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Your Daily Dose of Microsoft

michael posted more than 13 years ago | from the a-day-without-microsoft-is-like-a-day-without-sunshine dept.

Microsoft 541

The European Union is considering anti-trust action against Microsoft. The Wall Street Journal ran a column today about the Windows XP registration process, which is apparently news to a lot of people who don't read enough Slashdot. IBM says Microsoft is arrogant. Microsoft's XP Beta program is a little more open than they thought. And finally, and most amusingly, one of the threat letters being sent out by the BSA on behalf of Microsoft was sent to (wait for it...) OSDN. Okay, no more Microsoft submissions today, please.

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No more MS submissions, how about ever? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#106157)

Okay, no more Microsoft submissions today, please.

Let's extend that moratorium, please? Slashdot as a community (including some of the editors) have shown that they generally have no objectivity when discussing MS, and have nothing to add to an intelligent discussion. Can we just retire the whole subject?

You will notice on the topics [slashdot.org] area, it's the ONLY topic that isn't just a logo or a picture, it's the only insulting one. Maybe, just maybe, we can try again in a year, when the children have had a year to grow up, but let's lay off it for a while, please? Please?

Re:Getting WinXP Preview without registration (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#106158)

It's valid code, but what about a serial number? Leaked serials won't be activated. Corporate serials won't work with retail/preview code. What you pay for when you sign up for the preview program is a serial number, not the code.

Re:Getting WinXP Preview without registration (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#106159)

wget works too:

`wget -U Download Manager http://svmsftwxp.conxion.com/download/wxp_pro_rc1. iso`

Re:Whoa! Sorry, missed that. Mod parent up, please (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#106160)

> Sorry, my bad. Copy and paste error somewhere...

Not your bad. Slasdot *always* insert spaces in long word to prevent trolls to break page layout.

Cheers,

--fred

Here is the brochure! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#106161)

For those that didnt get this, here is a scanned copy.

Front [gnue.org]
Back [gnue.org]

Some one pointed out to me that the comment:
Unless you have no past or current unhappy employees, you're only one phone call away from being the target of a BSA investigation.

Is eeriely like Nazi propoganda telling you to turn in your neighbor and be fearful!

XP beta newsgroups... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#106162)

MS's private beta newsgroup on product activation (PA) is full of upset people. Some quite experienced beta testers have left the program in protest over the PA requirement; many have had computers completely cease functioning. Although MS responds very civilly to the complaints, nothing is being said about changing the policy.

Lots of testers are saying that their clients and their companies will forbid installation of any product with PA included, since (a) it could be used by a virus to shut the machine down and (b) in mission-critical applications (think: medical history, industrial automation, 911 center) having a machine that went completely offline and refused to reactivate would be an unacceptable risk.

And yes, while most talk about freezing at Windows 2000, some are talking about going to Linux.

Re:Actual Windows XP registration dialogue (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#106163)

That nice and all .. but what happens when I have a workstation down? I have a shelf wieh spare hardware on it in my office that I use to fix dead workstations. So what happens when I start swapping out hardware and now XP stops working? So let me get this strait: I get the machine back up now I have to call microsoft and wait on hold for a tech to give me an activation key? So meanwhile I have an office worker who is annoyed that he/she can't do anything until I have the workstation back and an employer that's losing money because we are paying one worker to do basically nothing for the next hour. Thank GOD we don't use MS on our servers.. I don't even want to think of what would happen from extra downtime on the transaction processing system. And no were not big so we can't negociate an "activation free" copy of windows. Right now I'm just glad my boss has alreaddy agreed not to upgrade to XP.

Re:Getting WinXP Preview without registration (3)

Anonymous Coward | more than 13 years ago | (#106167)

My God, what has Slashdot become? Post a direct link to a Microsoft you're not supposed to download and it gets moderated UP?

I know you all don't mind software and music pirating, but posting direct links is crossing the line.

Re:Code or binary??? (1)

dair (210) | more than 13 years ago | (#106170)

The article about MS leaving winXP RC1 on the web wasn't particularily clear what it meant by code. I assume they mean the binary distribution of winXP
They do.
Also as far as copyright issue with the leaked code, would MS have any protection in this case or is it required that there be minimal protection of the IP before any of the laws apply?
Copyright applies from the moment a work is created - the author automatically holds the copyright to their works. Copyright doesn't stop you taking it if they leave it lying on the ground, it simply stops you from claiming it's yours (either your creation, or yours to sell, etc).

-dair (NAL, etc)

Re:Hmm... (2)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 13 years ago | (#106172)

Well, yeah, because that's a matter between you and the government, and the government can send people over to audit you.

Why the hell do shitty software companies have the right to harass you over licenses, unless you're blatantly breaking the law? Will they keep hounding me until they've found the one unlicensed copy of Windows NT 3.50 sitting around on some long-neglected 486 in a remote office? Is that entirely legal to do? Could I sue them for pestering me too?

- A.P.

--

Hmm... (5)

Wakko Warner (324) | more than 13 years ago | (#106173)

Does the BSA reimburse companies for the waste of manhours it takes to find and verify all software licenses?

They should, you know.

- A.P.

--

Re:that's not the issue I'm wondering about (3)

Tim Doran (910) | more than 13 years ago | (#106181)

That's exactly what will happen. From a Wired article [wired.com] : "But if a company refuses to cooperate, BSA can and will ask a federal judge to grant a court order allowing BSA investigators to visit the accused company unannounced and accompanied by local law enforcement officials such as U.S Marshals."

Scary as hell. What would be really interesting is someone like OSDN refusing entry, then being searched. Would make a hell of a headline and could be just the sort of thing to make ordinary users realize the clout MS carries through its BSA organization.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (2)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 13 years ago | (#106186)

But when you buy the product in the store you don't get to see the license until you have already payed for the product.

