Home > Microsoft > Microsoft: Can we check your software license? Microsoft: Can we check your software license? Submitted by robert renling 2004-09-17 Microsoft 62 Comments The software maker has launched a pilot program in which some visitors to the main Windows download page are being asked to let the software maker check to see whether their copy of the operating system is licensed. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 62 Comments 2004-09-17 9:01 pm I think it isn’t good for MS if they make actions against people using a illegal copy of Windows, because there many people who make this and they could be a winning for other operating systems if they can’t use Windows anymore. 2004-09-17 9:05 pm They said they are doing this to help people with legitimate Windows copies, however it offers them no benefit, and should they begin to deny illegitimate Windows copies updates it will hurt those with legitimate copies. Just imagine if half the people in your dorm network were infected by blaster with no way to stop it, but to turn on the firewall (and half of them wouldn’t do it cause they don’t know how). I’m all for them only servings things to people who pay, but doing it under the mask that they are helping the world or helping their users is just a load. Unless you have an OC line and believe you need to dl updates at 10Mb/s, then this might let them increase bandwidth.. 2004-09-17 9:24 pm I am all for it. Please Microsoft make sure you do everything in your power to stamp out piracy. This is a great initiative. Under no circumstances should two people be able to use the same software license on two computers. It deprives Microsoft of much needed revenue that they need to continue improving their products. I propose that Microsoft distributes some form of retinal scan hardware with each Longhorn license. The first time you boot the OS, it will scan your iris and send a copy to Microsoft along with your license number. All proprietary software users ought to be in favor of this or similar schemes that put an end to software piracy. Why woudn’t you? You obviuosly agree with the proprietary software development model and therefore you should enthusiastically finance it. There is no better form of endorsement. Show us that you have some courage and put your money where your mouth is. I see no reason for Microsoft users not to appreciate and support Microsoft’s efforts. Or do you like living in a world under the illusion that what you are doing is right because you are not caught? Either you support proprietary licenses and pay for them or you don’t support them. In the latter case, then you are not affected by this, which means that you also think this is a good idea as it creates a clear contrast between restrictive software models and freer ones. Thanks Microsoft! 2004-09-17 9:25 pm How much time do you spend counting software licenses and registering software? And how much is your time worth? I don’t like feeling like a theif or constantly being reminded that I’m being watched so I chose to use software that doesn’t have those limitations. I am a proud supporter of the GNU GPL. I have the right to share my software. Do you? 2004-09-17 9:30 pm The more people not using pirated copies of Windows means more people will probably start looking for alternatives. This happened to a guy at work .. pirated a copy of XP from somebody, then the Activation period expired. Now he’s using Gentoo Honestly though, this wouldn’t be a problem if people would quit pirating the software. Think the price is too high? Then use something else. 2004-09-17 9:30 pm Must own stock or something… 2004-09-17 9:34 pm Ah, so instead of Microsoft, you have the FSF looking over your shoulder. why would the FSF be looking over my shoulder? They don’t care if I use GNU software. 2004-09-17 9:34 pm Let them do as they please and leave them be. You can’t get something for nothing. Nobody made those rules, that is just reality. I don’t care what Microsoft does, I use my Mac, that I paid (and well paid) for. The software that came with it suits most of my needs and for the needs that aren’t met by out-of-the-box Apple stuff… GNU GPL. Yeah, it doesn’t work as well as some propriatary stuff, but it is free and therefore ethical. Hell, anyone you Handbrake for OS X lately? It’s easier to use than most propriatary stuff that is more like cracking eggs with a sledge hammer. The author is a bloody genius and a donation is forthcoming from me. I would happily pay $15-$20 for this. Use MS, pay MS, and don’t complain. I don’t need MS. I put my money where my mouth is. 2004-09-17 9:39 pm What is this i thought microsoft was putting more money into security. What the hell are you doing microsoft?, Im glad I use Fedora Linux rather than Windows. Fedora and all the linux developers keep up the good work, maby in the next few years we wont need to depend on microsoft for ANYTHING, wouldnt that be nice. Apple and Linux you are the best :O) 2004-09-17 9:42 pm Honestly though, this wouldn’t be a problem if people would quit pirating the software. Think the price is too high? Then use something else. Actually from the article it looks like Microsoft is trying to focus on customers who bought pc’s that has MS software pre-loaded, but are not licensed copies. “Still, Lazar said, it is a sensitive group of customers Microsoft is targeting with the program–namely, people who bought a computer that they thought had a legitimate copy of Windows, but are somewhat unsure. Microsoft wants those people as customers, so it wants to be sure to treat them kindly, even as the company seeks to encourage legitimate Windows use.” I’m curious about what Microsoft will do about those people who have unwittingly bought a pc with unlicensed software. 