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Vista Pirates To Get "Black Screen of Darkness"

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the there-goes-china dept.

Windows 873

jcatcw writes "Microsoft has just turned on Reduced Functionality mode, worldwide, and sent a letter to OEMs explaining the consequences of Vista piracy. These include a black screen after 1 hour of browsing, no start menu or task bar, and no desktop. Using fear as a motivator, the email warns resellers to 'make sure your customers always get genuine Windows Vista preinstalled.'"

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This should end well (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20557427)

"To help protect honest partners and fight piracy, Microsoft will continue to block product keys that are determined to be pirated, stolen or otherwise deemed nongenuine."

So, what is going to happen when M$ screws up and starts blocking products that are 'genuine'? This will happen and I'll bet that the least painful thing that a customer will be able to do is purchase a new copy. I doubt that M$ will go out of their way to check to see if a blocked customer has a legit copy.

"The ad concludes with "Don't risk it!" and "make sure your customers always get genuine Windows Vista preinstalled."

So basically, M$ is going to screw customers if their OEMs screw M$. This should be fun to watch. Just another reason for linux.

Asshats

Re:This should end well (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20557515)

I believe this is referred to as shifting the blame. If you're a customer of the OEM and the OEM is selling you, at full price, pirated software, it's not Microsoft who is screwing you.

Re:This should end well (4, Insightful)

mike2R (721965) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557821)

If you're a customer of the OEM and the OEM is selling you, at full price, pirated software, it's not Microsoft who is screwing you.

Exactly. Whatever your opinions on "information wants to be free" or whatever, if a customer has paid an OEM for software and the OEM installs a pirated version and pockets the cash, this is theft - ok maybe not legally, but this isn't a case of people who would never buy software pirating it, it is a case of people trying to buy the software and the OEM stealing the money.

It's exactly like me stealing your car. You no longer have a car. The OEM has stolen Microsoft's money.

"Copyright infringement". (0, Redundant)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#20558019)

...this is theft - ok maybe not legally...

Actually, it's "copyright infringement".

The question is, should Microsoft then deny the victim any security updates? I can see turning the screen black and such. I have no problem with Microsoft denying the USER any functionality.

But denying security updates just means that OTHER people will suffer when that box is cracked.

Microsoft has some pretty smart people working there. I'm sure that they could come up with a way that would demonstrate to the user AT THE TIME OF PURCHASE whether their copy was legitimate or not AND REGISTER IT TO THAT USER.

Unintended Consequences (5, Insightful)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557617)

So, what is going to happen when M$ screws up and starts blocking products that are 'genuine'?

It gets worse. Let's take that line of thought a bit further. From TFA:

Titled "Don't let this happen to your customers," the advertisement indicates nongenuine copies of Windows Vista will lose access to key features, have limited access to updates, and thus risk attack from viruses, malware and spyware.

Great. Just what we need: deliberately make some machines more vulnerable to attack. As if those machines are the only ones that will suffer when they get infected.

A malware infection doesn't just impact the infected system's users. Those systems then become nodes in a botnet. They pump out more spam, more viruses, more phishing. They host phishing sites. They could theoretically be used for distributed computing projects... like cracking into paying customers' systems.

What's Microsoft going to say when a large site gets hacked, using someone else's pwned box as a launch platform, and the attacker got into that box because it was pirated, and Microsoft deliberately disabled the update that would have fixed a remote root exploit?

Re:Unintended Consequences (5, Insightful)

darth dickinson (169021) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557789)

What's Microsoft going to say when a large site gets hacked, using someone else's pwned box as a launch platform, and the attacker got into that box because it was pirated, and Microsoft deliberately disabled the update that would have fixed a remote root exploit?

"This is further evidence that pirating Microsoft products is harmful to all consumers."

Re:This should end well (2, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557717)

So, what is going to happen when M$ screws up and starts blocking products that are 'genuine'?
So why are you criticizing M$. it's their business decision to adopt this model. It's their petard to be hoisted upon if it fails. They obviously think it will work and they know more than you. Sure it may fail in cases too, but if the gains are net positive do they care?

Anyhow the real issue here is the externalizes. A lot of those blackscreen cost will be borne by businesses and ISPs and resellers who offer service contracts. So a lot of other people's business models are going to fail. And people who would prefer having freindly relations with their customers because they sell a reliable product are going to have to settle for adversarial business relationships with their angry customers whom they will have to ration support to. That's the real shame.

Still altruism is not a requirement for a company so MS will do what it thinks is best.

It's an interesting contrast to Apple's $100 rebate on the itards who's feelings where hurt by the price cut. Apple uses it's monopoly not so much "for good" but to enable it to manage it's customer's end-to-end experience in a very positive way. That's their business model. It's apparently less successful than MS but is viable in the people for whom time is money and hassles are aggravation. (why people on slashdot, who surely must earn at least $50/hour grouse that Apple is more expensive amaze me. 20 hours of aggravation is $1000 bucks of your time lunkheads.)

