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Microsoft Windows OS (XP/NT/Vista/Windows 7/8/9/10) Forum

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Microsoft to limit access to security fixes
The latest tactic to combat piracy

 7:07 pm on Jan 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Microsoft Plans Restrictions on Fixes [story.news.yahoo.com]

The new authentication system, announced Tuesday and due to arrive by midyear, will still allow people with pirated copies of Windows to obtain security fixes, but their options will be limited. The move allows Microsoft to use one of its sharpest weapons access to security patches that can prevent viruses, worms and other crippling attacks to thwart a costly and meddlesome piracy problem.



 4:10 am on Jan 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

This doesn't look any different than the validation process they are using with the new Anti Spyware tool.

It doesn't require REGISTRATION. I think it simply checks your Windows product ID against a list of known-bad ones, and asks for user validation if something doesn't look right. It's worth noting that ACTIVATION!= REGISTRATION, and no personal information is sent. I don't expect this will change that. If you're legal, it is totally harmless.

In my case, on all the computers it was run on it simply proceeded automatically without any user interaction at all, which I suspect is due to the fact that all of my our systems are running Volume License copies of XP, as many businesses do.


 4:53 am on Jan 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

AsI recall, there are two different processes when installing Windows XP- Activation... and Registration. I it the first, but not the second. (I had no choice on that, really). So, I have a legir copy of XP, but I am not "registered".

I still get the updates, right?



 6:08 am on Jan 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

I still get the updates, right?

Absolutely, for now. Who know, they might change that down the road too, Dave. As long as their servers can read the proper identification from your OS, that is all that is needed to gather your updates.

I should also point out that it is not required to take all the updates available. That decision depends on your knowledge levels as to what might / can / does apply to each update. You know, how all those updates intersperse with the applications pathways and such. Hope I said that correctly, it'sa gittin late.

<polite close mouthed yamn>


 6:14 am on Jan 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

This does not affect auto update. You just have to have a real copy to download from the website. MS can never shut down pireted copies from getting security patches. There will always be a way around it.

Robert Charlton

 6:15 am on Jan 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

...larger agenda....

Requiring a Passport account to register Windows gives Passport a big leg up in the marketplace. MS would like to be ubiquitous on the web, and this would certainly help them.

There are others better qualified than I to discuss the implications of Passport and .net. I don't think that either the word "agenda" or "larger" is unfair, though.

Good starter discussion here...
What is Microsoft's .net?


 10:03 am on Jan 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Another round of typical Microsoft bashing. Ho hum. Microsoft wants to give updates to people with legit software. To get those updates you need to be registered. What exactly is the problem? How is that different from any other company.

Woopeedoo, you have to use passport. Get over it.

If this was Apple or Redhat no one would give a fig, because this is the evil microsoft (woooo) people are up in arms.

Give me a break.


 3:11 pm on Jan 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

If this was Apple or Redhat no one would give a fig, because this is the evil microsoft (woooo) people are up in arms.

Give me a break.

Chris, I agree. And as for Microsoft being a monopoly, not even close. As long as other options are out there, you are completely free to choose something else. Apple or *nix - take your pick.

Microsoft has better marketing, therefore market share. Apple marketed to end users in the early days, Microsoft marketed to developers and hardware manufacturers, which offered much better results.

As for myself, I'd rather hate Walmart (the evil empire). To each his own.


 4:37 pm on Jan 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

But let's not think that this is just registering for a warranty. MS does have a larger agenda.

Microsoft wants to control your computer and who could blame them. The more control they have, the better the business position they're in. If you're willing to give up control of your system, little by little they will take it all from you. If you don't think so, you don't understand business, computers, or both. But I want control over my system, and through that control I have privacy via anonymity.

Tangent Alert:

Luckily, information seems to evolve just like biology. Just like the checks and balances at play in the natural world, Microsoft's closed software policies spawned wide-open Linux. To quote Jurassic Park, "Life (information) finds a way."

- Grant

Robert Charlton

 6:26 pm on Jan 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

...you have to use passport. Get over it.

If this was Apple or Redhat no one would give a fig

In my case, not so. I don't know about others. I simply don't want certain personal identifiers used for trivial stuff.

In the past, these have included use of Social Security number or credit card numbers as ID for low level transactions, like check cashing, etc... and, guess what, enough people felt the same way that the consensus is now with me.

In the case of MS Passport, the info request is not quite that invasive, but it's invasive enough that it bothers me. For a US Passport, the same info is appropriate. For MS, Apple, Redhat, or my corner store, definitely not.

