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Driver Update Can Cause Vista Deactivation

CmdrTaco posted more than 6 years ago | from the thank-god-we're-all-safe-from-pirates dept.

Microsoft 875

KrispySausage writes "After weeks of grueling troubleshooting, I've finally had it confirmed by Microsoft Australia and USA — something as small as swapping the video card or updating a device driver can trigger a total Vista deactivation. Put simply, your copy of Windows will stop working with very little notice (three days) and your PC will go into "reduced functionality" mode, where you can't do anything but use the web browser for half an hour."

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875 comments

Fool me once..... (5, Funny)

budword (680846) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084633)

Fool me once...shame on you......fool me twice.....shame on me. If you use vista and it bites you in the ass....well.... you deserve it.

Re:Fool me once..... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21084675)

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, watch it! I'm huge!

Re:Fool me once..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21084697)

When was the "fooled me once" time? I don't think it's twice yet.

Still not getting Vista though

Re:Fool me once..... (5, Insightful)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084713)

When was the "fooled me once" time? I don't think it's twice yet.

XP activation issues?

Re:Fool me once..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21084945)

never had 'em. Sorry. But I guess I do see your point.

And yes, I do use XP.

Re:Fool me once..... (4, Informative)

PDoc (841773) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084719)

That's all very well if you have the choice - like it or not, some people *have* to use Vista. I pity them, but the poor b@$tards don't need any more difficulties like this!

Re:Fool me once..... (5, Interesting)

twoboxen (1111241) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084897)

I didn't see Vista as any sort of gain when I first started using it (before switching back to XP) on my gaming PC, but now as a developer who has been forced to port applications to the platform I all-out loathe it. It is a disaster to use. I've developed a lot on linux, a lot on windows, and a little on Mac. I've never seen anything like this. The issues you run into--really dumbfounding. People complain about the extra web development time IE causes... Vista is almost as bad from XP! Think about that for a second. This isn't trying to use a bunch of cute IE tags. This is a new version of a "backwards compatible" version of an operating system. Thanks, Bill!!!

Re:Fool me once..... (4, Insightful)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084911)

That's all very well if you have the choice - like it or not, some people *have* to use Vista. I pity them, but the poor b@$tards don't need any more difficulties like this!

If the user doesn't have a choice, it's usually because they're using it in a corporate environment, meaning that someone else is the person actually dealing with issues like these, not the user.

Re:Fool me once..... (0, Redundant)

jackharrer (972403) | more than 6 years ago | (#21085023)

Or they don't know any geeks who would like to reinstall that hog with XP. Or Linux if it's a "Internet & Skype" PC.

Wow (0)

ctC230K (1170635) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084645)

Good reason to stay with XP!

Re:Wow (2, Insightful)

djasbestos (1035410) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084703)

Hmm, I can get Vista and have less control over my own system, half (or more) of my software won't work with it, and it has all that annoying eye-candy crap from the Mac that I hate....sounds awesome!

XP ain't broke, so don't try to fix it, M$!!!

Re:Wow (3, Insightful)

AVee (557523) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084783)

Good reason to use open-source software. Or at least software from a company that doesn't treat it's customers as criminals by default.

But hey, it's your money, your PC, your loss.

Re:Wow (5, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084977)

From what I've heard, Mac OS doesn't do this kind of stuff either. It's a little different, since it requires specific apple hardware to run the OS, but there's nothing stopping you from running out and getting a pirated copy of Leopard once it gets released, and running that on your older Mac. I understand how stopping pirates is a good thing, but it should never be done at the expense of your paying customers.

Re:Wow (1)

FredDC (1048502) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084795)

Good reason to switch to another OS and get used to it, before they pull the plug on XP and force you to use Vista!

Fixed that for you!

Re:Wow (1)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084929)

Another reason why companies aren't rushing to switch to Vista. XP works fine, there's really no benefit for going to Vista.

I've already experienced this... (5, Informative)

Hanners1979 (959741) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084651)

I had to reactivate my copy of Windows Vista Ultimate after updating an NVIDIA network controller driver via Windows Update. Not a huge pain, but it simply shouldn't happen. Ever.

Re:I've already experienced this... (5, Informative)

RudyHartmann (1032120) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084895)

I just added some more memory to my machine and I had to re-activate. I had 1G and added another 1G. Then it started nagging me about re-activating. I couldn't believe it. Really lame.

