Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Microsoft Withdraws Vista's Kill Switch

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the bit-less-damocles dept.

635

l-ascorbic writes "In what they are calling a change of tactics, Microsoft has removed the controversial 'kill switch' from Vista in SP1. This feature is designed to disable pirated copies of the OS, but had led to numerous reports of it disabling legitimate copies. It will be replaced with a notice that repeatedly informs the user that their OS is pirated. '[Microsoft corporate vice president Mike Sievert] added: "It's worth re-emphasizing that our fundamental strategy has not changed. All copies of Windows Vista still require activation and the system will continue to validate from time to time to verify that systems are activated properly." Microsoft said it had pursued legal action against more than 1,000 dealers of counterfeit Microsoft products in the last year and taken down more than 50,000 "illegal and improper" online software auctions.'"

cancel ×

635 comments

Microsoft responds with... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21571231)

"We do not a piracy problem with Windows."

If made you bitch... (5, Funny)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571235)

If made____you____bitch
Did this____kill____switch
How 'bout__a______pitch
In a_______fine____triptych?
Burma___________Shave

Why stop there? (3, Funny)

faloi (738831) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571243)

I think a lot of users would be happier if they withdrew Vista entirely. I know I'm scrambling to see if I can upgrade my system to XP. Darn gaming addiction...

Re:Why stop there? (5, Funny)

Billosaur (927319) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571295)

XP?!? Bah! I'm trying to "upgrade" to Windows 3.11 for Workgroups!

Re:Why stop there? (2, Interesting)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571791)

I know it's a joke, but...
Does anyone know where to get a copy of CP/M that will run reliably on newer hardware and with clean drivers for larger HDDs?
-nB

Re:Why stop there? (5, Insightful)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571587)

You!=Everyone else :) You have to remember that every bad story about Vista isn't representing the whole truth - that there are thousands of folks out there who are using Vista on a day-to-day basis, and are not having problems.

Re:Why stop there? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21571841)

Not having problems != a good computing experience. Besides, those vista users are probably the same republican-christian-intelligent-design-believing-microsoft-lovin'-linux-bashin'-hate-filled-racist-sexist Forrest Gump wannabe's that tend to skew the entire national budget towards war. DAMN YOU, VISTA USERS! Don't you know that Vista == Hitler?

Re:Why stop there? (5, Funny)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571857)

You!=Everyone else :) You have to remember that every bad story about Vista isn't representing the whole truth - that there are thousands of folks out there who are using Vista on a day-to-day basis, and are not having problems.
I agree! There are definitely thousands of folks out there who are perfectly happy with Vista. That only leaves the other few million customers...

Re:Why stop there? (4, Insightful)

Entropius (188861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571919)

I imagine that 95% of those people could also use WinXP on a daily basis and not have problems either, and that 80% of those could use Ubuntu and not have problems either.

So Desperate (5, Interesting)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571267)

They probably hope that pirates will make Vista popular and that a fraction actually will buy Vista in the end ;-)

Re:So Desperate (0, Troll)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571785)

How is that desperate? Vista is already beating XP's sales figures at the same point in XP's release. They're just listening to their customers, and you seem to think it's a sign of desperation? Weird.

Re:So Desperate (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571947)

Good point, if true. I do remember XP getting off to a slow start as well. I guess the difference at the time is that there weren't many real alternatives. Open Office and mozilla weren't any good, which really limited the use of any alternative operating system. So for users of 98 & me, Xp was the best solution and everyone eventually migrated. Now? I think the application stack for the alternative OS's has improved greatly. Its a much easier decision to not upgrade an existing XP machine ( than going form 98 or me to xp), and there are easier transitions to competitors. So, its not really the same. If this is the upgrade that people don't adopt for those reasons, microsoft is in serious trouble. So there is a hint of desperation around Vista. There is a sense that they aren't responsive to their large customers wishes. So this is a good move in that regard, but you have to wonder why they did it in the first place. Shouldn't they have know the reaction? Shouldn't they have consulted their corporate customers?

Re:So Desperate (1)

Hennell (1005107) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571797)

How many pirates actually want vista? I know people hardly go about saying "Ho Ho, I've stolen MS latest OS" to strangers, but I haven't really heard much about vista pirating. I've have heard a lot about lack of game support etc, which I would have thought would discourage many would-be-pirates, Not to mention you seem to need fairly new hardware which may limit some. Is there actually going to be a large number of people who want to pirate it?
---
I think the method in my madness is a mad method
---

Re:So Desperate (2, Informative)

ntropia (939502) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571813)

Ehehe, looking at the Vista sale numbers, I guess that Redmordor guys have to thank those unauthorized sellers, 'cause they could be the most part of OS activation requests at the Windows Update site... that boooooooosts the $HUGE_NUMBER of Vista selled copies.

eNjoy

Re:So Desperate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21571851)

If I had mod points I'd mod you informative. That is so true; it has been proven time and again that copy protection actually leads to decreased sales.

Slightly better (1)

Bieeanda (961632) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571269)

Nifty. Instead of crippling itself, Windows will keep popping windows up like the delightful direct message spam of yesteryear. I wonder how difficult it will be to get a legit install with a bug up its ass properly validated.