2004-09-17 9:51 pm I think that Microsoft should investigate if there is a copy of MsOffice, and any other MS software. I think that TCP/IP stack on Win32 should be reworked to make sure that there is no way for anyone with pirated MS software to go to on-line unnoticed. BTW, I have witnesed instalation of OSX last year. Administrator is required to enter all the company information at some stage of instalation, and I think that the data is checked against some remote database. DG 2004-09-17 9:58 pm I had this happen to me in 94 with a PC I purchased with win 3.1. Turns out the vendor was doing just that, loading the same license on 1000’s of PC’s. They got busted by the BSA, my name came up as a customer, and the BSA actually provided me with a good, clean license, since I had paid for the OS when I bought the PC. I use linux now, but hey, maybe microsoft is trying to actually help mom and dad schmoe who don’t have a clue about their software?? 2004-09-17 10:04 pm “BTW, I have witnesed instalation of OSX last year. Administrator is required to enter all the company information at some stage of instalation, and I think that the data is checked against some remote database. ” I dont know about panther but jaguar and 10.1 you really can’t get caught because you can cancel sending the information in the setup. That and I dont think apple really cares about software piracy, software is sold for cheap, they get you for the hardware 😉 2004-09-17 10:06 pm Seriously, I make sure that I am a legitimate user of every piece of software that I use. I pay the money if required, although most often it is not for the software that I use. However, I no longer ever go through the standard activation process or use the keys I am given. Instead I use key generators and other such enabling software. I do this because of reliability. If you are dependent on the original key, then your use of the software is dependent on your ability to keep records of that key. And if supposedly free upgrades change key formats, it can render your key inoperable (this has happened to me personally). If you are beholden to an activation process, then the slightest bug in that process can bring your system down (I have seen this happen to others). I am more than capable of determining for myself whether I am in compliance with licensing – I don’t need Microsoft’s help. I would instead prefer to rely on my ability to procure a trustworthy keygen in an emergency, usually something I can do before I would be able to get a support person on the phone, let alone explain my problem. It is not money for me – it’s reliablilty, recoverability and control. 2004-09-17 10:09 pm I’ve never understood why MS didn’t do this years ago. They’ve every reason to isolate and ostracize pirated copies. As for the question of leaving all those pirated installations without updates and open to all kinds of evil security infestations, I wouldn’t mind if MS found a way to zap their tcp/ip stacks. Pirates have no right to run the software they’ve stolen, so getting them off the net would make everyone safer. I’m a Linux user, but I don’t buy the rhetoric that using proprietary software is unethical or that some kind of moral imperative exists to share code. There’s no moral imperative for me to share my lunch, and it isn’t unethical to buy a proprietary lunch at a restaurant. Software is no different. 2004-09-17 10:16 pm MS is anouncing doing things against piracy, making advertisements against piracy and so on. But ms has yet had many possibilities to get known who has pirated versions. Well, they say, they allow also pirated windows to update for the reason that updated pirated windows lets worms and viruses spread less than non updated. Yes, MS is right, _but_ MS also knows: If they do know really secure and make hard to crack Windows’, they will loose a lot of potential customers. Why? You need a software for running your PC and if the price of Windows is too high, they surely will try alternatives like Linux. So the better strategy is letting the pirates use their software, but also making them a bit fear and conscious to buy their software. I would prefere windowsupdate gets closed for pirated windows and win gets more difficult to crack. This would boost the marketshare of alternative os’s. 2004-09-17 10:26 pm >> “I have witnesed instalation of OSX last year. Administrator is required to enter all the company information at some stage of instalation, and I think that the data is checked against some remote database. ” What kind of spooky database might that be? The only way Apple could check your info against a database is if you had already given it to them. Do you think the Apple sales clerk rushes to get your name and address into the Big Apple Database before you get home from the store? Ditto for a business installing a number of Macs. Not that Apple, and Microsoft, wouldn’t be justified in requiring registration to get online updates. Lots of other commercial packages do that. There’s no reason why someone should give away updates to people who can’t or won’t prove they bought the stuff in the first place. 