Re:I've already experienced this... (4, Interesting)

varmittang (849469) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084941)

Not a pain now, but when you update your drivers for something else like NIC card, well, reactivate again. Then the video card so you can play that new game a with some better frame rates, reactivate again. Upgrade the BIOS on the Motherboard, reactivate again. This will become a huge pain once you have to do this a bunch of times over the life of your computer. And as an IT worker who sometimes have to do these driver updates or BIOS updates for flaws in them that cause problems, especially BIOS updates on laptops to get the fans or docking stations to work properly, this will become a real pain when the Vista upgrade comes.

Re:I've already experienced this... (2, Interesting)

AVee (557523) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084985)

It does provide an interesting DOS scenario, trick a user into updating his driver so he cannot use his PC anymore. So now the advice to people with non functioning hardware in Vista is, don't update the drivers? Wonderfull...

Figures (1)

pjviitas (1066558) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084659)

Wonders never cease.

Re:Figures (2, Interesting)

tgatliff (311583) | more than 6 years ago | (#21085009)

On the bright side, I think they finally shows M$ is on their decline. They have no ability to grow successful additional businesses, so they are trying to "squeeze" as much out of their existing cash cow business as possible. I longterm side effects to doing this, though, is obvious.

haha, figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21084663)

I remember when windows ONLY did this. Aaah how time changes :D

To all potentials looking to Vista as a solution.. (4, Insightful)

Tastecicles (1153671) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084673)

...to a question that was never asked: Don't say we didn't warn you.

Re:To all potentials looking to Vista as a solutio (0, Flamebait)

LBArrettAnderson (655246) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084709)

Warn me about what? I've been using Vista for 5 months and haven't had a single problem with it. It has all of the functionality of XP, Linux, and OS X, plus a bit more. I've been nothing but satisfied with Vista.

What did you want to tell me?

Re:To all potentials looking to Vista as a solutio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21084991)

What did you want to tell me?

It's about time we put you back on your medication, Mt Ballmer.

Re:To all potentials looking to Vista as a solutio (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21085001)

What did you want to tell me?
Your astroturfing check is in the mail.

- Bill

Re:To all potentials looking to Vista as a solutio (1)

walruz (851125) | more than 6 years ago | (#21085003)

"It has all of the functionality of XP, Linux, and OS X, plus a much, much, much more resource usage".
There, fixed it for ya

Re:To all potentials looking to Vista as a solutio (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21085049)

That you're a wanker ;-)

biggest mistake ms ever made (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21085037)

I'm a linux administrator and try to use linux as my desktop. Most of my day is spent in ssh and firefox, with openoffice for docs. However, I still maintain XP on one good computer in my house, cause nero is terrific for burning DVDs. Yes, I know about DeVeDe on Linux, it's OK but not as good.

I bought a fairly powerful computer (AMD64 dual core etc, 4GB RAM) in order to run Vista. To be honest, I was looking for a pirated version of Vista, but after a few months, got discouraged. Now there's some OEM BIOS hack or something, but I haven't tried it. I've worked on a Vista laptop and done support for Window mail connecting to one of my servers, but that's it. And when customers ask me about Vista, I tell them that I don't have a copy running yet. That scares them.

So the point is, if Vista is too hard to pirate, guys like me don't use it. Then the friends/family/clients of guys like me don't use Vista. Thus the current sad state of the Vista market. Seriously, I bet that that there will be some kind of mass VLK/hack leak soon to make it easier to install Vista. And I bet it leaks from someone connected to Redmond.

Pirated version? (5, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084679)

Is there a decent pirated version of Vista yet? I usually use the pirated version of software, even if I have paid for it. Everything works better that way... games don't need disks inserted, XP doesn't need activation or WGA, etc. The pirates have a better product.

Re:Pirated version? (4, Insightful)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084743)

I do this as well. My computers came with Windows XP and a bunch of OEM crap on them. I downloaded a cracked version of XP to avoid the OEM crapware, advertising, 'free' promo software and the bullshit of Windows itself forcing me to reactivate it after making hardware changes.

So, I paid for XP, and I got XP. I'm happy.

Re:Pirated version? (1, Interesting)

samkass (174571) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084889)

So, I paid for [a locked version of] XP, and I [stole an unlocked version of] XP. I'm happy.

I edited your last statement for accuracy.

If you don't like their rules, don't play their game.

