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Ubuntu Linux Validates As Genuine Windows

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the it-was-the-wine-talking dept.

Microsoft 401

bobbocanfly writes "Another crack in the Windows Genuine Advantage wall. A user at UbuntuForums.org managed to validate an Ubuntu installation as a genuine copy of Microsoft Windows and get to the download page of Windows Defender, using IE4Linux and Wine. (Here is an OGG video of the process.) Along with the advancement of LiveCD technology, this could spell the end of Microsoft's control over who gets their updates."

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Yeah, damn Microsoft (5, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545437)

and their desire that only their customers have access to their updates.

Next up: "Please enter your credit card number" - Windows Update.

I hope so (5, Insightful)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545489)

If Microsoft goes too far with taking control of computers away from consumers (as they did for me with Vista, only been using linux 6 months) they'll just drive more consumers to Linux, which makes me smile.

I hope so-Fruit juice. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19545557)

"If Microsoft goes too far with taking control of computers away from consumers (as they did for me with Vista, only been using linux 6 months) they'll just drive more consumers to Linux, which makes me smile."

Or Apple. Which makes ME smile even more.

Re:I hope so-Fruit juice. (3, Interesting)

ericrost (1049312) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545607)

Main reason Linux v Apple (in my case) was I already own 3 or 4 different computers, and I'm not replacing them, just reformatting. Now I have a home server, a firewall/gateway server, and a few more usable workstations. Not just two junk computer sitting in a corner, and two pcs sitting there not talking to each other :).

But, for someone that isn't entrenched in hardware, I can see the option.

Re:I hope so-Fruit juice. (3, Insightful)

Heembo (916647) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545849)

Or Apple. Which makes ME smile even more.
But should't Apple be most Linux fans' nightmare?

1) Proprietary system that is only in small part, OSS
2) Standard PC hardware with fancy plastic that is much more overpriced than the same hardware minus fancy plastic
3) A OS that is more expensive over it's life that even Winblows - and Apple CURRENTLY charges serious coin for major OS updates
4) A secure coding and patch release methodology that is *years* behind MS
5) Apple regularly lies about the performance capabilities of its' machines
6) Apple uses Solaris and Windows (Apple china ran it until 03) because of their superior stability compared to OS X.

Linux shall set you free, Apple will only drag you into Job's reality distortion field.

Re:I hope so-Fruit juice. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19545905)

actually, if i left microsoft as my main os provider i'd sooner go with apple. at least i'm going to get apple's support instead of this goodwill oss crap. just hoping someone makes it work in the future without being forced to pay for a solution from "consultants"

Re:I hope so-Fruit juice. (2, Interesting)

Heembo (916647) | more than 6 years ago | (#19546013)

just hoping someone makes it work in the future without being forced to pay for a solution from "consultants"


My vote is on Google!

Re:I hope so-Fruit juice. (1)

hpavc (129350) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545911)

the tco on apple desktops and laptops is superior to microsoft boxes. most apple users can easily throw away their install media and never need it for the life of their machine (many years).

the benefits of mated os and hardware yields quite a bit over any proprietary issues, especially when looking at keeping the os inter-operable. we are talking about an company that since macos you can easily tool your own script to interact with any textfield for example for spell check or whatnot. that's the type of interop that you seem to leave out of 'oss'

s/apple regularly lies/industry regularly lies/

apple uses solaris and windows because of superior stability? koolaid please

Re:I hope so-Fruit juice. (1)

cheater512 (783349) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545985)

Lesser of two evils.

Once MS is gone and everyone is using Mac, THEN we can get people to come to Linux.

Re:I hope so-Fruit juice. (1)

Heembo (916647) | more than 6 years ago | (#19546089)

Once MS is gone and everyone is using Mac, THEN we can get people to come to Linux.
HA! That's funny as hell, good show, chap. And as the parent poster, I must admit I'm saying this on a Dell 9100 XP Pro getting ready to buy *drool* one of the new Macbook Pro's, and I run Solaris for my servers. *sigh* All u*x desktops, other than Apple, look way to clunky to me. I love love Linux more ..... But how many of you leave the wives that you love to sleep with some slut? *sigh*

Re:I hope so-Fruit juice. (5, Insightful)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 6 years ago | (#19546023)

"1) Proprietary system that is only in small part, OSS" I can agree there.

"2) Standard PC hardware with fancy plastic that is much more overpriced than the same hardware minus fancy plastic" You're going by old info. You can configure a Dell and an Apple with the same specs and the prices are quite close.

