back to article MS beefs up WinXP Pro's anti-piracy nagware

Microsoft wants to rein in more Windows XP pirates over the coming weeks, by pushing out a new version of its “nagware” which detects when a machine is running a fake copy of the OS. The company’s Genuine Windows director Alex Kochis said yesterday that Redmond will release the latest version of its Windows Genuine Advantage ( …

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Linux

free

and no nagware.

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Go

One easy solution

Would be for MS to provide an XP Pro to XP Home converter tool, so those people who actually have an XP Home license and have foolishly, or unwittingly installed XP Pro could downgrade in a simple fashion.

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Happy

“plain black background”

Is what I always set my desktop to. Makes it a bit tricky to tell if my copy's genuine or not...

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Daft

So MS want pirates to go genuine on an OS that they won't sell to them anymore?

I know at least 2 friends who have dodgy XP installs. Not because they're too tight to buy it, but because they've bought a PC/laptop with Vista, hated it, wanted XP and been unable to actually buy it these days. Hence their only options have been to stick with an OS they dislike, or stick a dodgy copy of an OS on that they prefer.

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Linux

Not for Me !

Dumped that M$ crap a long time ago !

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Anonymous Coward

eh

what other operating system are you going to pirate?

Vista = shit, preinstalled shit for the most part that you want to get rid of.

2000 = too old

XP Home = well you can get XP Pro

XP Pro = that's the badger

Linux = most versions are free

Mac OS = comes with the machine

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Par for the course

"it would be below us to suggest that even the pirates have a hard time selling Vista."

No, it would be predictable.

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Since when Microsoft has political, legal and military powers ?

In practice Microsoft is spreading out viruses with which they can control people machines claiming that they are using a pirated copy and everyone knows that thanks to many documented false positives that's going to happen to those that paid for the insanely priced OS license and not just using copies.

Vista SP1 is available everywhere on the 'net.. just look at torrent sites and P2P networks.. there are hundreds versions fully cracked and fully working being spread daily and with which WindowsUpdate works perfectly. So, why Microsoft doesn't care about "protecting Vista users" but wants to be so helpful towards XP customers?

If only Microsoft wasn't a monopoly allowed to do whatever they want to and completely out of control like no other business in the world and if only their products prices were fair then there wouldn't have been so much people using cracked copies, and that's for sure.

If a product is priced right then 90%+ of people will buy it. There is no reason why an OS license must cost 4-5 up to 20 times more than a blockbuster high budget movie DVD or BD disc release. Really, there is none.

The right price for a Vista Ultimate license should be $69 while basic versions should be priced in the $29 - $59 range.

The same applies to XP and Windows2003/Windows2008. Instead their license are so expensive that even a profitable business risks to go bankrupt paying the Microsoft monopoly those insane prices.

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Stop

Same old same old, deal with it freetards.

Rather than waste space here...

Symantec Pot calls Microsoft Kettle Black:

http://www.antiwindowscatalog.com/?mode=rant&id=45

Twice...

http://www.antiwindowscatalog.com/?mode=rant&id=39

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Here's to another round of false positives!

As usual this will only inconvenience the the honest customers, the "genuine" pirates will get off scot-free.

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Silver badge

for clarity

"Microsoft has previously claimed that XP is more pirated than any other operating system. It reckons that the counterfeit rate for Vista is less than half that of XP, it would be below us to suggest that even the pirates have a hard time selling Vista."

XP has been around for sometime now, how many millions of copies are in use out there, How many windows based machines run XP, the vast majority. So it comes as no surprise that XP is the most pirated OS.

Vista is being avoided like the plague, it is also no surpirse that the counterfeit rate is less than half of XP. I believe It has a user base of less than 10% of that of XP despite what MS would like us to believe. Not because it is difficult to pirate either, but because it is DRM riddled and adds another layer of obfuscation between the user and the real workings of the OS. Those likely to use a pirated OS are not likely to use a DRM riddled pos that hides it's true M.O. behind a flashy user interface.

Pirates have a hard time giving vista away let alone selling it!

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Go

Pirating Vista is easy

it's just that no one wants to....

This is why I went with ubuntu, and haven't looked back since.

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Oooh, let's see how we can alienate people even more.

I know!

I know!

<Yes Kochis>

Let's make WGA an even bigger pain in the ass Bill.

Oh Joy.

More bloat.

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Even the pirates have a hard time selling Vista

"it would be below us to suggest that even the pirates have a hard time selling Vista"

Reg I salute you!