Re:Pirated version? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21084749)

Totally offtopic, but I've read a lot of your comments on /. as you seem to frequently get modded up, and for the longest time I've felt compelled to ask: what's with your sig? Is it referring to some cultural reference I missed? I'd love some insight to satisfy my curiosity, if you don't mind.

Re:Pirated version? (1)

superid (46543) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084843)

I'm not speaking for the granparent as to why that quote is there but I'll tell you it's from the classic Dr Seuss ABC book [amazon.com]. And if I thought for a little while I could probably recite most of it.

A A A, what beings with A? Aunt Annie's Alligator, A A A!

Re:Pirated version? (1)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 6 years ago | (#21085031)

It's from Doctor Suss.
I've been reading them to my 2 and 4 year olds...
what makes it sig worthy to the poster, I don't know.
-nB

Re:Pirated version? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21084811)

In fact... when the pirates were done removing all the crap from Vista, they were shocked to find that what remained booted and acted like XP

Re:Pirated version? (1)

hasbeard (982620) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084879)

But isn't it possible the pirated versions might also come with a pre-installed root kit?

Re:Pirated version? (4, Funny)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084907)

But isn't it possible the pirated versions might also come with a pre-installed root kit?
What, Sony pirates Windows XP now?

Re:Pirated version? (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 6 years ago | (#21085021)

Yar, 'tis true. But we pirates are a reckless lot... nary a condom used among the lot of us.

I usually get the cracked version from an uber-geek that I work with, and he hasn't given me a virus yet!

Re:Pirated version? (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 6 years ago | (#21085099)

Thus saving the root kit installers the 15 seconds it takes for a Windows system to be comprimised?

Re:Pirated version? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#21085033)

This could lead to an interesting case where people are willing to pay more for the Priated Versions of Windows then the cost of OEM Windows just to get improved functionality.

Oh if that is true it would be so funny.

Just Liberate Yourself. Re:Pirated version? (1)

twitter (104583) | more than 6 years ago | (#21085069)

There are sure to be "pirated" versions of Vista, but you can't trust them. The usual scammers will be uploading trojaned versions that will log your keystrokes for credit card accounts and do other evil things. Ultimately, this is a problem with all non free software, you have no way to verify correct operation and must trust the owner.

A better course of action is to get away from non free software altogether. Now is a good time to do that. Vista is more of the same from M$ and you can't be sure it will work with your hardware. [slashdot.org] M$'s greedy attempt to grab more power and money than ever has left them an empty Vista which can be compared to the Aral Sea [wikipedia.org]. It's a dissaster so big you can see it from space but what you find on the ground is worse than anyone can imagine while their minds are polluted with official propaganda. Gamers and other media people are better off holding onto a copy of XP, but serious work should all be migrating to platforms that don't have the kinds of problems Vista does. The sooner you escape M$, the easier it is and the more you save.

I don't get it... (5, Insightful)

oldosadmin (759103) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084689)

What other industry is there that abuses their customers like this? I feel like I'm being accused of criminal activity from the first second I install a MS product now.

Re:I don't get it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21084753)

Verizon/ComCast/Telcos do a pretty good job of keeping up with the joneses on customer abuse...

Re:I don't get it... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084761)

I feel like I'm being accused of criminal activity from the first second I install a MS product now.

Likewise. This is why I refuse to install Vista on any new PC I'm putting together, or to accept the "upgrades" to things like Media Player that make them worse. I don't even have to jump to an alternative platform such as Linux or Mac, nor do I need to break the law and pirate something: I just buy XP instead. As long as people keep doing this, retailers will get the message and keep supplying it. When enough big retailers are losing out on profits because of Vista [bbc.co.uk], they will make their feelings clear enough to Microsoft, and either the problem will go away or the Microsoft executives responsible will start going away.

Re:I don't get it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21085075)


Uh, XP does the exact same product activation. It was also just as touchy about deactivating itself at the slightest hardware change.

You don't get it. (3, Funny)

Organic Brain Damage (863655) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084857)

"What other industry is there that abuses their customers like this?"

Been on a commercial airliner lately? How about 8 hours on the tarmac without airconditioning strapped into a seat that's 2" too narrow with 300-lb companions on either side of you and crying toddlers behind and in front of you. Vista won't seem so bad after you get off that plane.

How about Tobacco? They don't abuse their customers, they just cripple and then kill them.