The Motivator (3, Informative)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557775)

So basically, M$ is going to screw customers if their OEMs screw M$. This should be fun to watch. Just another reason for linux.

So the problem, as you see it, aside from a MS Screwup(TM) is people suffering for purchasing from a shady dealer. People who buy from shady dealers should learn not to, not really MS's problem there, it's the cheapskates who do business with scumbags. People stung will have to go back to the cheatie dealer and demand satisfaction.

"Nothing for you to see here. Move along." (1)

tlacuache (768218) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557435)

It's already begun!

Insult to injury (5, Funny)

Average_Joe_Sixpack (534373) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557443)

Isn't using Vista enough punishment in itself?

Irony (5, Funny)

Just some bastard (1113513) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557795)

anyone who has a pirated copy of Vista will experience:

A black screen after one hour of browsing
No start menu or task bar
No desktop

Vista may actually be usable like that. Why aren't Microsoft sharing this upgrade with their paying customers?

Re:Insult to injury (1)

LinuxGeek (6139) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557823)

Isn't using Vista enough punishment in itself?

The obvious answer is: No. If it were, then people would be demanding a reversal on this Genuine Advantage program. I wish this Black Screen treatment had been active when the MS servers were declaring that perfectly legitimate Vista installs were pirated. Maybe that would have been punishment enough to get the peasants to rise up and revolt...

Re:Insult to injury (4, Informative)

halo8 (445515) | more than 7 years ago | (#20558041)

two months ago i bought a Thinkpad T61 it came with 2 gigs of Ram and Vista Ultimate.

Being a daily slashdot reader i knew that 4 gigs was the "sweet spot" silly me, i thought that Vista would still work.
I spent 6 hours trying to printer share from Vista to XP.
I spent 3-4 hours reading forums and turning off all the crap services in hopes of speeding it up.
I finally gave up and this very minute I am installing XP recovery CD's thankfully given to me from IBM.

My harddrive light never went off in Vista, it was always blinking.
When i called IBM to complain they said to buy more ram. Of course the damn thing came with 2 slots each filled with 1 gig sticks, now WTF aim i supposed to do with thoes when i go out and buy two 2 gig sticks? what a waste of fucking money.
and then said that SP1 wasnt coming out till 2008.

My Theory
1- MS did this in purpose.
2- This is, or should be, criminal.

Its the same thing they did with WindowsME,

That's right! (1)

nervous_banshee (1141217) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557445)

nothing to see here, move along..

"Black Screen of Darkness" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20557451)

The Ninjas strike back!

Re:"Black Screen of Darkness" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20557529)

Good to know that Microsoft has a department of redundancy department at Microsoft.

and (5, Funny)

UPZ (947916) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557453)

thats if the "blue screen" doesn't get to you first

2007, the year of linux. (5, Interesting)

Ckwop (707653) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557455)

What happens when this goes wrong? What happens when Vista is running in the Bank of America and it accidentally trips the entire network in to "Black Screen of Darkness" mode? What happens when a virus triggers this?

The first job of any operating system has to be stability. Without stability you have nothing and I can't honestly see a good reason to mess with the stability of your OS when you're making billions of dollars of profit a year. People do not have short memories when you turn off their company. They will avoid you for decades because an event like that could literally cost a company its existence.

Good enough is hard to shift. I personally think Grolsh is a superior larger to Fosters yet Fosters outsells Grolsh by a wide margin in the United Kingdom. Fosters is inoffensive and does the job well, it is "good enough." Windows is the same, it is good enough for the vast majority of people even though it is technically deficient to Mac OSX and Linux.

I think Microsoft is making a lot of mistakes with Vista. First of all, they released an early beta as the final product which left a lot of basic functionality horribly broken. Second, they added features that no end user wants at the request of record labels and the like. Thirdly, they've got sucked in to yet more anti-user copy protection.

How many more mistakes can you make before it starts to hurt? Who knows, but the competition is getting good very quickly indeed. I moved from Windows in January to Ubuntu and then Kubuntu..

To my surprise it is vastly superior to Windows XP and Vista. A year ago I would have called that fanboy-ism. Many of you are probably thinking that right now but I urge you to try it; you'll quickly learn you're wrong.

There has been much talk of the year of Linux and when that would be. The problem with the year of Linux is that you can only see it in retrospect. However, the signs are present that 2007 is in fact that year. We've had Ubuntu convince users like me to give it a go, I've heard people around me talk about Ubuntu who otherwise wouldn't have the inclination to try it. We're having people like ATI take the platform seriously and just today we've had Eve on-line announce a Linux port.

Is the year of Linux really upon us?

Simon

year of linux waits for network setup wizard (1)

192939495969798999 (58312) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557539)

The only thing stopping droves from converting to linux from those live CD's is an easy network setup wizard that figures out your NDISwrapper settings and gets you connected. If that worked as easy "click, wait, prompt for passwords, connected" I'd be switched right now.

