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back to article Office 2010 to come loaded with WGA's bastard child

Microsoft has stretched its twitching anti-piracy tentacles more widely across the globe with the expansion of its Office Genuine Advantage Notifications program into 13 more countries. The software giant confirmed yesterday that 41 countries could now enroll in Redmond’s voluntary program that offers end users “enhanced …

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41 percent

Citation needed.

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WTF?

If WGA was uncrackable...

“In 2008, 41 percent of software on the world’s PCs was obtained illegally or used without a license… That equates to more than $50bn in losses for the global software ecosystem.”

If I couldn't have cracked the WGA, would that mean I'd have paid out for the MS Office Licence? No, its means I'd have gone to Open Office, so their figures about $50bn losses are pie in the sky figures which are meaningless. If anything, its stopped mass moves to open source software by being able to use MS Office for free.

Same goes for XP and/or Windows 7. If they ever make it uncrackable, and you have no choice but to pay for it, then I'll spend more time investigating Linux OS like Ubuntu.

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Anonymous Coward

Not free software by any chance?

“In 2008, 41 percent of software on the world’s PCs was obtained illegally or used without a license… That equates to more than $50bn in losses for the global software ecosystem.”

Don't need no stinky license to run Linux

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Linux

huh?!

“make it harder for counterfeiters to defraud consumers by selling inferior, bogus copies of Office”.

let me see.... both are the same, except the pirated copy does _NOT_ require activation (and hence does NOT require an internet connection), but that makes it inferior to the other copy that require activation?! how so?

until updated are released, both the pirated and the original copies are the same!

whoever wish to communicate with me must send me a document I can open, otherwise it is just spam.

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FAIL

Hmmm

"In 2008, 41 percent of software on the world’s PCs was obtained illegally or used without a license… That equates to more than $50bn in losses for the global software ecosystem"

1) Ecosystem? Really?

2) 41%; presumably a figure pulled from thin air?

3) $50bn in losses; see point 2.

I really must disagree with their working out of how much money was 'lost'. I mean, take photoshop, that's a few hundred quid. I would suggest rather a lot of kiddies playing with it can't afford it - if they couldn't crack it, would they buy it? No, they'd use something else. One cracked copy of something does NOT equal the cost of the software 'lost', that's just wrong.

Also, sticking with Photoshop as our example, if everyone who used it paid full price for it, surely Adobe couldn't justify such exorbitant prices any longer? I'm sure plenty of business up the cost of their software to compensate for this 'lost' revenue.

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FAIL

Marketing BS

Does anybody still believe this BS that they keep sprouting. Why is it so difficult to be honest?

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@Geoff :You're damn right citation needed

And not just on the figure, but also the hilarious assumption that there's $500 billion just sitting around in the computer-user-population's collective pockets, and that this money will be spent on the day that software piracy finally becomes too difficult or inconvenient. Because, you know, heaven forfend that those people using the pirated versions would just *not use the software at all* if they can't get dodgy copies. (Or even worse, find a legitimately free-of-charge equivalent app on the net and move over to that instead!)

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Gates Horns

viruses and malfunctioning code

"viruses and malfunctioning code - both of which it claimed dog dodgy copies of its Office suite"

Whereas legitimate versions come without the viruses.

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Silver badge

FUD

"Microsoft once again pointed in the direction of its software's oldest enemies - viruses and malfunctioning code - both of which it claimed dog dodgy copies of its Office suite."

You can smell the bullshit right through your monitor! </Penn_and_Teller>

"Don't need no stinky license to run Linux"

Errr, yes you do. It might be called GPL, but trust me, it's a licence. Or did you think the "L" stood for "llamas"?

Oh, and we're English here. Quit putting the letter "s" where a "c" should be.

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Gold badge

Re: Citation needed

I thought that "....wheeled out figures compiled from a recent study by the Business Software Alliance and research outfit IDC." was fairly self explanatory here.

It's a citation, even if it's citing a source with a vested interest in exaggerating the problem.