Meat packing? Widespread E-coli outbreaks. At least Vista doesn't give you gut-wrenching bloody diarrhea (although I hear MS Reasarch is working toward this goal).

Re:I don't get it... (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084909)

Music industry, film industry.

The salient feature being their desperate war against the basic nature of information.

 

Re:I don't get it... (1)

guruevi (827432) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084925)

The Music and Movie Industry?

Ever tried legally copying a DVD? Ever tried getting into a movie theater with something that resembles a camcorder-pack (I was being a tourist and wanted to go to the movies)? Ever tried downloading a legal copy of music you like that you can use on any device?

Re:I don't get it... (2, Funny)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084965)

What other industry is there that abuses their customers like this? I feel like I'm being accused of criminal activity from the first second I install a MS product now.

This is slashdot. I'll give you two guesses, and they both end in 'AA'.

Re:I don't get it... (2, Insightful)

WibbleOnMars (1129233) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084989)

What other industry is there that abuses their customers like this?

Hmmmmm......

Music, film, automobile, fuel, aviation, big retail, banking..... I'd better stop before I get too depressed.

Let's be honest here -- you're pretty much getting taken for a ride every time you buy anything these days. Unless you spend all your money at the local privately-run organic farm store.

Re:I don't get it... (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#21085105)

The music industry, record industry, retail stores... Way to many of them in MHO.

A similar experience is what drove me away from (5, Interesting)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084701)

Windows for good. I had bought a retail copy of XP(not cheap!) and installed it on my laptop. However, a bug with XP caused it to crash before I could activate it(hell, before I even knew I had to) and managed to reset the clock to 1980. Usually this would just be a minor annoyance, but it turns out that if you monkey with the clock before you activate XP(and maybe even after, I don't know), they assume you are trying to pirate it and refuse to let you do anything. So after I plunked down $200 for the thing, I had to go call their number(and this was overseas, so there were some language issues to boot) and take a half hour out of my day to prove to them I didn't steal the thing I just bought. It was at that point I realized there are other OSs out there, and I have been Windows free for 4 years and couldn't be happier.

This problem is hardly unique to Vista, and is just going to drive more and more people away from Microsoft. Microsoft still acts like they are the only game in town. They just refuse to accept that the competition has improved significantly from the time XP was released....

Re:A similar experience is what drove me away from (1)

pubjames (468013) | more than 6 years ago | (#21085013)

I had a very similar experience recently. Having purchased a copy of Windows XP only a few days before, I had to telephone a number which at first told me I had to purchase a new copy, and then on calling again I managed to speak to a real person who asked me a bunch of questions and then gave me about 30 digits I had to type in before it would work again.

With that kind of treatment of its customers, Microsoft can go **** itself - I've switched to a Mac.

Re:A similar experience is what drove me away from (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21085103)

Sorry, but that's bullshit. When you fuck up a Windows install, you wipe and reinstal, no issues. Most likly you where trying to monkey around with the install in ways it didn't like.

Windows Zenith (5, Funny)

suso (153703) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084711)

"Your mouse moved, click here to re-register Windows Zenith. Make sure you have your birth certificate and blood sample ready. Or click cancel to go into RTFM"

Re:Windows Zenith (2, Funny)

rtyhurst (460717) | more than 6 years ago | (#21085093)

From the story:

"APC has passed all this feedback back to Microsoft, which, to its credit, is taking the situation very seriously and has Vista developers working on a solution."

So they're working on it, and everyone can just relax: problem solved.

Microsoft would never do anything to make their software more intrusive. Would they?

I mean, they just don't have the technical capacity to do DNA scans if you want to upgrade your graphics card.

Yet...

Steve Jobs... (5, Funny)

youthoftoday (975074) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084715)

This wouldn't happen on a Mac. 'Cos in most of them you can't even get in there to change the graphics card.

Re:Steve Jobs... (2, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084829)

All computers are upgradeable, some just require special tools to do the job. Like a metric screwdriver or an allen wrench. Or a crowbar, a hammer, and a soldering iron.

Re:Steve Jobs... (2, Informative)

Tronster (25566) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084981)

This wouldn't happen on a Mac. 'Cos in most of them you can't even get in there to change the graphics card.

You are right, if you mean by "most" Macs you are talking about the iMac and those aimed at non-professionals, non-IT, etc. But if you want to compare apples to apples then the PC tower form factor Mac has equivalent (if not more) upgradability than it's PC equivalent.