Re:Slightly better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21571339)

Damn, and I had just managed to forget about that old pita.

Re:Slightly better (1)

t0rkm3 (666910) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571353)

From personal experience... Not much harder than calling the Microshaft hinderdesk and holding for an eon or two.

It sucks, but at least the laptop will be usable in the interim. I really hate it when my sister bugs me about her brand new laptop and the fact that Vista has questions about the veracity of the sticker on the bottom of the laptop.

òô

Re:Slightly better (3, Insightful)

rolfc (842110) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571653)

The next thing you will know is that the popping windows will become paid banners i SP2!!

Re:Slightly better (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571819)

It's really easy. I even called up and got a non-legit copy properly validated. You can do it automatically, or via an operator. I was installing a downloaded English copy of it on a friend's German notebook. It's Vista was in German, and he preferred it in English. I installed Vista, typed in the code on the box, and it told me to call them (as the code is for a re-install of the OEM version, not the off-the-shelf English one). I called, entered the code, and they gave me an activation number. I typed it in, and it was done. The whole experience took me two minutes, and they didn't even have to do it.

Obsolete Business Model (0, Troll)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571275)

A company that fancies itself a "tech leader" has no business attempting to enforce such an obsolete business model. The fact that MS still does not get this will be their undoing.

Re:Obsolete Business Model (2, Insightful)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571347)

Look, they can trot out lousy policy after lousy policy, but so long as they own the file formats, all else is moot.
Hence the ramrodding of OOXML, which, while painfully boring, is really under-reported in the geek press, like most imortant issues.

Re:Obsolete Business Model (1)

thejam (655457) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571659)

Obsolete? I guess you must mean Apple selling proprietary/closed stuff is obsolete then too, no? Last spasms of a failed regime?

Re:Obsolete Business Model (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571875)

No, you're comparing Apples and oranges -- Apple sells complete computers (hard and software), so their model is not obsolete so long as it remains non-trivial to copy a Mac. MS is basing their business model on software which can be easily copied and downloaded.

Re:Obsolete Business Model (1, Insightful)

vulgrin (70725) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571789)

I'm sorry, what business model should they use instead? Give everything away for free and hope that people paypal them a donation for their efforts? Build a business model off of paying for support? So they can have a market cap of 3.8B like Redhat instead of 300B? Are YOU going to hire / feed / clothe all those folks from Microsoft who get laid off or who's jobs get sent overseas?

IF the piracy reminders affect legitimate users, then that's one thing and an issue they would need to fix. If its only going after the people who aren't activating Vista, then good for them.

If you don't like it, them, and their business practices, then just STFU and "buy" something else. And if you hate Microsoft because you think they are a money grubbing, evil, capitalist company - then wake up to the real world. That's what business is about - making as much money as you possibly can, however you can do it, and make yourself and your shareholders rich. If you can't stand that idea then go buy yourself a farm somewhere in the middle of nowhere and milk some goats for a living - because you can't escape it in today's modern life.

Microsoft's not any more or less evil than any other large-cap corporation out there. The whiners better just face up to that fact and move the hell on. You are getting tiring to listen to.

Market share? (5, Insightful)

Noctrnl (110574) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571293)

I guess this is one way to get Vista's adoption rate to go up. Just let it be pirated!

Re:Market share? (1)

ReAn1985 (906976) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571333)

Actually that kind of makes sense. I think the pirating of XP probably lead to it's success. Because most people were scared to spend money on the new system (especially given 2000's stability) the priates got and spread vista a lot. More people == more beta testers, more bugs, more people developing, more support. By SP2 most companies were adopting XP and ~most~ companies will actually buy thier licences. Just a theory.

Re:Market share? (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571463)

Really, it's a variation on the old theme:
Oderint Dum Metuant--Lucius Accius
"Let them hate, so long as they fear."
Now it's: "Let them pirate, so long as they remain locked in to our crappy architecture", which I'm not really Latin scholar enough to mangle into the classic tongue. :(

Re:Market share? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571345)

Exactly. People who are pirating, know they are pirating. They won't care about the message that says they are pirating the software. If MS really did keep this kind of stuff in Vista, it would stop a lot of people from using it. I imagine there would be a lot of people who would have a dual boot machine with pirated vista installed just to play the games that required vista.

Re:Market share? (1)

Entropius (188861) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571979)

And how many of those are there now?

I've seen a lot of games that say things like "System requirements: 1GB RAM, 2.4GHz Pentium 4 or equivalent. Vista: 2GB RAM, 3GHz Pentium 4, dual core recommended."

Strategy not changing? (5, Funny)

Jester998 (156179) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571301)

It's worth re-emphasizing that our fundamental strategy has not changed.

i.e. We're still gonna bend you over. The big guy named Bubba is still employed with us, but now we've taken away his lube.

Re:Strategy not changing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21571503)

It's worth re-emphasizing that our fundamental strategy has not changed.

i.e. We're still gonna bend you over. The big guy named Bubba is still employed with us, but now we've taken away his lube.
Well I for one won't stand it. As a long time MS customer I demand Bubba get his lube back.