Maybe "Credible citation needed" would be better here.

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Bronze badge

errr.. ok

"Microsoft once again pointed in the direction of its software's oldest enemies - viruses and malfunctioning code - both of which it claimed dog dodgy copies of its Office suite".

So the only difference between a legit copy and a dodgy one would be a lack of viruses in the legit copy. Until one starts using Office and it connects to the Internet. I would then imagine all will be equal.

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Stop

No it bloody well doesn't

“In 2008, 41 percent of software on the world’s PCs was obtained illegally or used without a license… That equates to more than $50bn in losses for the global software ecosystem.”

This is the same shit as trotted out by the film and music industries, and by stool pigeons like the BSA.

One "pirated" copy != One lost sale.

In an ideal world it might, but we don't live in an ideal world and its about time that this lie that is trotted out on every news release about piracy is challenged by the press rather than just being reported as the truth.

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Linux

@BeefStirFry

You, sir, are a hypocrite, a thief or both.

If you want to use someone's software you should abide by their terms and conditions or go somewhere else.

Personally, I'd love to see WGA go uncrackable then annoying freetards* would have to pony up for Windows or admit it's not worth the money and work out how to use something else. By running a pirate copy of Windows you're hurting MS a little and open source a lot by effectively telling websites and software companies that you are happy with Windows and its pricing structure.

*in the true sense - Linux users are more like GNUtards or something.

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WTF?

Viruses and malfunctioning code

Viruses were never so prevalent until Microsoft

- made Office with such "powerful" VBA features then backtracked turning it off by default and breaking all my additions

- hid file extensions in Windows

- encouraged people to use computers without thinking, because they "just work"

As for malfunctioning code, you've got that whether or not your Office is legit. Suspect I won't be the only to point that out.

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WTF?

Pirating Microsoft Office is a non-issue...

... as by far most illegal copies can be found on home PC's and small businesses where every buck/pound/euro counts. If they don't use macro's, and i bet 99.99% doesn't, they can all move on to OpenOffice.

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@beefstirfry

"Same goes for XP and/or Windows 7. If they ever make it uncrackable, and you have no choice but to pay for it, then I'll spend more time investigating Linux OS like Ubuntu."

I can't see that happening, i can't even see why Microsoft care so much about windows piracy, it's not like they automatically sell a copy of it with 90% + of all pc's sold!

If it's made uncrackable, people simply just won't upgrade anymore, if many ever did, there may even be more of a stink kicked up about OEM licences being non-transferrable, to give you an idea I have a copy of 95, 98, 2000, an xp home, and xp pro, an XP x64, a vista 32 premium, and a vista 64 premium. The only 2 i've bought are the x64 versions (reasonably cheap), the rest all came "free" with the machines i've had over the years, i'm not exactly spoiled for choice if i don't want to pay for 7!

I'm just amazed that Microsoft don't alter their pricing structure to take account of nearly everyone already owning some version, and elliminate most piracy overnight. I'll not pay £140 for any full windows 7, i'll not pay £60-70 for an upgrade on each machine, but i'm pretty sure i'd shell out £25 a time in an instant to upgrade all of my machines!

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Bronze badge
Pirate

Idiots

I am looking at a perfectly legal, complete with license key, copy of Windows XP Pro... actually, _two_ copies, with two keys, one of them 32-bit, one 64-bit. I got them for a _total_ of US$10. (32-bit XP Pro was available by itself for $7.50. The relative worth of 64-bit XP Pro is left as an exercise for the student.) At the time I was doing some part-time work for a local 'college' (yes, one of those, but they paid well) and XP Pro was available in the bookstore to students and staff, just show the 'college' ID. Office 2003 was $12.50, Vista Business (32-bit only) was $20, and Office 2007 was also $20. In theory it was one copy of each to a customer. In practice, the bookstore guys would only sell you one at a time... unless you showed up with several IDs, in which case you could buy one set per ID. Or you could just come back around the next day and buy a full set again.

