back to article Microsoft tightens grip on OEM Windows 8 licensing

A series of slides leaked online reveal information about Microsoft's new OEM Activation process for Windows 8, which is designed to make it more difficult to activate illegal copies of Redmond's latest OS. OEM Activation (OA) allows PC manufacturers to ship systems with Windows preinstalled and already activated, so that …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. LarsG
    Meh

    Eventually, where there is a way there is a means......

    1. thomasch

      Agree. Though a bit out of context with the article  but will still state... Have used Win since 3.11 and also Linux for  15+ yrs since the days those kernels were  hand rolled. Did chk up on Win 8 Beta & RC and am afraid it's going to be a huge disappointment for MS and it's loyal fans and other corporate/ business users .

      Ubuntu, Fedora with latest KDE Plasma desktop challenges Win 8 on most desktop OS attributes even on the eye candy  front. With most business apps moving to the cloud ( incl MS Off) and oth popular commercial apps vendors ensuring a port on Linux/*Lion,  the relevance of an expensive desktop OS will eventually fade away.. If MS does not discount Win8 like Apple did with Mountain lion (eg. US$20 license for  10 devices ) recently, then it will be soon goodbye Windows OS..( PS: lots of hackintosh users easily run Lion OS on Generic x86 systems - get one possible future scenario ?).

      As many readers commented here,  this delusion with exotic licensing will not enthuse the current community nor will be hackproof for long....

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. kb
      FAIL

      But will they want to?

      WinVista frankly wasn't pirated much either...because nobody wanted it. Whether MS likes it or not its the pirate versions that teach all the fixit guys who then turn around and support their software. Talking to most of the little shop guys in my area they are figuring the same thing I'm figuring, that the only "support" they'll be giving win 8 is to wipe it off for Win 7, just as they did Vista for XP.

      Remember that Win 7 is supported until 2020, has been hacked for years and passes WGA, and doesn't have that "LOL I iz a cell phone LOL!" Metrosexual UI so why would the pirates bother? Hell why would the public bother if they aren't buying a tablet or smartphone? MSFT can make as many flaming hoops as they want, remember Vista had a "black screen of death" antipiracy crap built in for a long while, didn't make either the pirates nor the public want the thing.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SLAs anyone

    I wonder what the penalty clause for oeminstall.microsoft.com outages is?

  3. James O'Brien
    Black Helicopters

    I cant blame them

    As much as I hate M$ (granted I hate crApple more) I will give them this....

    They have a reason to be paid for their work. They deserve to be paid for their work regardless how shitty it may be. I may pirate something be it music or a game or whatever but I will PURCHASE it if I like it. I would rather not spend my dosh on something I am going to regret if I can avoid it. Read of that what you will...

    Black helis since im pretty sure he RIA/MPAAss are probably looking for me now.

    If I dont post here again Ill miss you guys and tell my mom I love her.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I cant blame them

      Interesting reverse form of astro turfing. FAIL..

    2. Christian Berger Silver badge

      Well you are overlooking something

      Most people don't want Windows, but are forced into buying an OEM version of it with their hardware. A large percentage of OEM installs get wiped before even booting once.

      What would be the way fairer solution is to ask the customer to pay for the license upon activation. So those customers who want Microsoft's products can do so without bothering the rest.

      1. EvanPyle
        Trollface

        Re: Well you are overlooking something

        Yeah, I am sure the 4.5 (people, not percent) that get rid of OEM and install Linux are really displeased about having to pay for it. Everyone else is really happy that their laptop does have an operating system on it.

        1. RegGuy1

          Re: Well you are overlooking something

          Hey, I don't care if I'm the one (person, percent or just The One) but I haven't used Windows for years. And given that bash is so damned useful I can't ever see me *wanting* to use it.

          What really pisses me off is the fact that Microsoft are trying to make the UEFI boot process impossible to Linux users -- ostensibly so you can have a virus free Windows install (now there's an oxymoron). If I pay for a piece of hardware I expect -- ney demand -- that I can put on what I want, not what some two-bit multinational says I can use.

          So even if it is everyone else in the whole world, sod off and let me do what I want with *my* hardware.

          Gits.

          1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

            Re: Well you are overlooking something

            @RegGuy1

            "What really pisses me off is the fact that Microsoft are trying to make the UEFI boot process impossible to Linux users "

            Here's Fedora's take on that.