Coverage of the MS FUD War (3)

haaz (3346) | more than 13 years ago | (#106188)

I have been covering Microsoft's FUD War against the GPL, Linux, and open source software. Currently, it's a collection of links to articles about their efforts, although one news story that I wrote does contain a minor (and hopefully funny) editorial. The FUD War coverage is at: linuxppc.org/fudwar/ [linuxppc.org] . Cheers,

The real purpose behind the EU (1)

ergo98 (9391) | more than 13 years ago | (#106212)

The EU is really about protectionism, and I'm sure you'll see more and more of these sorts of attacks on non-EU companies (see the recent Honeywell-GE merger squashing). At least with the US attacking Microsoft it appears impartial and unbiased (well ignoring all the $ going to politicians), but when the EU attacks MSFT it looks a little bit like they're trying to stop the flow of money leaving the EU en route to Redmond.

Re:American Business vs European Union (1)

um... Lucas (13147) | more than 13 years ago | (#106223)

Read the news much? Though the FTC cleared it, the EU barred the merger of GE and Honeywell, even though they're two american based company's. First time that's ever happened, probably not the last time, at the rate the corporates are merging...

Yahoo keeps getting pushed around by the French courts... etc, etc, etc. It's a global market, if you want to play, you've gotta play by all the rules, otherwise every company would just incorporate in Iraq or Cuba or something...

Re:Hmm... (2)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 13 years ago | (#106228)

If a company is dumb enough to comply and actually work for free, then they don't deserve to be reimbursed.

Just as if a mail client is dumb enough to actually execute code that gets mailed to it, the user deserves to suffer.

Those are two instances of the exact same thing. BSA audit demands are just a type of virus. If you blindly do everything that anyone tells you to, you will probably end up wasting resources. It is a very basic security issue. Think of it as evolution in action.


---

Re:Does it bother anyone else... (2)

sharkey (16670) | more than 13 years ago | (#106236)

Where have you been? Windows has always crippled the PC it is installed on, and brought down the entire computer.

--

Re:Does it bother anyone else... (1)

BRock97 (17460) | more than 13 years ago | (#106238)

Heh, I still have hope for the children of tomorrow...

Bryan R.

Re:Does it bother anyone else... (2)

BRock97 (17460) | more than 13 years ago | (#106240)

Ah, but you vision is too narrow. If you are Joe Blow grandma who's first computer was running WinXP, for all intent and purposes, you computer has ceased to function.

Bryan R.

Does it bother anyone else... (3)

BRock97 (17460) | more than 13 years ago | (#106241)

...that by installing WindowsXP, you give Microsoft lease to cripple your machine? OK, I can see it in OfficeXP, fine. But when you give a company the ability to bring down your entire computer, that is just stupid. I have read about Microsoft, I have heard from Microsoft reps that it is painless to get the key to register and open you computer back up, but have you CALLED Microsoft recently? I would be scared that I wouldn't be able to open up my computer until the phone lines were a little less congested. This is dumb, really really dumb.

Bryan R.

Re:Does it bother anyone else... (5)

BRock97 (17460) | more than 13 years ago | (#106242)

You do have a choice. I just wish more people would realize that they don't have to put up with this sort of thing, and choose to eschew Microsoft.

I couldn't agree more. That is why I think a grass roots effort needs to be mobilized. Creating a website or posting this sort of thing on Slashdot won't help, it just leads to informed people complaining to informed people. The informed people need to get in touch with the uninformed. Around my house and where I work, I am considered one who has a some what informed opinion on things computer related. Lately, I have been getting asked quite a bit about WinXP and I tell people what I think. Stay with 2000/98SE. Got to get the word out! The people I feel bad for are those who buy a new computer. Ouch.

Bryan R.

The Holy Trilogy knows all..... (3)

EvilJohn (17821) | more than 13 years ago | (#106244)

The more you tighten your grip Lord Vader, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.

// EvilJohn
// Java Geek

Earnings breakdown. (2)

Matt2000 (29624) | more than 13 years ago | (#106256)


It looks like European revenues [microsoft.com] are more important that I thought, accounting for almost 3.8 billion in revenue.

If France gets in on this, it could get crazy [slashdot.org] , they're pretty serious [slashdot.org] about this stuff.

Illegal in the UK. (1)

lonely (32990) | more than 13 years ago | (#106263)


I seem to remember that in the UK it is illegal to put anything in computer software that causes it to become disabled.

But then this is just my faded memory.

Re:Does it bother anyone else... (2)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 13 years ago | (#106301)

"Beside, this is no different when it comes to paying your rent or utility bills. After all this is the idea of a "service" like it or not."

Wrong, wrong, absolutely brimming over wrongability. This is not a service and this is not a software lease. If I pay for a copy of XP, I pay the guy at CompUSA one time for the software and the transaction is over. Microsoft has no right to invade my privacy and force me to get their permission to use software that I have already paid for.

In your example of certain deals with Oracle and IBM, those deals are actually structured as combinations of leases of hardware and software services and there is a monthly payment schedule. It's no different than leasing a car and signing up for a service contract in those cases.

Free Consultation? (4)

Maledictus (52013) | more than 13 years ago | (#106302)

Let me get this straight. The most amusing thing you could come up with was to call a customer service line and ask about licensing open source products? Didja ask if their refrigerator was running? Did they say yes? Didja ask 'em to go catch it?

As my older brother used to say: cute, but not funny.

Next time someone wants to call Zones, or Softchoice or hell, even the BSA, give them a real world example to start the giggling. Tell them you have 100 users and you need licenses for 100 copies of Outlook, 15 copies of Excel, 50 copies of Word, 10 copies of Access, NO copies of Publisher, and 5 copies of Powerpoint. Now...is that all Office Standard, Office Pro or Office Seriously Diluted and Preinstalled on the Dell for the Home User?

How many points per copy, per package, per user, per workstation? How much per point? Now, now! No fair using the scientific calculator.