If I go up the street to <name of store redacted, but it's a major chain, recently bought up by a large Internet/mail order company to serve as its brick-and-mortar outlet> I can get XP Pro (still!) for $150, so long as I buy a piece of hardware with it. The most popular 'bundle' is a $8 flash drive... and most people promptly return the flash drive. (For some reason there is a dearth of customers lining up to buy Vista. 'Tis a puzzlement.) If I were to buy a motherboard, CPU, power supply, case, and two sticks of RAM along with XP Pro, the 'bundle' price is such that XP Pro is effectively free. (There is no such 'bundle' pricing for Vista. Go figure...) Yes, the store will sell you a build-it-yourself system with XP for exactly the same price that they charge to sell you a build-it-yourself system with Ubuntu... which they'll burn to a disc for you if you want, while you wait. No charge for the disc. And, yes, when you get XP, it arrives in Official Mickeysoft packaging with the Official Mickeysoft hologram and the Official Mickeysoft license key. Activates, passes WGA, no problems whatsoever, it's the Real Thing(tm).

Somehow I doubt that this is the only place in the world where this kind of thing goes on. I suspect that Redmond's numbers are even further out of touch with reality than it might seem at first glance.

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Linux

bad deal

"IF" i paid for software (which i dont as i use Linux), i would like to have a better deal for my money.

The t & c for windows absolves MS for any and all problems that may arise from dodgy code or lack of testing... particularly lost time!

I am currently working on a contract with a large accounting firm, (you know the kind where everyone has a laptop and all desks are 'hot desks'..)

Each morning, i have started up, logged in, opened all my apps for dev (web browser, IDE, database IDE, email, music) and i have done 10 minutes work by the time the people i sit with have outlook open.

10 minutes start up is near an hour per week! That is a major cost to business and if MS want me to pay for their rubbish then i want some rights!!!

Also Open Office is good, but i am still looking for something on linux that is comparable to Visio and Powerpoint, (I hate the later but it is everywhere).

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Not free software by any chance

"Don't need no stinky license to run Linux"

Try:

Don't need to *pay* for no stinky license to run Linux

There I fixed it for you. I am pretty sure Linus, rms et al. would be most disapproving of your claim that no license is needed to run Linux.

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Thumb Up

$50 billion!

Yikes!

Why not just say ONE HUNDRED TRILLION DOLLARS!

It's all bollocks of course, I don't believe that piracy is theft, sure it's a bad deal for the creators but if you really think that one pirated copy is equal to one lost sale then you are very naive.

Like everyone else on the planet, I've pirated loads of stuff, in reality I would probably only have paid for about 1% of it, and in most cases I did. I see piracy mainly as a means to make sure I don't pay for crap.

As stated in other comments, the more Microsoft squeezes its grip on people using it's software, the more people will go to open source alternatives, and that can only be a good thing so I welcome it.

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Bod
Bronze badge

Meh, who cares

Office provided us with the formats for Word and Excel and everyone uses them so you need Office, *but* now we have OpenOffice which does 99.9% of what most people use Word/Excel for and are compatible with the Word/Excel "standards" so there's no need to keep upgrading to the latest MS offering (especially if MS force their XML "standard" documents on you which no one can read unless they buy the latest Office).

As much as I'm happy with Windows, I see no need for MS Office now. OpenOffice does all I need.

So MS really should be far less worried about the pirates and more worried about genuine sales. The approach towards piracy they are taking is akin to RIAA and MPAA who were/are too blinkered to see how the market has changed and still have this misguided view that piracy is the big threat (if you look at music especially, it's likely that Spotify will fairly much kill off music piracy as there's really no need any more now there's a legal service to play whatever you want instantly with a different form of revenue than just asking people to directly cough up money).

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Gold badge

Define "voluntary"?

"Redmond’s VOLUNTARY program"

This is a use of the word "voluntary" I haven't come across yet other than with UK ID cards. Did you look this up on Bing?

