Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 20th Nov 2006 19:27 UTC, submitted by Flatline
Microsoft "Buried in a Knowledge Base article that Microsoft published to the Web on November 14 are details of Microsoft's plans to combat Office 2007 piracy via new Office Genuine Advantage lockdowns. Microsoft's intentions are clear: Just as it is doing with Vista, Microsoft plans to incorporate what basically amounts to a 'kill switch' into Office 2007. Office 2007 users who can't or won't pass activation muster within a set time period will be moved into 'reduced-functionality mode', according to Microsoft."
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hmmm
by Flatline on Mon 20th Nov 2006 19:36 UTC
Flatline
Member since:
2006-03-06

As many false positives as WGA has reputedly generated in XP-land, this could become quite the annoyance.

Reply Score: 5

RE: hmmm
by Kroc on Mon 20th Nov 2006 20:53 UTC in reply to "hmmm"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

The annoyance is that my legal real-world receipt I hold in my hand apparently isn't valid to Microsoft. (for my XP Pro CD, bought weeks after release, now n'lited and streamlined with SP2).

The worst thing? The legality of this whole thing has to be contested by somebody with a lot of money, this sort of thing should be clear to begin with, the same as we have with the Sale of Goods Act etc, defining what is legal with regards the sales of goods.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: hmmm
by sbenitezb on Mon 20th Nov 2006 21:12 UTC in reply to "RE: hmmm"
sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

"The annoyance is that my legal real-world receipt I hold in my hand apparently isn't valid to Microsoft"

It may seem I'm selling you something, but have you considered using other OS (no names here)? If I buy something and the provider makes my life hard, I just say f--k them and don't buy again from them.

"The worst thing? The legality of this whole thing has to be contested by somebody with a lot of money"

Money and time and patience. You should read the EULA before buying anything from Microsoft. If you still buy from them, then don't complain. You still can get a cracked version and use that. As you already have a licence to use the software, it doesn't matter if it's cracked or not.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: hmmm
by Kroc on Mon 20th Nov 2006 21:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: hmmm"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

I switched to a Mac, no key, no activation, no bullcrappen, just trust. But I still run Windows in Bootcamp and Microsoft really get on my goat. I had to crack IE7 to get it to install, in my legal copy of Windows. Go figure.

edit (my Windows CD is from 2001, so Microsoft haven't had my money since then)

Edited 2006-11-20 21:17

Reply Score: 4

RE[4]: hmmm
by viton on Tue 21st Nov 2006 18:38 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: hmmm"
viton Member since:
2005-08-09

> I had to crack IE7 to get it to install
Lol, better try myie2 (running on top of usual IE6)
It offers much more than buggy IE7.

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: hmmm
by Kroc on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 17:48 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: hmmm"
Kroc Member since:
2005-11-10

You don't understand. I use Firefox as my main browser. I need IE7 only for compatibility testing for web design work. Maxthon is just a tacky shell stuck onto IE6, I would still need to install IE7 to get Maxthon to render with the IE7 engine - the thing I actually need.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: hmmm
by stestagg on Mon 20th Nov 2006 23:18 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: hmmm"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

That's the bad thing about a monopoly, choice isn't a valid option. I know that there *are* alternatives out there, but if (as notparker claims) 99.6% of people in the world run Microsoft products, then being in such a minority is a definite inconvenience.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: hmmm
by sbenitezb on Tue 21st Nov 2006 00:52 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: hmmm"
sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

"99.6% of people in the world run Microsoft products, then being in such a minority is a definite inconvenience."

I would like to be included in the minority that can drive a Lamborghini ;)

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: hmmm
by wirespot on Mon 20th Nov 2006 21:56 UTC in reply to "RE: hmmm"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

You know what's annoying? Paying owners harrassed by WGA, when you know that the cracks are already out and thousands of people on forums all over the Internet gloat about already using Vista, IE7 and Office 2007 as we speak. So I ask you, what's the point of WGA at all?

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: hmmm
by rcsteiner on Mon 20th Nov 2006 22:07 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: hmmm"
rcsteiner Member since:
2005-07-12

There really isn't a point, but you seem to assume that corporations are rational entities. They aren't.

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: hmmm
by jayson.knight on Mon 20th Nov 2006 22:16 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: hmmm"
jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

"but you seem to assume that corporations are rational entities"

WGA won't apply to most corporations as they get their software via Volume License (no activation required).

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: hmmm
by tophfisher on Mon 20th Nov 2006 22:23 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: hmmm"
tophfisher Member since:
2006-04-07

"WGA won't apply to most corporations as they get their software via Volume License (no activation required)."

You might double check, but I read that in Vista and Office 2007, enterprise users must activate their copies, it's called Volume Activation.

Side note: My copy of Windows XP w/sp2 was bought from the MS employee store. WGA says its stolen. Real nice.

Edited 2006-11-20 22:25

Reply Score: 4

RE[6]: hmmm
by jayson.knight on Mon 20th Nov 2006 22:35 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: hmmm"
jayson.knight Member since:
2005-07-06

It looks like you are halfway right: http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/resources/vol/default.mspx

VA 1.0 will continue to be used for Office 2007 (no activation required, which I've already confirmed on my local network), however Vista will move to VA 2.0, which requires activation.

