Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 28th Jun 2006 12:56 UTC, submitted by John Mills
Windows "It's been known that the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) phones home for quite some time now. For most of us, we've come to live with Microsoft's decision to relegate the software to only contacting the company's servers once every few weeks . Of course, the software is only in beta right now, so what might happen once it goes into production? Will it phone home even less? Ed Bott has an idea. Bott has reason to believe that Microsoft might have a special treat in store for those that do not want any part of the WGA. Citing Dave Farber as his source, Bott thinks that the WGA could become mandatory for Windows users. Those that don't want to install the software must suffer the consequences - install it in 30 days or Windows will stop working, period."
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I tire of such restrictions
by mattst88 on Wed 28th Jun 2006 13:11 UTC
mattst88
Member since:
2005-08-27

I believe almost everyone else does too. For those of us who have legit copies of XP, it just complicates things. I know many people reinstall XP on their computer quite frequently. I know I do every 6 months to a year. And what happens when you do? You have to call Microsoft.

It'd be nice if they'd get rid of these pests.

Reply Score: 5

RE: I tire of such restrictions
by el3ktro on Wed 28th Jun 2006 13:40 UTC in reply to "I tire of such restrictions"
el3ktro Member since:
2006-01-10

You re-install your system every few months? Why that?

Tom

Reply Score: 1

dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

The only reason I can see for doing so is if you replace hardware often without cleaning out old drivers. This can result in quite some cruft after some months - but that's due to poor maintainence.

Reply Score: 1

atsureki Member since:
2006-03-12

It's due to poor design. Removing drivers once they're in the belly of the whale is extremely difficult. I remember years ago trying to change which driver I was using for a sound card, but Windows conveniently decided to autodetect the device and use the bad driver no matter what I did. Whatever solution there might be to that is way beyond the scope of simple maintenance. That's more in the league of hacking.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I tire of such restrictions
by Tweek on Wed 28th Jun 2006 14:35 UTC in reply to "I tire of such restrictions"
Tweek Member since:
2006-01-12

I have reinstalled many computers and have NEVER had to call Microsoft

I thought they stopped doing that type of check like 3 years ago

Reply Score: 1

Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10

They have not stopped doing that check. If you install XP from scratch and your Key is not black listed then you can install it on many machine (As it stands now) but if you take a machine that is already installed and change more then three things inside then XP will make you re register that machine with MS.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: I tire of such restrictions
by Tweek on Wed 28th Jun 2006 18:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: I tire of such restrictions"
Tweek Member since:
2006-01-12

hmm, so would completely moving a license to a different computer after I junked the system it came with count? In many cases it was a laptop to a desktop.


(Yeah i know its against the license, and I honestly dont give a shit, the copy was paid for, im gonna continue to use it on other hardware)

Reply Score: 1

RE: I tire of such restrictions
by CPUGuy on Wed 28th Jun 2006 16:38 UTC in reply to "I tire of such restrictions"
CPUGuy Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm sorry, but if you are legitamtely using Windows, you should not have to call Micrsofot.

I've been using XP since it first came out and I've re-installed many times (beta testing XPSP1 and XPSP2, because I was bored, try out a Linux distro, whatever) and I've NEVER EVER had to call it in to Microsoft.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: I tire of such restrictions
by WorknMan on Wed 28th Jun 2006 16:45 UTC in reply to "RE: I tire of such restrictions"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

I'm sorry, but if you are legitamtely using Windows, you should not have to call Micrsofot.

Exactly. I recently reinstalled XP after replacing a motherboard, CPU, and network card, and I still didn't have to call them.

Reply Score: 1

StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

XP does fail to activate occasionally - you're fortunate if you've never encountered it, but it does happen sometimes. I've never encountered it with any of my computers, but I've seen it happen with a handful of computers that I've reinstalled XP on for others. In those cases, after the online activation failed, I had to attempt to activate by telephone, and then got passed to a human operator who would ask for the same info as the automated process. After it returned "invalid CD key" for the phone tech as well, they've always just given me a confirmation ID.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I tire of such restrictions
by Kroc on Wed 28th Jun 2006 17:23 UTC in reply to "I tire of such restrictions"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

I tired of it and switched to OS X. Am I free? No. Now I run Windows in Parallels and Bootcamp causing never ending WGA pain. I have to crack the OS just so I can use it without MS poking their noses in every time I boot. Thankfully, I've no need for Vista because I can imagine it being only ten times as worse.

Reply Score: 1

never happen
by raver31 on Wed 28th Jun 2006 13:12 UTC
raver31
Member since:
2005-07-06

all those pirated users are still users as far as Microsoft are concerned...
and one day, just maybe, Microsoft can convince them to pay for software.

If Microsoft decided to lock them out, they would switch elsewhere, that is not what Microsoft is looking for

Reply Score: 5

The problem
by alcibiades on Wed 28th Jun 2006 13:36 UTC in reply to "never happen"
alcibiades Member since:
2005-10-12

We're seeing a number of trends converging, whose end result is to ensure that the PC user has privacy and control removed.