I'd love like all hell to comply to licensing...well, maybe not "love." I'd do it without much complaint. And somewhere in my desk drawer is a proposal from a reseller to get my company up to compliance. The bottom line was $20,000. And even in all that licensing mumbo-jumbo, there still was no guarantee that I didn't have a missed workstation, or a missed application that would instantly put me out of compliance.

*shrug* I'll get in compliance, as soon as I figure out exactly what that means and how much to hit up the boss for. In the meantime, 3 letters from the BSA, each with a different "truce number," 1 dated last year, and all 3 addressed to different people at this company. Am I to believe that these are NOT mere direct mail advertisements?

Corporate versions....... (1)

kajoob (62237) | more than 13 years ago | (#106307)

of winxp don't require the activation. they show up as already activated (thank god, for those of us that have to work with it). now if joe techie gets his 'trial-ware' from work as most joe techies do, then it's the same old story. but all it really does is stop a few home users from handing out his cd, that he most likely paid for to begin with, to his buddies. Bill's gonna have to build another silo for all that extra money he's savin.

You think Microsoft's stuff is leaking out... (4)

hamjudo (64140) | more than 13 years ago | (#106314)

The folks at Red Hat [redhat.com] made the same mistake, you can download ISO's from them too. And when they say download the "code", they know what they're talking about.

More great news! I heard on a hacker mailing list, that Debian's [debian.org] stuff isn't protected either.

I snuck into the Debian site, and I got lots of good stuff. Programming tools, games, an OS that works, a couple of desktop environments, networking tools, server apps, ... gigabytes of cool stuff. Way more complete than that Microsoft ISO image.

Ignore the XP crap, and grab the good stuff before someone notices.

Re:Does it bother anyone else... (1)

rkent (73434) | more than 13 years ago | (#106323)

Microsoft reps that it is painless to get the key to register and open you computer back up, but have you CALLED Microsoft recently?

Which is why everyone should stop calling them, and instead get your "product activation" in my #w@arez channel. Unlike M$, we don't charge anything for any of your computers, except we'd really appreciated it if you would "share" your PhotoShop 6 cd key.

---

SECRET WAY, SHHH (1)

jason_z28 (73458) | more than 13 years ago | (#106324)

Here is the secret link to download from to bypass the need for a download manager:

http://svmsftwxp.conxion.com/download/wxp_pro~1.is o

Speaking of OSDN... (1)

dave-fu (86011) | more than 13 years ago | (#106332)

...anyone else noticed what webserver jobs.osdn.com [osdn.com] is running?
I'll give you a hint: last I checked, PHP and Perl don't have filenames with an extension of .ASP.
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em?

Nope! (4)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 13 years ago | (#106335)

Once they have an excuse to kick the doors down, they will always find something. Could just be that copy of Word on the long-unused Windows 3.1 partition of the secretary's machine, but by God they'll find something. And when they do, you'll pay them. Generally in the fashon of having $50 worth of nickles pulled out of your ass.

that's not the issue I'm wondering about (5)

budcub (92165) | more than 13 years ago | (#106340)

Lets say I run a small business, and one day a strange man walks in my door, shows me a business card saying he's from the BSA, and demands to audit all my computers, to make sure I don't have any pirate software. That's the issue we need to discuss.

Suppose I tell him no, you can't enter, and call the police to have him arrested for trespassing. What's he going to do, get a search warrant? On what grounds? These are the questions I'd like to see answered.

If you want to use wget (5)

dudle (93939) | more than 13 years ago | (#106342)

It has to fit in the same line...

wget --dot-style=mega --header="User-Agent:Download Manager" http://svmsftwxp.conxion.com/download/wxp_pro_rc1. iso

H.

A service? (2)

DrCode (95839) | more than 13 years ago | (#106343)

Most people don't think of their PC operating system as a 'service', any more than they think of a book that way. Your average person doesn't see anything wrong with updating his 2-3 home computers with the same upgrade, just as there's nothing wrong with buying one copy of a novel and sharing it among his family members.

Correct me if I'm wrong (3)

almeida (98786) | more than 13 years ago | (#106349)

First, the company has never really educated home users about the one-PC policy for Windows. Sure, it's in the fine print, but few people read that. Microsoft has extensive programs to educate corporations about the policy, but in 10 years of reviewing Windows, I can't remember a single major Microsoft consumer ad campaign devoted to the topic. As I write this, I'm holding in my hand a colorful cardboard sleeve containing a copy of Windows 98. Nowhere does it say "for use only on a single PC." Even now, Microsoft isn't preparing the public for the coming crackdown.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't putting something in the fine print, education enough? When the user hits "I Agree" or "I Accept" or whatever it is, aren't they legally agreeing to whatever is in the fine print that they just agreed to, whether they actually read it or not? Why is it Microsoft's fault that the users don't read the fine print? Why do they have to prepare anyone for the crackdown? It's in the license, it's always been in the license. They are finally doing something about it and now people are upset? That doesn't make sense. If you are going to violate licenses, at least accept the fact that one day you will either be caught or that you will eventually have to comply with the license.

BSA? (5)

zpengo (99887) | more than 13 years ago | (#106353)

Boy Scouts of America? Geez...Microsoft is more sinister than I thought....

Slashdot ?= Pharmacy (1)

Winged Cat (101773) | more than 13 years ago | (#106359)

"To stay angry at Microsoft, here's your daily dose of truth."

Go on. Show me how I'm wrong. ;)

Re:Does it bother anyone else... (1)

garoush (111257) | more than 13 years ago | (#106364)

Sorry but there is nothing new here with what MS is doing. Such practices are common and have been going on for ages not only in the computer field but other industry as well. Lets face it Oracle, and IBM, to name a few have similar programs. Beside, this is no different when it comes to paying your rent or utility bills. After all this is the idea of a "service" like it or not.
---------------
Sig
abbr.