"3) A OS that is more expensive over it's life that even Winblows - and Apple CURRENTLY charges serious coin for major OS updates" $129 is serious coin? And remember, this is for the MAJOR updates. Also, they're lax on the DRM, since you usually have to have the hardware to run the OS.

"4) A secure coding and patch release methodology that is *years* behind MS" Patch and release when it's found, not once a month?

"5) Apple regularly lies about the performance capabilities of its' machines" For example? I'd love to see some examples here.

"6) Apple uses Solaris and Windows (Apple china ran it until 03) because of their superior stability compared to OS X." Proof please.

All in all, you're arguing against the Apple that no longer exists.

Rights matter. (2, Insightful)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 6 years ago | (#19546077)

Microsoft is not taking control away from users... Users are agreeing to MS terms when they purchase the product, therefore they are *giving* control to MS.

If your concern was control, then you were using the wrong OS from the start. Show me the version of a MS operating system that gave you more control than Vista, or that you were free to modify. If anything, UAC allows you to programatically control your system more so than ever before.

Anyhow, any person that believes the GPL should be respected (as I do) also needs to respect the TOS that MS sets forth.

You might notice, however, if you read the article, that we are both OT right now.

Just thought I would raise a point.

Regards.

Ubuntu Meme (-1, Troll)

broward (416376) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545573)

Rate of growth looks like it's decelerating for Ubuntu.

http://www.google.com/trends?q=ubuntu [google.com]

Re:Ubuntu Meme (4, Interesting)

Virgil Tibbs (999791) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545761)

whats even more interesting is this [google.com], ubuntu versus some [possibly] major other distributions...
feel free to berate me on not including the distro of your choice, (but add your own findings if you have any...

Re:Ubuntu Meme (1)

denominateur (194939) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545803)

if you repeat the search replacing mandrake with mandriva and red hat with fedora, you'll see that both stay relatively constant, but indeed, your point is quite striking

http://www.google.com/trends?q=ubuntu%2C+mandriva% 2C+fedora%2C+debian%2C+gentoo&ctab=0&geo=all&date= all&sort=0 [google.com]

Re:Ubuntu Meme (1)

donaldm (919619) | more than 6 years ago | (#19546097)

If I am reading this correctly Google is showing "trends" in search volume statistics for different Linux distributions. Also what is the search volume number? I would assume a value should be given otherwise the graph only shows what I would hope is the normalised relativity of the searches on different distributions.

Just because people may search for a particular Linux distribution does not actually mean that this indicates something like the total number of installed platforms out there. Now that IMHO would be much more interesting and could give certain Linux distributions some bragging rights.

Re:Yeah, damn Microsoft (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545787)

Fair enough, but what about other programs and updates that require Genuine Advantage? How does one download these programs to bring to clients? They're forcing not only their customers to run Windows, but also the people who support their customers.

Re:Yeah, damn Microsoft (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545893)

Cry me a river. It costs money to supply these updates ya know.. would you prefer "please enter your credit card?" Or do you just want Microsoft to suck up the cost. I know they can afford it, but it's a bit hard to justify that to their shareholders don't you think?

Re:Yeah, damn Microsoft (5, Insightful)

alisson (1040324) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545863)

Heh, would it be such a bad thing?

On M$'s end, they're a business. If you don't give them money, why do you think they should be giving you free updates? You're not a customer, you're not going to be a customer, so it's only ever so slightly in their interest to keep you on the platform. Do you realistically think the third party software is going to disappear just because windows doesn't provide updates to people who don't pay?

On the pirate's end, who cares? When was the last update that was worth downloading?

Re:Yeah, damn Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19546083)

On M$'s end, they're a business. If you don't give them money, why do you think they should be giving you free updates?
there are several answers to this: because their competition [linux and mac] all give out free updates to their customers and because part of Microsoft's plans include the idea that it is much better for people to be using their software pirated or not [seems a tad odd at first] but think about it, as long as people are not using other company's software, Microsoft has an advantage. only when people stop using MS products pirated or not will they really be screwed.

Re:Yeah, damn Microsoft (1)

bit01 (644603) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545869)

and their desire that only their customers have access to their updates.

Since those updates are pointless for anybody not running windows it's all about maintaining their "Windows Disingenuous Disadvantage" deceptive marketing practices.

M$ reaps what it sows.

---

WGA. Guilty until proven innocent. For millions. Again and again.

Guess again... (4, Insightful)

ari_j (90255) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545445)

This might put an end to Microsoft using current techniques to control who gets their updates. If you push them hard enough, they will end up making the whole process a lot more intrusive than WGA already is. After all, they don't have to give you free updates at all and, if they care enough about this, they'll start charging you monthly fees for your Windows Update account.