The arguments for why the measures which do this are good for us are drawn from different areas: ease of use, piracy, security.

It is increasingly difficult to tell what is going on with your machine, because helpful wizards disguise the difference between configuring your TCP/IP stack and configuring your web browser, and because at any point something new may be installed on it by your vendor without him fully informing you what it does.

It is increasingly difficult to use your machine to access or manipulate content you have bought, because you haven't really bought it, just bought the right to use it in ways the vendor dictates. It may become hard to install what you want, because the hardware or software may not be DRM safe and your OS vendor may stop you for your own and society's comfort and safety.

It is increasingly difficult to keep what you have written or installed on your machine private from the supplier of your OS, because the software you did not know he has installed, and which you cannot remove very easily if at all, calls home and gives him unknown information from it.

None of this will actually suppress malware or make computers easier to use, because the problems with both are about competent OS design. Probably they will somewhat restrict piracy, at the expense of decreased sales from the irritations and restrictions.

What we need to worry about is that all this will carry on with few noticeable important effects, until the day when our governments become less benevolent arrives, and they decide it is in the national interest to control the use of PCs, at which point we will find out just what it all facilitates.

It facilitates, though it will never be used for this under existing administrations, surveillance of private correspondence, censorship of publication and reading, targetting of people with various characteristics who have accessed or stored material of certain types on their machines.

We have two choices at the moment. One is to resist via regulation and lobbying. The second is to move to Open Source. Not OSX, not any OS which is only supplied by one large company. To real open source, where the source code is visible and scrutinised.

Fascism in the West will not return with guys marching through the streets doing funny walks in comic opera uniforms. It will return, if it does, with large corporations being given privileges to lock down content and equipment in return for administering behavioural controls via the way the products they sell work and are managed. It will start in libraries and rapidly move from our newspapers and our bookshelves to our computers.

Reply Score: 5

RE: The problem
by KenJackson on Wed 28th Jun 2006 14:14 UTC in reply to "The problem"
KenJackson Member since:
2005-07-18

It is increasingly difficult to tell what is going on with your machine, because helpful wizards disguise the difference between...

This has been my complaint about Windows for years. (The cost of the software in dollars is irrelevant to me.) I want to know what's going on inside so I can fix problems or choose to do something differently, my own way.

Reply Score: 2

RE: never happen
by biffuz on Wed 28th Jun 2006 13:56 UTC in reply to "never happen"
biffuz Member since:
2006-03-27

"If Microsoft decided to lock them out, they would switch elsewhere, that is not what Microsoft is looking for"

I don't agree. Most people will just buy the Windows box, because they know that their copy is not legal. Ditching Windows, install and learn a new OS and new apps, are not worth 150 euro.

At least, this is the situation in Italy.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: never happen
by wirespot on Wed 28th Jun 2006 14:08 UTC in reply to "never happen"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

all those pirated users are still users as far as Microsoft are concerned...
and one day, just maybe, Microsoft can convince them to pay for software.

If Microsoft decided to lock them out, they would switch elsewhere, that is not what Microsoft is looking for


This is actually a very interesting point. What if Microsoft does go on and do this locking thing? What does that say about Microsoft's state of affairs? Microsoft has afforded to go on for almost 20 years without caring for people who pirate Windows. Why start caring now? Is their income in trouble by any chance, to the point they'd risk alienating countless potential users for the sake of one more copy sold?

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: never happen
by chrish on Thu 29th Jun 2006 13:49 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: never happen"
chrish Member since:
2005-07-14

"Why pay for your pirated XP when you can buy this fresh, new, DRM-filled copy of Vista! Just released!"

- chrish

Reply Score: 1

pfsams
Member since:
2006-01-05

You mean they will actually have it run for 30 whole days without a system restore, or reinstall. MY GOSH!!
They are improving!

Reply Score: 5

DevL Member since:
2005-07-06

That so made my day. Thanks. :-)

What's even funnier is that you're fairly close to the truth...:-D

Reply Score: 2

Neccessary evil....
by xiaokj on Wed 28th Jun 2006 13:28 UTC
xiaokj
Member since:
2005-06-30

for the adoption of F/LOSS. Although it is a bloody bug for me to administer in my computers, I welcome it with a great big hug. Its long overdue for pirates to pay for following the herd for so long. (Esp in a stupid direction)

Alternatives exist. Long live them!

Reply Score: 5

No internet connection
by Big_Johnno on Wed 28th Jun 2006 13:33 UTC
Big_Johnno
Member since:
2006-06-28

I know several people who own legitimate copies of windows but do not have the internet. What happens to these people who have no way of verifying there registration every how ever often it phones home.
John

Reply Score: 3

RE: No internet connection
by Sphinx on Wed 28th Jun 2006 16:24 UTC in reply to "No internet connection"
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

If I follow their direction correctly it will most likely just simply not boot without a dial tone and a credit card.