2004-09-17 10:43 pm I have the right to share my software. Do you? Do you have Photoshop? Get the irony? 2004-09-17 10:44 pm I’m amazed by the number of comments saying “oh, stop giving security patches to pirates! They deserve all the trash you can throw at them! It’ll boost alternative operating systems!” I do -not- condone using Windows without an official license. That said, unfortunately, many people actually do so. I’d much rather they get their patches than get infected by all the newest junk. Some of the more major worms have degraded Internet performance noticibly for everyone; I don’t see the point of magnifying their impact. Would some people go to other operating systems because of this? Sure, but I suspect it’s a distinct minority. A lot of people seem to greatly overreact to the thought of any “theft.” Yes, it’s not good; that doesn’t mean that everything should be done to make the lives of such users hell, or worse, make the lives of -legitimate- users worse as a result. I’m not saying “Encourage piracy!” – I merely think that a more rational approach would benefit everyone. This reminds me of the people who were condoning deleting people’s home directories if a piece of software thought it had been pirated; there’s a certain point where the “cure” is a lot worse than the illness. If people want to use a pirated copy of Windows, hey, it’s far from ideal, but forcing -legitimate- users to pay the price [by worse worm infestations, etc] is absurd. Most people who currently use illegitimate copies of Windows will continue to do so, with or without security patches. By all means, [try to] deny them upgrades, improved drivers, whatever. But security patches? Make those as available as possible… Note: I am not a Windows user, nor am I using any pirated software. 2004-09-17 11:44 pm I think it isn’t good for MS if they make actions against people using a illegal copy of Windows, because there many people who make this and they could be a winning for other operating systems if they can’t use Windows anymore. I’d say quite the opposite. If microsoft go soft on pirates, then people will continue to use windows without paying for it, and existing customers will get wise and stop paying. Okay more people will use windows than alternatives, but at the end of the day, microsoft lose sales. 2004-09-17 11:46 pm I think it isn’t good for MS if they make actions against people using a illegal copy of Windows, because there many people who make this and they could be a winning for other operating systems if they can’t use Windows anymore. I’d say quite the opposite. If microsoft go soft on pirates, then people will continue to use windows without paying for it, and existing customers will get wise and stop paying. Okay more people will use windows than alternatives, big deal, but that doesn’t make microsoft the winners. At the end of the day, microsoft lose sales as a result. 2004-09-18 12:44 am I think Eu was being sarcastic, judging by the was things are worded. 2004-09-18 12:59 am Do you have Photoshop? No, I use the GIMP. Preferably version 2.x. Get the irony? No, what’s your point? I am also very interested in what Rosegarden, Audacity, Audiality, Kdenlive, Cinelerra, Kino, JACK, LADSPA, MuSe, Ardour, Cumulus, ZynAddSubFX, Ultramaster Juno-6, Blender and countless others have to offer. Frankly, I just don’t have the time or money for Photoshop. Software licensing and registration is not my thing. 2004-09-18 1:37 am Can’t you just fill in some license for an older version then? Do i need a license to run e.g. MSIE? DirectX? WMP? BTW, I have witnesed instalation of OSX last year. Administrator is required to enter all the company information at some stage of instalation, and I think that the data is checked against some remote database. Unplug your Internet connection and lie that you don’t have Internet <grin>. But by all means, i hope something is done against piracy. Its hurting the ecosystem of software development. 2004-09-18 2:00 am Microsoft has allowed piracy on purpose. It has used piracy as a way to penetrate cost sensitive environments like south east Asia. Now that it’s market share in SE Asia has peaked and everyone is trained on their software, it is time to turn the screws and start extracting blood. The US is a different strategy. This is a scheme to extract money from people that can’t keep track of things that have been purposely been designed to be hard to track. MS has sold many times more Windows licenses in the US than there are people in the country. I personally own twelve. I know the Windows copy on my machine is unlicensed. This is because earlier I wiped the disk with the licensed images that came from the OEM and installed a different OS. I wanted Windows back on the machine and I had no physical media. The new MS policy of not shipping media with new machines is only increasing the number of “unlicensed” copies. 