Code or binary??? (2)

malfunct (120790) | more than 13 years ago | (#106378)

The article about MS leaving winXP RC1 on the web wasn't particularily clear what it meant by code. I assume they mean the binary distribution of winXP but it would be a much bigger story if it was source code. I don't have any idea why MS would release any source code in the first place though.

Also as far as copyright issue with the leaked code, would MS have any protection in this case or is it required that there be minimal protection of the IP before any of the laws apply?

Yes (1)

_Bean_ (128235) | more than 13 years ago | (#106388)

Binary code

American Business vs European Union (5)

Rushuru (135939) | more than 13 years ago | (#106406)

What influence can the European Union have on an american company like microsoft?

Sure, Microsoft sells billions of dollars of software in Europe each year, but I hardly see what kind of "punishment" the EU could inflict to Microsoft.
-Ban their Microsoft products? Then it would pose some serious problems to european businesses and their competitivness.
-Impose an extra tax on Microsoft Products? As Microsoft is a monopoly, I guess people will still buy their products even if it's more expensive.

I really have no clue on how the EU could force Microsoft to do something against its will.

Re:Does it bother anyone else... (3)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 13 years ago | (#106433)

You're right - I do have choice...

Except I need to ensure that my JavaScript and HTML works under Microsoft Internet Explorer...

And I need to view this Microsoft PowerPoint presentation...

And I need to open the design documents that are written in Microsoft Word.

Face it - I don't really have a choice. Once XP gets released, I'll probably give it a partition on my hard drive. Sure, I like Mandrake (enough to have actually paid for my copy of the distro), but that still doesn't really matter, considering that in order to interact with others in college I must use Microsoft products.

Especially when the previously mentioned "design documents" explain the required design of the project that counts for half of your grade...

I suppose I could go on the "move to open software" cursade, but even the most Linux-friendly professor I can think of taught his class about how the Linux kernel works using PowerPoint. He offered his notes for download off his webpage... which means I'd need PowerPoint to view them. (Actually, since other people in that class read Slashdot, I'll admit that he was cool enough to have copied the slides into PDF format, but still... the point stands that if he hadn't done that, I'd need to grab a Windows machine to view the class notes.)

Anyway, it's summer time, and I'm working for a company... on Windows. If I want to work at home, I'll need a Windows PC. If I want to send documents to other people here, I'll need Office.

Which means that as much as I'd love to get rid of any and all MS software, I can't - I'm stuck with it. Which is why the Ninth District court upheld the findings of fact, agreeing that Microsoft does indeed have a monopoly that practically people cannot escape from.

--

Re:interesting +5 (1)

2Bits (167227) | more than 13 years ago | (#106442)

Hey AC, I traced your IP, and how come it came out of MS network? :)

Re:Windows XP Licenses and Consumers (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 13 years ago | (#106457)

It seems to me that unless these terms are clearly and conspicuously disclosed BEFORE the sale, it is a breach of contract and an invasion of privacy to which the consumer did not consent.

For the activation, I agree with you. For the "one copy, one computer", unfortunately not. Is that something that is automatically implied by shrinkwrap software, as you get one (set of) disks? How many packages (short of GPL and related) aren't one purchase, one copy? Hell, even the Borland Book Liscense was install anywhere, only one could be used at any given time.

MS-OSDN article (1)

bribecka (176328) | more than 13 years ago | (#106461)

I can't beleive someone took the time to write an entire article about a flyer they got from MSFT. This guy takes it too personally, as if he's the *only* person who actually received it. Then he calls the 1-800 line to act like a jackass? I know ./ hates MS, but this is just too gay.

And this is news.

Re:BSA? (1)

zombieking (177383) | more than 13 years ago | (#106467)

Yes, bust 4 people for improper licenses and get the new "Corporate Stooge" merit badge.

-----

Re:Does it bother anyone else... (2)

zombieking (177383) | more than 13 years ago | (#106468)

I just wish more people would realize that they don't have to put up with this sort of thing...

I agree. I installed Linux (Mandrake 8.0) for the first time last weekend. I have never used Linux before in my life. I don't know any of the commands or syntaxes, but I am learning because I refuse to put up with XP.

-----

Re:Does it bother anyone else... (1)

cnkeller (181482) | more than 13 years ago | (#106474)

You do have a choice. I just wish more people would realize that they don't have to put up with this sort of thing, and choose to eschew Microsoft.

While I agree with your principles, you're wrong in this case. Sometimes you don't have a choice. I'll give you my latest example. The company I'm working for is doing embedded development on the OSE operating system. Yep, no compilers for Linux. I sent a message the gcc-mailing list about cross-compilation with no response (which really surprised me!). Even then, I'd still have a binary with no way to simulate the code other than running on the chip which is a slow way to develop.

My choice is either develop under NT/2000 (until they are phased out) or look for a different job (they may make compilers/simulators for Solaris, but that's a different battle here).

At home I have a choice: GNUCash, loki for games, etc. But, like many people, I don't own the company I work at, nor am I in charge of calling the shots. If I want to maintain my employment, I really don't have a choice, because the apps make the OS; therfore I use the OS where the apps run. So, while I agree that A LOT of people don't have to put up with the nonsense, some of us kinda have to unless we want to be another one of the masses looking for a job.

who has the XP URL? (1)

hex1848 (182881) | more than 13 years ago | (#106476)

ok, who has the URL for wxp_pro_rc1.iso?

Re:Does it bother anyone else... (5)

Erasmus Darwin (183180) | more than 13 years ago | (#106479)

Just don't install Windows XP. I don't use Windows anything. So I'm not succeptible.

Well good for you. Unfortunately, those of us not living in never-never land have discovered that, contrary to popular belief, there's a lot of software out there that hasn't been ported to Linux.

Don't get me wrong -- I love Linux. I use it both at home and at work. It's been my general operating system of choice for about 6 years now. However, that doesn't change the fact that there're some computer-related activites for which Windows is the better answer, either because more commercial developers supports it or the software requires less effort to install-and-use.