Re:Strategy not changing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21571855)

Sry u are posting as AC therefore no mod up for u.

Re:Strategy not changing? (4, Funny)

Mercano (826132) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571923)

Well I for one won't stand it.
Standing isn't technically necessary. See the first sentence of the GP.

Fat lot of good this does me (1)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571307)

i got erroneously locked out of my new laptop because of this. does this mean it will unlock? i think not. (but hope so). luckily i dual boot ubuntu so MS can kiss my ass. the only reason i kept the vista install is because it's legit and i have no setup disc to reinstall it later. (recovery partition my ass)

Re:Fat lot of good this does me (4, Informative)

baadger (764884) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571537)

The get yourself a Vista RTM ISO off of BitTorrent and utilize the little app at the very bottom of this page [directedge.us] to save your OEM license. I've done it and it works a charm.

Re:Fat lot of good this does me (1)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571619)

nice one, cheers. might wait till an sp1 ISO is out and do it all in one go, instead of having to install the sp afterwards.

Re:Fat lot of good this does me (1)

Ginger Unicorn (952287) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571687)

wait i just realised, vista is rejecting my licence, claiming that it has been subject to an "unauthorised change" so i think i should just reactivate it after installation. also i cant run anything under vista as i'm locked out so i couldn't run that app anyway. i think the trouble was caused by comodo3 being overzealous when i ran genuine advantage, so i might just reboot in safe mode and uninstall comodo as per the suggestion on the knowledgebase article attached to this bug.

Let me think... (4, Insightful)

CaptainZapp (182233) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571309)

Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon : Free as in speech, free as in beer comes with about 20000 apps (the number's pulled out of thin air, but there are a lot of apps available), of which most are probably quite simple or outright crap, but there's true quality stuff among them and the pre-selection by the installer is quite good in my book. Oh and I'm part of the Ubuntu community, too.

OS/X : Hereround 155$. Probably nicest user interface, at least at Panther level very stable, rock solid foundation (BSD) a real shell and real scripting. Oh and it gives me fanboy privileges.

Vista Ultimate: ~700$. Nothing really to offer, exept maybe this floating waterfall background, which must eat a ton of resources. Requires activation, abuses 30% of my resources for Hollywoods satisfaction. Oh: And by default I'm a criminal software thieve pirate.

I'd wager that if i really chose option three I must be a blistering idiot, too.

Re:Let me think... (-1, Troll)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571365)

Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon : Free as in speech, free as in beer comes with about 20000 apps (the number's pulled out of thin air, but there are a lot of apps available), of which most are probably quite simple or outright crap, but there's true quality stuff among them and the pre-selection by the installer is quite good in my book. Oh and I'm part of the Ubuntu community, too.
Been there, tried that. Sorry, not my cup of tea. I have no time to tweak here and there. And I need to run my games and my visual studio, amd my autocad natively.

OS/X : Hereround 155$. Probably nicest user interface, at least at Panther level very stable, rock solid foundation (BSD) a real shell and real scripting. Oh and it gives me fanboy privileges.
And it comes with an unusable firewall, broken network copy/move operations and an unusable time machine. Not to talk about an extremly annoying user interface. Why do people seem to think that you must like the Mac way is out of my understandning. Still I've been obligate to use one of those everyday at work.. Sigh...

Vista Ultimate: ~700$. Nothing really to offer, exept maybe this floating waterfall background, which must eat a ton of resources. Requires activation, abuses 30% of my resources for Hollywoods satisfaction. Oh: And by default I'm a criminal software thieve pirate.
I use it gladly. And pay for it as well. Call me an idiot. I don't care.

Re:Let me think... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21571585)

you're an idiot. why don't you just use XP till vista works? why pay $700 to beta test MS's unfinished poop.

Re:Let me think... (2, Insightful)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571675)

How about not using it at all? XP only "works" after a fashion.

It's less secure (Vista is too, but we won't go into that...).
It's more resource intensive.
It takes resources away from my system to enforce the media company's "rights"- of which, I largely don't use their crap any more.
I have to buy all sorts of things to make it more robust, secure, etc.- things that shouldn't need to be there or should have came with the OS in the first place.

With Linux, I don't have those issues- and it's not because it's "The Underdog" OS.

Re:Let me think... (1)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571709)

Well for me it's quite stable, last uptime run was 61 days of daily heavy use without problems and I only paid about 19 euros for it.
Lots of room for improvement, but everything I do on it works perfectly, games, pic/mov editing, multimedia all without a hitch.

I know Vista succes stories aren't that popular here, but they are out there.