I am almost ready with ditching MS altogether (the main challenge is Outlook which %*& mobile phone suppliers appear to consider the centre of the Universe for contact and calendar synchronisation), and one of the primary reasons I'll be glad to get rid of it is WGA. It's bad enough as an OS that you have 15 minutes of no use daily while it boots up and gets its daily dose of anti.virus upgrades (remember when that was weekly?), I really appreciate WGA adding to the risk of losing a full day's work when it fails again as it has done in the past and declares my OS pirated (which it isn't), so every time it tries to install it I rip it out again. Oh, and at the end of the day there (REBOOT NOW?) is the (REBOOT NOW?) MS patch (REBOOT NOW?) process which sho(REBOOT NOW?)uld be in the Guinness Bo(REBOOT NOW?)k of R(REBOOT NOW?)ecords for bei(REBOOT NOW?)ng(REBOOT NOW?) (REBOOT NOW?)the(REBOOT NOW?) most(REBOOT NOW?) &%*

Outlook is the only remaining bit of the Office suite I use, forcibly. The rest is OOo, and I'm happy with that. VERY happy, in fact.

And THAT choice was really voluntary..

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FAIL

One More Reason ...

... to stick with Office 2003. Or even OpenOffice.

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Go

@Dave 8

They're a corporation and it's just their nature. Said the scorpion to the turtle.

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Silver badge

Problems?

Yet another reason to go Open Office.

Fred Flintsone

"Outlook is the only remaining bit of the Office suite I use, forcibly."

Managed to install just Outlook once - but it also required loads of DLLs from Office.

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@anon coward -12:31

"Like everyone else on the planet, I've pirated loads of stuff". Now *that's* bollocks... I haven't. I don't need to, I use Linux. I also buy music CDs and film DVDs. I think the last thing I 'pirated' was the top 40 recorded off the radio (had Annie Nigtingale on afterwards playing The Smiths and The Cure - shows how long ago.)

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FAIL

FAIL

I generally buy my software, so if I buy this I'll be stuck with (yet another) fractious, draconian and probably brain damaged DRM mechanism, whilst those who pirate it will inevitably have the cracked version without any of those annoyances.

In the pre-internet days that cracked version would be hard to find, but now anyone can find warez in a matter of seconds by using any internet search engine.

By adding DRM I can guarantee you're losing at least three sales in this extended household. You may be thinking that's an insignificant speck of users, and you're right, but when many others make the same decision the numbers can quickly mount up.

So, by adding DRM what you're actually doing is adding a significant disincentive to purchase the software. DRM is not only customer hostile, but it's >sales< hostile too.

Many other people ask me for my input as part of their buying decision, and if this comes to pass I'll be steering them away from MSoffice.

The only people you ever stop with DRM protection are a few simple minded home users, most of whom would never buy the software anyway IMO; which means they're a non-market to begin with.

All of this would be irrelevant if MSoffice were the only option, but OpenOffice is free of copy protection, as well as cost, so I'll go there instead. Sure, it doesn't do a few of the useful things from MSoffice, but it does everything I need it to without the DRM.

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Anonymous Coward

What am I worth?

Office 2000, Windows XP, foreseeable future.

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FAIL

Losses, schomosses

" ... That equates to more than $50bn in losses for the global software ecosystem"

It's not an ecosystem, it's an economy.

No wonder this bloke's arguments are full of holes, he can't even tell the difference between a system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms with their environment and the prosperity or earnings of a place.

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liars

Voluntary? I don't recall being given a fucking choice whether or not to use WGA. Lying bastards. But we're used to that I guess, and we keep letting them get away with it.

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Linux

Makes it easier......

To migrate to open office and other tools then. If Office/XP wasn't so easy to pirate the do you think MS would have such a market share ? I think not.

Just watch the user base grow for the alternatives, nice move MS your giving the opposition the best leg up ever

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Pirate

If only the software was a reasonable price....

then people wouldn't need to pirate/crack it. I'd pay £25-30 for Windows, £30-50 for Office Enterprise Edition, and I suspect a lot of people would too. So, if MS actually want to stop people using illegal copies of their software, CUT THE FUCKING PRICE!!!!!