2004-09-18 2:20 am “How much time do you spend counting software licenses and registering software? And how much is your time worth?” No time at all, the software licences are not valid as I have not signed them at the time of purchase. I never register anything either (waste of time as warrantys are enforced by law). “I don’t like feeling like a theif or constantly being reminded that I’m being watched so I chose to use software that doesn’t have those limitations.” Then don’t act like thief (why else would you feel like one?) and don’t install spyware. And what limitations do you mean? You surely havn’t mentioned any. “I am a proud supporter of the GNU GPL.” I gather you are a programmer then? Using/copying GPL software aren’t supporting it per se… In fact simply using it doesn’t require acceptance of the license (one of the few things I like about it). “I have the right to share my software. Do you?” Yes with my close relatives and friends. I also can download software, movies and music legally at this time (that will soon change though). 2004-09-18 2:21 am Although I am a Linux user. I do agree that “redmond” has the right to protect their property. Since most users of Win think they own their copy this may come as a nice wake up call. Troy 2004-09-18 4:23 am “Since the program is optional at this stage, Microsoft expects that most of those who know their software is bogus will not take part.” My software is registered; however MS has too much control of information period. They forgot one segment in their little arugment; PRIVACY, users do demand privacy. Next class, people that are on dial up who dont want to waste that extra bandwidth, as well as time. “Eventually, Microsoft could make the program mandatory. The company could also prevent those that have unlicensed copies of Windows from downloading software updates on Microsoft’s site.” Hmmm, seems like you have to (almost register) you software day in and day out. “Dubbed the Windows Genuine Advantage, the program is part of Microsoft’s overall antipiracy campaign, Lazar said, noting that the company’s efforts fall into three categories: education, enforcement and engineering. The new program is part of the company’s effort to engineer its software to encourage legitimate use, Lazar said.” How about fixing your software registration process so that people are not incovienieced day in and day out. Lets take a hypothetical. What happens if the registration/validation servers are down, and you require a patch to fix problem X. You have to wait for thoes servers to come back online. And yes, the same thing can be said if it was their web server going down; however, few points of failure are always a good thing. The reason I say this; several friends use the local telco for their DSL access and they have to go through a registration process after they sign up for a new account. This telco is batting 4 out of 4 for having their registration servers down. The last time it took 1 week (7 days) before they got their registration servers up and running again. Its DSL, there is no need to verify your marketing data and so forth. Its not like people pirate DSL. It was just a bougus bunch of questions to gather data before they could get online. Sorry, I dont buy the registration crap. “The Business Software Alliance, of which Microsoft is a key member, estimates that piracy costs software makers $29 billion annually, although some have taken issue with the means by which the group calculates those figures.” Now how much does it really cost users. I am not talking about the raised prices of software. How much do legitimate users have to pay to make backup copies of software. I have been using PC’s since the early 80’s and computers in general since 1978 (dating myself). Do you know how much money was spent buying software so that I could make a back up copy? In the US, we have the right to make 1 back up copy of our software. However, we always have to pay someone else to be able to make that backup copy. Well, lets see, if someone has been a registered user for o’say 15 to 20 or 25 years, then I guess all those users who sent in those registration cards (old days) are probably legitimate users. Needless to say, I no longer use MS products at home (well, 99% of the time). Sometimes, MS Word is needed (due to the messed up formatting) to view a document. I have paid and paid and paid for more than my fair share of software. How many hoops do we have to jump through as users / consumers? What are some of the costs of being a consumer of Microsoft based products: 1) Insane software prices. MS Office 400-500 vs StarOffice 80-90 dollars (how about Corel’s suite 100 USD). 2) Viri: have to buy the software and get daily updates. Keep in mind that MS isnt liable for their software or the defects that it has. 3) Firewall, got to have it. As per the previous statement; MS isnt liable their software / defects in any way, shape, or form. How about shipping a product that is secure by default. How about being able to close port 135. And no, 135 is not bios (epmapper) or end point mapper. Has anyone heared of epdump? 