Here is some more info: http://blogs.zdnet.com/microsoft/?p=26

Interestingly it looks like Vista Ultimate won't have VA baked into it.

THat's odd about your MS store bought copy; I've never had that issue myself.

Reply Score: 1

RE[6]: hmmm
by stestagg on Mon 20th Nov 2006 23:20 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: hmmm"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

You might double check, but I read that in Vista and Office 2007, enterprise users must activate their copies, it's called Volume Activation.


You're half right. it seems that Office 2007 doesn't need activation (yet!) on Volume licence. Vista, however, does.

Reply Score: 1

Hmmm, look at that
by halfmanhalfamazing on Mon 20th Nov 2006 19:41 UTC
halfmanhalfamazing
Member since:
2005-07-23

Another advertisement for open office.

Unless of course you like this kind of thing.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Hmmm, look at that
by eMagius on Mon 20th Nov 2006 19:53 UTC in reply to "Hmmm, look at that"
eMagius Member since:
2005-07-06

Microsoft would rather have people trying OpenOffice.org than pirating Microsoft Office.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Hmmm, look at that
by tmack on Mon 20th Nov 2006 20:12 UTC in reply to "RE: Hmmm, look at that"
tmack Member since:
2006-04-11

No, they wouldn't.

Pirated MS office users are still MS Office users and contribute to increasing awareness of the MS Office product.

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Hmmm, look at that
by wirespot on Mon 20th Nov 2006 22:17 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hmmm, look at that"
wirespot Member since:
2006-06-21

You know, I thought that for years. Yet now they're suddenly tightening the screw. Why? Isn't this the time they need awareness more than ever, now that competing products are out there for both Office and Explorer? Are their sales going down? Are they that desperate for profits that they'd risk destroying the de facto standard that Explorer and Office created?

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Hmmm, look at that
by StephenBeDoper on Tue 21st Nov 2006 07:40 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hmmm, look at that"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

No, they wouldn't.

I doubt that the prospect of people running OpenOffice on Windows angers Microsoft terribly. It's still sales for them, just not as many as they want (as with Private Tucker from RedVsBlue, they love to eat ALL the food).

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Hmmm, look at that
by PowerMacX on Mon 20th Nov 2006 20:29 UTC in reply to "RE: Hmmm, look at that"
PowerMacX Member since:
2005-11-06

Microsoft would rather have people trying OpenOffice.org than pirating Microsoft Office.

Not really, they would have blocked everything if that was the case. Instead, they turn it into a demo version, that can still read & print every Office 2007 document you receive or made previously. From the article:
"Some of the limitations of reduced-functionality mode include the following:

You cannot create new documents.

You can view existing documents. However, you cannot edit them.

You can print documents. However you cannot save them."

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Hmmm, look at that
by LobalSurgery on Mon 20th Nov 2006 22:13 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hmmm, look at that"
LobalSurgery Member since:
2006-09-07

Rumor has it that the reduced functionality mode will be known as Office 2007 Manager's Edition.

Seriously though, that kind of functionality is about two steps from useless. For most intended purposes, they might as well just have prevented a non-OGA compliant version of Office from opening at all.

Reply Score: 5

RE[4]: Hmmm, look at that
by stestagg on Mon 20th Nov 2006 23:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Hmmm, look at that"
stestagg Member since:
2006-06-03

Rumor has it that the reduced functionality mode will be known as Office 2007 Manager's Edition.

ROFL. Get me a copy now!

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Hmmm, look at that
by Sphinx on Mon 20th Nov 2006 23:55 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Hmmm, look at that"
Sphinx Member since:
2005-07-09

Good one.

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Hmmm, look at that
by StephenBeDoper on Tue 21st Nov 2006 07:41 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Hmmm, look at that"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

The Funny is strong in this one.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Hmmm, look at that
by eMagius on Mon 20th Nov 2006 22:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Hmmm, look at that"
eMagius Member since:
2005-07-06

In other words, it becomes the same as Microsoft's free Word/Excel/Powerpoint viewer software.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Hmmm, look at that
by prymitive on Mon 20th Nov 2006 20:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Hmmm, look at that"
prymitive Member since:
2006-11-20

It's the last thing they would do, it's much easier to force someone who uses pirated version of ms office to buy it that to make him switch from free openoffice to ms office and pay for it.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Hmmm, look at that
by areimann on Mon 20th Nov 2006 21:08 UTC in reply to "RE: Hmmm, look at that"
areimann Member since:
2006-06-12

"Microsoft would rather have people trying OpenOffice.org than pirating Microsoft Office."

Wrong.

Reply Score: 3

Lock....
by b3timmons on Mon 20th Nov 2006 19:59 UTC
b3timmons
Member since:
2006-08-26

Whether it's the system lockups of yore, WGA lockdowns, or the lockup of markets with subterfuge and monopolistic abuse, Microsoft should just been locked up itself. Demand better.