            1. h4rm0ny

              Re: Well you are overlooking something

              What Fedora are doing is actually a good thing, imo. The registration fee for a new key is trivial (US$99). What is significant is changing the kernel so that only signed modules can be run. That significantly increases security. Secure Boot makes Linux more secure just as it does Windows and for the same reasons. I expect to see Ubuntu follow suit sooner or later. I would actually prefer that they do it sooner as it makes everything more secure.

              1. Vic

                Re: Well you are overlooking something

                > Secure Boot makes Linux more secure just as it does Windows and for the same reasons

                No, "Secure Boot" makes no difference to LInux security, just as it makes no difference to Windows security. And for the same reasons.

                It's all security theatre. Sadly, Fedora has been pushed into playing that game.

                Vic.

                1. h4rm0ny

                  Re: Well you are overlooking something

                  "No, "Secure Boot" makes no difference to LInux security, just as it makes no difference to Windows security. And for the same reasons."

                  There are actual attacks now found in the wild in which malware attempts to subvert the boot process. By attacking at this level before other secuity measures kick in, a machine can be compromised. Security software that runs at the OS level can't stop something that kicks in during the boot process, which is why Secure Boot is introduced because it can. Ubuntu are also implementing this, though they are going to route of making their own key.

                  I'm sure you understand the aim of Secure Boot and what it does, so why do you say that it makes no difference? I am interested.

                2. RICHTO Silver badge
                  Mushroom

                  Re: Well you are overlooking something

                  Yes, its about time Linux caught up with Windows for security. Windows has actaully had fewer security vulnerabilites that were on average fixed faster than the 2 major enterprise Linux distributions every year since 2003....2002 being the year that Bill Gates set security as Microsoft's #1 priority.

              2. Goat Jam
                FAIL

                Re: Well you are overlooking something

                "What Fedora are doing is actually a good thing, imo. The registration fee for a new key is trivial (US$99)."

                If you think using a MS server to validate your Linux key is a good thing then you do not understand Linux at all.

                1. h4rm0ny

                  Re: Well you are overlooking something

                  "If you think using a MS server to validate your Linux key is a good thing then you do not understand Linux at all."

                  Thanks, but I've been using Linux for a long time (at least since 1997 as I remember installing SuSE Linux 4.4). There is nothing to stop Fedora, Ubuntu or a group of Linux distributions together, managing their own key. In fact, Red Hat looked into exactly that. But they found that it would cost millions to manage the infrastructure, keep an eye on what the different parties that wanted to submit things were asking them to sign, etc. So they decided to just buy a key from Microsoft because it was cheaper. There's no inherent difference in getting the key from MS. It doesn't give MS some kind of control over Linux. No more than if I buy a digital certificate from Verisign instead of setting up and promoting my own CA gives Verisign control of me. If I ever wanted to, I could go back to doing it myself or get one from someone else.

                  You say I don't "understand Linux". With respect, I've been using and programming on Linux for well over a decade long before all these pre-compiled distros were flying around. With respect, I think it's you who do not understand what signing the OS means. It's a good thing. If Fedora's distro cannot load unsigned code, that is inherently more secure than if it can. That's what the secure boot process is all about and why it exists.

          2. Chemist

            Re: Well you are overlooking something

            "Hey, I don't care if I'm the one"

            You're not ! - maybe we should have a Reg poll about OS use - has there been one ?

          3. RICHTO Silver badge
            Mushroom

            Re: Well you are overlooking something

            Powershell 2 is a lot more powerful and flexible than Bash if that is your reason for using Linux.

            Microsoft actually require OEMs to ensure that you must be able to disable signed bootloader, if you choose to run a less secure OS.

        2. Avatar of They Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          Re: Well you are overlooking something

          You miss the point. Our company has around 500 machines, about 200 came shipped with windows 7 and the rest Vista.

          We flatline all on delivery and install XP from an image. None of them have an activation of Vista or Windows 7 against them and OEM waste their time bothering. We just don't support the OS because of legacy systems, nothing to do with Linux.

          4.5, lol, that is just the number of machine I have. So what about all the other users out there?

      2. phlashbios
        WTF?

        Re: Well you are overlooking something

        What do you mean "most people don't want Windows..." ?

        And where you get the idea that "a large percentage of OEM installs get wiped before even booting once" is just bizarre, and is a fiction derived in your own mind.