Reply Score: 1

Wait a sec
by pxa270 on Wed 28th Jun 2006 13:34 UTC
pxa270
Member since:
2006-01-08

HOW exactly are they going to make Windows "stop working" if you DON'T install something? Will XP installations die if MS sends them a secret Ping of Death? Can Ballmer Execute Order 66? Is Ed Bott spreading FUD?

Reply Score: 3

RE: Wait a sec
by Ford Prefect on Wed 28th Jun 2006 13:36 UTC in reply to "Wait a sec"
Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

Your system has a clock built in, hasn't it?

It already dies if you refuse to register it within 30 days.

Who knows if such a thing is not already part of some service pack. But I guess, they just do that for newer versions of Windows. Their new APIs will make XP obsolete.

Edited 2006-06-28 13:39

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Wait a sec
by dylansmrjones on Wed 28th Jun 2006 13:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Wait a sec"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Their new APIs will make XP obsolete.

And the hardware requirements for Vista and the EULA - not to mention the delays - will make Vista obsolete before it is released.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Wait a sec
by Ford Prefect on Wed 28th Jun 2006 14:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wait a sec"
Ford Prefect Member since:
2006-01-16

Obsolete for you and me, certainly.

Most people will just _have_ to buy it (with their new PC) as usual.

When Windows 95 came out, it was obsolete, too. OS/2 was out, with better architecture, better desktop, lesser bugs, full 32 Bit code, ...

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Wait a sec
by dylansmrjones on Wed 28th Jun 2006 15:17 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wait a sec"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

Oh don't mention OS/2. It makes me nostalgic (a tear is coming to my (left) eye).

Those were the days ;)

I can still remember my first OS/2 installation. It worked so smoothly - even on a 486 with 4 MB of ram. And it could almost play a videoclip (well, it was sort of like fast-moving still images, but it was almost an animation).

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Wait a sec
by CPUGuy on Wed 28th Jun 2006 16:34 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wait a sec"
CPUGuy Member since:
2005-07-06

Oh yeah, because nobody has an 800mhz computer.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Wait a sec
by dylansmrjones on Wed 28th Jun 2006 16:50 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Wait a sec"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

You cannot run Vista in an acceptable manner with a 1.5 GHz AMD Sempron 2200+ and 1 GB of ram.

Of course it's perfectly possible that I define "an acceptable manner" differently than you.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: Wait a sec
by CPUGuy on Wed 28th Jun 2006 22:45 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: Wait a sec"
CPUGuy Member since:
2005-07-06

You have to remember, it's beta.

Some people have had a really great experience with awesome performance while others have had problems where it is dog slow even on a 3ghz P4.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: Wait a sec
by kaiwai on Thu 29th Jun 2006 07:32 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Wait a sec"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Some people have had a really great experience with awesome performance while others have had problems where it is dog slow even on a 3ghz P4.

Then again, one has to also consider; how much of the performance issues are due to drivers, specifically third party.

My brothers Dell, for example, runs perfect using the standard Windows XP drivers, as soon as I installed the Intel INF for his SATA/Chipset, there is a massive pause during the loading, and all round general instability once loaded.

Hence the reason, when I run my Mac, I am very hesitant about the idea of using third party drivers, having seen the crap quality which some companies put out - Nvidia, ATI, Creative, VIA and Intel, to name a few, I would rather than castrated performance and features with the built in drivers, rather than random and unreliable, but 'feature rich experience' which a third party driver brings.

Reply Score: 1

Can happen one day...
by Don T. Bothers on Wed 28th Jun 2006 13:41 UTC
Don T. Bothers
Member since:
2006-03-15

But that day is far far away. I would estimate that more than 50% of the people pirate Windows (either buying a white box system and installing it, illegally upgrading from XP home to professional, or illegally upgrading from older versions of Windows to newer versions.) Until that number gets to less than 1%, I think Microsoft will keep prodding people to slowly stop pirating.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Can happen one day...
by TusharG on Wed 28th Jun 2006 18:25 UTC in reply to "Can happen one day..."
TusharG Member since:
2005-07-06

In each of your statment you said atleast 50% people buying Windows.... In india,korea and taiwan the percentage is between 2% to 5% so 95%+ people are directly installing Windows OS that is already cracked or is shipped with serial number. In many towns you will get Windows XP on streets, footpaths, with hackowers at as cheap as $2 price! Beat that...

Reply Score: 1

mym6
Member since:
2005-08-26

I'm not sure what people are doing that they need to reinstall windows so often.

System information for \station041:
Uptime: 9 days 18 hours 58 minutes 18 seconds
Kernel version: Microsoft Windows XP, Uniprocessor Free
Product type: Professional
Product version: 5.1
Service pack: 2
Kernel build number: 2600
Registered organization: ***************
Registered owner: Authorized User
Install date: 2/5/2002, 5:25:21 PM
Activation status: Error reading status
IE version: 6.0000
System root: C:WINDOWS
Processors: 1
Processor speed: 1.8 GHz
Processor type: AMD Athlon(tm) XP 2200+
Physical memory: 256 MB
Video driver: 3DexPlorer 3000

The system listed above works just fine after 4 years on the same install. If you need to reinstall your system that often you're simply doing something wrong.