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Heart

Not just false positives they need to fix...

It's the false negatives too.

I'll admit to having used some dodgy copies of XP, Office and the likes on more than one occasion. You know, same product key on multiple machines simultaneously, friend-of-a-friend disk that makes it's way through the halls of residence, etc. We were all students once, weren't we?

Despite that, I never once had a product activation or WGA check fail on me. Not once. Not even when I activated the same XP product key on two different machines a matter of days apart.

What's the point in even having stuff like WGA if they can't even spot a XP Home license that's in use on countless different machines?

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Dead Vulture

the new enhanced expiriance

it is bad enough that the MS has relesed a plague of vista upon the world

now they try to enhance xp users expiriance to that of vista?

to quote the old catch phrase by ms : where do you want to go today?

i have an answer me i want to go no where in particular but you and that idea can go to bloody hell!

i just have to ask how is it going to help anyway?

i already had seen the nag disablers for vista on torrent sites so what is the point of doing to xp?

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Anonymous Coward

@Par for the course

and accurate.

PS where can I buy a legitimate XP pro? Unfortunately Vista won't run on my hardware

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Plain black background eh?

Well that'll be good, because plain black has been my background of choice with my (legit) XP installation for the past 2½ years. Ho hum

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Silver badge
Linux

Oh dear

I suppose, as an Evil Penguin-Shagging Communist™, I should actually be pleased about this. After all, if you don't want to pay for an Operating System, you don't have to.

If you want Windows, pay for it ..... If you don't want to pay for it, use Open Source. Not rocket science.

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He's Excited

Oh Joy... I am excited for him........aaaaaaaaaaaaaargh

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re: Same old same old

Uh, do we get to have our money back now that we are being forced to accept a change? After all, if "we've bought the license to use" and they change how we are to use it, we should get our money back when we refuse the contract change, yes?

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Can I get a screenshot of this black background with nag message?

Sounds like a fun jape to start installing it as people's background wallpaper.

Jolyon

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Go

Buying XP Pro

Overclockers.co.uk seem to still have copies in stock

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Gates Horns

MS beefs up WinXP Pro's anti-piracy nagware...

..or the story of how to move pirate users to Vista.

ps: where is the ballmer icon?

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Linux

Can you get a bigger picture of the nagware screen please?

It's just that I swapped to Ubuntu a couple of months back and would like it as my wallpaper.

Just as good as Windows, except faster, more powerful and less flashing districations. Not missed Windows at all.

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Anonymous Coward

@Dave K et al

As has been publicised on here previously, and is pretty widely known across tha' web, if you want to run LEGAL XP purchase a copy of Vista (if you're box didn't come with one), then simply phone MS and exercise your downgrade rights by requesting an XP licence key. You may need to source your own media though...

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Happy

What "metrics" are they using?

Does anyone know? I doubt Microsoft talks about it openly. I'd really like to see an investigative (do people do that?) report on how WGA is supposed to work, and why it fails so badly.

Before I switched my home machines to Linux, I had replaced my pre-installed XP systems with a copy of Win2k from Pirate Bay. WGA deemed it "genuine".

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Coat

Where's Webster?

I thought Mr Phreaky would take a moment or two off from his anti-Apple diatribes, and possibly stand up for an OS he believes to be vastly superior.

Maybe his nurse (or that nice B-I-I-G young man dressed all in white) won't let him come out to play today...

Mine's the Mac...

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Happy

MS dont get it

Customers whose machines are found to be running dodgy copies of XP will see their desktop backgrounds change to a “plain black background”. A user can change their screen settings as desired, but the nagware will, er, paint it black every 60 minutes.

I use a black screen as my background most of the time anyway. For people that dont you can use software from places like http://www.wallpaperchanger.de/ that set the wallpaper at regular intervals.

"A static message will also hang around on the desktop, pestering the user that their copy of XP appears to be a knock-off version of the operating system."

Wont that be hidden behind my icons? Oh well..

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Gates Horns

Lock Out

So what happens if you set the access rights of your log-on to not allow background changes...

but really whats the point, the Freetards (of which I confess to being one) just use a crack copy, and update via alternative websites that kindly get the updates for us, or just not bother updating at all relying on firefox, firewall, routers and avg.

Vista, why bother when XP works for all my needs and as more and more of my software is cloud based the operating system is becoming nothing more than a way of loading firefox..