So until Linux fully addresses these issues (something which, as much as I'm a fan of Linux, I doubt will every fully happen), there will be a need for some people to install and use Windows. Claiming otherwise is at best misguided advocacy and at worst trolling.

Quickies? (1)

sulli (195030) | more than 13 years ago | (#106492)

Were no other Quickies [slashdot.org] submitted?!

Re:Does it bother anyone else... (1)

GungaDan (195739) | more than 13 years ago | (#106493)

I'm with ya'. Bought a corporate desktop from Micron last month, pre-loaded with WIN ME! My IT dept. said "wipe the drive, install WIN 2000, and call us back." Will I suffer an unwarranted rectal intrusion if they happen to pre-load XP on the next one?

Re:Hmm... (1)

JKR (198165) | more than 13 years ago | (#106495)

No, if you're a company it's your fault for not keeping adequate records. If that was your employee tax contributions instead of license keys, you'd be a damn sight more careful, or face a potential jail sentence.

Re:Hmm... (1)

JKR (198165) | more than 13 years ago | (#106496)

Why the hell do shitty software companies have the right to harass you over licenses, unless you're blatantly breaking the law?

So they shouldn't harass you if you break the law quietly, so no-one notices? I don't think so.

Will they keep hounding me until they've found the one unlicensed copy of Windows NT 3.50 sitting around on some long-neglected 486 in a remote office? Is that entirely legal to do?

Yes, in the same way that once they are suspicious, tax inspectors will dig through 10 years of accounts to find that undeclared income. And if it's your company, you are responsible.

Why is this a problem? You don't have the right to install 20 copies of Office from one licensed CD any more than you have the right to deduct twice the NI from your employees payroll and pocket the difference.

Furthermore, as a company you plan your software deployment and take advantage of the bulk licensing deals. MS do bulk licensing for as few as five licenses, you know.

ISVs will take action soon. (2)

Cliffton Watermore (199498) | more than 13 years ago | (#106499)

Microsoft's practice of abusing their position as the company controlling the most popular desktop operating system has been noted by major ISVs. It won't be long until we see ISVs pooling resources into boosting an open system.

It's widely suspected that Microsoft uses secret API calls and undocumented functions within the operating system to gain advantages over their competitors. The WINE developers admit that they are having trouble reimplementing the Win32 API because it is so poorly documented. ISVs realize that they only have one chance at gaining ground against Microsoft products, and that's a new operating system strategy.

Unfortunately this is unlikely to be a GNU/Linux variant, due to the restrictive GNU GPL, but I wouldn't be surprised to see major ISVs (Oracle, Corel, Imprise, PCSoft etc etc etc) who have all traditionally been Windows software vendors, announcing major support for something like FreeBSD. That will be the beginning of the end for Microsoft.

New Slashbox - Your Daily Dose Of Microsft (1)

sniper86 (199981) | more than 13 years ago | (#106500)

I say we take this topic and make a new slashbox of it! What say all of you? :)

"Users are forced to use alternatives to Windows." (1)

musselm (209468) | more than 13 years ago | (#106509)

From the article:

"If you try to install the same copy of Windows on a different PC, you'll be asked to activate again -- only this time activation will fail, and you'll be advised that it's illegal to install one copy of Windows on multiple machines and told to buy another copy. The second installation of Windows will stop working."

Come on....!

Even people accepting their present subservience to Microsoft will balk at this.

This is good news everybody.

Re:Getting WinXP Preview without registration (1)

DarkEdgeX (212110) | more than 13 years ago | (#106511)

Really.. =) Just go look in Usenet in alt.binaries.ms-beta (I think that's the full group name, I might be missing something between binaries and ms-beta). There's no less than 5 CD keys for this release, and links to websites with HowTo's for making the CD bootable (the ISO isn't bootable, don't ask me why it's not) and how to disable the "phone home" and X day limitations.

I've found the whole situation funny and ironic, myself.. first their issue with a leaked copy of SP2 for Windows 2000, now this. (Though this really beats the SP2 leak-- SP2 was free, WinXP RC1 most definately is not free.)

Re:Whoa! Sorry, missed that. Mod parent up, please (1)

DarkEdgeX (212110) | more than 13 years ago | (#106512)

Wow, didn't know that.. just tried it (using comment preview) and sure enough, it re-inserted the space afterwards. Bleh. Thanks for clearing up how that happened. =)

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (1)

DarkEdgeX (212110) | more than 13 years ago | (#106513)

You're wrong in the sense that Microsoft goes out of their way to insure businesses don't have single copies running on more than one PC-- they have seminars, educational flyers, etc, etc. But for consumers, eg: home users, they don't really do anything to educate them that they're only supposed to use one copy of their operating system per PC.

Plus as the article you quoted from says, there's no incentive to mass purchase copies for consumers as there is for businesses. A business can get a quantity discount, but a consumer buying the operating system for 3-4+ PC's in a large family still has to pay $100 per copy, not $150 total or $200. (You really only need one copy of the media, but multiple CD keys/activation codes.) Microsoft would do well to offer a 5 pack deal for the consumer edition of Windows XP for $250 (upgrade) or $500 (full install). This would also help small businesses cope with upgrading..

Re:Getting WinXP Preview without registration (1)

DarkEdgeX (212110) | more than 13 years ago | (#106514)

Weird.. I burned it to CD using Adaptec Easy CD Creator 4.xx and it auto-runs when you start inside of Windows 9x/NT/2000 but it doesn't come up as bootable after the system POSTs.

Is it possible you downloaded a different version (I suppose not since you say you're in the Preview Program) than the build 2505 RC1 that's up on this site? I know some earlier builds were bootable, so, shrug.

Re:Code or binary??? (2)

DarkEdgeX (212110) | more than 13 years ago | (#106516)

They meant the binary distribution-- the leak of WinXP RC1 is in ISO format for burning it directly to a CD using any CD burning software that supports the format (most do, though some don't, shrug). You still need a CD key to install it with, and it does "phone home" once installed, but it's still funny as hell that they trusted "security through obscurity" and got nailed for it. (GEE, we'll change the USER AGENT to "Download Manager" and nobody will ever get the file then!)

