Microsoft will soon start pushing out a new version of its controversial Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications antipiracy tool to Windows XP users. The updated WGA Notifications package includes additional changes in response to continued criticism Microsoft has faced over the software, the company said Tuesday. Microsoft in June also updated the tool after critics likened it to spyware because it checked in with Microsoft after each Windows restart.
Microsoft Set to Push Out Updated Antipiracy tool
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2006-11-30 12:06 amTouvan
I think this is a definite opportunity, but it’s still that same old chicken or egg problem. I think what’s needed is to get more mavens using and learning Linux as an alternative to Windows. In another thread I suggested making a Linux Distro that caters to the video gaming crowd. It would be very beneficial to get these mavens using Linux in the long term, so that they can get others set up and be the community tech support, that they currently do with their Windows buddies and family members.
I guess the problem is, it doesn’t make short term financial sense. It would be expensive to create a Gamer’s Linux Distro, and create the support team to engage with the game producers and the rest of the games industry, since it would be hard to make any money off of that kind of distro, until it has been demonstrated to work, and they can get enough OEM support to make it viable. Linux companies are never going to make any money selling to end users, just like Microsoft doesn’t make any money selling to end users.
I could see it as a strategic side project to an already profitable Linux distro though (Ubuntu or Red Hat) or a collection of interested parties (the IBMs and Hps of the world). The opportunity is there, MS is annoying these guys, and they are going to have to go one way or the other.
It’s also clear that Microsoft values these guys too. These mavens of desktop technology are so important, that Microsoft put them at the top of their list with Vista – “the Gaming Operating System”. They are the ones that are making recommendations, and helping out their less technically minded family members pick out or put together computers. Currently, it isn’t possible for them to recommend a Linux Distro, because they simply don’t know enough about it to know how to run it, and can’t switch, because the bulk of what these guys want to do, is either not possible or is too stinking hard.
If there was a Linux platform, that could be downloaded and run guilt free, with no finger wagging and finger pointing and nagging, that these mavens could use in place of Widnows, they could build a critical mass of Linux users to demonstrate a demand for Linux on OEM computers from the likes of Dell and HP.
In my opinion, these gamers are the only home users that Linux needs on board on that front, and they are ripe for the picking.
Edited 2006-11-30 00:08
2006-11-30 2:55 amcrdiscoverer
Agreed. Where I live, I think around 60-80% of all Windows copies are pirated, and that’s because big hardware vendors (Dell, HP… which preinstall Windows on their PCs) don’t have any significant market share. Most computers come with an empty hard disk, so piracy is widespread. But in my opinion this is rather good for MS, as this introduces users to Windows, that otherwise would never buy it because its prohibitively high price (significantly higher than in the US, comparing it with average income).
2006-11-30 11:01 ammerkoth
The same happens here in Argentina, but it’s even worse: Most people have no idea where can they buy Windows or how much is it. At my previous job I can’t remember how many times I had to say someone “Sorry, but we can’t install Windows nor Office if you don’t purchase a licence” just to get “But my son bought a Windows CD for only $5”.
They just don’t know and I really doubt they actually care: there’s always someone who can get you some kind of pirated version of whatever software you may like.
2006-11-30 8:29 amGMFlash
Wishful thinking but it’s not going to happen. Someone who insists on pirating XP for home use will always be willing to jump through hoops to get the latest cracks. Linux/OSX won’t help them because they won’t be able to play their pirated games on those OS’s. Trying to run pirated OSX on a non-apple PC would be more of a hassle than running pirated XP because you need to worry about drivers and compatibility with hardware that the OS was not even written to run on.
The most likely “potential customers” running pirated XP that would be willing to pay are businesses. They will either buy the licenses to go legit or they will acquire the licenses when they eventually upgrade to new computers.
2006-11-30 5:13 pmTouvan
I disagree that they are willing to jump through hoops to run it – they in large part are not willing to jump through hoops to run OS X, it’s just too hard. Nor are they willing to jump through hoops to run Ubuntu/Wine to get their games up and running.
They are willing to take the path of least resistance, which thus far has not been putting up the cash for a valid home/phone home edition of windows.
I also submit, that the home enthusiast (gamer) is not ever going to be enthusiastic about spending money on the software infrastructure that they need to run their software – and I would argue that they shouldn’t have to be, they are enthusiast after all, and will not use tech support or other expensive support structures when they run into problems with the OS (hardware is different). It’s businesses, and OEMs that will rely on that support, and that’s where the money is.
So really, there is no way to get these users to pony up the cash for any OS, Windows, Linux or Mac OS X.
The opportunity here is to get these users switched over to a free alternative, to learn how it works, and become familiar with it – as familiar as they currently are with Windows, so that we can increase mind-share, and the technical know how in the general public, and in the case of the enthusiasts and gamers, to sort of “convert” a particularly influential group of people.
I also disagree with your subtle suggestion that those who pirate Windows, don’t buy games. I know that not to be true. I would also point out that not everyone who runs a pirated copy of windows does not own a legit copy (perhaps, they run the “corp” version, because they are enthusiasts and re-install, and fiddle with hardware frequently, so it’s actually less hassle to use the pirate version, at least until recently, than to constantly put up with phone home editions, that came with the Dell system they got last year).
I see phones with “my Windows is not working, run some cracking software for me again” :/ The only good thing is I’ll get to preach alternatives again.
Edited 2006-11-29 21:43
2006-11-30 11:49 amlifo2
Well, I used to find it quite impolite, but as I was more and more upset by these kind of calls, I decided to say “Sorry, I can’t help you with Windows. It take me too much time and it won’t last for long. If you want some support, go pay for it. If you want to install GNU/Linux and learn how to use it, I can help you.”.
And guess what, they don’t insists. Sometime they try to install Linux, sometime they just ask someone else (maybe you ) but in both cases, they’re not mad at me !
WGA cracked again within hours after the first incarnation.
It indeed starts to explode in their faces. Lot’s op people are asking how to circumvent. Some people get a tool, some others get something else…
I see a company that spends more time on piracy than innovation and interoperability and security. I mean I am not flaming Operating Systems here more so the company itself and their practices. Their paying customers bear the cost and grief!
Edited 2006-11-29 22:08
This has been the death rattle of many fine products.
Ironically enough, Microsoft may actually be hurting themselves by making piracy harder. People using pirated xp will eventually get sick of the constant patching to make their system usable and move on to something else (linux, bsd, pirated osx). anyway, this will only erode microsoft’s market share, the more people that use other os’s the worse off Microsoft is, even if the said copy of Windows is not legit.
Edited 2006-11-29 21:14