Re:Guess again... (2, Insightful)

Mr_eX9 (800448) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545479)

I think Joe Average would sooner go without updates to his operating system than pay for them.

Perhaps if MS would roll out new versions of its OS more often than once every 5 years this wouldn't be such a problem...

Re:Guess again... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19545569)

Yeah, they could do lots of point releases and charge $129 for each! Profit! Oh wait, that's Apple's business model.

And what would happen then? (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545789)

If you push them hard enough, they will end up making the whole process a lot more intrusive than WGA already is. After all, they don't have to give you free updates at all and, if they care enough about this, they'll start charging you monthly fees for your Windows Update account.

And what would happen then?

It's already difficult to get Windows users to patch their systems. Which is ONE of the reasons why so many Windows machines are zombies.

Making it more difficult would only mean that FEWER people patched their systems.

Which would NOT look good for Microsoft's "security" process. Showing that 99.99% of the zombies out there are Windows machines ... well, you get the idea. Bringing it up to 99.999% would be even worse.

And it would give alternative OS's even more publicity. Use Ubuntu! You get FREE PATCHES.

Re:And what would happen then? (1)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 6 years ago | (#19546049)

There's really only one reason there are so many zombies based on windows systems: there are a lot of windows systems.

Security issues or stupid users, it doesn't matter. Every OS has bugs, stupid users and stupid features. What it all comes down to which barrel you want to shoot into. The Windows barrel packed so tightly with fish that even the water was forced out long ago. The Mac OS barrel with a couple of guppies wiggling around down near the bottom. Or the everything else barrel which might have some unicellular pond scum lining the sides and bottom of the barrel.

Re:And what would happen then? (-1, Redundant)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 6 years ago | (#19546075)

Showing that 99.99% of the zombies out there are Windows machines ... well, you get the idea. Bringing it up to 99.999% would be even worse.

More like 100% of zombie machines run Windows. As far as I can tell, it's a Windows only problem.

Re:Guess again... (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545801)

"After all, they don't have to give you free updates at all and, if they care enough about this, they'll start charging you monthly fees for your Windows Update account."

Excellent idea!

Re:Guess again... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19545971)

I agree, as cool as this "seems," it was MORONIC to get Press for this.

Now Microsoft has even more excuses for making more of a pain in the ass for legitimate users to get updates.

This proves yet another point, again: copy protection does NOTHING but make it hard for legitimate users. No matter how hard they try, Microsoft (or anyone else, for that matter) CANNOT keep people from cracking their copy protection. It just fucks over the legitimate users...

"This could spell the end of Microsoft's control"? (4, Insightful)

popo (107611) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545449)

> "This could spell the end of Microsoft's control.."

Please. They'll update the security.

Will there eventually be another way around? Yes. Of course.

Next story please.

Re:"This could spell the end of Microsoft's contro (4, Informative)

Fordiman (689627) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545509)

You kidding me? That's more interesting than anything else. I'd love to see *why* it does that, and *how*.

For one thing, WGA is supposed to check Product key, PC manufacturer, Windows version, PID/SID, BIOS information, BIOS MD5 Checksum, Language setting and version, and Hard drive serial number, among other things.

Since your winver and product key don't technically exist (I believe the former comes up as Win 98), I don't see how WGA gets a false positive in this case (which means it's also going to be an easy bug to track down).

But, theoretically, since xubuntu doesn't need a 'valid' key, it may throw random numbers out (which would be very unlikely to trip the 'pirated' check, but would mean WGA doesn't check if your key is valid.

Re:"This could spell the end of Microsoft's contro (5, Insightful)

Bender0x7D1 (536254) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545575)

I'm guessing that WGA is set to return "genuine" if it is unable to retrieve the appropriate information. For example, it might try 5 times to get the product key, but the system always gives it an error since it doesn't actually have a product key. Since they can't get enough information to determine if you are genuine or not, they err on the side of caution and say you are genuine, even though they can't tell.

Re:"This could spell the end of Microsoft's contro (2, Insightful)

Darundal (891860) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545813)

I doubt that, considering how many false positives Microsoft manages to get with WGA.

Re:"This could spell the end of Microsoft's contro (1)

RMingin (985478) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545959)

WinXP x64 always passes WGA, no matter what. Vista x64 doesn't, so it's not a bitness thing. I'd imagine, as you seem to conclude, that MS never implemented XP x64 ready versions of WGA, so in case of no result, it errs to the valid. I'd bet the Ubuntu install is falling into something similar.

Re:"This could spell the end of Microsoft's contro (2, Interesting)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545999)

Maybe they special case Ubuntu. E.g. consider.