4) Registration process and harasment. Ever install a new hard drive and have to reinstall software. How about a new processor? Every have to just plain ol’ re-register. Ever talk to those fine folks behind the help desk? How many PC’s do you have? How many is this installed on? Blah, blah, blah? So this brings me to my next point. To avoid this hassel (hardrive not processor), Imaging software. Its just easier to buy some imaging software so that replacing a failed service pack upgrade, broken HD and so forth. Now that is more money. 5) How about the time factor? My time is not free. My time is money. I have to patch a reinstall? I have to slip stream disks between service packs? But then I still have to down load the software between service packs? End result: 20 – 30 minutes I can have a *BSD / Linux distro up and running (basic install). And even if I want to go a little nutty, maybe an whole hour to install a ton of apps. And to top it off, going from release to relase via CVS (bsd’s) or apt-get and never having to reinstall between major versions of OS’, or re-register? Or whatever? SOLD!!!! Done with MS. 2004-09-18 4:35 am Actually from the article it looks like Microsoft is trying to focus on customers who bought pc’s that has MS software pre-loaded, but are not licensed copies. Right, so in this case, vendors are pirating the software instead of users .. same difference, really. It’s an integrity thing. 2004-09-18 5:58 am Great let them do it. In fact why don’t they do that for everyone going to their download pages. Piss even more people off and help the wavers to ditch them altogether. Great idea. 2004-09-18 6:10 am This is in a way allready implemented via product activation? 2004-09-18 8:12 am err. I had a really good one, too. It involved BAAB 900 turbos and Corporal Motors, but then it got long and drawn out and the point was lost somewhere along the line. The jist of it was, what if I buy a used HP off of eBay, and it comes with Windows XP pre-installed. What if I’m new to computers, let’s say that this is my first computer, and that I have never even heard of a EULA. I buy a car, I expect that the engine inside it– though it may have been manufactured by a different company, is mine, is part of the package, and therefore is legit. It is with that mindset that I suddenly venture forth into the world of Windows Update, which all of a sudden is telling me that NO, I am using a PIRATED VERSION OF WINDOWS!!! I’d be curious how Microsoft will handle this situation. I’ve done no wrong, you can’t say that I was willfully ignorant towards the matter, because I simply did not know and had no way of finding out. I was told by the kind eBay seller that my computer would come with the operating system pre-installed, no mention of license agreements or legalities such as that. Will Microsoft alienate themselves by saying, “Well, you shoulda known better, now uninstall it or we’ll see you in court?” Or will they persue the people who are selling these systems with illegal copies of Windows installed on them? It would seem to me that that would take an awful lot of manpower and time, as it wouldn’t be as simple as going through server logs and nabbing IP addresses (as is usually the case with music and movie sharing investigations)– you’d actually have to make contact with the person and try to find out where they got the computer from, hoping that they are able to provide enough details to lead to charges being laid. That’s not to say that I’m poopooing the initiative, Microsoft has every right to do this. All I’m saying is that they should very carefully consider their next step, and keep in mind that not everyone out there with pirated software has obtained said software criminally. 2004-09-18 10:18 am That’s not to say that I’m poopooing the initiative, Microsoft has every right to do this. All I’m saying is that they should very carefully consider their next step, and keep in mind that not everyone out there with pirated software has obtained said software criminally. If you kill someone accidentally, it’s still a murder. MS cannot be held repsonsible for people’s own ignorance. 2004-09-18 12:39 pm MS has a right to refuse service and consumers have a right to refuse MS. 2004-09-18 1:30 pm They should not check the registration for security related patches, especially for fixes to holes the worms and viruses are propagating on, just for the sake of their liscenced customers. As for feature upgrades and whatever else, then yeah go ahead and check. 2004-09-18 1:57 pm It’s not murder if you kill someone accidentally, it’s manslaughter (I see you’re from.nl, where this is called “doodslag”). That’s different from murder and the punishment for it is a lot less severe than it is for murder. At least it is in .nl, don’t know enough about the law in other countries. Back to the topic: wasn’t this what Activation was supposed to do? Check if people’s software is licensed? I’m really happy to have found Linux and *BSD with its plethora of free applications. And yes, I occasionally contribute back. 2004-09-18 2:00 pm I can see both pros and cons to this: The Pros: Legal users can get the upgrades and get the support from Microsoft. The Cons: Licensing—I’ve already this year converted many systems to Linux because small businesses cannot buy multiple copies of Microsoft’s OS to work on their computers. Many use pirated copies of one OS to install on multiple machines. Microsoft should have included this functionality in the beginning with NT 4.0 and worked it into today’s technology. XP SP1 wouldn’t allow you to install if you had a pirated copy. Longhorn should have this technology integrated or atleast set up so that if you don’t have a legal copy (or register your copy), it should be shutdown. 