Reply Score: 5

Is there any real difference?
by Lu-Tze on Mon 20th Nov 2006 20:24 UTC
Lu-Tze
Member since:
2006-01-10

I read through the article and knowledge base. But how is significantly different from what already happens in Office 2003, for instance. In our university, we get some through site licences that do not require activation. But in many vendor supplied computers, we get Office pre-installed which can be used for a certain number of "starts" before it forces you to activate. So don't retail box version of Office (which I have never had to buy so far) already have this "kill" switch. Or is this just reporting FUD, originating from MS at that? :-)
Edit: After a tiny search found another knowledge base
(http://support.microsoft.com/kb/293151) which pertains to Office XP and later. So again, seems pretty much the same. Though I would much like to see oo.o gain users, this might not be the way.

Edited 2006-11-20 20:28

Reply Score: 4

RE: Is there any real difference?
by abraxas on Mon 20th Nov 2006 23:18 UTC in reply to "Is there any real difference?"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

I read through the article and knowledge base. But how is significantly different from what already happens in Office 2003, for instance. In our university, we get some through site licences that do not require activation. But in many vendor supplied computers, we get Office pre-installed which can be used for a certain number of "starts" before it forces you to activate. So don't retail box version of Office (which I have never had to buy so far) already have this "kill" switch. Or is this just reporting FUD, originating from MS at that? :-)

This is very differnt from previous schemes. WGA has the ability to lock you out at any time. I've seen it misbehave on more than one occaison. A week ago I helped a friend with his computer issues and found that WGA had locked him out of an update. Investiagting further it seemed that his product key was not the same as his licenced version. He had never reinstalled the system so the product key was changed some other way. I changed the product key and reactivated. I had to call microsoft but they activated the license. When I rebooted the product key was correct and activated but WGA was still telling me I wasn't valid.

This type of behaviour is very different from what happened before WGA. If your product key was changed after you were activated you would continue to have a valid license. Not only that even with the correct activated key WGA continued to complain and cut the machine off from needed updates. Activation is a one time thing while WGA is constantly monitoring. It's like having to reactivate Windows every time you go to windowsupdate.com.

Reply Score: 2

Totally agree with this
by sbenitezb on Mon 20th Nov 2006 20:24 UTC
sbenitezb
Member since:
2005-07-22

I must say I really dislike Microsoft, but I also dislike software pirating. So they have their right to implement the WGA Kill Switch. Maybe then people would start paying for the software they use or otherwise use a free (as in beer) or cheaper product.

Unfortunately this wasn't implemented in previous versions of Windows and Office; those versions are what people use today. I think it's time for pirates to pay with nuisances or money for using commercial software for free, unless WGA is cracked (it will).

Reply Score: 5

RE: Totally agree with this
by Clinton on Mon 20th Nov 2006 21:31 UTC in reply to "Totally agree with this"
Clinton Member since:
2005-07-05

The problem I have with it is that it doesn't really stop piracy, but it makes it a pain for me to install software on all of my machines.

I can see charging companies on a per machine basis, but that is utterly ridiculous at a home user level. I realize it is their software and they can license it however they want, but I don't like the idea of having to buy multiple copies of something just so I can use it on multiple machines at home.

That's why I choose not to use Windows or any proprietary software that follows such a model.

Reply Score: 5

RE: Totally agree with this
by poohgee on Mon 20th Nov 2006 23:16 UTC in reply to "Totally agree with this"
poohgee Member since:
2005-08-13

Completly agree as well -

Its their software - it is not open source - they have the right to enforce for people to pay for their products & not steal them .


I like pirated software - saves me tons of money I dont have - but then there are also educational versions of programs - often not - I wish very much for these "programs" to be expanded - so that young people without tons of money can get hold of certain industry standard programs without saving saving saving or pirating .

I agree it certainly would/does suck when the genuine - you paid for this - software check does not properly work .

Im quite for for anti-piracy features as long as they work .

In the age of the internet - why is it so hard for companies to make their programs piracy proof ?

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Totally agree with this
by hal2k1 on Tue 21st Nov 2006 09:02 UTC in reply to "RE: Totally agree with this"
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//In the age of the internet - why is it so hard for companies to make their programs piracy proof ?//

Hey, here is an idea. Make the Office 2007 CDs write only.

That will save enormous grief all over the world, and cut the piracy down to zero!

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Totally agree with this
by hal2k1 on Tue 21st Nov 2006 09:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Totally agree with this"
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//Its their software - it is not open source - they have the right to enforce for people to pay for their products & not steal them . //

//Im quite for for anti-piracy features as long as they work . //

OK, fair enough.

You are prepared to jump through all sorts of hoops with CD keys and phone calls to Microsoft and taking a risk that your software will get killed by Microsoft anyway.

I'm not prepared to do all that, and run that risk, for software that doesn't even comply to the international standard in any event.