Windows Developer: We tested Ubuntu with IE4Linux and we can catch it. It claims to be Win98 and it doesn't have the undocumented secret handshake to check for validity. And it hides the Bios too. If you look at the CS values Wine uses the same selector but you can't use that. But if you look at CS:Hardcoded_offset then all versions of Windows have some code that is not present in Wine. So we check for that.
Lawyer: Hmm. Could they change Wine so it passes
Windows Developer: Yeah, they could just set up a copy of the code code in Windows so the check is fooled. But that code is protected by copyright and patents.
Lawyer. So we release code that depends on undocumented details, they reverse engineer and fix and we sue them? Excuse me, I need to make a phone call. ...
Lawyer. Take the code out.
Windows Developer. What? I spent all night writing that! Then we'd authenticate Linux as genuine Windows. Why do we have to provide updates to people that didn't buy the software?

It's actually the same case as the AARD code which the lawyers got the developers to disable in the release build. Probably they could detect Wine and Ubuntu using undocumented details but the problem is that it would be artificial tieing updates to IE and Office to Windows which is illegal. In the AARD case, they disabled it really close to production by changing one byte in the data segment to minimise the risk. So technically it was possible - the code worked in Beta, but someone decided that the legal risk was too great for the release version.

There is some evidence that Microsoft developers are aware of these sorts of legal issues

http://blogs.msdn.com/oldnewthing/archive/2007/02/ 01/1573160.aspx#1582487 [msdn.com]

patent deal promise? (1)

mathfeel (937008) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545459)

This must be what Microsoft was promising when they talked about interpolation? Look how far they have come! And yet we still love bashing it here in /. .

Pfft. So what? (-1, Flamebait)

kosmosik (654958) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545483)

> Another crack in the Windows Genuine Advantage wall. A user at
> UbuntuForums.org managed to validate an Ubuntu installation as
> a genuine copy of Microsoft Windows and get to the download page
> of Windows Defender,

If he could actually install the software it would be news. :) Getting to download some shit is not importand. I've downloaded Defender from genuine (pffft) copy of Windows at work and placed it on my pendrive. Then I've ran that copy of installer on ungenuine (pffffft) copy of Windows and it didn't pass the _instalation_ genuineness (pfffft) check. An mind you that was my friend's computer - I don't pirate software - I use Linux - I don't have to since it is free. :)

So anyway what is the point of downloading software that you can't install? Or maybe you can install Defender on unlicensed copy of Windows? Can you? And if you can - how is piracy good anyway?

> using IE4Linux and Wine. Along with the advancement of LiveCD technology,

You probably could use also the advancement of floppy technology. Get few floppies. Download Defender from using licensed copy of Windows. Put it on floppies (software to split stuff over few floppies would probably be useful - like RAR or smth. go google). Then put the floppies in another computer and transfer the file to it! Wow! This is cool!

> this could spell the end of Microsoft's control over who gets their updates."

How about beating the living shit out of Red Hat. Fucking Red Hat does not give binary updates to people who do not pay for their service. I've always known that RH = MS.

Anyway. How this shit *even* got to frontpage of Slashdot?!

Re:Pfft. So what? it does work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19545587)

I just did an install of half a dozen boxes with a CD full of goodness. Along with FF and Tbird I included Defender. Works like a charm.

Re:Pfft. So what? (3, Informative)

Asic Eng (193332) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545639)

So anyway what is the point of downloading software that you can't install? Or maybe you can install Defender on unlicensed copy of Windows? Can you? And if you can - how is piracy good anyway?

Could be useful for people like my dad - he uses Linux for the internet stuff (and gimp) but boots in Windows (no internet connection for that) to use Excel etc. He doesn't want to expent the effort to keep Windows secure, but he might still want an update for a driver or something like that.

Re:Pfft. So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19545921)

Why the hell doesn't he just use Open Office?

Re:Pfft. So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19545957)

Maybe because OpenOffice still isn't that good/polished? It's an ever-closer approximation of MS Office, but it's not the same thing.

Re:Pfft. So what? (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545703)

Fucking Red Hat does not give binary updates to people who do not pay for their service.

The GPL only stipulates that buildable source must be available, and encourages distributors to charge money for the service of making said files available. (Duplicating tapes takes time and effort and tapes cost money. Likewise, high-speed network links cost serious coin.)

I've always known that RH = MS.

What an ignorant dweeb. Have you even read the GPL?