Re:Let me think... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21571831)

Well, it seems that I'll be needing a new computer soon (old one is still under warranty, but trying to get Mesh to honour it is another matter -- six weeks and counting, and with an MTBF of a little under 3 months the computer is now down for longer than it's up). Although I keep getting told that XP is still available, trying to find someone who will supply it is another matter so it looks as if I'll be stuffed and have to go with Vista :-(

Re:Let me think... (2, Insightful)

Nos. (179609) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571409)

According to a similar article I had just finished reading when I saw this one, users who are 'caught' by WGA, will receive an offer to buy Vista Home Premium for $119 (USD), about 1/2 of what it retails for. That's right folks, if you want Vista, pirate it first, get caught, and you can have it for half price. http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2007/12/04/tech-vista-pirated.html [www.cbc.ca]

Re:Let me think... (1)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571539)

How many people *actually* pay the full $700 for Vista? As much as I dislike everything Vista represents, the parent is offtopic and verging on troll.

Re:Let me think... (5, Insightful)

plague3106 (71849) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571707)

Ubuntu Gutsy Gibbon : Free as in speech, free as in beer comes with about 20000 apps (the number's pulled out of thin air, but there are a lot of apps available), of which most are probably quite simple or outright crap, but there's true quality stuff among them and the pre-selection by the installer is quite good in my book. Oh and I'm part of the Ubuntu community, too.

And I can't really buy games off the shelf, nor printers, or a lot of other hardware, and have it work. Oh, and Linux does have its own problems, weird things breaking, spending hours figuring out what exactly is wrong, and then diving into a text file to change some obsure setting. Most of those 20,000 apps are shit. Sorry.

OS/X : Hereround 155$. Probably nicest user interface, at least at Panther level very stable, rock solid foundation (BSD) a real shell and real scripting. Oh and it gives me fanboy privileges.

People knock Linux / Windows UIs; I find Macs to be infurating. Why exactly would you want to be a fanboy? Fanboy is just another word for zealot.

Vista Ultimate: ~700$. Nothing really to offer, exept maybe this floating waterfall background, which must eat a ton of resources. Requires activation, abuses 30% of my resources for Hollywoods satisfaction. Oh: And by default I'm a criminal software thieve pirate.

Surely you mean only ~$260 [pricegrabber.com] ? Not very computer savy if you can't find Vista at a good price.

I'd wager that if i really chose option three I must be a blistering idiot, too.

The other option is that you're a smart professional that just wants to get things done. Since I ditched my Linux desktop and server, I spent more time doing the things I want on the computer, instead of trying to figure out what text file I got wrong and then being told to RTM (which doesn't exist).

Re:Let me think... (1, Informative)

CaptainZapp (182233) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571871)

Surely you mean only ~$260 [pricegrabber.com]? Not very computer savy if you can't find Vista at a good price.

No I mean ~700$. Microsoft shamelessly gouges central european customers and I found not a lot of cheapie offers for Vista Ultimate in retail here.

And I can't really buy games off the shelf, nor printers, or a lot of other hardware, and have it work.

The only point I buy are games. I never had a hardware issue with Ubuntu; sorry. Even my brand spanking new laptop worked, including WLan and hybernation.

Most of those 20,000 apps are shit. Sorry.

If you read my original post you would have noticed that I said exactly that. That doesn't discount the fact that there are dozens of high quality, professional, industry grade apps available, which would cost 1000s of $ in addition to the OS. It doesn't discount the fact that I get a very high quality software build environment out of the box, too.

The other option is that you're a smart professional that just wants to get things done.

I totally agree, but it's exactly that what infuriates me more and more with Microsoft products. They are trying to turn my computer into a consumer appliance (granted, Apple is not very different) and that's not acceptable to me. But yeah, too each his own.

But my major point is that I'm not willing to shell out money to a company which treats me (the customer, the dude ultimately signing their checks) like a thieving pirate.

Re:Let me think... (1)

nojjynb (1003593) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571931)

Except that Vista offers the best media center I have ever used, and all of my *NEW* hardware works (as in, my ExpressCard TV Tuner). That being said, I also have Ubuntu installed. Oh, and as to the OS/X, I spent a couple of years developing with it (the online newspaper I worked for was mac happy), and between the four main interfaces (OS/X, Gnome, KDE and Windows) I find OS/X to be the least user friendly, most un-intuitive interface. Though it is pretty and does good with with videos :)

Re:Let me think... (4, Insightful)

15Bit (940730) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571933)

Its basically horses for courses - you use the OS which does what you want the best. This will inevitably be a trade-off between functionality, software compatibility, user friendliness and cost. I have a Windows XP desktop and a file-server/firewall etc running Fedora. I don't run Windows on the server cos it doesn't do what i want. The same is true for Linux on the desktop. So i mix and match according to my needs. I'm sure many others do the same, and look admiringly over the fence at the prettiness of OSX, or the stability of Linux, or the universality of software for Windows. But in the end, your computer must do what you want, and having a pretty OSX box or highly secure and stable Ubuntu desktop is pretty pointless if all the software you need to use runs only on Windows.

Re:Let me think... (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571939)

I don't think I've ever seen Vista Ultimate sold for more than $400, and that was the ridiculous version that was signed by Bill Gates. Regardless, Ultimate does have a few good features and I'd probably buy it over any other version. For instance, it gives you both 32bit and 64bit support which makes it a good buy for the sake of longevity. It also has some bullet points for business like a remote desktop client, a more flexible virtualization license, and BitLocker encryption.