I'm also not prepared to listen to anyone who even tries to claim "Windows is easier to install software than Linux". With WGA & CD keys and activation and all the sundry hoops you poor people are forced to go through clearly installing software on Windows is far & away more difficult than it is on Linux.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Totally agree with this
by CowMan on Tue 21st Nov 2006 15:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Totally agree with this"
CowMan Member since:
2006-09-26

Another previous advantage to Windows, driver support, seems to be slipping too. I tossed XP Pro SP2 on another drive, booted it up; still can't get it to pick up my 2nd TV tunercard, nor use the 3rd/4rth monitors on the 2nd video card. Using Windows to control wireless is painful; if the connection drops momentarily, it's down for 30sec.+ as it starts scanning channels or something.
Increasingly, it seems only the desirable trait of the windows driver scheme is the accellerated video performance and [cheap] printer support.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Totally agree with this
by Soulbender on Tue 21st Nov 2006 02:19 UTC in reply to "Totally agree with this"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"Unfortunately this wasn't implemented in previous versions of Windows and Office; those versions are what people use today."

Unfortunate for who? Not for MS. The rampant piracy of Windows (and DOS before that) has considerably contributed to MS' market and brain share.

"I think it's time for pirates to pay with nuisances or money for using commercial software for free, unless WGA is cracked (it will)."

Uh. So you're saying it's ok to pirate if you figure out how to break the protection?

Reply Score: 1

Other side of the coin
by Sphinx on Mon 20th Nov 2006 20:25 UTC
Sphinx
Member since:
2005-07-09

After 5 successful hacks it will be placed into, "increased piracy mode". Bummer they can't learn from their own history and so get to repeat the ancient lessons of copy protection. They will lose, they're customers will lose and some pirates will win a new hobby.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Other side of the coin
by lifo2 on Tue 21st Nov 2006 08:08 UTC in reply to "Other side of the coin"
lifo2 Member since:
2006-07-13

... their customers will lose ...
Please, how can people do this kind of mistakes. English isn't my native language, and I'm really shocked when I see that there are often confusion between their, they're and there. This makes the sentence totally unreadable !

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Other side of the coin
by Havin_it on Tue 21st Nov 2006 20:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Other side of the coin"
Havin_it Member since:
2006-03-10

"make this kind of mistake"
"there is often confusion"

/sorry

I quite agree with you (sorry for being condescending) but you must appreciate that, though we 'own' the language, that doesn't mean we have any skill or rigour at teaching it to our offspring.

And this goes double for our errant former colonies ;)

Reply Score: 1

Thank you, MS
by JeffS on Mon 20th Nov 2006 20:27 UTC
JeffS
Member since:
2005-07-12

Due to reported false positives, WGA has generated legions of ticked off XP users (who paid their XP license, fair and square).

It will great and funny, in terms of pie in MS's face, not in terms of the poor suckers who have to deal with it, when the WGA kill switch turns of paid installations of Office. The complaining from hapless users will be deafening.

Go Microsoft, go!!

Reply Score: 5

RE: Thank you, MS
by kaiwai on Tue 21st Nov 2006 04:44 UTC in reply to "Thank you, MS"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

You mean like Paul from www.winsupersite.com who whined and moaned about being locked out, then later admiting he was using a bootleg copy.

Sorry, if idiots out there buy computers off non-reputable companies, and get charged for their copy of windows, then it is their own problem - stick to the big names like Dell, Lenovo, HP and the likes, and you won't have problems.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Thank you, MS
by StephenBeDoper on Tue 21st Nov 2006 08:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Thank you, MS"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

stick to the big names like Dell, Lenovo, HP and the likes, and you won't have problems.

Sure, once you clean off all the junk that comes pre-loaded by those companies.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Thank you, MS
by kaiwai on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 03:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Thank you, MS"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

So you'd rather pay another $200+ for a copy of Windows after getting shafted by your local whitebox vendor?

Sorry, all I had to do is uninstall some stuff from my Toshiba, and voila, a clean laptop without any problems. Obviously you're soooooooooooo busy that 15minutes of uninstalling is way too much time <rolls eyes>

Reply Score: 1

RE[4]: Thank you, MS
by StephenBeDoper on Sat 25th Nov 2006 12:08 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Thank you, MS"
StephenBeDoper Member since:
2005-07-06

So you'd rather pay another $200+ for a copy of Windows after getting shafted by your local whitebox vendor?

Why would you equate buying from a local whitebox vendor with getting shafted? And to answer your question: yes. Considering two factors: one, the lower cost the whitebox vendor will charge me for the hardware will more than offset the added cost of XP, relative to a big OEM. Oh, and where are you getting the $200 figure from? I don't pay that much even in Canadian funds - any competent whitebox vendor should be able to sell you a vanilla OEM copy of XP with the hardware, for much less than the cost of the shrink-wrapped retail copies. You know, those discs that Dell, Compaq, et al have stopped including in favour of model-specific restore CDs?

And the second factor is that, out of all the computers I've done support work on, the ones from big OEMs with the original pre-loaded OS installs have been the most hassle. Almost invariably, reformatting and reinstalling from a proper CD has cleared everything up (except when the OEMs are anal enough to tie the CD/activation key specifically to their restore CDs - thank you, Dell).