Simples.

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FAIL

Voluntary....

When it comes to Windows or other DRM laden software. I will purchase the neccesary license and then promptly download a cracked version. Works better and I don't have to deal with unreasonable demands to determine my software is genuine. If I had installed the paid-for version: I would be dealing with DRM related issues on a fairly regular basis.... so I must be part of that 50bn they're losing. What? You mean that isn't an accurate number?

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Thumb Down

So you pay, then they take your CPU cycles...

You pay, then the notification code kicks in eating CPU cycles and slowing your machine down and consuming your battery power. Also, I have a (properly licensed) XP on a machine at work, but the CMOS battery was nearly flat, so the date was never right. In that case, you'll get told that XP isn't genuine and are directed to buy a new copy (which would suffer the same problem). It's rubbish!

I do like the way my Mac works - it's all licensed properly anyway, but as far as I know, none of this crap is going on in the background to check.

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Happy

Sticking with Windows XP and Office 2003.

For, like Thad, the forseeable furture...

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IT Angle

No great change since Word 2.0

I helped a partner write a book in Word 2.0 on Windows 3.1. There's little new in Word since then - frames were replaced with text wrapping for images; that's about all I can think of that I'd have noticed going forward.

I read somewhere that the harder a program is to pirate, the less it sells; because less people get to actually use it. (Can't find the article at the moment.) That's perhaps analogous to why some AV companies have free home versions - marketing :)

Since the advent of OGA, I tend to steer customers towards OpenOffice if they can't find their old Office CD when they get a new computer. I used to give them the benefit of the doubt and use my copy; but now it's too risky - even though it's easy to remove OGA.

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Gates Horns

41% of all statistics are made up

see title

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Silver badge

Yarrrrh!

"Of course, piracy puts a dent in Redmond’s pockets too."

Erm, No, No, No and No. First, I think you really mean "copyright infringement", as I don't recall seeing Malaysians or Somalians in speedboats with AK47s busy looting Redmond's wealthy flagship. And this thing you dimwittedly call "piracy" is what actually _fills_ Microsoft's pockets. Yes m'lud. If not for the wide availability of free copies of MSOffice, no-one but a couple corporate fatcats with more money than sense would be using the POS. Most moderately wealthy people who _buy_ office only do it because the wide availability of free "pirated" copies has made is so widespread that it is almost a /de facto/ standard. No-one would bother with such bad and unusable software it it wasn't for that "piracy".

That's why unauthorised use of the legit software is so widespread, with MS doing very little to prevent it: it helps them send more copies in the end. They are just bothered by the idea of someone else making money out of the process (and they might even be genuinely bothered by the bad image that the use of rooted counterfeit software can bring to their OS. After all, making windows unusable is _their_ reserved business...)

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Flame

I get office for "free" on MSDN

And I still use OpenOffice. 'nuff said.

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Bronze badge
Jobs Horns

...and how exactly is Office 2010 better than 2003?

I've used Office 2007 on my laptop for two years, but when it came to installing Office on a new (vista) PC.. I reached for the old Office 2003 CD.. the Office 2003 that I can not buy even if I wanted too.

I eagerly installed Office 2010 to see if it was any better.. but it’s not (you can switch-off the ribbon bar).. there is still no menu. I AM NOT a luddite.. I learned to pee standing up, the interface works for me – menu’s are the same. If they want to introduce a new copyrighted interface that OpenOffice can’t copy.. they should call it something else.. and continue to sell/support the old Office.

WGA is an irrelevance.. most people who need Office apps will pirate the old version if needs be.

..oh and ribbon-bar zealots.. don’t even think of replying using a QWERTY keyboard..