And let's be honest here - if you're a gamer or an IT manager and you recommend Ubuntu or Mac you're going to get laughed out of the office. Mac is proprietary in every way and the average Windows user will have a lot of habits to change before getting accustomed to it, and as they say about Linux, it's free if your time is worthless.

I'm not defending the price of Vista Ultimate because I agree it's quite steep, but you blew things a bit out of proportion in your post so I'm just balancing out the cosmos.

Re:Let me think... (2, Informative)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571963)

Vista Ultimate: ~700$. Nothing really to offer, exept maybe this floating waterfall background, which must eat a ton of resources.
Come on, I know you love Linux even above your girly JPG's, but please. This is getting old, fucking old even.

Windows Vista disadvantages over XP

- Lacking application compatibility.
- Lacking driver compatibility that only recently seem to start being resolved.
- Added resource requirements, although some can be mitigated by deactivating Aero Glass.
- Added system services to improve performance over time, that may actually do things works. YMMV here.
- Further tightened antipiracy features that sometimes lead to false positives.
- Slow file operation bugs that affect some users, to be fixed in SP1, and available now as a hotfix.
- Obnoxious User Account Control, although it is debated if it's finally what Windows has needed, and *NIX systems have had for decades in "sudo".
- DRM support, although some debate this is only a support, not a requirement. People are still in charge of their systems and whether to actually play DRM protected files. Pirated HD movies can be streamed fine to a HDTV set in full resolution, for example. Nevertheless, this can be seen as Microsoft supporting anticompetitive and anticonsumer business practices in the media industry.
- Increased battery life when using Aero Glass.
- Widely reported reduced game performance.
- Lacking IE customization controls compared to IE 6.
- Dumbed down backup tool.
- Loss of functionality in the sound recorder tool.
- Controversial Kernel Patch Protection feature that achieves both good and evil.
Etc...

Windows Vista advantages over XP

- Enhanced Explorer through breadcrumb navigation and better visualized meta-data.
- Plugin architecture for thumbnail previews.
- "Abstract" virtual folders that base their contents on custom criteria, not "physical" contents.
- Organize files in "stacks" based on their metadata.
- New API:s to help users discover which application is keeping a file lock.
- Instant search / search as you type.
- Performance diagnostics console with problem history for overviews and problem resolution assistance.
- Non-destructive disk manager.
- Application-specific audio controls.
- Shadow copies for file versioning support.
- Per-user language support for multiuser installations.
- New contact management with extensibility API:s for application integration.
- New calendar application to support the iCalendar format and WebDAV server synchronization.
- Improved search in WMP 11, added integrated format support. (VC-1, AC3, etc)
- New, modularized IIS engine.
- Security feautres: Address space layout randomization, improved outbound firewall, drive encryption, EFS, ...
- Significantly improved task scheduler application.
- New health monitoring and system diagnostics tools.
- Significant changes to mobile computing.
Etc...

I know you wish to see the world in black & white. Sure, you really do. But the truth is that it has many shades of grey too.

I agree with you that Vista Ultimate is expensive as hell, but most of what I listed doesn't even require it.

How soon... (5, Funny)

Iphtashu Fitz (263795) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571325)

...until they start counting all pirated version of Vista among those "happily" using it in order to inflate their numbers.

Re:How soon... (4, Insightful)

icepick72 (834363) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571767)

I doubt Microsoft's numbers need much inflation considering Win Xp / Vista / 2000 / 2003, even still in use NT, 95, ME, 98 ... the upcoming 2008 server. Microsoft is sitting pretty all things considered. What I find most funny is a lot of /. has fallen in love with XP in their fight against Vista. Microsoft has them either way. When Vista becomes a stable product as XP did over its lifetime they will all be moving to it and ragging on the Windows 7. One step behind in the Microsoft line doesn't matter. They're still pwned.

Read this on ZDNet (5, Insightful)

kat_skan (5219) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571331)

A blog on ZDNet [zdnet.com] has this interesting bit:

This drastic change in Microsoft's WGA system is only the latest in series of attempts to smooth WGA's rough edges. In August, Kochis apologized on Microsoft's WGA blog for an outage that incorrectly flagged thousands of customers' systems as "non genuine." In October, Microsoft removed the WGA validation requirement from IE7 downloads. Two weeks ago, on November 20, Kochis promised to "build more trust in WGA" by improving its back-end systems, its response times, and its customer support.

Getting rid of the "kill switch" is a much better way to build that trust.

This is software explicitly designed to make your computer less useful. It does nothing else for you. Why would "improving its back-end systems" ever make me trust it the least bit more?

Notice (2, Funny)

nermaljcat (895576) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571357)

Maybe the notice should just contain a link to Ubuntu? =] "An error has occurred and Windows was detected on your drive. Please format disk and install Linux. Download Ubuntu here"

Re:Notice (1)

Locklin (1074657) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571571)

With the old "lock down," I don't think there was time or system resources to download and burn Ubuntu. At least now that will be an option!

Micro$oft whould use the kill swith (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21571377)

on all machines,whether the machine uses XP or Vista. Then people will see the problems with non-free software and they will all switch over to GNU/Linux and Open-Source software exclusively in droves.
--
Friends don't help friends install M$ junk.