Re:Pfft. So what? (1)

Raideen (975130) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545785)

My desktop at home is Debian GNU/Linux but I deal mostly with Windows at work. If I want to download some things to prepare for the next day, WGA gets in the way of my ability to support Windows systems. Having the ability to download the software without Windows is good for me (meaning I'm not sitting at my office waiting for things to download) and good for the Microsoft users that I support since I'm not downloading patches at their expense.

Re:Pfft. So what? (1)

Darundal (891860) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545827)

Actually, him installing it in this case IS news, because it means that his copy of Xubuntu with Wine would pass the validation test that the software tries as well.

Woah... (5, Funny)

GFree (853379) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545487)

Does this mean that I can validate Ubuntu using my XP CD?

Oh wait...

Re:Woah... (4, Funny)

dotpavan (829804) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545719)

duh, It just means your copy of Ubuntu is authentic :) it is a service given by MS for free! try beating that, Ubuntu

Dual boot machine? (3, Interesting)

Mostly a lurker (634878) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545499)

It may well be that WGA allows Linux/Wine on the basis that it is too difficult to check if a valid Windows is being used alongside it. It would not surprise me, though, if the test machine was dual boot and WGA properly validated the available Windows system.

WGA has become pretty sophisticated this year, as recently has OGA. I strongly suspect that the observed behavior is by design, though Microsoft may now choose to change it.

Or you know, (0, Interesting)

timecop (16217) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545527)

You could simply, like,
BUY A LEGITIMATE COPY OF WINDOWS.
I know I did, and more than once.
I've had zero problems with genuine advantage checks, it shows up once or twice a month when I go download something off Microsoft site, its completely transparent to legitimate user.

And what exactly IS the point of validating Ubuntu or whatever as genuine windows anyway???

Re:Or you know, (4, Funny)

alx5000 (896642) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545597)

And what exactly IS the point of validating Ubuntu or whatever as genuine windows anyway???
Touching trolls' nerves, apparently...

Re:Or you know, (1, Offtopic)

No Tears In The End (452319) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545681)

I've had zero problems with genuine advantage checks, it shows up once or twice a month when I go download something off Microsoft site, its completely transparent to legitimate user.


Good for you. I have had problems with a legit install of Vista Home Premium on my new laptop. It took me a week to find all of the drivers, but I went back to XP.

NTITE

Re:Or you know, (3, Funny)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545781)

He was talking about WGA, not fucking driver problems. :-p

On the same (?) topic, I ate a hamburger today.

Re:Or you know, (1)

Nutria (679911) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545755)

And what exactly IS the point of validating Ubuntu or whatever as genuine windows anyway???

Slashdot SOP: you didn't RTFA.

Re:Or you know, (1)

Lemming Mark (849014) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545833)

Well... IIRC, updates for MS Office are only allowed if you're running on a genuine Windows OS. Let me run that by again in case it sounded too crazy to be true: you can only get product updates for Office if you [i]also[/i] buy Windows. [i]And[/i] use it ;-) The updater explicitly checks if you're running Office under Wine and fails to auto-update if you are... To me this seems to be blatantly anti-competitive: "buy our other product, or we won't support this one properly".

If being able to validate successfully under Ubuntu would give me the ability to get updates for a product I've paid for then yes, this is worth it.

Side note: I also have a legitimate copy of Windows I run in a virtual machine. An upgrade of the virtual machine software made the virtual hardware look different, so Windows decided I was a pirate, refused to reactivate and is currently holding my data to ransom. If I'd got a pirate cracked Windows and bypassed such checks entirely, I assume I'd still be able to access my data. Since I've already paid for the license, I'd feel justified in dropping a cracked install onto that disk to get back the functionality I paid for in the first place.

Re:Or you know, (1)

wwahammy (765566) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545919)

Or you could just call their support number and explain your issue and they'll give you an Activation Code at no cost... but that wouldn't fit the Slashdot hatred of MS :)

Re:Or you know, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19545885)

Just in case you aren't actually _playing_ stupid..

There have been privacy concerns raised around WGA. Enough to warrant some people not to install it. (I have a legitimate XP, and I haven't allowed it to install WGA for these reasons).

However, not installing WGA makes it impossible (read: more difficult) to download stuff from Microsoft Update (other than critical security patches).

Making Ubuntu Validate as a WGA-system is an important step towards being able to download Windowd Update content from a system you can trust, and move it over to XP, and install it there.

There may be other aspects to it that I am not aware of, but that the "It's so painfully obvious that it jumped out and bit me on the nose"-reason, I guess.