Would get off my lazy but and learn penguin but it doest play the games I like

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Anonymous Coward

@ @Dave K et al

Interesting, I didn't know about that. I've been putting off buying a laptop because I wanted Vista to get bedded in a bit more before I start tackling it. So how does the downgrade work? Do you have to downgrade to XP Home; do you need a certain version of Vista to downgrade to XP Pro?

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Flame

@paint it black every 60 minutes.

This assumes XP will actually stay up for 60 minutes!!

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Gates Horns

@ @ AC (Downgrade) / Dave K

Yes you need Vista Business or Ultimate and normally i get a XP Pro key with no problem,

then you use your copy/iso of xp you downloaded and input the key they gave you over the phone during the downgrade and away you go!!...last time i asked it also allows you to (for what ever reason) upgrade back to the version of vista you orginally got..so im told.

or just use suse + wine...

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Linux

hard figures required...

"It reckons that the counterfeit rate for Vista is less than half that of XP"

If Vista is copied half as much as XP, then correspondingly the pirated copies of XP must be a very, very low figure. I don't know anyone who wants vista - and only one who bought a PC with it (against advice) and regretted it.

So if pirates have somehow managed to persuade 100 people to try using a shit OS, then that only makes 200 using one not quite so restrictive, slow, and generally crap.

If that's the case, they're either talking a whole load of BS (there's absolutely no way 50% of pirate installs are Vista - I don't know of a single one) or they really haven't got a clue who's using what, but still want to make Vista sound usable by boosting the number of "counterfeit" copies it claims are in use.

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Avi
Happy

*turns off automatic updates*

It's not like it's a difficult workaround...

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Linux

Ubuntu ?

You have got to be kidding "Just as good as Windows, except faster, more powerful and less flashing districations."

In no way would i call myself a MS fan by any means, but the statment above is like saying "my Mac runs more software and connects to more hardware than my pc can"

some one once said "there is lies then there is damn lies" vista may be an application waiting for a purpose but ubuntu is as buggy as any other os seems you just have not used it enough.

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When will people learn to leave windows update OFF !!

Allow a bunch of untrustworthy corporate twats to install anything they like on your box ? errr, yeah. Right. Autopatcher, we miss you.

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Anonymous Coward

@AC

Vista Business/Enterprise/Ultimate can be downgraded to XP Pro/Win2k Pro

Vista Home Basic/Premium can be downgraded to XP Home

Also Server 2008 can be downgraded to 2000/2003 with similar restrictions ie standard to standard etc

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Cac(he) flush

So, pressure by MS to kill off as many XP installs as possible. Unexpected that.

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Happy

@ Alexander

some one once said "there is lies then there is damn lies"

No they didn't. They said "there are lies, damned lies and there are statistics".

A much more applicable quote to the original theme.

Ubuntu is faster than Windows, I know because I used every version up to and including the last release. As to bugs, the Open Source model means they're more likely to be fixed.

All OS's crash. From my own experience, OSX crashes less than anything else.

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Anonymous Coward

Hah

>>

So, why Microsoft doesn't care about "protecting Vista users" but wants to be so helpful towards XP customers?

<<

Considering "legalized" copyright violation (for example when they had the cheap license fee for people that supposedly bought incorrectly channeled software) is the possibly the best way to distribute rubbish software, I think it's brilliant.

"Hey, we can't pirate XP anymore, lets put Vista on the PC!!". At least, that worked back in the day of Windows95/98, if anyone remembers back then.

Now, however; with Linux actually becoming a worthwhile competitor with the likes of Xandros and Ubuntu actually being usable by effectively clueless users like granny and grandpa, I think it'll be a harder strategy to pull off.

I just WISH Linux would have better support for windows games. If it did, I think we'd see more home users installing it on their primary PC's. I know I would.. I just can't be bothered setting up dualboot just so that I can play games.

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Microsoft:Racism? Linking the colour black to negative connotations of piracy?

I can see MS ending up in hot water of this, to link a black background to negative aspects such a piracy gives the impression that well anything black has a negative connotation associated with it, ie. a subtle form of racism.

I know you have blacklists and whitelists regarding email, but nothing as 'graphic' as actually a black background representing that fact that you are pertaking in 'illegal' activities.

Once you change your licence key does your screen change to a nice shade of pastel pink?

and everything is fine and dandy in your little 'white' world. Now as I remember Office 2002 had a problem where if you searched for clip art 'monkey' it bought back the image of a black family - correct me if I wrong.

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Gates Horns

Doh!

"XP is more pirated than any other operating system"

I don't suppose it occurs to MS to think that through...

As for up (sorry down) -grading Vista, I thought you could only do that with the Business versions now?