Sorry, all I had to do is uninstall some stuff from my Toshiba, and voila, a clean laptop without any problems. Obviously you're soooooooooooo busy that 15minutes of uninstalling is way too much time <rolls eyes>

Riiight. Fifteen minutes, you say? I haven't used a recent Toshiba lately, but on a Dell or a HP/Compaq, that would give you enough time to uninstall the extra redundant media players and maybe get about halfway through uninstalling the timebomb demo of Norton/Symantec. Then you still have the fun of playing whack-a-mole in msconfig to disable all the useless background apps that auto-run on startup - while trying not to disable any that provide useful functionality. And God help you if there's any AOL software pre-loaded. At this point, big OEMs clutter their default installs to the point where it's often faster to just re-format, reinstall than try to uninstall the crap.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Thank you, MS
by ronaldst on Tue 21st Nov 2006 11:16 UTC in reply to "Thank you, MS"
ronaldst Member since:
2005-06-29

@JeffS

Due to reported false positives, WGA has generated legions of ticked off XP users (who paid their XP license, fair and square).

My condolences to all 4 persons that make up the ticked off legion. LOL

Edited 2006-11-21 11:16

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Thank you, MS
by hal2k1 on Tue 21st Nov 2006 11:34 UTC in reply to "RE: Thank you, MS"
hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//My condolences to all 4 persons that make up the ticked off legion. LOL.//

Google search for "WGA" and "false positive".

http://www.google.com.au/search?q=wga+%22false+positive%22&...

Results 1 - 10 of about 25,200 for wga "false positive".

"4 persons"? LOL. That is 4 very busy persons writing on 25,000 web pages.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Thank you, MS
by ronaldst on Tue 21st Nov 2006 11:48 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Thank you, MS"
ronaldst Member since:
2005-06-29

Windows XP Pro Corp.

Reply Score: 1

OpenOffice.org owes Microsoft...
by cmost on Mon 20th Nov 2006 20:30 UTC
cmost
Member since:
2006-07-16

Many users contemplating OpenOffice should realize that Microsoft's "innovations" are likely contained within OpenOffice and therefore OO users owe MS. At least that's what Steve Balmer said.

Reply Score: 2

sbenitezb Member since:
2005-07-22

Come on, you can't believe that shit!

Reply Score: 5

Ressev Member since:
2005-07-18

I think he was joking. Sure, he does not believe it, but Microsoft will work hard to convince a judge somewhere in the world that it is true. Just look at at Lindows case history.

Reply Score: 1

alcibiades Member since:
2005-10-12

He is absolutely right, all OO users are infringing on MS IPs.

So MS is about to gain fair shareholder returns on these IPs by giving these OO users a mutual indemnification agreement. For this they will pay the OO users a given amount, say $20 per user, and the OO users will pay MS a given lower amount, say $5 per user.

OO users everywhere are shaking in their shoes at this prospect, and MS shareholders are rejoicing that finally they will get some returns from the abuse of their IPRs.

Both of which reactions are very curious, when you think about it....

Reply Score: 1

Arawn Member since:
2005-07-13

I do hope you are joking...

I don't see nothing in MS Office (any version) that some other software hasn't previously incorporated before. In fact, MS has 'borrowed' lots of ideas from other packages... So it owes them? Specially after MS Office 'sucess' making lots of them disappear from market?

Reply Score: 1

hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//He is absolutely right, all OO users are infringing on MS IPs. //

In order to "infringe", OpenOffice must implement something which is covered by a valid MS patent.

In order to have a valid patent, MS must reveal exactly how their new "invention" works. They must reveal this on the patent application.

Since Microsoft have not revealed any such thing about MS Office, the only "IP" that MS can have in Office are trade secrets.

OpenOffice does probably work out some of Microsoft's trade secrets.

Microsoft's problem is that it is perfectly legitimate for OpenOffice to do that. Anyone is perfectly entitled to try to figure out any trade secrets. Good luck to you if you do figure one out.

Microsoft's problem is that OpenOffice users do not owe Microsoft anything at all, despite what Ballmer is huffing and puffing about.

Reply Score: 3

hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//Microsoft's "innovations" are likely contained within OpenOffice and therefore OO users owe MS.//

Microsoft's stuff that OpenOffice works with (that is, the Microsoft Office binary file formats) are trade secrets. They are not patents, because in order to get a patent you have to publish the invention, and Microsoft has not published these file formats. So they are trade secrets.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trade_secret
"Trade secrets are by definition not disclosed to the world at large. ... Trade secret protection can, in principle, extend indefinitely and in this respect offers an advantage over patent protection (which lasts only for a specifically delimited period, for example twenty years in the U.S.). (One company that has no patent for its formula and has been very effective in protecting it for many more years than a patent would have is Coca Cola.) However, the "down side" of such protection is that it is comparatively easy to lose (for example, to reverse engineering, which a patent will withstand but a trade secret will not) ... Companies often try to discover one another's trade secrets through lawful methods of reverse engineering".

So, Ballmer is wrong. If OpenOffice has worked out Microsoft's trade secret binary file formats, then that is perfectly legitimate and OpenOffice users do NOT owe Microsoft at all.

Reply Score: 3

Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"therefore OO users owe MS"

No they don't. Consumers/end-users are not liable for patent infringements made by the manufacturers of the products they are using. Why? Because it is not reasonable to expect end-users to have the kind of technical knowledge necessary to know that. Just ask any real lawyer (ie, not Steve Balmer).