Re:year of linux waits for network setup wizard (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557669)

NetworkManager?

OK, maybe it doesn't automatically detect your hardware, but that is more of a legal problem. Red Hat (and companies that follow similar policies) doesn't want the risk of a lawsuit over intellectual property, so they don't ship things like MP3 support or ndiswrapper (or certain binary firmware drivers). So what we need now is open hardware with open source drivers...

That said, hardware support is getting a lot better. A new Dell Inspiron will run Fedora 8 right out of the box, with the network card working. Except that it is being released in October, so just give it a month or so.

Re:year of linux waits for network setup wizard (1)

EvilMonkeySlayer (826044) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557865)

I'd think applications like Office, Photoshop and vast amounts of games might play a little bit into peoples decisions too.

Disclaimer:
- Has XP and Vista on my desktop pc
- Has a Macbook Pro with a XP bootcamp partition for games (I need Oblivion)
- Played with various Linux distros on the desktop since around SuSE Linux 6.1, nothing has stood out to me thus far for the desktop
- I use Linux on servers when it's appropriate, for example a fileserver running netatalk for os x machines and samba for windows machines

Re:year of linux waits for network setup wizard (1)

TheCoelacanth (1069408) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557887)

What linux needs is native drivers for wifi cards that now require NDISwrapper. The existing network wizards work perfectly fine if you have a supported card.

Re:2007, the year of linux. (5, Informative)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557547)

The year of linux is every year since 1992, just for different people. You can of course argue that from year to year, the group of people linux appeals to is getting larger and larger and that in 2007 the difference compared to the previous year is exceptionally large and I'd be inclined to agree with you.

With apologies to W. Gibson (4, Funny)

replicant108 (690832) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557849)

The year of linux is already here.

It's just not evenly distributed.

Re:2007, the year of GNU/Linux (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20557931)

Way to go M$! xD

The solution is simple http://www.ubuntu.com/ [ubuntu.com]

Re:2007, the year of linux. (1)

Technician (215283) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557971)

The year of linux is every year since 1992, just for different people.

What a perfect time to go legal. Ditch that copy of Vists. It's broken by design. It's a feature, not a flaw.

On the other hand going legal works. Start here.
http://www.ubuntulinux.org/ [ubuntulinux.org]

Re:2007, the year of linux. (1)

FinchWorld (845331) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557635)

2007, the year of linux.

No, no its not, when it starts getting shipped as the default OS on the majority of computer sales to home users, then is the time to run up the "Year of Linux" flag.

Re:2007, the year of linux. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20557975)

when it starts getting shipped as the default OS on the majority of computer sales to home users, then is the time to run up the "Year of Linux" flag.
On the majority of computers? That's setting a rather high requirement for "desktop readiness" or "year of Linux" or whatever. By that metric, Mac OS X is still waiting for it's "year". Not to mention that all kinds of other things, like Firefox, shouldn't celebrate success just because they are not yet the majority?

I think a more reasonable metric of "the year of the Linux desktop" is more along the lines of: (1) % of installed base (breaching 10% would be a huge deal); (2) coming pre-installed in some fraction of commodity computers (which has already occurred, because of Dell).

I, personally, don't think the objective here is to replace Microsoft's monoculture with our own monoculture. The objective is rather to have a variety of operating systems all be viable options, all supported by hardware vendors. So, I don't think Linux has to achieve the majority to declare victory. To achieve even 10% marketshare would be a huge deal, worthy of celebration, and raising the "Year of Linux" flag.

Re:2007, the year of linux. (1)

kuzb (724081) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557739)

Is the year of Linux really upon us?

No. Every year is "the year of Linux", and every year the people who say it are wrong. Video drivers are only a small part of a larger problem. Porting a few games is not the end solution. First, we need better hardware support. This means I shouldn't have to take special care to order specific kinds of equipment to run Linux. Second, you need commercial software vendor support. While this has improved, it's not nearly to the point it needs to be to make the average user happy - there is always some piece of software considered essential to the average user which Linux is either missing, or hasn't been done very well.

At the rate we're going, it'll be another 10 or 20 years before Linux starts to make any real impact in the home market.

Re:2007, the year of linux. (1)

jmorris42 (1458) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557889)

> What happens when this goes wrong?

Even worse, it HAS already went wrong. I seem to remember us all laughing at their incompetence a week or so ago when the authentication servers at MS went wonky and declared everyone was a pirate (too bad it couldn't have been on talk like a pirate day) except there wasn't any real consequences yet. Now that there are anyone want to start a pool for when it blows again and shuts down the How many more mistakes can you make before it starts to hurt?

So long as they keep their forced bundling deals with the OEMS they can bungle forever. But now we have Dell and HP slipping the leash just a wee bit. Could get interesting, but it will probably be years before they fall below 90% ship rate. Empires the size of Microsoft take a long time to die, even when they are as incompetent as this. See IBM.