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Gates Horns

give it a few years

and they will miss the pirates - they will be begging people to jump back on the Windows wagon in any way they can! Why? Because they surely get more than enough money from all the side-applications they sell that run ontop of the most widely used desktop pc operating system, Windows XP. If you take away the pirate versions, and force legit people to get Vista in their next PC against their will - you will start to see Linux and OSX taking over - as that happens you will get less sales of M$ software - and they lose more money than when the pirating was more prolific.

Where are my facts and figures for this theory/prophecy?? We don't need no stinking facts or figures, this is the internet, I'm allowed to shovel as much opinionated crap as I want!! :)

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Linux

Vista "Upgrade" to XP

Hey Anon, you must have Vista Business, Enterprise or Ultimate to exercise the "upgrade" to XP PRO option.

PS: Don't be fooled, "Premium" is not not premium enough to be eligible. That's why all the low end 'puters have Premium stuck on them, so you can buy a second license. ;-)

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Go

XP Pirate

A copy I re-installed was flagged as "pirate" They offered the option of a licence for about 70 Euro, or ring and argue.

It was 2am and their WAS someone to ring and argue (may not have been a real person).

"Is this installed on any other PCs?"

>> "No the previous PC (laptop) was sat on and broken"

"Did it come with the PC"

>> "No we bought it in a box in the Shop"

"OK here is a key to enter...."

All true BTW.

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Gates Horns

"Vista Home Basic/Premium can be downgraded to XP Home"

Since when? Could you provide a link to an updated Microsoft EULA page stating this, please? While this would be great and fair, MS is not.

PDF: http://download.microsoft.com/download/5/f/4/5f4c83d3-833e-4f11-8cbd-699b0c164182/royaltyoemreferencesheet.pdf

HTML: http://74.125.95.104/search?q=cache:DoQamYdJmbgJ:download.microsoft.com/download/5/f/4/5f4c83d3-833e-4f11-8cbd-699b0c164182/royaltyoemreferencesheet.pdf+http://download.microsoft.com/download/5/f/4/5f4c83d3-833e-4f11-8cbd-699b0c164182/royaltyoemreferencesheet.pdf&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us

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@Alexander

I've been running Ubuntu about a year now (switched over from Fedora because I liked the lazy, no-effort, just-works experience Ubuntu offered). I'm a developer and run four Ubuntu servers (on creaking legacy hardware) and two Ubuntu Desktop machines (one creaking, one pretty quick).

In the past 12 months my grottiest machine has had about 2 hrs downtime while I replaced its dust-clogged, worn out fans, and the fast one was down for 15 minutes for an internal clean and the addition of an extra hard drive. A couple of applications have occasionally flaked out on me, including OOo and Eclipse, but I've not lost any data as a result or been forced to reboot the OS. My workhorses (Postgres, MySQL, PHP, Tcl, Squid, Tor and Apache) have been flawless. I've had no hardware compatibility issues (and I do use a wireless network and a ton of USB devices - mostly storage, plus a digital camera, a few of which were officially badged as Windows only).

Most of my machines are tucked in behind a firewall but I do have one trusty world-facing webserver that also runs Tor. I get a few 'knocks on the door' a day but have never had a successful break-in (touches wood and tails logs).

Just as buggy, my arse.

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Gates Horns

Can I have some refunds?

I was under the impression that when you got an O/S you had a license for it that could be refunded? I have bought from MS and have copies of to this day, DOS5, Windows 3, Windows 95 (x2 copies as I lost the key for one and had to rebuy it), Windows 98SE, Windows 2000 and now Windows XP Professional.

There's only one flaw... it seems MS won't actually refund your license on an old operating system because it doesn't have a retail value any more. Despite this though, they seem eager to apply an ever increasing amount of restrictions to users of XP which they can no longer buy.

If it now has no marketable value why are they introducing this? If XP still has such a value, surely my old O/Ss do as well. I'd like my money back for all of them please.

The logic of MS thus goes -

1) You buy a license from us for using that O/S

2) You can refund the license, except if we don't sell the O/S

3) We will introduce systems that will stop you pirating an O/S we no longer sell

4) But if you want to buy a legal version... you can't.

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Unhappy

@ @ AC (Downgrade) / Dave K

So it's practically useless then if you get a laptop/PC with Vista Home Premium (as most retail systems come with). If it were possible to downgrade VHP to XP Home, that'd be great. But it isn't.

If you get a machine with VHP, you're either stuck with it, or you have to resort to piracy to get XP.

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