Dear Microsoft. (5, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571391)

Just so you understand.
If I install a new motherboard in my PC that is not piracy.
If I format my old hard drive and install Vista on a new PC I built that is not piracy.
If I have to call to take down that nag screen then you must hire enough people that I never have to wait more than two minutes to get the nag removed. You must also offer a world wide toll free number so I can call no matter where I am and you must keep that number staffed until the sun goes nova or you go out of business.
Only then will any type of "activation" be acceptable.
Never mind OpenSuse is working just fine as is Ubuntu. Or maybe I will just buy a Mac.

Re:Dear Microsoft. (2, Informative)

Library Spoff (582122) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571577)

Correct, installing a new motherboard is not piracy.

But if you built the original pc with an OEM version of Windows because you could get it cheaper and you then try to upgrade then tough. Though Microsoft should make this point a lot clearer.

 

Re:Dear Microsoft. (1)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571641)

If I install a new motherboard in my PC that is not piracy.


If you're installing a new motherboard and not reinstalling the OS, I have a feeling being flagged as a pirate is probably going to be the least of your concerns.

Re:Dear Microsoft. (1, Troll)

kernelpanicked (882802) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571741)

Why, exactly? The last three machines I've been through I have built the machine, yanked the drive out of my old machine, and booted it up in the new one. No problems. Yes, I use BSD and Linux. If this is a problem when doing it with Windows, well then, learn not to buy shit software.

Re:Dear Microsoft. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21571951)

Don't be obtuse. I bet you recompiled your kernel and made judicious changes to various hardware config files...

Re:Dear Microsoft. (1)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571957)

Add to that, if they ever do go out of business they will permanently auto-activate any and all Windows license.

MS OSes overpriced in general (1)

Delusion_ (56114) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571395)

You pay a couple hundred dollars per client. You pay several times that per server. Then you have to buy CALs to let the clients and servers actually communicate. It's getting ridiculous, and it reminds me of when it was Novell's game to lose: the difference between the $500 server package and the $5000 server package was a license file with a different number in it. It's not as if Microsoft isn't covering its profit margin by the price of the OS alone, is it?

I'm not suggesting MS is doing anything wrong by, god forbid, charging for their software, but this sort of expensive buy-in is pretty much the opposite of the rampant piracy which pretty much ensured MS a place in the OS game to begin with.

CALs in particular annoy me, as do arbitrary price differences between versions.

Before anyone says it, I'm not a "linux on the desktop FFE" guy, I'm a "choose the OS for the applications you want to run" guy. Which means for a lot of server applciations, you've got some real choices, and for user applicaions, you've either got two and a half choices, or in some cases, only one.

Re:MS OSes overpriced in general (1)

ReAn1985 (906976) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571459)

Microsoft seems to think 'economy pricing' should be left to thier 'upgrade' packages.

I can buy Vista Upgrade for $100, but i have to install XP, then upgrade it to vista every time i format. 10 years ago if i kept following this idea, id have to install Windows 95, Upgrade to 98, Upgrade to 2000, Upgrade to XP, and then Upgrade to Vista, but id would have saved 60% of my costs for 10x the load time.

It really is the price of the OS that drives people to pirate it. I bet lots of people would buy Vista if the midgrade version was $100 and the Ultimate was $250. Cheapos could move up with a $60 payment. M$ would probably still make a profit.

Re:MS OSes overpriced in general (1)

baadger (764884) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571615)

I can buy Vista Upgrade for $100, but i have to install XP, then upgrade it to vista every time i format.

Yeah it is strange, you'd think they'd just have the Vista upgrade installer to do a fresh install but ask you to insert your XP CD and type your XP product key for verification. I guess MS just aren't that smart.

Re:MS OSes overpriced in general (1)

Erwos (553607) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571807)

I was under the impression that you could do exactly what you suggest. Am I misinformed?

Re:MS OSes overpriced in general (1)

mooglez (795643) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571489)

Well, you guys in US can consider your selves lucky with the pricing. Here in EU, Vista Ultimate retail costs between 400 to 500 euros. Might be MS trying to get back on the EU antitrust rulings.

Re:MS OSes overpriced in general (1)

Delusion_ (56114) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571721)

I'm of mixed minds on the EU anti-trust issue.

The problem that the EU identified is not the problem (bundling). If MS wants to include a free competitor product to other vendor's offerings, that doesn't really bother me. Include IE? Absolutely, it's good to have a backup plan if Firefox ever gets wonky. And it's easier to download Firefox if you've got a browser included already. Include Windows Media Player? I won't use it, but many will, throw it in. Hell, throw in any kind of application you want, Microsoft doesn't have a monopoly on ideas anyway.

The real problems are the ones the EU didn't address as effectively. Particularly, in my opinion, predatory marketing with OEM lock-ins which make including Windows either a requirement, or actually cheaper than not doing so, making any non-MS offerings just as expensive (or more), even though the OS alone is more expensive.

It's not illegal to have a monopoly. It's illegal to use it to engage in price-fixing.