> However, the signs are present that 2007 is in fact that year. We've had Ubuntu convince users like me to give it a go..

No, you are simply projecting your conversion into a larger trend. Doesn't make it so. I converted in 1994, I'm still waiting for "The Year of Linux on the Desktop". Linux on the Server came and went already, we 0wn that now. Only idiots deploy on Windows these days.... the choice is which Linux distro or flavor of UNIX. Of course most of Corporate America are idiots......

Existence (1)

Miykayl (841085) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557897)

I simply wanted to applaud you for proper spelling of the word "existence." Thank you, sincerely. Being bereft of mod points at the moment, I could not award you by simply modding you up.

This is what will happen (1)

goombah99 (560566) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557965)

What happens when this goes wrong? What happens when Vista is running in the Bank of America and it accidentally trips the entire network in to "Black Screen of Darkness" mode?
What will happen is that MS will sell a more expensive corporate version that Bof A will buy. It might be enforced by the BSA more too. It too will phone home so they can watch it is not in the wild but they will protect the BofA address block againt the black screen.

BofA inturn will have to pay more for network services to assure they route everything through providers who also buy the corporate version.

BofA will like this. Because it it's a level playing field. Either other banks pay more too, or they offer unreliable service. So BofA can pass this right along to their customers who won't have any alternatives that are cheaper.

Re:2007, the year of linux. (2, Insightful)

aquaepulse (990849) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557969)

What happens when Vista is running in the Bank of America and it accidentally trips the entire network in to "Black Screen of Darkness" mode?
If BoA has a policy to buy from shady resellers that preinstall pirated copies, then that is a bad policy on their corporate side.

What happens when a virus triggers this?
We can probably assume privilege elevation is involved. No one worries about virus catching, CTRL+ALT+DEL. Why worry about this?

I can't honestly see a good reason to mess with the stability of your OS when you're making billions of dollars of profit a year.
So MS is only allowed to make some invisible ceiling of money, then what, its just unseemly for them to continue doing business? They should give away all copies of the operating system?

Windows is the same, it is good enough for the vast majority of people even though it is technically deficient to Mac OSX and Linux.
What people here seem to forget is that the vast majority of people don't even know how to use the computers they have. The debatable appeal of one OS vs the next is not even in their minds. Windows whether liked or not has earned the reputation of just working. I guess most people haven't found out yet that software wants to be free.

Thirdly, they've got sucked in to yet more anti-user copy protection.
Is this unique to Windows? Is there some magic Linux HD-DVDs out there that have no AACS encryption? How is it MS fault for enabling users to play protected content? Are they supposed to be stubborn zealots and not support any DRM because Stallman doesn't like it?

There has been much talk of the year of Linux and when that would be. The problem with the year of Linux is that you can only see it in retrospect. However, the signs are present that 2007 is in fact that year.
This is like Bush talking about "making progress". It's been like 5 years in a row that it was supposed to be the year of Linux. That false Nostradamus crap has just gotten old.

first post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20557463)

first post!

Re:first post (1)

J.P. Yoshi (992111) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557827)

It seems your pirated Vista installation is already bloated with performance reducing spyware/adware thus taking your first post privilege!

And on top of all you're listening to music while surfing? Pfff, amateur...

Something's missing (1)

Kelson (129150) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557475)

A plain black rectangle for a screen...

A pirate(d) edition of Windows...

Of course! They need to add a skull and crossbones!

(On a more serious note, doesn't the term "reduced functionality" imply that something is still functional? The description makes it sound like it disables the system entirely.)

Re:Something's missing (1)

pieaholicx (1148705) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557573)

I think the remaining functionality is probably "doesn't melt your hardware intentionally". Just my guess though.

Re:Something's missing (4, Funny)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557579)

"(On a more serious note, doesn't the term "reduced functionality" imply that something is still functional? The description makes it sound like it disables the system entirely.)"

Yes, it does. My guess is that M$ turns your computer into a node for some sort of grid computer they are running, which will run DDOS attacks on mirrors.kernel.org.

Re:Something's missing (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557621)

I'd guess the phone-home component is still fully functional. That's "reduced functionality" if ever I heard it.

So when you legally buy the software... (4, Funny)

InvisblePinkUnicorn (1126837) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557489)

So when your legit copy of Vista dumps you to a blue screen of death, you can rest assured that you are experiencing the Genuine Advantage.

MS Goes Old-Skool (5, Interesting)

Ambiguous Coward (205751) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557497)

Back in the day, I used to play on a certain MUD (Eternal Twilight, ROM 2.4, I believe)...there was a command, if I recall, called something like "moron." When applied to a user, each time they used a command, said command would be disabled for further use, causing the player to slowly dwindle to non-functional oblivion. Ah, those were the days. Go Vista!

