Linked by Thom Holwerda on Thu 29th Jun 2006 17:15 UTC, submitted by Eshton
Windows Microsoft released a new version of Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications on Tuesday and detailed how to remove the controversial antipiracy software. "Our customers have told us that they were disappointed with their WGA Notifications experience, and we have made an effort to improve that with this update," a Microsoft representative said.
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Ermmm....
by DrillSgt on Thu 29th Jun 2006 17:51 UTC
DrillSgt
Member since:
2005-12-02

"While WGA Notifications won't "call home" to Microsoft, WGA Validation still periodically checks in with Microsoft, the software maker said."

So..they say WGA Notifications won't call home, but they check in with Microsoft periodically. Same thing isn't it, or am I just not seeing things right?

Reply Score: 5

RE: Ermmm....
by eggs on Thu 29th Jun 2006 18:08 UTC in reply to "Ermmm...."
eggs Member since:
2006-01-23

Maybe what they mean by "call home" is that it contacts Microsoft and gives them data about your computer, but what it really does is just check to update itself?

I don't know, doesn't make much sense to me either.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Ermmm....
by markjensen on Thu 29th Jun 2006 18:30 UTC in reply to "Ermmm...."
markjensen Member since:
2005-07-26

I am sure it is a mis-statement (deliberate or otherwise, you decide) based on this article:
http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1895,1982591,00.asp
which is titled "Microsoft Removes WGA 'Phone Home' Component", which states:
"[i]This daily configuration file check has been removed in the updated WGA Notifications package released June 27, according to a Microsoft statement sent to eWEEK.

The company said that the Validation component of the tool will still check periodically to determine whether the version of Windows is genuine."

I think it is switching to a less-frequent method. Perhaps during the monthly or so check-ins to Windows Update?

It would be nice if they were more clear about this.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Ermmm....
by n4cer on Thu 29th Jun 2006 19:57 UTC in reply to "Ermmm...."
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

So..they say WGA Notifications won't call home, but they check in with Microsoft periodically. Same thing isn't it, or am I just not seeing things right?

WGA Validation and WGA Notifications are two different technologies.

WGA Validation asks users to make sure their copy of Windows is genuine when using Windows Update, Microsoft Update and the Download Center.

WGA Notifications is software that is distributed through Automatic Updates and Windows Update that reminds users who fail validation that they are not running genuine Windows, and directs them to resources to learn more about the benefits of using genuine Windows software.

During the pilot WGA Notifications checked a server periodically for configuration settings. This check is no longer performed in the final release version.

WGA Validation still does a periodic check to see if Windows is genuine, such as when you try to get updates from MS/Windows Update or you try to download software from MS Downloads that requires validation.

More info is available at the following links:

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

http://www.microsoft.com/genuine

Edited 2006-06-29 19:59

Reply Score: 5

Translation needed:
by DittoBox on Thu 29th Jun 2006 17:58 UTC
DittoBox
Member since:
2005-07-08

""By using Automatic Updates, Microsoft is able to reach the greatest number of PC users," a representative of th software company said. "Microsoft believes it has a right to know whether systems using a service intended for licensed customers are in fact licensed systems.""

Let me translate that for you:
We're going to assume all our users are criminals, and treat them as such until we can run intrusive checks on their systems. Even then there is a failure rate. You are, in effect, guilty until proven innocent. In fact, with the failure rate we might just "prove" you guilty when you really aren't! Yay for us! It's our right to screw you over!

Can I for once buy a software or media product without being treated like a criminal? This is why I oppose DRM so much, because I feel like an untrusted customer: all they want is my money. That's fine, that's what most (all?) companies want (it's good!), but rather then treating me fairly and competing properly in an open and fair market they monopolize and extort...instead of trying to earn customer loyalty. This isn't what capitalism is about. Play fair and everything runs just fine. But with huge mega-corporations there's too much bureaucracy and too much greed to play fair.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Translation needed:
by Bink on Thu 29th Jun 2006 19:36 UTC in reply to "Translation needed:"
Bink Member since:
2006-02-19

For the most part, well said. IMHO, this, and the six plus years it's taking for Vista to ship, is likely the proverbial "beginning of the end" for Microsoft.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Translation needed:
by rattaro on Thu 29th Jun 2006 20:00 UTC in reply to "Translation needed:"
rattaro Member since:
2005-08-22

>Can I for once buy a software or media product without being treated like a criminal?