"At least that's what Steve Balmer said."
That's because he is either clueless about how patents work or he's outright lying.

Edited 2006-11-21 10:56

Reply Score: 5

trinitrotolueen Member since:
2006-10-03

question:"Who was first,Balmer or the Egg"?

Reply Score: 1

That's OK
by Fennec_Fox on Mon 20th Nov 2006 20:37 UTC
Fennec_Fox
Member since:
2006-10-30

Regardless of what you think of MS, they are just trying to make life for pirates more difficult... The tool itself might have some glitches, but intentions are not bad in this case. And may be some of those running pirated versions of the program will consider alternatives...

Reply Score: 3

Excellent!
by tryphcycle on Mon 20th Nov 2006 21:41 UTC
tryphcycle
Member since:
2006-02-16

this will only convice people to find alternatives!

Reply Score: 4

Office 2007 ?
by mmu_man on Mon 20th Nov 2006 22:40 UTC
mmu_man
Member since:
2006-09-30

oh, that clone of OpenOffice.org ? ;)

Reply Score: 4

Will the Microsoft 'Kill Switch'....
by Anon on Mon 20th Nov 2006 23:00 UTC
Anon
Member since:
2006-01-02

... work for a version of Office 2007 downloaded from Bit torrent with the Activation/WGA hacked out of it?

I don't think so.

In any case, if I'm going to be treated like a criminal, I might as well act like one.

Reply Score: 5

MollyC Member since:
2006-07-04

"In any case, if I'm going to be treated like a criminal, I might as well act like one.?


And if you do "act like one" then you *are* one. Thanks for admitting that. But it must be painful to get up each day, look in the mirror, and know that a criminal is looking back at you.

BTW, do you say the same to yourself when walking by the scanners when exiting a retail store? "Well, if I'm going to be treated like a criminal, I may as well go ahead and steal a few items while I'm here." Oh, and the indignity of having to actually present a ticket when boarding a plane, ferry, or entering a concert, baseball game, or movie theater must really piss you off!

The fact is, you *are* an admitted criminal. So *you* being offended at anti-piracy measures is a joke.

Edited 2006-11-20 23:23

Reply Score: 2

Mark Williamson Member since:
2005-07-06

> BTW, do you say the same to yourself when walking by
> the scanners when exiting a retail store?

I'd say this is a bit different, though. If you buy software you have the scanners in the store check you for stolen goods. But once you've bought those goods, you don't expect to have a scanner in your home to check you're not bringing anything else stolen home, nor do you expect to have to go through it every time you want to use those goods. I think this is the thing that annoys people about WGA - the continual expectation that you need to be monitored for wrongdoing.

What makes it worse is that if MS mess up and get the checks wrong, the person who legally bought the copy suffers. MS have their money already, so they don't suffer. Real pirates will be running a cracked version, so they don't suffer. I must admit, this sort of thing does make me wonder why one would bother paying for things at all.

Reply Score: 1

Two copies of XP. Two stolen WGA
by abdavidson on Mon 20th Nov 2006 23:24 UTC
abdavidson
Member since:
2005-07-06

I don't really trust MS to get this right.

I've got numerous copies of XP Pro around my place (2 retail, 3 OEM) and everything was fine then suddenly, with one WindowsUpdate both my retail XPs were declared dodgy.

Pretty frustrating when you've got the boxes sitting in the bookcase opposite you when it happens.

It took some time to get around, which involved calling MS activation, speaking to a person, getting put to another person, to another, and then being told to send back the box lids to get another copy.

For some reason my two legitimate copies were blacklisted.

WGA/Activation doesn't fill me with confidence.

Reply Score: 4

What's the problem
by snowflake on Mon 20th Nov 2006 23:26 UTC
snowflake
Member since:
2005-07-20

Microsoft has the right to do as they please with their software, just as a user has the right to pick the software in the first place. The solution is easy, if you don't like MSO, pick something else, it's not as if one doesn't have a choice. I really don't know what the problem is.

Reply Score: 5

RE: What's the problem
by llanitedave on Mon 20th Nov 2006 23:35 UTC in reply to "What's the problem"
llanitedave Member since:
2005-07-24

No, they don't have the right to do as they please. Making the customer pay for a service, and then refusing to render that service, is theft. They don't have the right to steal the customer's money by freezing them out of software that the customer legitimately purchased.

If they want to complain about piracy, fine -- but if they're going to act like pirates themselves, I have no sympathy.

Reply Score: 5

RE: What's the problem
by cmost on Tue 21st Nov 2006 01:11 UTC in reply to "What's the problem"
cmost Member since:
2006-07-16

"Microsoft has the right to do as they please with their software, just as a user has the right to pick the software in the first place. The solution is easy, if you don't like MSO, pick something else, it's not as if one doesn't have a choice. I really don't know what the problem is."