IIRC the Mac towers since the G5 have been designed to more easilly swap out memroy, slot parts, and hard drives as well as provide better air flow than ATX and similar PC equivalent form factors.
http://www.apple.com/macpro/expansion.html [apple.com]

And a quick Google for "mac video card upgrades" yielded much evidence that upgardes exist:
http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/accelerators/ATI-Videocards [macsales.com]
http://ati.amd.com/products/Radeon9600/Radeon9600propcmac/index.html [amd.com]
...

Re:Steve Jobs... (2, Informative)

youthoftoday (975074) | more than 6 years ago | (#21085071)

c'mon it was only a joke. I'm a Mac user, always have been, always will be and I'm fully aware expansion options.

Makes OS X and Linux look all the better (5, Insightful)

TibbonZero (571809) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084717)

If Vista had actually done all of the things it promised, and didn't do any bullshit like this then it might actually be a decent operating system. Microsoft's viability might have actually been there.

Main differences being vs Linux/Apple is that Apple is a hardware company and could care less if a small fraction of their user base pirates an operating system as long as they are buying hardware and are spreading the good word, and linux makers... want either support contracts or nothing.

Re:Makes OS X and Linux look all the better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21084807)

Apple is a hardware company and could care less if a small fraction of their user base pirates an operating system as long as they are buying hardware

i guess that's what it is when you have hardware and software lock in.

Re:Makes OS X and Linux look all the better (1)

TibbonZero (571809) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084943)

It is definitely software lock-in when I can run any Unix software on my system... I can boot into Linux, Windows XP, and OS X. As for the "hardware lock-in"... that's just silly. My Macbook Pro is no more 'locked in' to its hardware than your Dell/Gateway/Lennovo laptop. Less so IMHO.

On the desktop front, the Mac Pro people have shown you can swap the processors on. You can change the processors, hard drives, video card, memory, optical drives, etc... Everything except the motherboard. Hell you could probably even swap the case if you were crazy.

Linux will never do this (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21084731)

Linux will never do this. Ever. Period.

Vista Activation=Linux/Mac advertisements (1)

h2oliu (38090) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084737)

Hey Microsoft, please keep this going. All the free publicity you are providing Linux and Apple is greatly appreciated.

Re:Vista Activation=Linux/Mac advertisements (-1, Flamebait)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21085015)

sure, leaving Windows to go to a MUCH MORE closed platform like the MAC where you don't even have the right or posibility to install on no Apple hardware Yeah, right. At least, in Linuzzzz you can find a decent distro to work freely on... but A MAC? Are you freaking kidding me? I use a mac at home because I must test my ASP work on it, but I'd be damn if I choose OSX as my main platform (not because ideological reasons, which I completly laugh at) but because the system has always seemed imperfect to me.

unable to replicate (1)

farkus888 (1103903) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084745)

our support team has attempted to replicate this issue in both arch and xubuntu with no success. our support team requires more information before we will be able to resolve your problem.

And (4, Insightful)

ktappe (747125) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084747)

And in completely unrelated *cough* news, Apple said yesterday that 50% of Mac sales are to those who hadn't used Macs before [seekingalpha.com].

No, seriously folks, at some point these stories about Vista have to lead to a stampede away from the product. Just watch for the signs....like the one above.

Re:And (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21084971)

or maybe it has something to do with the ipod fashion trend? do you honestly think that people who bought a new pc and go burnt are going to buy a new pc with an os that they never used within a 10 month period? you've got to be kidding me.

especially while xp is still available.

Notice? (3, Funny)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084767)

your copy of Windows will stop working with very little notice (three days)

I don't know about anyone else, but if my OS stopped working after three days I'd definitely notice.

Re:Notice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21085011)

It'd be more noticeable if Windows worked for three days in the first place. : p

Re:Notice? (4, Funny)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 6 years ago | (#21085073)

I don't know about anyone else, but if my OS stopped working after three days I'd definitely notice.

That's because, most likely, your OS is not a Microsoft one.

In all thruthyness there's not much difference between a working Windows install, and a non-working one. In both cases, both user and the computer are un-productive, but in the case of a non-working install only more so.

How much Apple and Red Hat stock does Bill have? (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084777)

Just wondering if this is all part of some brilliant and devious plan.