Otherwise, I have no problem with registering my MS software, and in fact in the past I've preferred to do so.


 8:21 pm on Jan 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Thanks, Pendanticist, for answering my question.

(I am a fairly ordinary computer user. If Microsoft tries to make me jump through hoops or give more personal info than I already have, I will resent it and I won't cooperate. I think a lot of users will feel the same. Microsoft should tread carefully if it wants to avoid losing its monopoly.)


 10:28 pm on Jan 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

As long as MS dosen't charge a monthly fee for the service, it shouldn't be too bad. I find MS has all kinds of fees out there for hundreds of different programs, befree, MSN plus, extra hotmail storage capacity, IE tweaks, frontpage, the list goes on. And I think charging to download windows updates or use certain parts of windows would really get people angry. Assuming you went legit and bought a real version of windows and then had to pay monthly to download updates; that would be absurd.

Maybe charging people without legit versions of windows a monthly fee to download updates would be reasonable for MS, seeing as they got the software for free. Although I'm not too sure how MS could detect this, and if they could, it's likely they'd prefer to put those people in jail or fine them instead.

I think MS introducing such security measures are a good step towards eliminating a lot of pirating issues out there, but as we all know, for those that really need to find a way around it, a way will almost always be there. The only thing a measure like this does is deter people from doing it; discourage them somewhat. But people who pirate windows are likely smart, and for something like this, it will just be a small setback for them.

IMO, automatic updates are not worth the pain they cause. Does anyone remember the MyDoom virus that got onto the Microsoft update servers a couple summers back, "you have 1 minute until shutdown" screen. MyDoom is a good way to name it. People kept getting the virus even after formatting because Windows by default has the automatic update enabled upon installation. So people who didn't know much about PCs kept getting the virus over, and over, and over..all the PCs on my home network got them, and my co-worker at the office I worked at then got it, too.

I turned off automatic updates a long time ago for my whole home network, and have not looked back since. I just have my router's firewall up, and the in-house firewalls with XP SP 2. I haven't had any problems, break-ins, viruses, etc. For nearly 3-4 years (save the MyDoom and one really wierd #*$! virus I got which was easy to remove). I think Rogers has a secure network that I'm on, too.


 10:29 pm on Jan 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

You are quite Welcome, Fairla. :) I guess it's all in how you view the registrational process.

It would be interesting to see what the statistical numbers are with respect to age.

[li]What age group is more willing to run an unregistered copy of any software?

0 to 15
16 to 20
20 to 25
25 to 30
30 and up


 11:02 pm on Jan 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

I see several issues with Microsofts new stance - very much depending on the method of implementation.

Most pirated software are registered already. Which means MS will have to somehow make sure that often changed license is flagged. That creates a headache for me - with 3,000+ machines running Wintel stuff, will small hardware change create a re-registartion?

Will EACH machine have to be verified? We have a single license for the whole bunch, and there are about a dozen configurations are out there. Will it flag our registation?

Goes back to my first point - it is like gun registration. Only the really really dumb criminals and law abiding citizens register a guns.

So... how is going to make MY life easier? Will the next version of Windows be significantly cheaper? If so, I am willing to put up with some headache. IF not, then it is more burden on my machine, network and staff...

So... What are the hardware requirements for the Fedora? :-)


 11:49 pm on Jan 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

Tapolyai, I doubt you'll get qualified answers anywhere but MS's website considering how situationally specific your concerns are.

I have found this though:

Microsoft will expand its Windows Genuine Advantage program to 25 languages as part of its growing anti-piracy engineering, education and enforcement initiative. The expanded program will require users to enter legitimate Windows licenses before accepting non-critical updates.

"The goal of the program is to verify the authenticity of Windows software for customers, so they can avoid the risks associated with counterfeit software and take advantage of other benefits," says David Lazar, Microsoft director for Genuine Windows.

They go on to say:

An estimated 5 million people voluntarily checked out their software, according to Lazar. Now, users with Norwegian, Czech and Simplified Chinese language versions of Windows will be required to participate in the pilot program if they want to use the Download Center.


 7:25 am on Jan 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

"So... What are the hardware requirements for the Fedora? :-) "

Try a really free system, like mepis or kanotix, debian based. Then you don't have to read junk like this, your updates are free, a gift, the OS is yours to do with as you please, you can give it away, sell it, whatever you want. But some people just like giving Bill more money, he appreciates it by the way, and sends his thanks.