Umm, the problem is that when I go into most retail electronics stores, I CAN'T purchase a PC without Windows on it. Even if I choose to delete Windows and install something else, stores won't refund the cost of the Windows license. If they do, they violate the sweetheart deal they made with Microsoft that says they get reduced pricing for preinstalling Windows to the exclusion of other operating systems. At school, I have no choice in the operating system and word processor installed in the computer labs. Since the school likely got a HUGE discount from Microsoft to pre-install Windows and Microsoft Office to the exclusion of anything else (save for a handfull of Macs crammed in a back corner) my choice was made for me. Since Windows and Office are already on the computers in the school, the classes dealing with computer instruction teach Windows and Office specifically; barely mentioning any alternatives that might exist, if at all. Finally, since most schools train on Windows and Office, most businesses adobt them too because they get sweet corporate licensing and employees already trained. Who really pays for Windows and Office? John Q. Public who has no access to a sweet student or corporate discount, and lacks the training or knowledge required to locate and use something else. Don't sit there and tell me that I can simply choose something else if I don't like MS's policies. While it's true that I happen to be very tech savvy and have been using computers and various operating systems for the past fifteen years, my family, friends, and collegues who lack such technical training are stuck with the choices that were made FOR them; not BY them.

Reply Score: 5

More ability...
by orfanum on Tue 21st Nov 2006 05:35 UTC
orfanum
Member since:
2006-06-02

Can't recall having seen this mentioned on OSnews, but if you live near a Tesco store (and the way that company is growing, this could soon be global!), there's always this alternative:

http://www.silicon.com/retailandleisure/0,3800011842,39162918,00.ht...

The overall package won't be for everyone,I am sure,even though the office suite is being supplied by the folks behind Ability Office, but MS, not least by ticking legit users off, may be facing some unexpected competition from others who have also decided on the 'we are gonna be ubiquitous' strategy.

Reply Score: 2

Shareware, anyone?
by w-ber on Tue 21st Nov 2006 06:45 UTC
w-ber
Member since:
2005-08-21

Why does this remind me of shareware programs? Programs that you can use 30 days, and if you don't register after that, they will either cease to function or limit the available features. Others are limited from the start, and you can unlock the features by registering.

Reply Score: 2

Love the self righteousness comments here :)
by blitze on Tue 21st Nov 2006 09:57 UTC
blitze
Member since:
2006-09-15

People bitching about Pirates yet the only ones I know of are operating off out of South East Asia.

Software theft is a problem but then when you see that the ones being stolen from or denied income and the monopolistic means they use to screw the computing industry, who sheds a tear? I sure as hell don't.

When MS is prevented from forcing consumer choice by deliberately restricting it then I'll feel sorry for them. As for paying for software, support those that support you, educate others where possible.

MS ain't the only asshole company out there in computing just one of the biggest.

Reply Score: 0

really good
by srikantDASH on Tue 21st Nov 2006 11:50 UTC
srikantDASH
Member since:
2006-11-21

nice piece of information

Reply Score: 0

hi
by srikantDASH on Tue 21st Nov 2006 11:53 UTC
srikantDASH
Member since:
2006-11-21

thats nice

Reply Score: 0

Solution is simple - don't use MS Office
by JeffS on Tue 21st Nov 2006 14:27 UTC
JeffS
Member since:
2005-07-12

There are number of very viable alternatives to the hassle Microsoft is putting it's honest, paying customers of Office through:

OpenOffice
ThinkFree Office
WordPerfect
Lotus
AbiWord

There are even a number online Office products from the likes of Google, Yahoo, and many others, all using Ajax techniques to produce a rich interface. These are viable alternatives if you don't mind having your documents stored on someone else's server.

Face it, Microsoft is not even remotely interested in customer satisfaction. Otherwise, WGA would not exist. WGA is a flawed technology, which produces far too many false positives.

The sad thing is that WGA does not come close to stopping piracy. The software pirates will always be able to hack around such anti-piracy schemes. WGA only produces major headaches to regular, honest, paying customers.

I can't blame MS for wanting to curb piracy. But they are completely off their rocker if they think this stuff will work, without unintended consequences.

Dump MS Office. Use the great alternatives. Simple.

Reply Score: 2

ronaldst Member since:
2005-06-29

Lotus is dead. IBM bought Lotus. ;)

Face it, Microsoft is not even remotely interested in customer satisfaction.

LOL

Microsoft listens a lot to their customers. Just because they don't fulfill your wishes that doesn't mean that MS isn't listening.

Reply Score: 2

The alternatives aren't always as great ...
by kadymae on Tue 21st Nov 2006 15:01 UTC
kadymae
Member since:
2005-08-02

Dump MS Office. Use the great alternatives. Simple.

I use and (like) abi word on my Xubuntu system.

But.

Last year, very shortly after Hurricane Katrina, a friend of mine who is a medical transcriptionist living in Mississippi had her hard drive die. (Knoppix, SpinRite and the old "stick it in the freezer for 20 minutes" trick could not make it mount.)

She could find her XP disks, but her Office disks were missing (and have never been found.)

I suggested OO and Abi Word as replacements.

After reading the manuals and contacting the teams for both OO and Abi Word, she discovered that neither had template related features she *counted* on to automate her workflow.