-G

Does vista work with Yahoo Games yet? (4, Insightful)

obarel (670863) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557501)

According to Microsoft, this is obviously the other way around: websites should change themselves to support the new Operating System.

Because we don't like this "OS independency" that websites seem to enjoy at the moment.

This will backfire! (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557507)

Let's see, in order to chase after a few retailers, Microsoft suddenly turns off the computer for potentially thousands, if not millions of people? Yep, that's going to win them a lot of friends. I would expect that some countries might just make this sort of thing illegal.

Re:This will backfire! (1)

onecheapgeek (964280) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557643)

Countries will make it illegal to disable pirated OSes? Really?

I would hope those same countries have made it illegal to remotely disable stolen cars, as that makes it harder for someone to get where they are going in a car they didn't purchase and have no legal right to use....

MS has no right to steal consumer data. (1)

tjstork (137384) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557747)

Is that, the disabler effectively steals all of the data on the consumer's hard drive. Say, I have a bunch of word documents, and suddenly, the OS is disabled. Well, I can't get to my documents now, can I. So, Microsoft stole my documents. It's like, you might repo my car, if I don't pay for it, but that doesn't give you the rights to the stuff inside it, which I can get at the repo lot.

When it really boils down to it, I would almost expect the disable feature to be the largest class action lawsuit in history against Microsoft, even in the USA. Even though, in general, I'm against this sort of big money class action lawsuits, I think Microsoft's heavy handed of theft of consumer data warrants it.

Re:MS has no right to steal consumer data. (2, Informative)

onecheapgeek (964280) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557859)

Except it is a stolen car, and you don't get your goods out of police impound. Usually impounded (and thereby forfeited) goods are auctioned off to whomever wants them. At least they are where I am from.

In response to "stolen" data.... Ever used a PE boot disk? Works wonders on borked installs to get data off a hard drive where the native OS won't boot. You are still in possession of your data. They are simply refusing to facilitate that retrieval, since you are not a legal, paying customer.

Just Now? (5, Funny)

Joe Jordan (453607) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557511)

Microsoft has just turned on Reduced Functionality mode, worldwide
I thought they already did that with the release of Vista?

Sorry, it was too easy.

Blue Screen Of Death is Passe (4, Funny)

curmudgeon99 (1040054) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557537)

How hysterical. Earlier the blue screen of death came at no charge. No you have to pay to get the black one.

Remind me again... (0, Flamebait)

Enlarged to Show Tex (911413) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557543)

...why anyone would want to use an OS in which the user can't be the local administrator of a PC that they already own?

Class action (2, Insightful)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557545)

You can bet on a class action as a direct result of this.

Considering other missteps by MicroSoft, it's an absolute certainty that legit users will get snagged here, and then they get to experience the famous MicroSoft support system.

Well that's the end of Vista in a business setting (4, Insightful)

Zelocka (1152505) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557551)

I wonder how long until some company loses a production SQL server costing millions of dollars because of this when they owned a group license. Its more then enough to stop any company from using vista if they where considering it.

Vista Server? (2, Interesting)

Mariner28 (814350) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557855)

I doubt there will be any production SQL Servers running on a desktop OS...

But that brings up a good point - does/will WGA run on MS server platforms? One major screwup there, and you'd see mass migrations to Linux in the data center. Definitely have to watch for flying chairs from Redmond, then, huh?

Re:Well that's the end of Vista in a business sett (1)

GiMP (10923) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557861)

Who would run SQL Server on Vista??? It is a desktop OS.

As if they were serious... (5, Interesting)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557553)

It's not like that thing won't be cracked shortly after the implementation.
Besides, if all the pirated copies of Windows were to be switched to black... dang... that would be a nice day... Linux/OS X marketshare quadruples, spam is be only about 4% of internet traffic.

(Disclaimer to mods and pointdexters: no I did not RTFA, and yes I did pull those numbers out of my A.)

Re:As if they were serious... (1)

Scutter (18425) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557833)

spam is be only about 4% of internet traffic.

Oh, the bots will continue to function, you just won't be able to clean them off anymore because you won't have a desktop.

And here I thought...... (1)

Valiss (463641) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557555)

...Vista was just booting slow.

Black Screen of Darkness (5, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557593)

Black Screen of Darkness Assails the knave
Defend yourself
With your shaving glaive
And the white foam of truth:
Burma Shave

Developers, Developers, Developers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20557595)

This is what you get when you have a bunch of simple programmers pandering to the whims of marketing. Customers are irrelevant. Don't trust the customer, trust marketing. Mareketing 'knows' what our customers want, and what they paid for.

It scares me to no end, that companies running massive systems use this defective product, designed by simple programmers who can offer no warranty or guarentee that their product will even continue to function. The WGA 'glitch' has shown us all how much trust Microsoft puts in it's customers, I place less trust in Microsoft.

Sure, Linux may not be coded by Engineers, but I have the power to audit the code, and my base OS doesn't assume I'm a pirate and shut me down.