Re:Getting WinXP Preview without registration (5)

DarkEdgeX (212110) | more than 13 years ago | (#106519)

For people who are copying/pasting this guy's URL, make note of the fact that there's an extra space in his (eg: ..._rc1. iso, note the space after the dot.. the real URL has no space). Also note that if you just try to download this file using IE or Netscape or [insert browser here] the file will fail to download because your User Agent won't be set to "Download Manager". You MUST set the User Agent correctly. 90% of people who say the link is broken or doesn't work are suffering from this problem.

Re:Does it bother anyone else... (2)

BlowCat (216402) | more than 13 years ago | (#106524)

I would be scared that I wouldn't be able to open up my computer until the phone lines were a little less congested.
Buy a screwdriver. I bought one in Walmart and it works just fine for me.

from the article (1)

_ph1ux_ (216706) | more than 13 years ago | (#106525)

Even now, Microsoft isn't preparing the public for the coming crackdown

of course not - that would mean that they would be educating people to the tactic - and risk having less people want to buy the software.

as long as I can run my games on ME 2K or 9X - there is no reason for me to get XP anything.

Re:Does it bother anyone else... (1)

sandman935 (228586) | more than 13 years ago | (#106537)

Let me get this straight... you're worried about the unwary and uninformed doing something that may cost them in the future? You're wasting your time. There's a sucker born every minute.

BSA to defend the GPL? (1)

B14ckH013Sur4 (234255) | more than 13 years ago | (#106541)

So, i know this is troll, and i also know that calling myself a troll will get me modded as not a troll, so there. My question's simple...
Can we get the BSA to defend the GPL for us? They are, IIRC, a government sanctioned operation with some legal powers (although funded and in all reality owned by M$ and others).
Can we use the BSD to show it's true colors by demanding that they also defend the GPL, thereby pushing thier 'self destruct' button?
Just a fleeting whim...
"I've seen plays that were more exciting than this.

Sunshine? (1)

stereoroid (234317) | more than 13 years ago | (#106542)

Don't you mean: "a day without Microsoft is like a day without a HailStorm [microsoft.com] "?

(wibble)

Re:Does it bother anyone else... (3)

rknop (240417) | more than 13 years ago | (#106554)

It doesn't bother me.

Just don't install Windows XP. I don't use Windows anything. So I'm not succeptible.

What bothers me is the number of people who are going to install Windows XP, either not realizing that they are giving MS the ability to cripple their machine, or thinking that they don't need to care.

You do have a choice. I just wish more people would realize that they don't have to put up with this sort of thing, and choose to eschew Microsoft.

-Rob

Re:No more MS submissions, how about ever? (1)

NDPTAL85 (260093) | more than 13 years ago | (#106566)

Brave words from an AC. Shut the fuck up!

Re:Code or binary??? (1)

TDScott (260197) | more than 13 years ago | (#106567)

Heh. No, it's not code, that was just bad phrasing in the article. It's the iso of Windows XP RC1 from the Preview Program, available to people who subscribe, pay and get their Passport checked.

Or who know how to use IRC or read these comments ;)

Whoa! Sorry, missed that. Mod parent up, please! (1)

TDScott (260197) | more than 13 years ago | (#106568)

Sorry, my bad. Copy and paste error somewhere...

Fair enough. (1)

TDScott (260197) | more than 13 years ago | (#106569)

I wondered where that one crept in...

Getting WinXP Preview without registration (2)

TDScott (260197) | more than 13 years ago | (#106571)

Unless MS have patched it (and it seems not), here are the instructions:

1) Get a download manager (I use Mass Downloader - the important thing is that it can change the user-agent field)
2) Set it to download http://svmsftwxp.conxion.com/download/wxp_pro_rc1. iso - but set the user-agent to "Download Manager" (no quotes)
3) Sit back while just under 500Mb is downloaded
4) Burn and install. It's apparently valid and the proper code.

[Disclaimer: this is for educational purposes only.]

European earnings went down (1)

bryanbrunton (262081) | more than 13 years ago | (#106572)


What's interesting is that their European earnings went down. I don't know if that's due to number juggling or what. The US tech spending decline was only supposed to be just hitting the EU.

Re:American Business vs European Union (1)

AnotherBlackHat (265897) | more than 13 years ago | (#106575)

What influence can the European Union have on an american company like microsoft?
Consider that they can do any or all of the following;

Seize all property, cash and other holdings, Microsoft has in Europe.

Legalize the copying and distribution of Microsoft software.

Deport, detain, or even kill Microsoft employees in Europe.

Demand the extradition of Microsoft executives for trail in Europe.

Sure, none of these things are likely, but they do point out that you shouldn't ever treat an organization as large as a government lightly.
Governments have used their right of eminent domain to seize real property.
Most wouldn't even think twice about seizing the intellectual property of a convicted criminal.

Re:Hmm... (3)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 13 years ago | (#106577)

  • Does the BSA reimburse companies for the waste of manhours it takes to find and verify all software licenses

I'd recommend modding this us. It's a superb point, and the exact reason that large companies just buy batches of extra Microsoft licenses when the BSA comes a-knockin', rather than go to the expense of tracking down and auditing every piece of hardware they own. It really is cheaper to just buy the licenses - regardless of whether you are using them or not.

Re:American Business vs European Union (5)

tb3 (313150) | more than 13 years ago | (#106586)

The same way the EU could stop General Electric and Honeywell (two U.S. companies) from merging. Check out the cnnfn story [cnn.com] .

From the article: "The European Union Tuesday officially rejected General Electric Co.'s planned $42 billion acquisition of Honeywell International Inc., the first time a proposed merger between two U.S. companies has been blocked solely by European regulators."

