppy formats or entering "word 6 on line 5 on page 15 of game manual". This included Microsoft until a few years back.

Besides most of their profit comes from OEMs and business users. Neither group is likely to use counterfeit software. On the other hand, they will be royally pissed off if this affects even 0.01% of their users.

Re:"protect the interests of customers" (5, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881227)

throughout the history of commercial software, most successful companies were the ones that stayed away from parallel port dongles, non-standard floppy formats or entering "word 6 on line 5 on page 15 of game manual".

And guess what all major video game consoles use? Non-standard disc formats.

Re:"protect the interests of customers" (0, Troll)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881527)

Everyone else is moving away from DRM - think of iTunes - and throughout the history of commercial software, most successful companies were the ones that stayed away from parallel port dongles, non-standard floppy formats or entering "word 6 on line 5 on page 15 of game manual". This included Microsoft until a few years back.

It seems like Microsoft, starting with Vista and its "check for valid licensed hardware 30 times a second" drivers, made the business decision to jump into bed with the media conglomerates. It doesn't matter if it appears that decision was blazingly wrong-headed; they can't afford to admit it. They're already widely viewed as being behind in the game, even with the non-tech-heads now.

So at this point I would be really surprised to see Microsoft change directions - DRM's tendrils are going to run through every bit of Windows code for the forseeable future.

Why? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881153)

Why try to stop the piracy?
They would be far better-served by selling the Home/Pro versions of the OS at $99 / $149 and allowing easy transport of licenses.

They only lose tons of money when trying to stop piracy.

I WOULD pay for it if it meant I could have a physical copy of the OS (on a PRESSED disc) and I didn't have to deal with activation and other such bullshit.

I would encourage others to "just buy it" if it meant I could easily wipe their Dell and install using their key/disc (seriously, supply customers with the OS installation media, not just an image of your machine on a hidden partition on the hard drive!).

The big money is always in the volume licensing, and OEMs.

The only logical thing I can think of is the OEMs bitching at MS to fight piracy and to keep the MSRP up while keeping their severely discounted rates low.

OEMs need margins wherever they can get them, after all.

Re:Why? (1)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881353)

I also would be much more willing to buy Windows at $100. I want to agree with you. I really do.

BUT, there's always going to be a group of people who will take advantage and try to get it for free. Microsoft no doubt knows that they're just flushing the money and losing the arms race, but I'm sure they see no other option. Their honest customers are stuck paying full price and most of the rest will never pay anyway.

It sucks all the way around.

Easy. (0, Troll)

DarthVain (724186) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881159)

Make an OS so shitty no one wants it, even for free!

Badumdum...
I am hear all week, try the veal.

Re:Easy. (1)

twidarkling (1537077) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881581)

I am hear all week, try the veal.

You mean "see" all week. And I hate veal. *throws a tomato* GET OFF THE STAGE!!!!

So......? (1)

FlickieStrife (1304115) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881235)

Ya know..... everyone seems to ignore the fact that this *really* isn't gonna affect the general user/business in ANY WAY... it's just not... Absolutely nothing will change with piracy either. Basically all MS is saying this time around is "something's gonna happen about some stuff in Windows" Also regarding the "more than a million crashes", I'm sure this is fudged to a great extent, while maybe many of these crashes were on pirated systems, it doesn't mean that the crashes were caused by piracy. I don't know... this whole article seems so....... meh.

Is he speaking English or New Speak? (5, Insightful)

Distan (122159) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881261)

The words all make sense by themselves, but collectively it is like he is trying to redefine every word he uses.

> "Consumers face potential identity theft, system failures and unrecoverable data loss,"

That isn't a consequence of piracy. It may be the consequence of malware, spyware, worms, or viruses, but you can't blame piracy for any of that.

> "Customers want to know that they are using the genuine high-quality Microsoft product they paid for, and they want to know that their systems are more secure and that their software does not contain malicious code"

What about customers who want to use Microsoft products without paying for them at all. Not to defend them, but that is what we are talking about when we discuss piracy. If someone takes a "genuine" copy of Windows and disables your license validation code, what does that have to do with making their system more or less secure and what does it have to do with malicious code. If anything, a hacked copy of Windows may be more secure and less malicious because it isn't "phoning home" to Microsoft.

> "We see many cases of customers who wanted to buy genuine software and believed they did, only to find out later that they were victims of software piracy."

Wow. This one just made my head hurt. They are completely trying to redefine victim here. That's like calling a bank robber the victim of his crime because he stubbed his toe running out of the bank.

I guess I'm supposed to read all the above and think that Microsoft is acting benevolently to make sure no malicious code has been inserted into the operating system at install time. If that was really some sort of crisis that needed to be solved, they could simply ship install CDs with known signatures and provide a mechanism for checking those signature. Problem solved with no need for checking hardware configurations, issuing serial numbers, tracking activations, etc.

What a bunch of asshats.

0wned Windows Installs (4, Interesting)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881281)

Believe it or not, there's actually something to say about ensuring Windows is "genuine" as such; and really this is new to Vista +...

I've seen a few Vista installs now where Windows was completely screwed (no laughing at the back) for no apparent reason, and more importantly would not update. On digging around a bit more, it turned out almost in every case they'd downloaded it off bittorrent/emule, burnt it to disc, and fired it up.

Thing is, Vista is more flexible than ever for OEMs and system builders to streamline their own stuff into the install process so this is a hackers dream; take most popular OS on the planet; "Customise" it with rootkit/trojan; release to downloaders via bittorent and tada...pre-rooted Windows for the pirating masses.