Hang on... (2, Interesting)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557597)

from the article:
the advertisement indicates nongenuine copies of Windows Vista will lose access to key features, have limited access to updates, and thus risk attack from viruses, malware and spyware.

Does this mean that whilst the USER experience stops, the virus running in the background gets to continue running?

I am glad that Microsoft is doing this (5, Insightful)

Glowing Fish (155236) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557601)

I am glad that Microsoft is actually backing up the restrictions that they say they have on their software. I've noticed that many Linux vs. Windows debates are about legitimate use of Linux vs. illegitimate use of Windows.
And when I try to point out to people that there are strict legal limits on what you can do with Windows, they look at me like I am making something up. "But, I can install Windows on this computer...I have a CD my brother-in-law gave me!"
So, I am just as glad that Microsoft is doing something to demonstrate the nature of licensed software. If people want to use licensed, commercial software, I don't object to it (even though I use almost totally free software), but they should realize that means they have to pay for it.

Re:I am glad that Microsoft is doing this (1)

Zuato (1024033) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557899)

The biggest issue is what happens if a disgruntled IT employee leaves the company and passes the key around and gets the entire organization flagged as non-genuine? That is a worst case scenario, but Vista's licensing is tracked differently than any other OS Microsoft is released. It phones home frequently, and they keep a running tab of how many licenses you've purchased and installed with that key. I'm ok with them tracking their licenses - they need to get paid too. What I don't like is the possibility that should this OS be deployed across the company with the enterprise key that they could shut the entire company down. Or worse yet as someone mentioned above, a virus is written to exploit this.

Re:I am glad that Microsoft is doing this (2, Insightful)

halber_mensch (851834) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557933)

"But, I can install Windows on this computer...I have a CD my brother-in-law gave me!"

You touch on a very interesting point. Windows' widespread popularity (and thus dominant user base) is a result of massive pirating in the past due to the "feature" of a lack of effective copy protection on previous releases. I would think that this anal retentive copy protection will only serve to redirect some of the potential Windows Vista user base to other systems that can be obtained more easily and cheaply, and won't intentionally or unintentionally deactivate themselves.

Buy the software or suffer the consequences (5, Funny)

Kildjean (871084) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557603)

Good afternoon, as of this week, Microsoft has activated a function in Vista called 'Reduced Functionality.' This is a specific function in Vista that effectively disables nongenuine copies of Windows. Therefore anyone who has a pirated copy of Vista will experience:

"The Need to move to Mac OS X"

I love Vista! (1)

JoeMarzen (1155075) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557611)

As long as you turn off all the security features, which is fine with me, because I hate security features. It's quite visually pleasing. I've never tried Linux because it seems like it would be difficult to play games and run whatever other program I want. Why is every version of Linux I've seen competing for the most ugly GUI prize?

Re:I love Vista! (3, Insightful)

kturner (1154521) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557785)

I'm honestly hoping this was typed in sarcasm.

Re:I love Vista! (1)

Arcturax (454188) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557917)

If your reason for using this OS is it's visual looks, then maybe OS X would be better for you. Most of us don't care what it looks like. At work I put windows classic theme on just to cut out all the visual foreplay that slows down my work.

I CANT WAIT! (5, Insightful)

nobodyman (90587) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557615)

In other news, Apple, Sun, and a billion linux supporters simultaneously screamed their praise at this latest initiative by Microsoft.

oh how nice (1)

bfspider (1057256) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557631)

I guess it is something to look forward to when WGA fails to work. I'm sure this feature will not stop anyone from doing what they are doing already.

WGA server downtime? (4, Insightful)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557647)

And what if the WGA server is down again?

Re:WGA server downtime? (5, Funny)

mangoshake (808232) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557731)

And what if the WGA server is down again?
I have my popcorn ready.

Re:WGA server downtime? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20558067)

Worse case is you get reduced functionality mode since it can't be activated (after the initial period in which to activate). It would have to use the WGA server to determine if it was pirated or not.

So they cripple Vista even more. (1)

ettlz (639203) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557653)

I wouldn't've thought it possible, but here we are.

Re:So they cripple Vista even more. (1)

tomstdenis (446163) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557819)

The annoying bit is they actually spent time and money [and memory] coding this up. I mean on it's own a computer won't act like a bitch with a scraped knee (thanks Kevin Smith). So they actually took time away from say fixing the hundreds of open holes to code this up. What a fucking ripoff.

Tom

It's about time. (4, Interesting)

Sheetrock (152993) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557663)

One of the biggest problems in dealing with software piracy is that the copy protection mechanisms often punish legitimate users disproportionally. Who wants to put down $60 for a game that makes you put in a CD-Key, keep the CD in the drive while you play, establish/maintain an active internet connection to verify your right to play each time you start the game up? Especially when pirates get the same product for free without the aggravating restrictions?