Re:How much Apple and Red Hat stock does Bill have (1)

MM_LONEWOLF (994599) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084913)

5 bucks says that china and microsoft will control most of the world in 20 years. wouldn't surprise me a bit to learn that all government machines using vista suddenly shut down when china invades.

Re:How much Apple and Red Hat stock does Bill have (4, Funny)

J0nne (924579) | more than 6 years ago | (#21085067)

5 bucks says that china and microsoft will control most of the world in 20 years. wouldn't surprise me a bit to learn that all government machines using vista suddenly shut down when china invades.
I'd take you up on it, but i doubt $5 will be worth a damn in 20 years, especially if you're right...

security (1)

MM_LONEWOLF (994599) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084787)

on the upside, it means no-one can steal your computer and get much use out of it. But seriously, it's not enough that the freaking os will change your locks if you leave your house, but to have it do this? and the Microsoft executives wonder why people use mac.

Similar thing with Adobe Acrobat (1)

Mycroft_514 (701676) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084793)

I installed the latest corporate demanded software and then acrobat started requesting "activation" every few hours. Adobe sent me a patch, but I am still testing it. (Not the reader, this is full blown Adobe Acrobat 8.x professional)

Yes, but... (4, Funny)

Xeth (614132) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084797)

...this minor inconvenience is clearly offset by the massive benefits inherent in a new GUI skin.

Cost of Vista's copy protection (5, Informative)

sfranklin (95470) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084801)

For those that haven't yet seen the reason why changing hardware hoses your Vista and are interested in the details, I highly recommend this:

http://www.cs.auckland.ac.nz/~pgut001/pubs/vista_cost.html [auckland.ac.nz]

It's all about the DRM.

Well they made their beds, so now ... (5, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084803)

... they should sleep in it.

When MSFT was touting the The Total Cost of Ownership studies, did anyone ask, if the costs included reacting to unwanted updates? How many times people have spoken about vendor lock and the risk of putting all your eggs in one basket? Trashed everyone as MSFT hate-mongers. It will only get worse. If the revenue stream is threatened MSFT will slip in another forced update make it more and more difficult to switch to alternatives. Because, get this, MSFT can charge you all the way up to your switching costs. The only way it can increase revenue is by increasing your switching cost.

Put yourself in MSFT's shoes and imagine what you would do. A security issue crops up. One team comes back with a solution that does not break all the competitors products. The other team comes up with a solution that incidentally breaks competitors products. Which one will you pick as "critical security update"? MSFT is doing exactly what it should rationally do, given its market share. It is the customers who are irrationally picking MSFT solutions against their own best interests.

Driver Update Can Cause What? (1)

rackirlen (749169) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084809)

Maybe too little sleep, but did anyone else read the title as "Driver Update Can Cause Virus Deactivation"?
oh well... close enough.

Reduced functionality? (5, Funny)

bareman (60518) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084813)

"reduced functionality" mode, where you can't do anything but use the web browser for half an hour."

For a percentage of the users being able to use the web browser for half an hour is all they want and need. Not being able to run spyware/malware for that half hour might make this "Desired functionality" mode.

Re:Reduced functionality? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21084999)

besides, who can't find some good porn in less than half an hour?
just be quick once you find it... you'd hate to climax to a BSOD... unless you are really kinky.

Fix is coming (1)

Toreo asesino (951231) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084823)

FTA:

"APC has passed all this feedback back to Microsoft, which, to its credit, is taking the situation very seriously and has Vista developers working on a solution."

So it's a bug. A shitty bug, but a bug none-the-less, so all you Vista users can all calm down ok? Wait...

Retail-Only Feature? (1)

doctorcisco (815096) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084839)

Your copy of Windows will stop working with very little notice (three days) and your PC will go into "reduced functionality" mode, where you can't do anything but use the web browser for half an hour.

My (preinstalled) copy of Vista never gave me three days' notice before reducing my laptop's functionality (losing the USB mouse). Was that three days thing an added feature of the retail copy?

Yes, I had planned to flee to LinuxMint anyway, but still ...

doc

Why is this? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21084859)

I'm just wondering how this could happen. Is it because when you first register Windows it takes a record of all the installed hardware, like a fingerprint?

If so then how does a driver update conflict with the record? Does it somehow change the hardware?

Thanks!