And what exactly IS the point... (3, Insightful)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545901)

And what exactly IS the point of validating Ubuntu or whatever as genuine windows anyway???
The point is that it's a very nerdy thing to do. Whether it actually makes sense to do it is a secondary concern. Besides, Linux being validated as 'Genuine Windows' is pretty damn funny so the humor value alone is another good reason to do it.

Re:Or you know, (1)

daybot (911557) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545903)

I've had problems... there are many circumstances where a genuine copy gets flagged. Fortunately, somewhere, there's a Microsoft tool that tells you why it thinks your copy isn't genuine - we had one example where the cause was the date being about 6 months wrong. I would worry if that copy was fake - it was downloaded straight from MSDN!

This is bad for linux (5, Insightful)

astrashe (7452) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545529)

I'd rather see bulletproof license control for commercial software.

If everyone who ran pirated software used open source instead, our user base would be several times as it is now. And that would encourage hardware vendors to give us better support, which is the main thing we need now.

Re:This is bad for linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19545915)

while that would be an ideal situation ... without a common platform for development its a waste of time and money for companies creating duplicate versions that will run on anything ...

its basically the only thing i like about MS, development platforms made easy (well, not so easy for anyone whos ever had to use them, but you get the idea)

Re:This is bad for linux (1)

Chabil Ha' (875116) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545965)

Kind of a chicken and egg, isn't it? While your comment makes sense, the support has to be there before the users will come.

As close as it is, It Just Has To Work(TM) isn't there.

Control?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19545539)

this could spell the end of Microsoft's control over who gets their updates.

When did they ever have control? All they've ever done is lock out legitimate users.

Uh, you can just use Windows 2000. (3, Interesting)

urbanriot (924981) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545541)

With earlier versions of Windows, prior to Windows XP, you can download any and all updates without having to validate your Windows.

Re:Uh, you can just use Windows 2000. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19545835)

Without having to "activate" yes, validate, no.
I had to jump through hoops to download the directx sdk(which then didn't fucking support building ON windows 2000 but would build FOR windows 2000 unless I got a two year old version, wtf?) and ddk. This was really a pain in the ass as I could not and was not allowed to install the validation software itself (hard enough to get someone to approve installing the sdk/ddks even though I needed them to perform my job!).

It is a good thing you can(or used to) be able to download the files from Microsoft's servers by knowing the file name and the GUID that they happily provide.

Oh, great (1, Insightful)

Dasher42 (514179) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545559)

Now Microsoft label Linux users as pirates, when one of the big benefits of free software is not to pirate, or even have to if you're poor.

Windows for human beings? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19545561)

Or: I am who I am because of whom Microsoft thinks I am?

I thought WGA... (5, Insightful)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545591)

... was designed to find pirated versions of windows. Why would they care if a linux user can download the updates. He's not the target. It's the people and companies with fake copies and either don't know it or don't want to go through the trouble of downloading a version of each patch that the WGA step will get to buy Windows. So it probably worked to specs, and probably works via blacklisting rather than whitelisting (easier to disassemble a whitelist for one).

I know its bad form here to defend anything from M$, or announce that a story doesn't really mean their emminet death, but remember that WGA is just another step like serials designed to increase the geekiness or effort required for someone to pirate a copy.

Just like DRM. I mean, you can always use a professional quality camera to capture the movie, and put each output speaker in an anachoic chamber with its own high quality mike. The point of DRM and WGA is to make it hard enough that it's not worth saving the $10 (for bad movies) - $400 (for Vista Ultimate SuperDeluxe w. CoffeeMaker ) after all the effort.

Re:I thought WGA... (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19545679)

Please, for the love of god and all things holy, mod parent up!

I used to work at Microsoft. Posting anonymously for obvious reasons, so feel free to doubt what I'm about to tell you.

Parent is spot on. The purpose of WGA isn't to block all attempts to pirate Microsoft software. As we've seen with countless articles here on /., dedicated people will bypass WGA. People at Microsoft know this - come on!

WGA exists because unscrupulous PC manufacturers / PC builders will sell PCs with improperly licensed copies of Windows. i.e. they'll pay for one copy and install it on every computer they sell. Saves 'em what, something like $60 per computer? I forget the exact number of computers sold this way, but it's surprisingly high.

So the thought is: you (or your mom, or gramma) buy a PC from one of these guys, you find out that they sold you a computer with a bogus copy of Windows, and you no longer do business with them. And you tell your friends, and they don't do business with them.

As I said, feel free to think I'm lying to you. There are plenty of things to dig Microsoft about, but I'm afraid there's no delicious irony in an Ubuntu user validating their copy as Windows.

Re:I thought WGA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19545797)

Which means what, exactly?