I also don't feel like Microsoft is doing anything too terrible with WGA. Microsoft has a right to make sure their software is being legally used and I have only once run into an issue with WGA out of the hundred or so computers I've built. In that case I called MS and told them I had activated the computer before installing all of the motherboard drivers. The tech agreed that installing the drivers after the fact probably caused WGA to think the computer hardware had changed and fixed me up. I just don't understand what all the uproar is.

Reply Score: 3

biffuz Member since:
2006-03-27

"The system listed above works just fine after 4 years on the same install. If you need to reinstall your system that often you're simply doing something wrong."

I agree, but that's only because we know what to do if something goes wrong. Most people don't.

Reply Score: 1

xxmf Member since:
2006-06-15

The problem that I see with Windows is poor package management. I install/uninstall apps quite often, and quite frequently its the cruft left behind by poor quality installers that is to blame. Of course a decent package management tool would allow me to locate and zap bits and peices that didn't seem to have an owner.

Reply Score: 1

tpaws Member since:
2006-06-02

Actually, reinstalling Windows is the most common "fix" for systems that start running poorly. It was the recommended "fix" from Microsoft at least for earlier versions of Windows. Wiping out the harddrive and installing Windows is frequently recommended by computer repair shops, and is often the only real way to get rid of all the "malware" afflicting Windows. More often than not, the fastest way to fix a poorly running Windows installation is to backup files, and start fresh.

Windows is a maintenance nightmare. NTFS is OLD, and requires frequent maintenance. Windows is a security boon-doggle. Weekly security updates, and virtually daily Virus and Mal-Ware definition updates make it clear that Windows Security is a joke.

We live with Windows because in many environments we have to. Many of us Windows users have gotten to be rather effecient at maintaining our systems, but it is long past time for Windows 'Fanboys' and MS paid shills to be honest, and to demand that MS truly improve its products instead of blaming the "dumb" users.

Reply Score: 3

Adam S Member since:
2005-04-01

NTFS is OLD, and requires frequent maintenance

Bah. NTFS is newer than many file systems in use today, namely ext2, FAT, and UFS, all of which are in use in many systems across the world in core production servers. NTFS is an advanced, fully-journaled file system with plenty of modern capabilities and support for tremendously large disks. It's been steadily advanced since its introduction. Most people talk a lot about NTFS but don't actually know a damned thing about it.

Reply Score: 1

situation Member since:
2006-01-10

I think the main reason people reinstall is due to registry cruft that builds up. And that is normally from games. So in your case, that looks like a work computer, which probably has the same suite of software since it's install. Whereas installing and uninstalling tons of games (I know people who go through 40 games a year) will slowly build up junk in the registry for incorrectly written uninstallers.
Now, if you know a really good registry cleaner, I'm all ears, but just because you have a standard work computer going for 4 years doesn't mean the vast majority of reinstallers are wrong or stupid; they just have different uses for Windows.

Reply Score: 1

mym6 Member since:
2005-08-26

"I think the main reason people reinstall is due to registry cruft that builds up. And that is normally from games. So in your case, that looks like a work computer, which probably has the same suite of software since it's install. Whereas installing and uninstalling tons of games (I know people who go through 40 games a year) will slowly build up junk in the registry for incorrectly written uninstallers.
Now, if you know a really good registry cleaner, I'm all ears, but just because you have a standard work computer going for 4 years doesn't mean the vast majority of reinstallers are wrong or stupid; they just have different uses for Windows."

Search google for Crap Cleaner or ccleaner. The software will automatically cleanup bad invalid registry entries. It will however get it wrong sometimes so use with care.

Reply Score: 1

30 minute rule!
by tryphcycle on Wed 28th Jun 2006 23:57 UTC in reply to "Do people really reinstall windows all the time?"
tryphcycle Member since:
2006-02-16

i use goast on every windows intallation....

if 'dows acts up and i can't fix it in 30 minutes... even if in know i can eventually figure it out.... I GHOST it!

F' all the dum sh#t, i got better things to do with my life than deal with MSs crapy as# soft ware!

Reply Score: 3

eantoranz
Member since:
2005-12-18

So you are OK with having your mouse changed and the WGA making windows STOP because of that? Cool! You are the kind of customer MS loves. :-D

Reply Score: 1

mym6 Member since:
2005-08-26

I hope your joking..........

Reply Score: 1

Won't happen
by miscz on Wed 28th Jun 2006 14:00 UTC
miscz
Member since:
2005-07-17

Microsoft success is based on massive marketshare and they are well aware of this fact. They'll try to stay above 90% at all costs because it's more profitable for them in the long run. Without such domination software companies would slowly move to other operating systems and hardware companies would dedicate more of their time to make their stuff work on niche operating systems. And if WGA would start blocking pirated copies it would be cracked three days before this feature was implemented anyway.

Reply Score: 2

Boiling frogs
by KenJackson on Wed 28th Jun 2006 14:02 UTC
KenJackson
Member since:
2005-07-18

If Microsoft really does plan to turn WGA into a kill switch in September, be prepared for an enormous backlash.