It's never seemed logical to me that people who buy software should have to bear the brunt of copy protection when pirates get a superior experience without compensating the company producting it. So it's about time that Microsoft has figured out a way to degrade the experience of software pirates instead of that of legitimate users. Not to mention of course that it'll be nice to see Windows come down in price once this takes effect.

What the heck?? (4, Insightful)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557665)

Let me get this straight.. Not even two weeks ago, their WGA system completely blew up leaving millions of genuine users "in the dark", and now they are do confident in their system that they are going to do something like this?

I think I will just wait a few days for M$ to shot themselves in the foot... This type of poor business behavior is not sustainable longterm...

Developers to Microsoft: Red Statement of Bank (5, Interesting)

dada21 (163177) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557679)

We consult with a variety of $100m+ corporations in the Chicago area. Our last summary on Vista had three word: Don't Install It. One contractor asked us for a study (paid for by them) into Vista, and we sent them that very summary and billed them $1.50 (which I believe they paid).

I'm very open about IT developments to my clientele. I've explained to them for almost 20 years that MOST of the hype in an industry is designed to pad the pockets of consultants such as myself. Of our client base, almost none were going to be bothered by Y2K. I think we were one of a handful of consultants who didn't bill more than a few bucks for the entire Y2K fiasco, and we also let our clients know this. We make _more_ money because we are honest about the gimmicks of the trade: we don't want to make money doing work that isn't necessary. When a client takes us off a project, and the project drops in efficiency, they know we were needed. Most consultants, when fired, are a net positive to the firing client.

Vista will never run in my office, in my home, or in the homes and offices of my clients, until the third party software developers require it. For most large companies, Vista offers zero additional efficiency, profitability, or reduced downtime. How else can you sell an upgrade unless it does at least 2 of those things better than XP?

XP runs fine. I know it is hated, but it runs fine on hundreds/thousands of desktops and laptops and servers we maintain or provide services for. Is it efficient? No, but my customers know they're paying for the lower efficiency/stability by being compatible with the software and hardware THEY need (CAD, print RIPs, accounting flagship programs, etc). Vista offers NOTHING.

Let Microsoft kill pirate Vista installs: as far as I know, the only installs I'm aware of are pirated ones. Anyone who runs Vista now that we consult with gets a FREE downgrade to a legitimate XP license. That's how firm I am on Vista: I'll pay for the labor to downgrade it.

Microsoft's non-customers: in the Black
Our customers: giving MS the Red. Bank statement, that is.

the legends of an earlier era (1)

sdedeo (683762) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557689)

I remember when I (and everyone I knew) had a pirated copy of Microsoft Word 5.1 (best damn wordprocessor ever written.) The legend was that Microsoft didn't care that we and every other student in the galaxy had pirated it, because it helped their market penetration. If they gave it away free, they'd get in trouble for unfair competition or something.

I haven't followed Microsoft's silliness for many years (pretty much ever since they rewrote MS Word so that there was a noticable delay between the keypress and the letter appearing on the screen on a contemporary top-of-the-line mac.) But I have two questions. Is my legend true? And what dark shifts in Mordor politics led to MS changing its ways?

Shifts? Mordor? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20557945)

You need to revisit Tolkien. Like Microsoft, Sauron initially gave away lesser rings for free. If you needed a ring of power, Sauron was the guy to go to. There were other rings of power, available, of course. Most notable were those forged by two hobbits named Linwise Torvalds and Dick Stallyman. But their rings achieved little success, so great was the marketing genius of Sauron, servant of Melkor, who is Morgoth, Black Foe of the World.

Once Sauron had achieved market dominance (also like Microsoft), he then unveiled the One Ring, complete with Mordor Genuine Advantage.

I was worried for a moment, but... (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557691)

...then I remembered that there was _no chance at all_ of this _ever_ affecting legit users. After all, Microsoft has a perfect track record of identifying pirated copies of their products without any false positives.

Really.

Re:I was worried for a moment, but... (1)

JimboFBX (1097277) | more than 7 years ago | (#20558003)

Well, they've had bugs where people were mis-identified, but in the long run, yeah no false positives after those are worked out. I think in this situation, they give you an hour of usability so that the user can look up and contact technical support if there is a false-positive bug or a situation they didn't consider. As far as businesses go, having to reboot every hour kills your productivity. Despite what these FUD-slinging linux trolls think, its a good move, and perfectly fair if it works as it should.

Certain To Succeed (1)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557733)

This is certain to make Vista more popular than ever.

Re:Certain To Succeed (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#20558057)

Yep, right now it stands at a whole 3% [w3schools.com] of the market (the same as linux). I expect messing around with people's machines is going to increase it's popularity with a) "try before I buy" types and b) word of mouth from people too ignorant to realize what's happening and thinking that the OS is unstable (after all, OSes are supposed to 'blue screen' once in a while, RIGHT?).