So that's why there is some value in knowing your Windows came from Microsoft direct (rather than some h4x0r)

I know when I get my money's worth... (1)

chris098 (536090) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881297)

From the article: Customers want to know that they are using the genuine high-quality Microsoft product they paid for

People are going to be shocked when they discover that the version of Windows 7 they acquired through a Torrent site (at $0 cost) isn't genuine.

I think there are a few things going on here: (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881319)

1. clamp down on piracy and get people to pay or register quicker
2. get new people to get addicted quicker
3. help obtain a closer-to-the- the PAID SEATS/licenses count and reduce shareholder qualms
4. get a better handle on which OS are run on multiple machines (real and virtual) and at what general locations

Poor experience? (4, Interesting)

Anita Coney (648748) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881373)

counterfeit software "delivers a poor experience and impacts customer satisfaction with our products

Obviously he hasn't tried Johnny's Ultimate version of XP. It's awesome! A great experience and it offers great satisfaction. MS should hire him.

Hahahahahaha.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27881385)

Microsoft has announced that the forthcoming Windows 7 operating system will contain a number of piracy 'tweaks' it says are designed to protect the interests of customers.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha... oh maann, best oxymoron I ever heard... shit, I shorted my keyboard with my tears :`)

So what did they do? (1, Flamebait)

harris s newman (714436) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881433)

"Williams gave the example of one piracy exploit that caused more than a million reported system crashes on machines running non-genuine Windows Vista before Microsoft was able to resolve it" I assume they formatted the disk and installed Ubuntu on the system.

tools my foot (1)

glock22ownr (734154) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881509)

"Williams also hinted at tools pitched at enterprises designed to improve and speed up company-wide systems authentication. "When customers see and use the tools we are providing to support Windows Vista and Windows 7 deployments, we think they will be impressed," he said."

Riiiiight... tools. I see one tool and that's the asshat that thought this a grand idea. I have an MSDN subscription so I can have whatever I want from MSFT and I am so sick of DRM, Genuine Advantage, Activation and so on I might start punching babies soon.

This isn't a tool you f*ing jack*ss, it's a pain in the tush. A tool is something that will help you perform some desired action or reach some desired end. I'm fairly certain that no one in the world is just shaking with anticipation and excitement at the thought of using your "tools" to activate their copy of Windows 7...

Dear Microsoft (1)

DarkSarin (651985) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881557)

YOU SUCK! [andyousuck.com]

Seriously, does anyone REALLY this to work? All it will do is cut down on the absolutely MOST casual pirates and annoy legitimate customers. The tighter they make it, the more this is true. Determined individuals WILL ALWAYS find a way to circumvent their measures. ALWAYS.

I'm not likely to pirate an OS...I like being able to run it with all the updates and I'm happy knowing that my software is legit...but that's certainly not even a close consideration as to what most people are going to do.

Look, if you don't like paying MS for your OS, DON'T USE WINDOWS!!!

Someone needs to get the facts... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#27881573)

counterfeit software "delivers a poor experience and impacts customer satisfaction with our products

Not true. I'm currently using a FCKGW [wikipedia.org] install of Windows XP, and I've never been more satisfied with a Microsoft product. I also have a genuine copy of Windows Vista, which I hate. And I have a feeling that I'm not the only one with these sentiments.

What annoys me... (1)

trogdor8667 (817114) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881597)

What annoys me, in general, is that I work on peoples machines that have their XP key printed right on the machine, but the key is for a specific service pack. So, I can't just use a valid XP disk, I have to have that specific disk. I have a legitimate copy with a legitimate key, but tend to have to go torrent the speficic build of Windows. I mean, surely Microsoft understands that since they give out the Service Packs through Windows Update, this isn't a pirating tactic.

New improved nagware (1)

AnalPerfume (1356177) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881645)

Just when you thought it was safe to click the "later" option, an all new treat awaits our valued and loyal customers who upgrade to the best ever version of Windows. From the lovely people who brought you such well loved classics as the WGA and it's sister OGA. Now with their latest innovation, new improved nagware. This time it's even harder to stop.

Our patented nagware is a guaranteed success because we say so, and believe us, if you don't say so, we'll know and pay you a visit to "educate" you. All of our valued customers who have been flooding our inboxes demanding to be nagged now have the solution at hand. You won't find any better nagware than ours.

Microsoft - We listen to our customers demands because we care.....not like those hippie, commie, pinko Linux terrorists.

This will only increase the number of (2, Informative)

Orion Blastar (457579) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881671)

false positives.

For example under Windows XP, if the Firewall blocked the WGA verification internet connection, your copy of XP got called "grayware" because it could not verify the genuineness of the XP install.

If you reformatted and reinstalled, sometimes you got activation problems anyway, requiring you to log on to your Passport account and activate the Windows that way, and then WGA still says you might not be legit.

With Microsoft forcing activation, it will only lead to more "false positives" in genuine Windows usage.

great pc sales will DROP (2, Insightful)

requiemnoise (1550609) | more than 4 years ago | (#27881801)

This is a great news. PC sales will drop even more. Since, users will not migrate to Linux. This is one more component that average PC users will stick to their XP forever! Oh, Microsoft. When will you ever learn? Your monopolistic behavior will slowly destroy you. Let's shoot for additional 10,000 layoffs for Microsoft! Baller can yell, "I'm not a CEO. I'm a football coach. We will destroy everything!" Their PC vendor pals will be so glad that their best friend is Microsoft. Happiness.
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