1) It's not a problem for the "unscrupulous" sellers beause if they are cheap enough compared with "official" sellers, then the moms and pops won't make a fuss, and

2) if it ever became a big enough problem to cut seriously into their business, they would simply hire a hacker to find a way to bypass WGA: We know it's possible to bypass WGA, and it only takes one person in the world to figure out how.

But if you're happy to believe in the magic powers of WGA to control human nature, why not?

Re:I thought WGA... (5, Insightful)

Jimmy King (828214) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545809)

There are plenty of things to dig Microsoft about, but I'm afraid there's no delicious irony in an Ubuntu user validating their copy as Windows.

Other than that being able to validate as genuine windows doesn't mean anything. What's to stop these same manufacturers that MS is trying to stop from just using one of the many ways around WGA on each of the computers they sell or install at the office?

Honestly, I have my doubts that it's really that big of a problem. I can't imagine that happens much outside of mom and pop shops that aren't exactly selling thousands or even hundreds of new computers per day.

So the thought is: you (or your mom, or gramma) buy a PC from one of these guys, you find out that they sold you a computer with a bogus copy of Windows, and you no longer do business with them. And you tell your friends, and they don't do business with them.

And the person who thought they legitimately paid for everything is stuck unable to get updates they may want and paid for unless they buy Windows again. Awesome.

While within their rights to do, it's stupid and only hurts the valid users in the end, which is really what most people's complaint is. Personally, I'm going to keep right on complaining about it.

Re:I thought WGA... (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545929)

And the person who thought they legitimately paid for everything is stuck unable to get updates they may want and paid for unless they buy Windows again. Awesome.


IIRC if a dupe turns in the PC maker, they get a free copy of Windows for their troubles, and maybe something else.

Article low on content? (1)

Virgil Tibbs (999791) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545627)

Is it just me or does anyone else think the linked article was a little low on content...?

Re:Article low on content? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19545877)

Is it just me or does anyone else think the linked article was a little low on content...?

No, no: it's Ubuntu! "Linux for Human Beings." You don't need all those nasty details getting in the way. /me slips into the nomex...

And this would be good because? (3, Interesting)

fsmunoz (267297) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545631)

Microsoft has every right to limit updates to valid licences. I don't understand how this is "good news". Well, apart from the "MS sucks again, ahaha" angle.

We complain that there is a MS tax. We complain that they hardsell licences. I would be very happy is Microsoft really had a way to limit the updates. Hell, even with Linux one *pays* for the updates in some distros, and there is nothing wrong with that. Plus, if piracy beneficts Microsoft - and it does - putting an end to it is all the better. Windows is "cheap" because many people are used to cracking all the software they have installed and then complaining about "there isn't a program in Linux/BSD that does *everything* I need and exactly the way I need".

Re:And this would be good because? (2, Interesting)

daeg (828071) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545667)

Cracking WGA is of interest to the greater community if only because of pirates. The more people that are able to patch their Windows machines, the less likely they are to get infected with viruses, which translates to less computers attacking my network.

Not likely (1, Insightful)

No Tears In The End (452319) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545671)

this could spell the end of Microsoft's control over who gets their updates.

More like, this spells the end of another battle in Microsoft's war to control the world.

More will be coming.

NTITE

MS has allowed this for AGES (5, Informative)

batkiwi (137781) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545685)

http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/08/08/ 2343248 [slashdot.org] 2005 reference to the same thing.

MS is looking for copies of XP that are nongenuine. Think of it as a negative return check, not a positive return check. The fact that it passed means that MS is fairly certain you're not running a pirated copy of XP (which is correct), NOT that MS is fairly certain you're running a valid version of XP.

Re:MS has allowed this for AGES (1)

pb (1020) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545897)

Yep. I did this last year with Wine (and "GenuineCheck.exe") on Gentoo; I thought it was amusing, took a screenshot, downloaded whatever it was that I was downloading at the time, and went on my merry way. Yawn.

Re:MS has allowed this for AGES (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19545997)

Exactly. When playing with MCE2005 I used the Windows validation tool to generate a code on my dell laptop and used that code right away on the MCE machine to download the patches. Then promptly discovered that window Media Center utterly sucks compared to Mediaportal and formatted the partition and put the dell XP restore CD back in the Desktop's drive and re-installed mediaportal.

it's incredibly easy to get around windows validation and even activation as I found with that illigit copy of MCE edition of XP.

Personally I think Microsoft should spend more time making a good version of Media Center WITHOUT trying to sodomize all of their customers with Rampant DRM in it than waste their time with the WGA system. I mean come on, Forcing DRM into MY recordings on my Hardware? what the hell is that?