Replace explorer shell? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20557745)

It said no desktop, no start bar, what if using a shell like Aston or Litestep, would that make it functional again? Also using an alternative to exploring the computer since explorer.exe is reduced?

So in other words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20557755)

... black is the new blue!

Note to India and China (1)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557799)

and anywhere else where Windows licenses are prohibitively expensive: Ubuntu will never disable your computer like this. At least, not intentionally. ;)

False positives? (1)

pwizard2 (920421) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557813)

What about the inevitable false positives that come of this? WGA is far from perfect, and if that is the method used to determine between legit and pirated copies, some innocent people may get hit with this. MSFT may end up rescinding this "feature" because of the public outcry.

Also,does this feature permanently hobble an installation of Vista once it is triggered? If a reinstall is necessary to have a functional system again, what about the people who don't know how to get their files back? (with Knoppix or a similar tool?) They stand to lose a lot of work over this.

Hooray! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20557815)

Finally Emo kids will have an operating system that matches their souls!

Have they already forgotten the WGA blackout? (3, Insightful)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557825)

Anybody remember this?

Windows Genuine Advantage Servers Down, Taking Users With Them

Sat Aug 25, 2007 4:26PM EDT

Breaking news: Some of Microsoft's WGA servers reportedly went offline last night or early this morning. What's that mean? If your copy of Windows tries to validate itself with Microsoft, it might be marked as unvalidated, or put simply, counterfeit.

The rest of the story is here. [yahoo.com]

I can't wait until Vista tries to dial home, and they have another server blackout. I wonder if MS can be held legally liable the same way virus/worm authors are? You know, whenever some huge worm takes everybody's machines down for a day or two they tally up some outrageous dollar amount due to lost productivity? I smell a huge class action lawsuit waiting in the wings.

This is going to be seriously entertaining when it happens.

Re:Have they already forgotten the WGA blackout? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20558043)

Microsoft Can't legally be held liable, that's why they hire simple programmers and developers, and not Engineers. real Engineers could be held liable for defective code, but simple programmers have no liability whatsoever.

Look at Microsoft's license agreement, there is NO WARRANTY, not even FITNESS for a PARTICULAR PURPOSE.

Basically, you pay your money, pray, and if Microsoft's code monkeys are in a good mood, you get a nice pile of steaming code updates every month.

Storm Worm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20557839)

Aaaah, so that's who's behind the Storm Worm...

Which will come first? (1)

skyggen (888902) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557847)

So what do you think will happen first a) A news story about this knocking out some user in Europe who Sues M$ OR b) A cracker comes out with a patch for vista to disable this. OR c) China Nukes Redmond (and 1/2 the world) because their government used illegal copies of vista for its missle silos and the missle program assumes a black screen as a major nuclear attack against China and launches. idk, but I'd give 5-1 on a and 2-1 b and 10-1 c (I still assume China's Nukes are wired into Amigas we sent their for recycling)

Pretty ballsy of Microsoft (1)

Slashdot Parent (995749) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557871)

It's pretty ballsy of Microsoft to turn on such draconian policy. Do they really think they can reliably differentiate licensed from unlicensed copies given the recent WGA debacle [slashdot.org] ?

related... (1)

mobydobius (237311) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557903)

yowsers! quite the heavy handed move on msfts part. not so much the actual lock-out, rather the tone of the email.

no wonder one of computerworlds current reader favorite articles is:

How to make Windows XP last for the next seven years [computerworld.com]
Vista, schmista. Follow our tips for keeping your XP setup humming happily for a long, long time.
so cute...

Funny thing is... (1)

pimpbott (642033) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557921)

... I bought a new HP laptop (or really, my boss did) with Vista. Ever since I've been running in reduced functionality mode. I would be happy if my mouse stopped disappearing when I run an external monitor.

way to kill a product (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20557959)

MS has either completely lost the plot or alternative OS are really a major threat to revenue.

I'd go with option #1

The date... (1)

cyberjock1980 (1131059) | more than 7 years ago | (#20557989)

Anyone notice the date of this coming out? September 11! I'm sorry, but Microsoft is an American company, and whoever thought of September 11 is a really sick f*$(.

New payload idea! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20558023)

Interesting. You know, the most annoying thing a virus/worm could do now (assuming you have backups) is make your Vista install think it's been pirated.

Let me see if I understand this (4, Funny)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 7 years ago | (#20558039)

If the copy of Vista is illegal, the machine will slow down, crash, and become vulnerable to viruses.

So, how does that differ from legal copies?

Ayup.... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 7 years ago | (#20558061)

And this will do nothing to stop the pirated copies, that will just use a crack that was probably already figured out last week.... oh, and meanwhile, several legitimate users, who don't have connections into the pirate underweb, end up getting being flagged as a false positive for having a pirated copy.

This might be the best thing for alternative OS's that Microsoft has ever done.

is that worse (1)

sonciwind (970454) | more than 7 years ago | (#20558069)

than the fancy screen of uselessness?
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