Of course we'd all love to see that backlash turn into increases in GNU/Linux or BSD usage, but I'm not holding my breath for two reasons. One, Microsoft has proven to have extremely good business savy. They will do what is in their own best interest.

Second--have you ever heard about boiling frogs? I'm told that if you drop a frog into a pan of boiling water it will jump out. But if you put it in luke warm water it will stay while you slowly bring it to boil. Whether that's true or not, it's a good metaphor for the way Microsoft has been conditioned people to accept their status as all-powerful lord over all Windows PCs.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Boiling frogs
by Knuckles on Wed 28th Jun 2006 14:11 UTC in reply to "Boiling frogs"
Knuckles Member since:
2005-06-29

Yeah I think that depends on who you're talking to, but alot of people I know with older pc's won't spend a euro on them (on hardware), so I'm pretty sure they won't shell out for windows if they're locked out.

But I know microsoft won't dare to do that, they know that piracy is what is keeping alot of third-world countries on board with them, and that in turn makes manufacturers still not care about linux, and it's the usual cycle.

Reply Score: 1

eantoranz
Member since:
2005-12-18

Nevermind.

Anyway... so you're the guy with a XP running for 4 years straight.... that's lovely, really. But take a look around. I don't think most people make it that long without reformatting their windows-running computer, do they?

Reply Score: 2

biffuz Member since:
2006-03-27

"Anyway... so you're the guy with a XP running for 4 years straight.... that's lovely, really. But take a look around. I don't think most people make it that long without reformatting their windows-running computer, do they?"

Yes, they do. I reinstalled Windows XP 3 or 4 times just because I swapped the hard drive (I've been a bit unlucky with that). But my father's notebook is still running the ORIGINAL Windows 95B installation. It's _ten_ years old now. My father isn't an expert, when he had a problem I always fixed it without formatting anything.

Reply Score: 1

mym6 Member since:
2005-08-26

"Yes, they do. I reinstalled Windows XP 3 or 4 times just because I swapped the hard drive (I've been a bit unlucky with that)."

In this case you should look into Drive Snapshot, you'll find it at http://www.drivesnapshot.de/en/ I bought this and it's absolutely the best way to backup your hard drive. It will image your drive while you're using it. You can then mount and map the image file as a virtual drive. When you need to restore the image to a new drive, it'll handle different size disks gracefully. It will also plow through a bad drive and image everything it can. It will tell you it has found a bad sector but then continue on so one bad file won't cause it to skip everything else. Incredibly handy.

Reply Score: 1

TechGeek Member since:
2006-01-14

I reimage my machine about every 6 months. I use Windows for playing. That means lost of game installs and lots of software installs. That really mucks up your system after a short while. Plus I cant count the nuimber of games that inserted their own cd drivers to prevent piracy. After 6 months, there is enough crap on my system that it needs to be reinstalled/reimaged.

Reply Score: 1

biffuz Member since:
2006-03-27

"Plus I cant count the nuimber of games that inserted their own cd drivers to prevent piracy."

This can be repaired, too :-)

Reply Score: 1

tryphcycle Member since:
2006-02-16

Windows95..... no THAT's a quality product!

Reply Score: 1

biffuz Member since:
2006-03-27

"Windows95..... no THAT's a quality product!"

If you agree that XP is way better, then you should agree that if Win95 can be as much as ten years old, then an XP install can last much, much more.

Reply Score: 1

eMagius Member since:
2005-07-06

Not everyone is stupid enough to download and run untrustworthy programs from shady sources. I think you greatly overestimate the amount of people who do so (perhaps because they're overrepresented on pirate-friendly sites). In my experience, the vast majority of Windows users have never reformatted or reinstalled Windows.

Reply Score: 1

crispy Member since:
2005-06-30

Consider me a frequent re-installer. I've noticed that as time goes by (say 2-3 months) my Windows performance decreases. Defrag and the other tools only help in a very small way. I have to do a fresh install for any noticable improvements. On my girlfriend's computer, I have only reinstalled Windows once in the 3 years we've been together and she's content with it. Guess that's a power user vs. average user thing.

As far as WGA goes, I do find it invasive, but as long as it doesn't get in the way of my frequent install habit, then I'll deal with it. As long as I follow the terms (and I do, I use a different XP disc and key for each computer) I should be able to reinstall as many times as I see fit. All of this may be moot, because right now I spend 90% of my time in Ubuntu Dapper. I've even got the only game I play (WoW) running at a higher FPS then it does in Windows. The only thing that isn't working is my webcam, but it's not a big loss.

Edited 2006-06-28 17:56

Reply Score: 1

mym6 Member since:
2005-08-26

"Consider me a frequent re-installer. I've noticed that as time goes by (say 2-3 months) my Windows performance decreases. Defrag and the other tools only help in a very small way. I have to do a fresh install for any noticable improvements. On my girlfriend's computer, I have only reinstalled Windows once in the 3 years we've been together and she's content with it. Guess that's a power user vs. average user thing. "

The built in defrag in windows kinda stinks. I've never believed in defrag but I did try diskeeper lite and it actually made my work machine feel much better. Might be worth a try.