No. Remember, you don't buy software from Microsoft anymore, and this is true for most proprietary software as well. You only have their permission to use it, as they tell you to, how they tell you to. That's how it works. If you don't like it, you have several choices: 1) live with it, 2) write your congressman, 3) don't use their products, 4) complain, or 4) use it illegally.

Basically, they violate every one of Stallman's software freedoms. But then again, you aren't meant to have freedom with proprietary software, and that has been pretty clear to me from the beginning, so I personally don't see anything to complain about.

Reply Score: 3

Honestly........
by Googlesaurus on Thu 29th Jun 2006 18:20 UTC
Googlesaurus
Member since:
2005-10-19

To be perfectly honest... If it were me who were being ripped off to the extent Microsoft is with illegal copies of Windows and Office floating about... I would be taking the same position they are.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Honestly........
by Gone fishing on Thu 29th Jun 2006 21:07 UTC in reply to "Honestly........"
Gone fishing Member since:
2006-02-22

MS arenít a poor company and their not being ripped off (even if the donít realize it) the piracy works in their favour as it entrenches their monopoly. The best thing for Linux, BSD, Haiku, Zeta etc would be for MS to stop people pirating of their software.

If all the computer users in India, China, Nigeria etc canít use Pirated Windows any more do you think they are all going to spend the equivalent of 6 months wages on a legal copy of Windows (would you). No theyíll change to an alternative OS Ė probably Linux as it does everything (more or less) that Windows does and itís free.

Then Hay presto MS has just lost its monopoly and more apps drivers etc will be created / ported to alternative OSís etc etc.

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: Honestly........
by Googlesaurus on Sat 1st Jul 2006 02:52 UTC in reply to "RE: Honestly........"
Googlesaurus Member since:
2005-10-19

Today's less than alert item....
Applications dictate opertating systems. FREE and or available, does not.

Reply Score: 1

Silly thinking, but just like MS
by historyb on Thu 29th Jun 2006 19:39 UTC
historyb
Member since:
2005-07-06

It's quite silly and stupid imho to call home perodically. They should do it at all, but if they have to just once should be enough.

Oh wait MS thinks everyone is a criminal and their the only saints. golly forgot that one.:)

Reply Score: 1

Trusted computing
by raver31 on Thu 29th Jun 2006 21:20 UTC
raver31
Member since:
2005-07-06

Does anyone here remember Trusted Computing? This was an initiative a few years back, and one of the biggest supporters was Microsoft.

One of the things to come from Trusted Computing, is DRM, and one of the biggest backers was Microsoft.

Now, how can it be described as Trusted Computing when Microsoft is covertly installing software onto your machine, that contacts Microsoft without your knowledge and consent ?

No, instead of calling it Windows Genuine Advantage, I think it should be labelled as it really is. Spyware.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Trusted computing
by n4cer on Thu 29th Jun 2006 22:41 UTC in reply to "Trusted computing"
n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

Now, how can it be described as Trusted Computing when Microsoft is covertly installing software onto your machine, that contacts Microsoft without your knowledge and consent ?

They aren't covertly installing it. You are prompted to install it when you go to Windows/Microsoft Update or Download something requiring validation from MS Downloads.

Reply Score: 0

RE[2]: Trusted computing
by raver31 on Fri 30th Jun 2006 07:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Trusted computing"
raver31 Member since:
2005-07-06

So it does not install if you have Windows Update on automatic ?