Re:Windows XP Licenses and Consumers (1)

Compulawyer (318018) | more than 13 years ago | (#106594)

For the "one copy, one computer", unfortunately not. . .

This term is in the license. When a court invalidates the license, it is wiped out. In these cases, the terms of the contract are set when the consumer buys (not licenses - BUYS) the software. The license is legally viewed in these instances as an illegal attempt to introduce terms into a contract (the sale) that already exists and is set. Result: the consumer owns the software and can install it on as many machines as s/he likes and do with it what they will.

I agree that companies can legally do this. However, the manner in which it is done can have serious legal consequences. With consumer sales, in my humble legal opinion, a shrinkwrap license just doesn't rise to the level of clearly and conspicuously disclosing the terms as the law requires in many, if not most, jurisdictions.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (1)

Compulawyer (318018) | more than 13 years ago | (#106595)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't putting something in the fine print, education enough? When the user hits "I Agree" or "I Accept" or whatever it is, aren't they legally agreeing to whatever is in the fine print that they just agreed to, whether they actually read it or not?

OK, I'm correcting. Please see my post re: consumers and licenses above. Especially see my reply to the first reply my post received.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (1)

Compulawyer (318018) | more than 13 years ago | (#106596)

Exactly right.

Windows XP Licenses and Consumers (5)

Compulawyer (318018) | more than 13 years ago | (#106599)

I for one question the legality of this scheme with copies of XP sold to consumers for home use. The problem is with the way it is done. Courts have invalidated terms of shrinkwrap software licenses on the grounds that the terms of the sale (and thus the company's contract with the consumer) were set at the register and that the license terms are an invalid attempt by one party to unilaterally change the contract terms.

It seems to me that unless these terms are clearly and conspicuously disclosed BEFORE the sale, it is a breach of contract and an invasion of privacy to which the consumer did not consent.

Re:Does it bother anyone else... (1)

Marcus Brody (320463) | more than 13 years ago | (#106601)

from the link [wsj.com] :

If you don't activate Windows within the specified period, it will cease functioning -- except to remind you to activate.

Therefore the XP reg. process doesnt "bring down your entire computer". Smoke doesnt start coming out of the back (maybe MS is planning this for XP2!) There is absolutley no reason whatsoever why you cant pop a linux boot disk in the floppy drive, and "re-activate" your licinse. If you miss cute little gui's, you clould even try a mandrake bootdisk...

Register in 30 days or less (4)

uigrad_2000 (398500) | more than 13 years ago | (#106608)

This is new news to me. WinXP gives you 30 days free without registering (submitting innermost details about your prized hardware for piracy check).

<flamebait>
30 days is a long time. I've rarely gone for 30 days without having Windows crash so bad that I needed a full reinstall anyway. How is this going to help them?
</flaimbait>

Re:Its about time... (4)

s20451 (410424) | more than 13 years ago | (#106612)

its good to see IBM standing up for something that it seems to believe in: open source. It makes me proud to be an employee.

On the contrary; the irony is so thick you could cut it with a knife. If slashdot had been around 20 years ago the object of its obsessions would have certainly been IBM. Not so long ago IBM's questionable trade practices [slashdot.org] in the mainframe industry was the subject of a Slashdot post. Yet here is IBM, complaining that a company that their market dominance helped build has turned into a monster, and is acting arrogantly.

Don't kid yourself; IBM is embracing open source only to the extent that it can give them an advantage over MS in the marketplace. Not that I think that's bad; but let's be clear about their motives.

Re:Does it bother anyone else... (5)

Magumbo (414471) | more than 13 years ago | (#106623)

I just wish more people would realize that they don't have to put up with this sort of thing, and choose to eschew Microsoft.

Here's what I do to "spread the word":

I dress up in a furry penguin suit and drive around town blowing my horn in my black, white, and orange "penguin motif" 1970 Super Beetle. I've got a loudspeaker mounted on top that I blare ice cream truck sounds from. When the little kids come running outside I hand out free linux cds and say "Spread the love".

It's very important to get the younger generation involved, you see.

--

Re:Its about time... (1)

powerlinekid (442532) | more than 13 years ago | (#106626)

IBM did indeed start microsoft, however it was Microsoft and Intel that truly had pc market dominance. IBM let the pc go... through some good and bad decisions. Yes they were the dominant force, but that lasted maybe what 5 years... before Microsoft and Intel became big enough to stop following the IBM standard and create their own. As for IBM and open source... IBM seems to sincerly support open source and not as a market domination type thing (although never underestimate IBM's dislike of Bill and friends). For better reading... see if you can pick up a copy of Computer Wars: How the west can win in a post-ibm world by Charles Morris and Charles Ferguson... it was written in '93 so its kind of old... but its got alot of good history of what went down between IBM and Microsoft.

Its about time... (3)

powerlinekid (442532) | more than 13 years ago | (#106627)

First a little (brief history): IBM creates PC, needs OS decides to buy one goes with small company called Microsoft which it lets retain the rights to the OS. Microsoft goes out and buys OS off of seattle software company and sells DOS to IBM (and later Compaq and the rest of the clones), then fucks up a joint venuture with IBM to create 0S/2 (I'll always wonder how Gates could hate the 286 so much but still allow OS/2 to be written in Intel 286 Assembler when he knew for a fact C would be better). IBM gets fucked over by stupid management decisions and a very eager Microsoft that realizes that the key to the pc isn't so much hardware but software. So after 20 years of being smacked around by Microsoft's thugish tactics... its good to see IBM standing up for something that it seems to believe in: open source. It makes me proud to be an employee.