Reply Score: 1

Firewall
by FrankNBeans on Wed 28th Jun 2006 14:12 UTC
FrankNBeans
Member since:
2006-01-30

I thought people around here call people stupid for not running a firewall. Well, wouldn't a firewall (a good one) block the outgoing traffic to MS thus making them unable to kill your machine? Then use WindizUpdate instead to update your machine. A working Windows XP install isn't just going to stop working without some outside interference from MS, because that would mean all the systems that don't have internet would also stop running.

Yes, it is inconvenient, but only for the inexperienced, not me, and probably not you if you are posting on OSNEWS.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Firewall
by situation on Wed 28th Jun 2006 16:18 UTC in reply to "Firewall"
situation Member since:
2006-01-10

A really paranoid viewpoint could think that they will mask the "kill switch" in a common Windows service that was likely already enabled. Such as services.exe, or the other 4 or so networking executables (not on a Windows box right now to check) that many people allow through their firewall. Heck, maybe they'll put it into ping.exe, no one ever suspects ping!

Reply Score: 1

RE: Firewall
by spoopryme on Wed 28th Jun 2006 17:55 UTC in reply to "Firewall"
spoopryme Member since:
2006-06-28

unless you are running a hardware firewall, windows can still phone home before your software actually loads. i personally have my ethernet cable unplugged until after the computer fully boots up to give zonealarm time to activate...

Reply Score: 1

RE: Firewall
by r2d2d3d4d5 on Wed 28th Jun 2006 20:13 UTC in reply to "Firewall"
r2d2d3d4d5 Member since:
2005-12-31

Then use WindizUpdate instead to update your machine.

Until MS attach a WGA check to every update they produce.

Reply Score: 1

Fine
by NixerX on Wed 28th Jun 2006 14:14 UTC
NixerX
Member since:
2006-01-04

Its fine by me that they implement WGA. I use Linux at home. Here at work though it will become a real P.I.T.A to reaload Windows. They will have to make some sort of exception to the rule at the corporate level.
-nX

Reply Score: 1

RE: Fine
by mym6 on Wed 28th Jun 2006 14:25 UTC in reply to "Fine"
mym6 Member since:
2005-08-26

They do, it's called volume licensing. You're doing something wrong if you find it a PITA. On way to do it is if you have a set of common machines, then build an image for them with all the base software (windows and drivers really), sysprep it and then deploy that image onto the machines. When you boot the system complete the mini setup, type in the cd code on the case and let Active Directory (or whatever management system you use) handle the rest of the software installs. There are other methods but you get the idea.

Reply Score: 1

archlyn
Member since:
2006-01-11

I've read articles on the 'net about how, usually with each new service pack release, people with completely legitimate keys are told that they don't have a legit copy of windows because their activation key is in a block of blacklisted ones.

What happens to them?

Edited 2006-06-28 14:31

Reply Score: 1

eMagius Member since:
2005-07-06

For the one in ten million legitimate users who run into a problem, Microsoft is only a phone call away. They're quite helpful and quick to resolve issues.

Reply Score: 1

netpython
Member since:
2005-07-06

What happens to them?

Fill in a form in triplet with a copy of your driver license and an essay inlcuded about how it all happened.

Reply Score: 2

calling home
by pumupthapointz on Wed 28th Jun 2006 14:36 UTC
pumupthapointz
Member since:
2006-06-28
Microsoft is paying these PR people?
by Grant Swinger on Wed 28th Jun 2006 15:03 UTC
Grant Swinger
Member since:
2006-02-04

What amazes me about this is the terrible PR Microsoft has. A journalist calls in about a MS support person claiming there's a kill switch on the way and can they please confirm or deny it. All he get back is a vague statement about WGA. Lots of people read the lack of firm denial as confirmation and the Internet rumor mill takes it from there. The idea is to step on these things before it becomes a news story.

Reply Score: 1

sappyvcv Member since:
2005-07-06

You make a good point. It's very funny how Ed Bott took it though. "OHMYGOD they didn't deny it! it's gonna happen!!!"

Reply Score: 1

...
by suryad on Wed 28th Jun 2006 15:32 UTC
suryad
Member since:
2005-07-09

Cant we just install a copy of Zone Alarm and have WGATray.exe get blocked?

Reply Score: 1

n4cer
Member since:
2005-07-06

MS has answered questions about WGA behavior in its release state (released yesterday) here:

http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2006/jun06/06-27WGA.msp...

Reply Score: 1

sbenitezb
Member since:
2005-07-22

Wow! 9 days uptime!!

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: never happen
by sbenitezb on Wed 28th Jun 2006 15:44 UTC
sbenitezb
Member since:
2005-07-22

In your country, perhaps, in my country 150 euros buys you food for about 2 months if you eat well.

Reply Score: 3

RE: The problem
by Headrush on Wed 28th Jun 2006 15:50 UTC
Headrush
Member since:
2006-01-03

Well stated.