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Trusted computing
by repvik on Fri 30th Jun 2006 08:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Trusted computing"
repvik Member since:
2005-07-04

If you have windows update on automatic, you're begging for trouble anyway ;-)

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Trusted computing
by repvik on Fri 30th Jun 2006 08:05 UTC in reply to "RE: Trusted computing"
repvik Member since:
2005-07-04

You're not only prompted to install it, the EULA also states that it'll periodically check in with Microsoft

Reply Score: 2

Good job you robber barons
by ssa2204 on Thu 29th Jun 2006 21:38 UTC
ssa2204
Member since:
2006-04-22

As someone who had to spend a few hours on the phone with both Microsoft and HP, I am convinced more than ever that this whole WGA is a pathetic joke. The final response from Microsoft, no apology of course, was that the OEM key was....defective.

I have a better idea to stop piracy, stop asking ridiculous prices. Look at the issue with DVD copying. I remember when quality movies could be picked up for $5, sometimes on sale you could get 3 for $10. Now I see DVDs for average $20, some $30? What a joke. Pay $300 to Microsoft, another $450 for Office. Hell, I remember when we could just purchase the office components we wanted and not have to pay for programs some may never use (I have a client who has 25+ employees who never have used Infopath, Powerpoint, or Access).

Maybe if these companies were not gouging us so much people would be more interested in actually paying. Especially in poorer countries, how in the hell can you ask $700+ for this software and not expect people to just make illegal copies.

Even more, the more these companies try to tighten the control, the bigger the invitation is for hackers to break it. What is left is all of us in the middle that have to deal with this crap.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Good job you robber barons
by Bit_Rapist on Fri 30th Jun 2006 18:46 UTC in reply to "Good job you robber barons"
Bit_Rapist Member since:
2005-11-13

As someone who had to spend a few hours on the phone with both Microsoft and HP, I am convinced more than ever that this whole WGA is a pathetic joke. The final response from Microsoft, no apology of course, was that the OEM key was....defective.

Oh you too? I've got a good friend who's copy of XP pro which came with an HP laptop started warning him that he was not running "genuine MS software".

He did the online test thing which has you read and enter the info in the inner circle of the CD and the website reported back that the CD was counterfeit!

This company has gone too far in my book.

Honestly its time for a hardcore revolt on these losers.

Reply Score: 1

Wonderful
by Sphinx on Fri 30th Jun 2006 02:37 UTC
Sphinx
Member since:
2005-07-09

Thoroughly enjoying the WGA experience here but then again I'm not running Windows, way to go Microsoft!

Reply Score: 5

Uhm....
by CmdKewin on Fri 30th Jun 2006 13:51 UTC
CmdKewin
Member since:
2006-06-30

"You are, in effect, guilty until proven innocent."


Correct me if i'm wrong...that's how the entire US Judicial System works. So don't be surprised.

That said, there are ways to avoid WGA, you know it as I do.
And about the system contacting MS... That maybe true, but don't get too cocky. Paranoia is a BAD thing.

Edited 2006-06-30 13:51

Reply Score: 1

RE: Uhm....
by leech on Fri 30th Jun 2006 17:11 UTC in reply to " Uhm...."
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

Hey, as I always say, "Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean that people aren't acually out to get you."

I'm wondering how one day I managed to come home to find that Automatic updates was turned on, I always leave mine turned off.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Uhm....
by Punktyras on Sun 2nd Jul 2006 07:14 UTC in reply to " Uhm...."
Punktyras Member since:
2006-01-07

I think you're wrong. Every democracy (should) cherish the presumption of innocence i.e. you're innocent untill proved guilty. I'm sure US Judicial System at least tries to follow this rule. I can not speak for MS though...
All this WGA fuss just makes me feel good and better each time about my decision for switching to GNU/Linux and OSS.
:)

Reply Score: 1

Then and now
by KenJackson on Fri 30th Jun 2006 18:50 UTC
KenJackson
Member since:
2005-07-18

Previously, it had said the software could not be uninstalled,...

Yet another reason to be cautious about believing Microsoft.

Reply Score: 1