2004-09-18 2:01 pm “MS has a right to refuse service and consumers have a right to refuse MS.” To an extent, you are correct. In theory you can reject MS. Reality: Have you ever tried sending someone a resume in something other than Word format or saving a *.doc file in something other than word? Even though several word processors (saving as *.doc) on the market claim to be compatible (how compatible), you gambling with potential employment. They are not 100% compatible. Perspective employeers want *.doc, not *.pdf, not *.html, even though they can view them just the same. You really dont have a choice. Theory yes, reality no. 2004-09-18 2:15 pm Andrew, Next time bring better analogy. Imagine, you buy a used car, Ford perhaps, with stolen engine in it. Next, you go to Ford dealership for service, they find the engine is stolen, what do you think is going to happen next? >keep in mind that not everyone out there with pirated software has obtained said software criminally. Not everyone who drives a stolen car knowns he bought a stolen car. Your point, again? Generally speaking, I wonder why people see something wrong with what Microsoft is trying to do. If you use pirated Windows- you didn’t pay for services to Microsoft. If you didn’t pay for services to Microsoft- how would you expect Microsoft to offer you services? Take Red Hat, for example. If you did not pay Red Hat for RHEL services, whose fault it is if Red Hat refuses to let you download RHEL updates? Doesn’t matter how you’ve got Red Hat software. Bottom line: you pay software vendor- you are entitled to services. You do not- you depend on a vendor good will. Actually, we should thank Red Hat, Linspire, Mandrakesoft and other for profit OpenSource vendors for new Microsoft hard line. Before, we could rightfully blame Microsoft for its unwillingness to deliver free services, and label it greedy monopolist. These days, Microsoft could rightfully point at “other guys” and say: see, everyone does it. Thanks, OpenSource, you did it again! Services, you say? I call it services tax. It is as much different from software tax as french fries from freedom fries. Get used to it. 2004-09-18 2:58 pm From: robert trebor I’m curious about what Microsoft will do about those people who have unwittingly bought a pc with unlicensed software. What can they do, realistically? Issuing them real licenses at reduced cost or no cost is the only way to avoid a big nasty fuss each and every single time they identify a customer that is not in compliance where no evidence of acting in bad faith can be found… From: Drazen Gemic BTW, I have witnesed instalation of OSX last year. Administrator is required to enter all the company information at some stage of instalation, and I think that the data is checked against some remote database. With a stock Mac OS X installation — or where a Mac is powered on for the first time OOB — you are prompted for personal information by a “setup wizard” of sorts. Some of the fields have to be answered before you can proceed, and where an Internet connection is present, the program does it’s best to goad you into allowing it to send the information to Apple as a “registration”. This is NOT activation! You can get away with not sending the information (and never sending it) as Mac OS X does not expire or become crippled. Apple doesn’t need to do this, because (a) every Macintosh unit ever produced has it’s own serial number, and (b) until recently (read: PearPC), you had to have Macintosh hardware to install and run Mac OS X successfully. This is true for all publicly released versions of Mac OS X. From: Ticked_Off_User Regarding your whole posting, I absolutely agree with your stance (although Microsoft is not the only one). Well said! digitaleon. 2004-09-18 3:44 pm Knowing Microsoft, this will probably be done with an MSIE-specific browser object or ActivX control Which would stop me using my Apple laptop to download patches to fix friends computers. Doubtless many other users will be similarly affected. Given that hotfixes don’t themselves check the licence, the users who want to avoid this check should it become mandatory will just download the patches onto a USB keydrive using an office computer…. 2004-09-18 5:08 pm I hope MS makes this a mandatory inspection. This way more people both legitimate users and a few using pirated software that don’t know how to get around this will be forced to choose whether to go with MS or switch to Linux. Honestly putting up with being considered a thief even when you already paid for the software will make a lot of people angry and push them to switch to Linux. 