 12:54 pm on Jan 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

Fedora Core is 100% free software. One of the friendlier Debian-based distributions would also be a good choice. But my advice would be to install whatever your closest Linux tech friend prefers...

For a decent Fedora Core 3 desktop I think you'd want 384 MB of memory and a 1 GHz processor. (You could get away with less if you don't run a full GNOME or KDE desktop, but if you're moving from Windows you almost certainly do.)



 3:51 pm on Jan 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

I highly recommend Gentoo Linux:


- Grant


 10:02 pm on Jan 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

"I highly recommend Gentoo Linux:"

That's like recommending a formula 1 car to somebody looking for a daily commuter. All the distros have taken a huge jump this year, especially the debian based ones. With debian you don't need to depend on a company maintaining the product, that's the thing that finally sold me, that plus the fact that there are finally user friendly versions available that don't make you learn xwindow configuration just to get it running. Redhat is going to start working more actively on their desktop, suse is there already. KDE 3.3 and Gnome 2.8 are both very much improved over earlier versions, I would look for one that offers one or the other. Gnome is very stripped down this version, too much for my taste, KDE is very smooth, with a lot of features, it's worked out to be a very nice choice for people.

From what I can see, ram is more important than processor speed, 512 mB will do all of the above choices very well, they will run fine on 256mB, but more is good.

A recent install of a debian based distro makes me go: ok, what exactly is it that makes me need to use windows?


 10:20 pm on Jan 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

That's like recommending a formula 1 car to somebody looking for a daily commuter.

The thing about Gentoo is it can be either one.

- Grant


 12:14 am on Jan 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

They have a user friendly installer? Since when? I haven't checked into that for 6 months or so, is there something new? I read a pretty good, wanting to be sympathetic review of gentoo last year, the guy really wanted to use it as his main OS, but after the 3rd two day reinstall from something [I think it was the new python] that broke the system completely he had to give up. But if they do get a slightly more user friendly version I'd love to try it.


 1:49 am on Jan 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Here's a quote about the Gentoo Installer Project:

The Gentoo Installer project aims to create an widely extensible install engine that allows for a diverse set of attended and un-attended install options. All functionality will exist in the backend, exposed through a stable API.

One implementation:


- Grant


 3:57 am on Jan 31, 2005 (gmt 0)


According to the eighth annual Business Software Alliance (BSA) global software study, China, along with countries such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Russia, Ukraine, and Pakistan top the list in terms of piracy rates. India, is in the 16th spot with 70% piracy rate.

Reading deeper into this story, the writer says that rates of piracy have a correlation to the specific countries Gross National Product (GNP). The lower the GNP, the higher the piracy rate.


 3:58 am on Jan 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

pendanticist: I'm not sure that surprises me. In fact, I'm PRETTY SURE it doesn't.


 4:06 am on Jan 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Would you be surprised to learn that World Social Forum is pushing for Global Free Software [technocrat.net]?


 4:13 am on Jan 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

No. Been there, read that....


 4:18 am on Jan 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

As far as on-topic goes, this thread must be about dead then. :)


 5:14 am on Jan 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'd guess so.... Ah well - seems to be my primary function hereabouts - either derailing threads, or doing those "so-abhorred" me-too posts....


 5:33 am on Jan 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

I don't thinnnnk soooo :o


 11:11 pm on Jan 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

All those second and third world countries that MS is trying to extract more money from [this latest quarter's profit figures: over 60% on Windows and Office products, quite a bit over, but I don't want to misquote the numbers] are taking long hard looks at linux and opensource. MS could do nothing better for open source global uptake than what they are doing. It's correct to note that those countries pirate grotesquely overpriced software that feeds these types of obscene profit margins, which can happen only when you have a virtual monopoly. Not to mention the fact that many of them considered concepts such as 'intellectual property' totally ludicrous, which it is, and only began paying lip service to it when various world trade organizations forced them to do it or have their exports banned or fined. That's thuggery in case you have a hard time seeing the facts behind this stuff.

After all, a copy of windows xp pro and office cost more than most people in those countries make in year. Heck, they cost almost as much as poorer people in the US make in a month. I call this theft, you can call it what you want. The only organizations I know of that deal in those kinds of profit numbers are organized crime, drugs, and so on. And monopolies.

But if you shut off the ability to do upgrades, Linux will grow, and it will grow very quickly in those countries. And it is growing, very quickly. Thanks MS, linux needed this boost, good job.


 11:56 pm on Jan 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

Microsoft is going to do, what Microsoft is going to do. End of story.

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