Beginning of the end... (5)

powerlinekid (442532) | more than 13 years ago | (#106628)

I have no problem with Microsoft, infact they're a smart business... but their latest decision is very very very dangerous. The PC was so popular because it was open, because you could add hardware... run whatever you wanted, and had an incredible wealth of software. This is part of the reason Apple wasn't so successful... people don't want closed systems with little software. And the feeling in my gut is that Microsoft is trying to reverse the decision that the ibm developers at Boca Raton originally released the PC under. Of course Microsoft exploited IBM in the beginning, but setting a standard which they did with DOS/Windows isn't such a bad thing. Now though, by telling people what they can and can not do with their hardware, and also what they can and cannot do with their software (how long until Microsoft kills Sun, AOL, etc software compatiblity) they are overstepping their bounds. For the love of freedom of choice, I hope they fail... otherwise, if you think Microsoft is "evil" now, give them a few years. *sigh*

Re:the problem with crapdot (1)

zrizer (448365) | more than 13 years ago | (#106636)

fully functional and secure network in 30 minutes
Functional??? Secure????
You're a damn idiot. Let me tell you a little something about how "secure" winbloze 2k is!
A good friend of mine who is taking summer classes at college (with a fat T1 pipe of course)had win2000 installed with IIS running and he was cracked through the hole that everyone knows about: the buffer overflow to get "root" access (of course there is no root in M$ really). I'm not familiar enough with what the patch is called that was released for it; but Jon said that he had service pack 2 on it, so he thought he was "secure" (like you dumb shit). Apparently the cracker was able to run an invisible FTP daemon on his machine and loaded down the schools network severely. The school found out and now Jon's in all sorts of trouble. Needless to say, Jon doesn't run win2000 anymore ;)
He took the SuSE 7.1 disks that I gave him and under the GPL, he now has a STABLE and SECURE

secure and microsoft should NEVER be used in the same sentence together

Can you say ... (1)

Genoaschild (452944) | more than 13 years ago | (#106641)

Boycott Microsoft.


Anybody who is that big of a monopoly and is capable of destroying freedom of privacy should be seperated. Plain and Simple. No matter how much you love or hate Microsoft, this is unacceptable and I would go so far to say it is an act of tyranny. We must not allow this to happen or, if it does happen, overcome this.
----

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong (1)

Genoaschild (452944) | more than 13 years ago | (#106642)

You're not wrong. People are still entitled to follow the license even if they don't read it. Unfortunately, this is not the issue at hand. The problem is, can a company legally force you to register every single copy of its products and then reregister every single time the machine is changed. If I bought a car, I would be forced to register by law. No biggie their. The problem comes when I decide to add some new speakers. Under Microsoft's proposal, I would have to reregister my car even though the speakers have nothing to do with the original product I bought. This kills privacy and privacy is protected by the constitution. This is unconstitutional and that is the issue, not the license. The license can say anything as long as it doesn't violate upper law. This does.
----

Actual Windows XP registration dialogue (4)

SilentChris (452960) | more than 13 years ago | (#106652)

*After a minute on hold*
Me - "Hi, I downloaded the Windows XP beta, but I installed it on another machine. I didn't realize you could only install it on one. Can I pay for a second CD key?"
Operator - "You installed it on more than one machine?"
Me - "Yes."
Operator - "OK, hold on."
*Another minute on hold*
Operator - "Are you just using it for testing purposes?"
Me - "Yes. Like I said, I'd be willing to pay for an extra key."
Operator - "No need. My supervisor says I can override it."
Me *surpised* "Really? Uh, cool."
Operator - "What's your installation ID?" [this is the hardware hash they display on the screen]
Me - "1098.."
Operator - "Ok, here's your new code. Ready? 2037..."
Me - "OK".
Operator - "Then click "next"."
Me - "OK. It says thank you registering your copy of Windows XP. Very nice."
Operator - "Will there be anything else, sir?"
Me - "No. Thank you very much. That was surprisingly easy. Goodbye." *click*

MY THOUGHTS - Yes, the registration process sucks, but as I learned this morning, not every member of Microsoft is an asshole (at least the guy I spoke to). I didn't have to "pay" for an extra license (to test their beta, I know, but it's a pretty good OS. Hasn't crashed on my yet), and the total process took a little less than 3 minutes. Plus, as could be seen here, the operators can easily be swayed in certain instances (note, I don't think it's going to be so easy when the "actual" XP comes out).

Still, I'm pretty happy with the OS and service. Solid. $10 is not too bad considering I normally pay $9.95 - $14.95 to Cheap bytes for the latest RedHat distro.

Re:Hmm... (2)

Blue Aardvark House (452974) | more than 13 years ago | (#106653)

Will they keep hounding me until they've found the one unlicensed copy of Windows NT 3.50 sitting around on some long-neglected 486 in a remote office? Is that entirely legal to do?

The answer is yes. The copyright is still valid, and will be for many years. The upshot is, it falls under the category of "don't sweat the small stuff", so it's likely that they won't bother you. Kind of like copying a tape for a friend.

I wonder .... (1)

jeffy124 (453342) | more than 13 years ago | (#106654)

... how long it will be before Slashdot gets a few of these [slashdot.org] regarding some of the comments I'm reading regarding the loophole to getting XP RC1.

Re:Getting WinXP Preview without registration (1)

dtml-try MyNick (453562) | more than 13 years ago | (#106659)

I havent installed it yet, I will give it a go next saturday.
But there are a million cracks and serials floating on the web.
I have four different cracks for RC1 sittin' on my desktop.
So that should not really be an issue =)

"this is not a post"

Too late -- slashdotted, soon to be gone forever (1)

Owensellwood (456615) | more than 13 years ago | (#106669)

This may have worked for the first hundred, or first 1,000 perhaps. But alas, we peons of the world seemingly will not be able to download 600 megabytes of OS crap over our 56k connections. Alas. Also its illegal, and if you really want to download close to a gigabyte of OS binaries onto your hard disk, why not just go for Linux-Mandrake?

Is this the FULL source code for WinXP? (1)

Rayonic (462789) | more than 13 years ago | (#106681)

...and if so, is it really as bloated as people say? Also, is it all programmed in COBOL, or is there some Fortran thrown in too?

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