2004-09-18 5:10 pm MS cannot be held repsonsible for people’s own ignorance. Who says its out of their own ignorance? An organisation with say 200 MS Windows computers (say 10 servers, 190 desktop) can easily have like 200 or more licenses while the computers don’t use that license. Instead, they’re using images (GHost, or something alike) so they’re able to install right away in an easy manner. If you don’t have to fill in a license that’s far more easy and its part of the process. No, i prefer SGI’s way of licensing: the MAC address of your computer is your license ID for IRIX. Having said that, i do agree with MS that they only want people who have a legal license to use their software. Though, i don’t agree a computer which came with MS Windows ME (totally crippled product) should not be allowed to run MS Windows 2000 or XP with a discount because MS failed to deliver. Add to that couple-selling and i find it a pretty unfair situation. 2004-09-18 7:20 pm From the very inception of microsoft Bill Gates has been crying.”thief.” Everyone has heard his quote that is now folklore, “you’re all theives.” There’s even claims that he never said it. But regardless, he is the richest man in the world and he’s still crying thief… hard to feel sympathetic towards him now. Turns out he was the true thief after all, convicted monoplist. 2004-09-18 7:47 pm Gates his corporation stole CP/M and used/uses embrace & extend it could be argued its a hypocrit point of view indeed. In The Code or Revolution OS its referred to how Bill Gates wrote an emotional letter in 1983 where he argued he disliked how consumers never gave back anything whereas they didn’t pay for the software. 2004-09-18 8:00 pm “Have you ever tried sending someone a resume in something other than Word format or saving a *.doc file in something other than word?” Sure, but both OpenOffice and StarOffice output to Word format. Your potential employer gets his or her wish, and you prepared without using MS Word. MFT 2004-09-18 8:13 pm Take Red Hat, for example. If you did not pay Red Hat for RHEL services, whose fault it is if Red Hat refuses to let you download RHEL updates? Doesn’t matter how you’ve got Red Hat software. Bottom line: you pay software vendor- you are entitled to services. You do not- you depend on a vendor good will. The difference is that you pay RedHat for services; even if you don’t pay them, you still have a right to use their software. When you pay MS, you pay for the right to use the software. Also, even if you are not entitled for updates from RedHat, you can still get updates for your software (in fact, RedHat kindly provides source RPMS for their software and updates, so updates are rpmbuild –rebuild away), but you have no way to update MS software if MS won’t allow you to do so. DISCLAIMER: MS DO have right to ban users of pirated copies, yet doing so would be unwise for them. 2004-09-18 9:12 pm >The difference is that you pay RedHat for services; even if you don’t pay them, you still have a right to use their software. What Microsoft does is it tries to refuse providing services for people who do not pay for them. This new process does not cripple your existing pirated Windows. It’ll run, but with no services for it provided. >Also, even if you are not entitled for updates from RedHat, you can still get updates for your software As I said: if you are not paying customer, you rely on a good will. You can not get Red Hat updates same way if you do not pay for Red Hat services. Until now, we were allowed by Microsoft to get software updates for pirated Windows. It were pure good will of Microsoft. Now, Microsoft decides that freeloaders suck too much bandwidth from its servers- so it tells them to go to RHEL and Linux in general. People who pirate Windows XP Home are not going to buy Linux services. So, Microsoft will only win by offloading its servers and loading Linux servers with people dowloading stuff for free. I think, it is good business decision for Microsoft to send pirates to RHEL. Yes, it may increase % of Linux on desktop to some extent, but would not bring a dime to for profit Linux corporations like Red Hat and Lindows. 2004-09-18 9:25 pm This is something the DOJ missed completly. MS has been using this as practice for years. When NT 4 first came out it had 10 digit lisc. code. You could enter all 1’s. When ISA 2000 came out same deal. They have always made it easier to steal a product that doesn’t have substantial market share. They could just give it away but that would hurt percieved value for future pricing. 2004-09-18 9:33 pm “Gates his corporation stole CP/M and used/uses embrace & extend it could be argued its a hypocrit point of view indeed.” On what planet did you hear that MS stole CP/M. MS bought Q-DOS and based MS-DOS on this. They only did this after Gary Kildall fumbled the ball in selling IBM CP/M. MS came with an OS for IBM out of fear that the PC would flame out before it got started. They mainly wanted to sell programming languges at the time. Jeez. Lets just rewrite history to suit our bias. 2004-09-18 9:35 pm I forgot to state that MS referred IBM to Digital Research. 2004-09-19 1:11 am This is terrific. Give the folks who pirate MS software a reason to go elsewhere. There is no shortage of options. 