OO and Abi Word are good programs, but, just as with Gimp, both are missing some key features that pro-power users *must* have to complete jobs.

---

In the end several of us pooled money and bought her an new copy of Office.

Reply Score: 2

JeffS Member since:
2005-07-12

"OO and Abi Word are good programs, but, just as with Gimp, both are missing some key features that pro-power users *must* have to complete jobs. "

Good point. OO.o Abiword, and the like, typically don't have all of the advanced features that MS Office does.

However, perhaps the commercial alternatives can meet the needs of those utilizing those features. StarOffice, for instance, has several extensions above and beyond OO.o. ThinkFree Office, another commercial alternative, has many of the same advanced features. Then there is WordPerfect, Lotus, etc.

Now, if those commercial products still don't meet the advanced user's needs, then I guess those users are pretty much stuck. They have my condolences.

However, those advanced users represent perhaps 5%, at most, of the overall Office users. For the remaining 95%, OpenOffice will do just fine.

Remember, Microsoft will continue to slap you around for as long as you let them.

Please do use the power of the free market to not let them get away with it. Otherwise, you only have yourself to blame.

Reply Score: 1

hal2k1 Member since:
2005-11-11

//After reading the manuals and contacting the teams for both OO and Abi Word, she discovered that neither had template related features she *counted* on to automate her workflow. //

Google says:
http://www.google.com.au/search?q=openoffice+template&ie=utf-8&oe=u...
"Results 1 - 10 of about 1,510,000 for openoffice template".

Over a million hits and she missed it?

OpenOffice probably would work fine even with MS Office templates.

Reply Score: 1

Meh...
by the__dude on Tue 21st Nov 2006 16:13 UTC
the__dude
Member since:
2006-02-27

Whatever Microsoft. I'll just do what I did with Office 2003 and Windows XP: continue to use the pirated corporate editions even though I own legitimate licenses. Its kinda sad when using the pirated copy is easier than owning a legitimate copy.

From what I read the activation on their Flight Simulator X is a mess. Luckily last night I was able to find a reliable patch for it (or so I think) to deactivate activation. I can now safely purchase that program for my enjoyment.

Reply Score: 1

MS's right, users' choice
by B12 Simon on Tue 21st Nov 2006 16:30 UTC
B12 Simon
Member since:
2006-11-08

It's Microsoft's right to do this. It's their software, their licence and so on. However, users have the right to be _very_ unhappy when the inevitable false positives happen and they're locked out of their legitimately purchased software.

The only people this hurts are MS's legitimate customers. Their software will fail and they probably won't even understand. It's no deterrent for a determined pirate (arr).

Speaking purely for myself, I couldn't give a monkey's. Work pay for my MS licences at work and I've long since thrown off the MS chains at home :o)

Simon

Reply Score: 2

Marcellus
Member since:
2005-08-26
As a Linux user...
by brewmastre on Tue 21st Nov 2006 17:09 UTC
brewmastre
Member since:
2006-08-01

As a Linux user in a Windows corporate environment I can honestly say that I have no problems using OpenOffice for all of my office needs. I can send and receive docs and none of my Windows using coworkers can tell the difference. I'm not trying to tell people that they should ditch Office; if they like it enough then they can feel free to pay the exorbitant price tag for it, and they should. This is no different than buying a Mac that come preloaded with iWork trial on it. Once your time is up, if you don't pay then you lose functionality. I don't like MS but they do have a large quantity of time and money invested into MS Office, and they do deserve to get paid for it...just not from me.

Reply Score: 1

hahaha
by Redeeman on Tue 21st Nov 2006 17:52 UTC
Redeeman
Member since:
2006-03-23

rofl @ reduced funtionality..

microsoft are obviously scared of completely stopping pirates(even though they cant succeed either).

Microsoft official speech: "NOO!! DONT PIRATE!"
Microsoft internal speech: "YES! they pirate our crap! those fools! we rule!"

Reply Score: 0

Activation
by Treza on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 11:09 UTC
Treza
Member since:
2006-01-11

So Office 2007 is a crippled Shareware.
You have to pay to get the full version ?

We all know that the Shareware business model has largely failed, thanks to free software...

Reply Score: 1

Why the Need???
by Woogbear on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 22:15 UTC
Woogbear
Member since:
2006-07-12

Why would anyone need to resort to piracy to get a decent Office software when OpenOffice is free??? It does everything that an average user might need.

Reply Score: 1

Offline
by HTAT on Thu 23rd Nov 2006 01:55 UTC
HTAT
Member since:
2006-11-23

What if the computer is used offline?

HTAT,

http://www.hardwaretipsandtricks.com

Reply Score: 0

query
by srikantDASH on Thu 30th Nov 2006 08:32 UTC
srikantDASH
Member since:
2006-11-21

Plz explain more?

Reply Score: 1

query
by srikantDASH on Thu 30th Nov 2006 10:31 UTC
srikantDASH
Member since:
2006-11-21

Plz explain more.......?

Reply Score: 1

query
by srikantDASH on Thu 30th Nov 2006 11:07 UTC
srikantDASH
Member since:
2006-11-21

Plz explain mor?

Reply Score: 1