Just like a beta demo. (1, Funny)

Ariastis (797888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571399)

Just like a beta, Vista is still full of bugs. Just like a demo, it has a lot of nag screens & unnecessary steps in order to make you install the "full" version (XP).

but... (2, Funny)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571403)

...isn't this one of Vista's most popular features?

Without that kill switch customers will be left with a slow, buggy OS.

Kill switch is still there if... (4, Insightful)

G4from128k (686170) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571433)

What stops MS from turning the switch back on at any future date? Although MS may have "turned off" the kill switch, it remains a feature of the system as long as MS auto-update can make changes to the OS without the user's consent.

Re:Kill switch is still there if... (1)

Threni (635302) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571617)

There is no `switch`. It's all software. Microsoft could probably destroy every install of every version of Windows as soon as they next went online should they so choose.

Re:Kill switch is still there if... (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571901)

Microsoft could probably destroy every install of every version of Windows as soon as they next went online should they so choose.
That would be a dramatic, though effective way of dealing with the Botnet problem.

fi8s7? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21571439)

the Problems The faJcts and

Must be a fun way to conduct a DoS (5, Interesting)

dido (9125) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571443)

I suppose they realized that it would be just a matter of time before someone outside of Microsoft discovers a way to use the kill switch. And then every Internet-connected computer running Vista will die instantly. Hmm... Doesn't sound like such a bad idea after all...

Re:Must be a fun way to conduct a DoS (1)

ReAn1985 (906976) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571519)

Or even more scary: the delivery system for these no-consent MS Updates.

Do you listen to yourself? (0, Flamebait)

mattgreen (701203) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571985)

I suppose they realized that it would be just a matter of time before someone outside of Microsoft discovers a way to use the kill switch. And then every Internet-connected computer running Vista will die instantly. Hmm... Doesn't sound like such a bad idea after all...
Why is it OK for thousands of people to have their computers be rendered inoperable just because they run an operating system that you don't like? Oh, right, because Vista is the worst operating system in all of history and everyone that uses it somehow deserves their computer to be unusable.

I'd be careful with all the elitism you're spewing, you might choke on it.

I bet I know who's happy! (-1, Flamebait)

mseidl (828824) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571453)

The 3 Vista users. Who's upset? The 6,000,000,000 Linux users and the 8 OSX users.

Re:I bet I know who's happy! (2, Funny)

Killjoy_NL (719667) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571737)

Whoah you must be the Goatse guy to pull numbers of that size out of your behind ;)

Re:I bet I know who's happy! (1)

Macthorpe (960048) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571925)

6,000,000,000 Linux users
Did I fall asleep and wake up in a parallel universe again?

God dammit, I only just got the cottonwool and KY out of my hair from last time.

End the Era (2, Insightful)

dcray2000 (969850) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571465)


Excellent Microsoft, keep destroying the wide spread use of your own OS, frustrating your end users, and alienating the next generation of system/software engineers.
 
We'll be that much better off.

Coincidence or Related? (2, Interesting)

Xest (935314) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571467)

One of my XP machines pulled down a WGA update from Windows automatic updates yesterday.

Have they also somehow altered WGA in XP?

Re:Coincidence or Related? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21571625)

I don't know, but it sounds like all they're doing is reversing the Vista WGA to the same waste of time WGA that XP has had.

This statement amuses me tho

"Microsoft has described the new approach as a "change of tactics". It said efforts to tackle piracy had seen numbers of fake copies of Vista at half the level of XP, the previous Windows operating system."

Probably because the only copies of Vista they're shifting are pre-installed ones (which are by their very nature, usually legit), Very few people are willingly replacing their legitimate (or otherwise) XP copies with it because they don't want it so of course piracy is going to be lower. It has _nothing_ to do with their Anti-piracy efforts. If people want to pirate Vista right now, they can, and they can disable all the WGA crap Microsoft added in their pirates copies anyway. (note Microsoft, Pirated copy = better)

Re:Coincidence or Related? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21571633)

Interesting observation. I don't know why they would have to wait until SP1 in Vista to change the WGA thing, because I've also noticed that XP has had numerous hotpatches that claimed to change WGA somehow.

not worth stealing (1)

aslan963 (744007) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571493)

Microsoft knows it is not worth stealing so why generate the ill will with people who actually purchase vistawful to begin with.

Oh! Shucks. (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571521)

I was hoping finally the corporations would wake up to the onerous requirements MSFT is placing on them, making them jump through so many hoops like a trained monkey and finally decide to become less independent on MSFT. Now the computer will continue to work, but with a few more nagging messages. Given the amount of nagging dialogs that most users don't understand who routinely press OK to continue and get on with their work. It will merely accustom the users to higher levels of pain and raise the tolerance levels. Is there any wonder people hate computers?

Re:Oh! Shucks. (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571691)

For big buisness it isn't really that onerous, you set one (or two for redundancy) machine up as a KMS and make sure all your machines can access it every so often. No big deal.

Ordinary home users at least in the west will mostly buy big brand machines and get bios locked media that does not need activation.