Classic "honey/vinegar" scenario (2, Insightful)

eltonito (910528) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084873)

I often wonder how and when Microsoft will lose their stranglehold on the PC market. Because, as Tyler would say, "on a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone is zero." No, I don't think anti-piracy strategies like this signal the end of Microsoft but they certainly aren't winning friends with it either.

It only takes a few key missteps and a to shift the market and open the door for a competitor.

You just have to wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21084899)

how much more inconvenient Microsoft can make using Windows before people have had enough!

Frankly, I don't like the Vista GUI, I detest the activation/reactivation process and the last Vista system I worked on for someone (new Toshiba laptop dual-core with 2G of RAM), it took almost 3 minutes to open up the 'Control Panel' window. It took almost 1 hour, all of it waiting for the machine to catch up, to setup a simple wireless connection!

Fer chrissakes, Microsoft, enough is enough!

Great Feature (1)

phrostie (121428) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084961)

I think this is one of the best features MS has put into it's software yet!
i can't think of anything they might do that could top this.

Feature? (3, Funny)

ilovegeorgebush (923173) | more than 6 years ago | (#21084967)

Wasn't this an advertised feature of the OS back before its release? Either that, or it was an EFF warning.

Sure I've heard it somewhere, though.

Sneezing can cause deactivation... (5, Interesting)

benmhall (9092) | more than 6 years ago | (#21085025)

Or at least is seems like that some times.

At work, I have a laptop (ThinkPad T60) that dual-boots Ubuntu and Vista. Vista is on there only as a way to force myself to get used to it, as I have to support it. Early after Vista's release, an update _from Microsoft_ caused it to be deactivated, had to call MS. (This was later an acknowledged bug that they patched.)

More recently, I used Ghost to go from a 120GB drive down to an 80GB. This too knocked out the activation and the system went into reduced functionality mode. I had to call MS, eventually got someone in India (who I have to admit was very polite and spoke very well.) I had to read off what seemed like a 40 digit code _twice_. Once to the voice-activated system and then again to the person. (No, they apparently couldn't cache this very annoying and labourious bit of data entry.)

I told him why I was having to call and also warned that, as a SysAdmin, I do this kind of thing all of the time and that I was sure I'd be calling again with this exact same Microsoft-imposed problem on this exact same system. I was politely told that this is how the product works and that there was no way around this.

This from an MSDN-issued Vista Business edition. Ugh.

Thankfully, installing Ubuntu on it didn't knock out activation, though I wouldn't put it past MS in the future. If I didn't have to support it at work, I wouldn't touch Vista with a ten foot pole. My hope is that MS eventually tightens the screws enough to push everyone away. So far though, people seem to be much more tolerant of this sort of thing than I would have hoped.

I've posted about this before (5, Insightful)

kimvette (919543) | more than 6 years ago | (#21085059)

I've posted about this issue before but was accused of making shit up just to slam Microsoft.

Wrong. I used to be a die-hard Microsoft fan, until they introduced the broken Activation scheme. Even back in the days of Windows XP. driver upgrades or reinstalls could de-activate Windows. This is why I am so adamantly against Activation schemes - at least schemes which do not allow for license transfers. It sucks, too. If delivering a bunch of workstations to a client where the client wants them pre-activated and added to their domain, you have to activate the system. Now, sometimes one will run into incompatibilities and have to upgrade a wireless driver or video driver (or add additional hardware - and yes, I've even seen USB device driver upgrades trigger deactivation) and if you've got the OEM version, guess what? You need to wait on hold with Microsoft to re-activate the system.

Granted, it doesn't happen often. It does have a knack of happening at exactly the wrong time.

Microsoft: you own the market. Drop the activation scheme. Also, where XP is nearing end of life, isn't it time to follow through with your promise to release a patch which will eliminate the need to activate Windows XP? I mean, Vista has been out for nearly a year now. . .

Just one more reason... (1)

tomz16 (992375) | more than 6 years ago | (#21085109)

Just one more reason why I've done the same thing I did to windows millenium. I told all of my non-techie friends that if they buy Vista, they are on their own...

I will dive into your windows xp registry to rip bonzai buddy out, help you with your BeOS install, and sit there recompiling your linux kernel fifteen times for a beer... If you come to me with a Vista machine, I'm just going to send you away with a gutsy gibbon cd to remove the vista infection.

So far, everyone that depends on my help has heeded my advice, and bought machines from vendors offering XP.
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