No bulletproof Piracy schemes (1)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545711)

If a company, such as MS ever did make a "Bulletproof Piracy scheme" it would most certainly mean locking the BIOS down such that not only could you not install a pirated copy of Windows, but you couldn't install Linux or any other OS either because that would be the only way. (TCPA.) Because installing Linux means you are not buying Windows. To them, thats just as bad if not worse than pirating Windows.

So think twice about "Bulletproof Piracy to promote Windows." We want people to choose Linux because they want Linux, not because they are forced too.

All Cracks Welcome (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545741)

Considering that WGA now extends back to Office 2000 (can you believe that?!), all cracks to this Microsoft, buggy, forced upgrade, crapware are welcome!

That's not the point (1)

rsilvergun (571051) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545779)

GE isn't suppose to stop pirates, not yet anyway. It's so when Grandmama Miffi gets home and plugs in the new computa-r she got from the guy at the swap meet, she finds out she's been hornswaggled (well, her Grandson does, but you get the idea).

That's just wrong. (2, Interesting)

JonnyQabbala (708096) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545857)

this could spell the end of Microsoft's control over who gets their updates

Don't they sound proud of themselves. Call me a troll if you want, I really dont care, but isn't it Microsoft's perogative to only supply these updates to their paying customers? Although it's quite clever, this is just the sort of ammunition MS need against Linux. "See your honour, they are illegally circumventing our registration software, they must all be pirates".

My genuine copy (3, Funny)

techstar25 (556988) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545875)

WTF, I still can't even get my genuine copy of Windows to validate as genuine Windows.

Re:My genuine copy (1)

Tatisimo (1061320) | more than 6 years ago | (#19546017)

I got it validated about the first 5 times I re-formatted the hard drive. then the whole thing refused to do it.

I learned this in January (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545895)

[URL:http://appdb.winehq.org/appview.php?iVersionI d=6681]
I'm Rob M. by the way... I was really suprised that I could validate it (I wanted the MSI installer, and it's protected), but it worked...
NOTE: I have no connection with this article.

Embrace and extend language (5, Insightful)

Dirtside (91468) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545949)

I really hate the whole "Genuine" part of the name. They're using "genuine" to mean "licensed", because as everyone knows, the only difference between the copy of XP my roommate bought from the store and the copy of XP I burned from his legit CD is that his copy is legally licensed and mine's not. They're bit-for-bit identical and there is no way to tell the difference.

I know the intent is to find the nefarious PC sellers who buy one copy of XP and install it on every machine they sell, but I'm still getting the exact same sequence of bits on my hard drive in that case that I would have if the nefarious PC seller had actually bought a license for each computer he sold.

Fundamentally, it's an attempt to conflate information "property" with physical property in the minds of the public -- even though we know that a "non-genuine" copy of Windows is bit-identical and functionally identical to a "genuine" copy, MS wants people to think that a non-genuine copy has something wrong with it. There IS a legitimate concern about illegit copies that have been modified to include spyware/viruses/etc., but it's entirely possible for such a copy to pass as "genuine" since the software that validates "genuine"-ness won't always know about malicious software (especially if said software is specifically designed to hide from WGA...).

I'm not against copyright and licensing (I'm in favor of much shorter copyright durations, and yes, I produce copyrighted material for a living), but I AM against this attempt to abuse the language.

DMCA (2, Insightful)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545953)

This sounds like a very bad idea; TFA is practically begging for Microsoft to file DMCA legal action against Ubuntu.

They

  • Accessed a proprietary server
  • Had no authorization to do so
  • Bypassed all access controls
  • Reverse engineered the validation handshaking mechanism

If someone did that to my Ubuntu PC... (1)

Long-EZ (755920) | more than 6 years ago | (#19545963)

If someone did that to my Ubuntu PC, I'd boil it in bleach and expose it to some virus killing UV light for a day or two.

Stupid (1)

lukesky321 (1092369) | more than 6 years ago | (#19546021)

Why does it matter that Ubuntu can validate as a Genuine Windows install?
Personally, I dont have any desire to download software from Microsoft.
They have sloppy code and operate under a flawed philosophy, Were in linux
has a multitude of projects that thousands of people are working on. If one
does not like a project they can start there own or download a different one.

This is easy.. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19546041)

If they used the "controversial" non-blockable Chinese serials for Windows, they didn't have much work to do at all.

The fact is; these serials don't need further cracking, just installing with them is enough.

HCQ9D-TVCWX-X9QRG-J4B2Y-GR2TT

There we go; no more hassles..

Same code works (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#19546073)

The same code used in the video also worked for me
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