Reply Score: 1

Vista Corporate, Anyone?
by kryptonianjorel on Wed 28th Jun 2006 15:52 UTC
kryptonianjorel
Member since:
2006-06-28

Windows XP Corporate Edition was quite a great invention, whether or not it came from MS. Look, there is no way in hell microsoft will keep the hacks down, they will find a way around anything MS throws at them, they always have, and always will.

Personally, I'm looking forward to Vista Corporate Edition

Reply Score: 1

Headrush
Member since:
2006-01-03

[quote="mym6"]The system listed above works just fine after 4 years on the same install. If you need to reinstall your system that often you're simply doing something wrong. [/quote]
Wrong. You've just be fortunate.

Not all Windows problems are delivered via viruses, trojans, malware, etc through the internet. You can be locked down properly and installing software from a reputable manufacturer can be the start of problems that sends your system down the path of issues. Improperly replacing a DLL which the uninstaller fails to remove and restore for example. The problem is that in many cases, a re-install is faster than trying to diagnose and correct the issue. This is one area where other OSes, Mac OS X, Linux, Solaris are much better than Windows. Finding and correcting errors is much easier, and generally the entire system can't be crippled so easily.

Reply Score: 1

mym6 Member since:
2005-08-26

"Not all Windows problems are delivered via viruses, trojans, malware, etc through the internet. You can be locked down properly and installing software from a reputable manufacturer can be the start of problems that sends your system down the path of issues. Improperly replacing a DLL which the uninstaller fails to remove and restore for example. The problem is that in many cases, a re-install is faster than trying to diagnose and correct the issue. This is one area where other OSes, Mac OS X, Linux, Solaris are much better than Windows. Finding and correcting errors is much easier, and generally the entire system can't be crippled so easily."

I posted this before but I'll post it here too, search google for ccleaner. It cleans up old stuff and bad registry entries.

I somewhat disagree that Unices have better package management. If you "roll your own" from time to time you'll have a hell of a time cleaning up after such a mess after a while. It's difficult to reverse such a thing. RPM's and the like are much better however. I do agree that finding and correcting errors on other OS's can be easier.

Reply Score: 1

Excellent
by Sphinx on Wed 28th Jun 2006 16:16 UTC
Sphinx
Member since:
2005-07-09

Thank you, best news I've had all week. Keep squeezing those users, please.

Reply Score: 1

Good God!
by godsolete on Wed 28th Jun 2006 16:44 UTC
godsolete
Member since:
2006-05-10

If I knew Windows was going to become yet another pieece of annoying nagware, I wouldn't have even bothered buying a legitimate copy of Windows. I re-install the OS way too often for Microsoft to be comfortable, sometimes monthly depending on which OS I wanna play with. Thanks Microsoft for treating us all like criminals!

Reply Score: 3

RE: Good God!
by suryad on Wed 28th Jun 2006 21:17 UTC in reply to "Good God!"
suryad Member since:
2005-07-09

first they write an OS that require frequent reinstalls and then they want us to be treated like common criminals. I wholeheartedly agree with you man!

Reply Score: 1

What "advantage"?
by jonas.kirilla on Wed 28th Jun 2006 17:17 UTC
jonas.kirilla
Member since:
2005-07-11

Last time around I had to phone Microsoft and talk to them in person, having failed the cumbersome 40-digit phone-guided activation. No more. I'm selling this wretched copy of XP that cost me so dearly. (I had to get XP Pro for the second CPU to work...)

I phoned Microsoft to complain about the phone-in activation escalation, but apparently I've accepted some EULA that gives them permission. Well, no more! I'm selling the 360 as well.

Everything about this is designed to take away our freedom.

Reply Score: 1

This Could Kill People - Literally
by Bob A on Wed 28th Jun 2006 17:57 UTC
Bob A
Member since:
2006-06-28

Before you think I being overzealous, consider my reasoning for a minute. Nearly every fire department, police department or EMS agency uses Windows software. They use SQLServer backends to run dispatch. They use Windows desktop for reports. They use Windows to track unit AVLs (automatic vehicle locators), and manage radio traffic and frequencies, etc. Yes, these systems are purchased, not pirated, but here is the problem. A virus.

To kill a Windows machine a virus would only need to be created that changes your registration from valid to invalid. A better one will also adjust the 30-day clock to 0-days. Then WGA looks and realizes this is an invalid registration and the time period has expired. It does what it is supposed to do, it shuts down every infected Windows system.

Suddenly, dispatch systems go down and 9-1-1 calls cannot be processed, or radio systems that cease to function. Patient care reports cannot be turned over to hospital staff. Fire department Haz-Mat units cannot access information on spilled chemicals. Imagine a prison system that runs security on the Windows platform releasing all of the jail cells when the system shuts down.

If you want to talk about a scenario of 'cyber-terrorism' that would create havoc, this is it. Ignorance (or arogance) on the part of Microsoft, social engineering (on the part of the virus writer), and unsuspecting agencies is a bad mix. And as I have outlined above, it could literally kill someone.