The people it really hits are enthusiasts who build thier own PCs and modify them at lot, small time PC repair places that must have either have loads of different types of bios locked media or convince MS to activate whitebox windows using those machines keys over the phone and small buisnesses who have a mixture of PC brands and either don't have a volume license agreement or don't have enough machines to deploy a KMS.

Re:Oh! Shucks. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21571725)

NT4 was 'gets the red out'. And it did.
2000 was the upgrade for that and some customers went to it
XP was the consumer version. It was WAY better than 9x and people liked it
Vista is an upgrade to that and some people will go to it.

I worked with a customer last year that was still using NT4. Which is 1996 tech. It worked for them. They had NO reason to upgrade. The same will be for XP and 2000. Most people get a new OS when they get a new computer. That is how it works in the real world. Not because 'oh i heard its crap'. I knew people who actually LIKED WinME.

What MS needs to fix is the 'perception' of slow that Vista has. Its bad. XP was semi bad when it first came out but this is amazingly slow. I have turned off some services and its 'better' but not much. The popup dialog thing I get, and it is not THAT bad. I am usually doing something adminy anyways. Many Linux distros do the EXACT same thing. I think Vista's slowness is related the fact it fills memory when it starts. So the first thing an application has to do when starting is clear out some memory for itself to live in. It could also be a driver issue. I am measuring things to figure out what is going on.

My overall impression of vista at this point is. Not as bad as people make it out to be. But not that much better than XP, just very different (and some people do not like that). Stick with the home premium ver. Ultimate gives you nothing. Dont be in a hurry to get it. I only got it because my laptop ate itself.

They should put it back in. (1)

yoshi3 (1118623) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571525)

I think the "kill switch" is a great idea. People shouldn't pirate software and then complain about annoying popup messages telling them it's pirated, or complainin it won't work anymore when they shouldn't be using it in the first place. Plus, I reckon it'd get more people switching to mac, or maybe linux, but more likely back to smelly xp. Not much better IMO.

How is this going to stop piracy of Vista? (1)

Mystery00 (1100379) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571569)

Windows has always added some kind of protection, it has always been cracked, and only legitimate customers have suffered. Same goes for any other piece of software.

Crackers will remove this and continue to spread Vista as if nothing happened. Only the silly twits that bought Vista are going to end up dealing with this.

They just don't learn.

Is the kill switch really working? (1)

ronanbear (924575) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571607)

Or might the lower piracy rates for Vista be due to other reasons, say pirating XP instead.

"improper" (1)

quarrel (194077) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571631)

Anyone shed any light on what "improper" copies are?

Are these the legitimate after-market sales that we hear them going after? All power to 'em if they're going after illegal sellers, but you gotta worry when a corporate like MSFT starts going after "improper" things..

Sell me something, and sod off would be my preference.

--Q

Re:"improper" (1)

ReAn1985 (906976) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571693)

Just because you paid for it dosent mean it's "proper" according to M$. From what I've seen victims of unlicenced OEM distrobuters / pirates basically get a "sorry, you paid a crook some money, now pay some more crooks (M$) and we'll let you keep using it."

It's like buying a stolen car, if the cops find out it's stolen, and don't catch the guy you bought it from, you get squat, and your car is taken away.

My big, round, shiny Vista Kill Switch was... (1)

capnkr (1153623) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571657)

...a Linux CD.

Hasta La Vista, Billy!

:)

Vista was the first m$ OS I'd actually owned since Win98 - it came on my new laptop. I even went through the setup procedures (see Vista setup/3+hrs | Linux/1.25hrs *with xtra apps* [slashdot.org] ), but I haven't used it since, nor will I ever.

Why? Linux runs much faster, and with much better software and extras, than Vista does on this 'native' Vista system (haha). No point in using the substandard OS variety.

cut MS some slack (1)

stormguard2099 (1177733) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571671)

Ok, so I gotta say, this is too much vista hating in the comments. I think the community should be congratulating MS for backing off of their anti-piracy campaign a little bit. They are changing a feature to help users, like the legit users who are having issues with this. I agree that they should do away with more of it but hey, you have to start somewhere. This isn't like an article just saying they are thinking about it, they are going to implement it. Doesn't that deserve a bit of praise?

Just to keep the record straight, I am not a windows fanboy. I am typing this from a macbook and I have no intentions of going back to windows anytime soon. If anything I am a mac fanboy but seriosuly, the majority of the other posts I have seen are just bashing vista in such an offtopic manner that it bothers even me.

Re:cut MS some slack (1)

BuckaBooBob (635108) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571803)

Just wait.. Next week MS will announce that XP WGA is more hardcore than ever before.. But if you don't like teh Nags.. Just Upgrade to Vista. If people wont do it willingly force them via nags..

ep... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21571685)

may also want best. Individuals peLrform kkeping

"Illegal and Improper" (2, Interesting)

mallardtheduck (760315) | more than 6 years ago | (#21571809)

Microsoft said it [...] [has] taken down more than 50,000 "illegal and improper" online software auctions.'

So that means that Microsoft have been getting perfectly legal auctions taken down because they deem then "improper" then.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...