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Anonymous Coward

Amateur

Well, my Office 97 works OK, (and I have the cd) so why would I update it? The Draw function is superior to later editions IME and everyone can read the file format without problems. I have been informed that using the 97 file format is the only way to guarantee a saved file can be read on any other MS edition. Being paranoid, I also refuse to let MS update/infiltrate my system, I'll live with the risks.

For any new boxes, I use Linux and OO. Pay MS more money, you must be joking! The BSOD problems have put me off MS for any new computer, it doesn't seem to happen on our Linux boxes. MS may be simply recycling old software under new labels, this cannot continue to work indefinitely. The grandchildrens secondary school has gone over to Ubuntu and OO. They are saving a fortune in both licencing and support costs. It is also training a new generation in an alternative OS. Our other UK based familial users are Apple addicts, so there's another set of customers gone. The combination of a poor product, excessive overheads and high prices is historically shown to be relatively short lived, think British Leyland (and Chrysler/GM to follow suit )! The MS writing is on the wall. The newest family netbook is running Hackintosh, I understand, as XP used up too many resources. The old one is using Ubuntu with no problems so far.

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Which 41 countries?

Which are the 13 extra countries they are including in the programme? And how are they going to cope with countries where there are no landline Internet connections outside the big towns?

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Go

@Dave 8

A turtle is ferrying animals across a river so they can escape a forest fire. The scorpion repeatedly asks to be taken but the turtle refuses. Finally all the animals are across except the scorpion who pleads his case one last time. He convinces the turtle by telling him that it would be foolish for a scorpion to sting him because then he would die as well. About halfway across the river, the scorpion indeed does sting the turtle. The turtle, dying, asks why since now they would both die. The scorpion responds, "Because it is my nature".

They can't help it Dave 8 ... it is their nature

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Gates Halo

wow

wow I didn't realize people were still scared of WGA. You guys are a bunch of uneducated crybabies, software piracy is a real problem; And I'm going to guess that _ANYONE_ scared of WGA is running pirated software.

Shame on you thieves!

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Still using Office 2000

I didn't see much reason to upgrade from Office 2000. Now, even less so. I think I'll still be using 2000 until I'm forced to upgrade to a version of Windows that doesn't support it. And even then, I'll continue to run it on a VM if I can.

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Alert

You're hurting Microsoft when you pirate <MS product>

Ummmmmmmmm no. You're really not.

Every unauthorized copy of Windows et al. that is running is one less copy of Linux et al. This means exposure, market penetration, acceptance. Microsoft isn't paying for these copies. They aren't directly making money, either, but if Windows were impossible to copy then chances are most of the people currently using illicit copies would find something else. If enough people get used to Something Else, Microsoft will start to lose market share. This "each pirated copy represents a lost sale and therefore the world owes us 74 quadrillion dollars" is utter balderdash.

Microsoft would rather you ran an unlicensed copy of one of their products than a free anything else. Period. All this WGA stuff is noise and smoke so they can claim they're trying to protect themselves. If they ever make it uncrackable they'll be shooting themselves in the foot, slitting their own throat, and cutting their nose off despite their face all at the same time. And any other self-destructive cliches you can think of. And if I'm wrong, well then Microsoft is a lot stupider than I think they are.

@Greg J Preece

"Oh, and we're English here. Quit putting the letter "s" where a "c" should be."

Ummmmmmmm. "We" are not English. "We" are from various places. One of those places is England. I personally grew up in Pennsylvania, which you may know is in the USA. Over here, for better or worse, we spell "license" with an S. Sorry if that offends you, but it certainly wasn't my doing. If multi-culturalism bothers you perhaps you could find a forum that only accepts native Brits. There you'll be safe and warm from people who Don't Do Things The Same Way You Do.

We drive on the wrong side of the road, eat with our fork in the wrong hand, and have funny names for things like "trash can" instead of "dust bin". (It's amazing we manage to survive.) I wouldn't consider our spelling idiosyncrasies to be our greatest flaw.

Cope.

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Clippy or OGA?

Can't quite decide which is/was worse. :-)

Ah, well, no worries. I look forward to an increased uptake of OpenOffice in 2010.