Edited 2006-06-28 17:59

Reply Score: 3

openbsd-user
Member since:
2006-06-28

In europe it is illegal - forced linked selling. But the truth is nowhere you can buy a new laptop without pre-installed w-os, you always have to pay your world-wide $ 100 tax to ms.

Bechtel and GE can generate the 'power', to break these 20 years off retrogressive market-skimming strategies, have power to recycle the money involved, recycle the technolgies and power to reoganize the e-businesses

We as a community just build and use , net, wifi, powerline booting universal simple desktops on every device you can dream off, with real excellent scalable administation and manageability.
http://www.k12ltsp.org
http://www.ltsp.org

Build on X Windows, which has a stability record envied in computing and has been stable for 18 years. The early and late majority off users just want a simple desktop that works.

Or doomed, we have build some more Three Gorges Dams(18 billion Watt) and Hoover dams(2 billion Watt), a forced demoralizing democratization of Iran or don't connect 1 billion Chinees with these unsophisticated energy guzzling antiquated technologies

Edited 2006-06-28 18:48

Reply Score: 0

why deal with it?
by celt on Wed 28th Jun 2006 19:03 UTC
celt
Member since:
2005-07-06

Just say no to Microsoft products. Instead of being a victim of this nonsense, stop acting helpless and install a competent OS.

You all act like you have no choice. Stop whining and get on with a productive life, instead of waiting and complaining about the latest Microsoft tactics to screw you out of your hard earned money and time.

Windows Vista, whatever of the seven or eight versions there will be or Office 2007...yada, yada, yada...just say enough is enough.

Reply Score: 5

RE: why deal with it?
by tpaws on Wed 28th Jun 2006 19:50 UTC in reply to "why deal with it?"
tpaws Member since:
2006-06-02

Some of us have to work with it. Doesn't mean we use it on our own computers.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: why deal with it?
by celt on Wed 28th Jun 2006 20:01 UTC in reply to "RE: why deal with it?"
celt Member since:
2005-07-06

For sure...you aren't the person that my comments were targeting, I think you know the context of my comments.

Reply Score: 1

Trust Doesn't Seem Bi-Directional w/MS.
by Ranger on Wed 28th Jun 2006 19:20 UTC
Ranger
Member since:
2006-05-03

If this apparent threat happens to be true, I wonder if there is any legal course of action available to Microsoft's end-user population. It would also be interesting to hear how Corporate & Enterprise IT Managers feel regarding such a (potential) restrictive policy.

The copies of WinXP I have are completely legal. I went through the process of "activating" both copies some time ago when they were installed. This new "Windows Genuine Advantage," layer of continuous registration feels far too much like privacy invasion.... I went through the process once - why the need to continuously do so, now?

To give my honest opinion, I believe Microsoft would fare better if they developed stronger code for their OS; code that isn't riddled with security flaws & exploitble holes. However, someone at the company has decided to envoke Gestapo tactics to punish the end-users instead of correcting the problems with their products at the source-code level.

With MS's new programs, OneCare and Office Live, they want us to trust Microsoft and purchase their on-line offerings.

Why does Microsoft never seem willing to trust the users who pay for & activate their products?

This situation feels completely upside-down.

Reply Score: 3

Legit Lockout
by Jon Dough on Wed 28th Jun 2006 20:56 UTC
Jon Dough
Member since:
2005-11-30

Back in the day, I recall seeing articles about legitimate Microsoft Office users being locked out due to software bugs/glitches. I can see the same thing happening to legitimate Microsoft OS users.

As for me, I refuse to pay Microsoft's upgrade tax. I've already got one foot in the open source world with the Ubuntu GNU/Linux distro on the box I use for backups. I am very comfortable with it, and it is fast becoming my main OS. Microsoft Vista? Forget about it.

Reply Score: 1

My install
by Finchwizard on Wed 28th Jun 2006 22:06 UTC
Finchwizard
Member since:
2006-02-01

My install the other day required me to install it, and said I had to otherwise I couldn't install the rest of the updates.

I don't know about you, but it looks like it's already pretty mandatory

Reply Score: 1

Of course
by deathshadow on Thu 29th Jun 2006 09:52 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

the REAL reason they'd do the lockout is obvious, as is why they are waiting; to try to pump up Vista sales.

Guarantee, inside a month of Vista's release is when the WGA will get REALLY aggressive - all in the hopes that people plagued by WGANotify will go out and buy Vista.

Reply Score: 1

Yay!
by Cookie Monster on Thu 29th Jun 2006 16:07 UTC
Cookie Monster
Member since:
2006-06-27

I hope they go ahead with this - hell, I hope the damn thing phones home every hour on the hour and locks legitimate customers out of Windows right and left.

More users for OS X and Linux ;) .

Seriously, if this gets integrated into a shipped version of Windows it cannot legitimately do anything except when installing the OS or updates. Some people don't have the internet!

Just one more reason to switch to Mac.

Edited 2006-06-29 16:14

Reply Score: 1