2004-09-19 1:29 am “On what planet did you hear that MS stole CP/M. ” Its an example of E&E. Ofcourse they didn’t stole it literally (although it was played with bluff). Duh. 2004-09-19 4:48 am Its an example of E&E. Ofcourse they didn’t stole it literally (although it was played with bluff). Duh. No they didn’t steal it at all. 2004-09-19 5:46 am Either it turns out as a very good profit to MS, or it turns out as everyone running to linux/BSD/etc. I hope more people come to linux/BSD, that would mean more drivers. I’m sick of hardware vendors not supporting anything that is not windows. 2004-09-19 5:47 am I just remembered when I visited windowsupdate.com from FreeBSD. I think I’ll do that with the validation system just for fun. Har Har. 2004-09-19 11:46 am If you were downloading/cleaning this chic’s PC, it would have been easy to get AVG and zoneAlarm (or other free software, many choices available) to secure it. There is not much excuse to be running a non-firewalled PC, or to not have a virus-checker … especially if a techie has set up the machine. 2004-09-19 12:04 pm not my problem, besides i abandoned windows completely about a year ago, and am starting to get a little rusty on my windows knowledge of freeware & shareware available, i could have done more with it but microsoft’s draconian licenscing and Linux’s freedom made it too easy for me to abaondon windows for the GNU… i wanted to do as little as possible, becuase if i installed zonealarm and grisoft antivirus i would have to spend more time with her explaining these things to her, she really needs to take some vo-tech cources in computer adminstration & security. and she barely knows how to click icons on the desktop… besides my beer was getting warm sitting at by girlfriends house next door and i rather drink beer and smooch my g/f on the weekend than fiddle with a buggy windoze box… 2004-09-19 4:46 pm So how will this affect me? Not at all. I bought a ten license pack for Microsoft NT 4.0 at the Microsoft store in Redmond while I was there looking at the Exchange project. I also have MS SQL Server 6.5 and a whack of development software. All of it is legitimate and paid for. I have never bought anything since and have felt no pressing need to do so. I think that there are a lot of people out there that have switched to Linux and other OS options like Solaris or Mac OS X and have not looked back. Good for Microsoft if they can protect their losses with this approach. I highly doubt that it will save them at this point because the writing is on the wall for MicroSoft; OpenSource software is here to stay and its getting better everyday. Dennis 2004-09-19 8:29 pm http://www.wikipedia.org search for “Embrace & extend” Then you understand what i meant with that. 2004-09-20 8:18 am Thom, you are applying the illustration incorrectly, and therefore your example is inherently flawed. It would be more correct if the following had happened: Mark hands me a gun and says, “Andrew, this gun is not loaded. Point it at me and pull the trigger.” I trust Mark, and so I point the gun at him and pull the trigger, only to find out that Mark had lied to me, and the gun was loaded. Of course that probably would not hold up in court as a gun is considered a weapon and its only intent would be to inflict harm onto another person, so let’s try yet another example. Let’s say that I’m on a production floor, working in the repair of a large hydrolic press. Let’s say Mark has been working inside the press for some time, and after a while he gets on the radio to me, and tells me that it’s ok for me to run the press diagnostics. I ask Mark if he’s out of the press, he says he is, and so I start up the press. 12,000 lbs later, Mark’s remains have to be hosed out of the press, because actually, he was inside the press. Yes, I “pulled the trigger,” but I had every reason to believe that it was safe to do so. The point is, if somebody tells me that A is A, and I have no reason to doubt them (i.e. I don’t know a whole lot about A and would therefore be unable to tell if it was or was not A), then logic would follow that I cannot be blamed if A is actually B. Russian Guy, the same applies to your stolen engine theory. Can you imagine if the Ford Police started fining and arresting every person out there with a stolen Ford engine in their car, even if that person can prove that they had no reason to even suspect that the engine was stolen? Can you imagine if you were suddenly either slapped with hefty fines from Microsoft, or were told that you had to erase an expensive operating system that you thought you had legally paid for? This would drive potential customers away from Microsoft real quick. And finally, Bas, yes, activation is supposed to solve this problem. There are, however, product keys out there that allow a user to circumvent the activation process. 2004-09-20 4:39 pm Ok my last entry was removed by the sys admin; so here is the same info; see if this mysteriously disappears “only if it is fact will it disappear” Bill Gates looks out for one person and one person only HIM SELF; don’t be so naive. find out the facts for your self; you obviously have access to the internet get the facts. Just some examples of what Gates does. 1: He lied to IBM about his possession of DOS. 2: He stole DOS from a programmer in Seattle 3: He lied and stole the concept of windows from Apple. I don’t like MS because of what they stand for. Anyone that believes any thing MS states as fact is just ingnorant!