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Happy

@Jeffrey Nonken

Yeah, and your date system is crap as well.... Month, then Day, then Year??? Talk about complete illogic.

Anyway, back to topic, this is fantastic news. I cant wait for the day when MS finally make their OS and Office uncrackable or finally stop all piracy. Then all my colleagues at work will join me in Linux Paradise.

As I walk through the valley of the shadow of Microsoft

I take a look at my life

And realize there's nothing left.

'Cause I've been coding in .NET and laughing so long

That even my momma thinks that my mind has gone.

But I ain't never crossed a man that didn't deserve it.

Me be treated like a punk, you know that's unheard of.

You betta watch how ya twittering

And where ya surfing

Or you and your homies might be hit with a virus.

I really hate to switch but I gotta go,

As MS croak, I see myself in the GPL smoke.

Fool, I'm the kinda guy that little homie's wanna be like,

On my knees in the night

Surfing for porn in the open source night.

[Chorus]

We've been spending most our lives

Living in a Linux paradise.

We've been spending most our lives

Living in a Linux paradise.

We keep spending most our lives

Living in a Linux paradise.

We keep spending most our lives

Living in a Linux paradise.

Look at the situation, they got me facing,

I can't live a normal life, I was raised by Microsoft.

So I gotta be down with the 'hood team,

Too much reading spam, got me chasing dreams.

I'm an educated fool with money on my mind

Got my weenie in my hand and a gleam in my eye.

I'm a locked out of Windows user, WGA hater.

And my ISP is down so don't arouse my anger.

Fool, Linux ain't nothing but a heart beat away,

I'm living life do or die, what can I say?

I'm using Fedora 23 now, will I ever live to see twenty-four,

The way things is going I don't know.

Power in the money, money in the power,

Minute after minute, hour after hour,

Everybody's compiling, but half of them ain't looking

It's going on in the Mandriva cooker

But I don't know what's cooking.

They say I gotta learn

That the forums are here to teach me.

If Ubuntu users can't understand it, how can they reach me?

I guess they can't,

I guess they won't,

I guess they front,

That's why I know my life is out of luck, fool!

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Happy

Open Office

I've got all my family, friends and in-laws using this at home. It doesn't take long for them to go Open Office when I tell them.

"It's the same as office but free and it opens office documents"

That's all it takes.

Everyone do the same and we would be talking about a huge chunk of the home user market.

Someone with access to an email marketing list start off a viral email campaign or something.

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Unhappy

WGA

Well I do not like to have spyware on my machine, I do not run unlicensed software, and yet, I have to have this spyware installed, if I wish to upgrade, and add in security patches.

Actually I used Linux for everything i can, and only run windows when I play computer games, because all producers are soo ruddy insistent on using .NET applications for patching, which is the only thing that does not work directly under wine.

MS Promises that they do not send personal data out on the net, but you ONLY have their word for that, in principle WGA is no different from all the other pieces of spyware that hackers try to install on your machine, apart from the fact it is installed with administrative privileges on the system - or could be.

It is also possible to piggyback things onto WGA, as it is possible for it to have full administrator rights, we just need to have someone figure out a way of piggybacking something nasty onto it, and you gain full access to every windows machine in the world. As the code is proprietory, and has to be reverse engineered, to see what it *really* does, it is not inconceivable that something can be snuk in on all windows machines, as and when it's desired, possibly already is.

Automatic updates are actually the same kind of risk, as it's like having the fox guarding the chicken coup, while it's to the foxes advantage, he'll do the right thing, but when the chickens become more interesting,and the advantage for doing the right thing goes away, well, roast chicken anyone ?

I prefer the open source for that particular reason, as if I become suspecious about anything I can examine it, and there are lots of people out there curious enough to investigate things, and it would be rapported quickly if there were intentionally hidden backdoors.

Though to be honest I'd like to find a way to run users and applications in virtualised sandboxes, so that their actions are more controllable. Which is why I find wine very interesting.

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