        I think you will find that most people DO want Windows, and don't want anything else, regardless of how unpalateable you may find that fact. Also it will be a tiny percentage that will wipe an OEM install, not a large percentage.

        I am not sure how you have arrived at your views of what people buy and then what they do with their installations of Windows, but your views are patently at odds with the amount of Windows PC's at use in the office and at home. You would like reality and the facts to match the way you think it is, but they clearly do not.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Well you are overlooking something

          Corporate installs?

          We have our own images and buy our own licences, and I don't think we are alone in that.

          Yet Dell still ship the machines with Windows pre-installed. Hoping that they don't actually end up double licensed by some magic or other, but as that isn't directly my problem I don't pay much attention.

          Remember that home use remains a small proportion of PC sales.

        2. TimeMaster T
          Meh

          Re: Well you are overlooking something

          "I think you will find that most people DO want a laptop that works out of the box"

          FTFY

          People don't care what OS their hardware comes with, They just want it to work the way they expect it to.

          Any installed OS that is correctly installed and configured will meet over 85% of the general populations needs.

          The rest buy the hardware to meet a need, graphic design, games, engineering, server, etc., etc., and will of course want an OS that will let them do that.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: *Many* People Don't Want Windows

        Unfortunately (that's a point of view) most people do want Windows. In fact, to most people, it is synonymous with "PC."

        That is how they got to be where they are today. Highly successful marketing to the masses was what made it happen in the first place. Highly aggressive business techniques, such as the "relationships" established with hardware suppliers ensured that it went on happening, and continue to maintain its monopoly position today.

        1. Dave 150
          Facepalm

          Re: *Many* People Don't Want Windows

          *Many* people don't have a clue what's on their PC, they are just happy when it works and clueless when it doesn't

      4. Wile E. Veteran
        Devil

        Re: Well you are overlooking something

        In truth, most people (90+%) dont't give a red rat's ass what OS the laptop/tablet/whatever they are about to buy has. Only a few hobbyists and techies do. Indeed, most don't even know whan an OS is.

        People buy computers to perform some particular task or set of tasks. If a particular computer accomplishes that well, that's the one they buy. Technical arughuments fall on deaf ears because they don't understand or, even if they do, don't care.

        As far as the "Microsoft tax" goes, most people don't care about that, either. If a particular laptop costs $XXX(X) then that's how much it costs. What individual components (including the OS) cost is of no concern at all, just whether or not the end price fits within what they are willing to pay. Do you care what the software that runs the engine-control computer in your car costs? Do you care what software your digital camera uses or do you only care how well it takes pictures under your picture-taking conditions? Do you care which RTOS (if any) the manufacturer of your refrigerator, washer, dryer, heating and air-conditionong unit or other appliance with an embedded controller chose or do you just care if the appliance works?

        To most people, a computer is an appliance, no more.

        For the fanbois and linuxtards, I did wipe Windows and install Xubuntu. On the other hand, I am a techie and the tasks I wish to run happen to run much better under *nix/*nux than their Windows or OSX ports. Most people I know, however, are a different story.

        I've been a user, developer, BOFH, DBA and lover of Unix and Unix-like systems all the way back to Bell Labs Version 7 Wrote a couple of purpose-specific RTOSs, too.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 90+% dont't give a red rat's ass

          No. They do. If they don't, then their children, or their spouse does. Even the percentage who won't even recognise that it isn't Windows will soon be wanting to know how to open their Word documents, or Excel spreadsheets ...or play their Windows games.

          There is a generation of IT Managers that believes that they put Windows machines on the desktops. As far as I can make out from the ones that I have met, their egos are incapable of believing that it was not their decision --- but it wasn't. It was demand from the people who sit at those desktops. It was Microsoft that created that demand. Like pharma companies, in countries where direct advertising is permitted, make sure that people go to their doctors and ask for drugs by name, people demanded PCs and Windows. Unless they only use one, custom dedicated system in their job, imagine sitting someone in front of a dumb terminal today! [Can one even buy dumb terminals still? Not from Wyse, I don't think...]

          Just an appliance? You mean like a car is just a car?

          Another matter all together is that when people sit in front of Firefox, on my PC, it can take them a while to find out that they are not using a Windows machine! Usually, broadband engineers get foxed by the different behaviour of ping, and no ipconfig --- but until they get to that level, it all goes to show that my Gnome 2 desktop is far from mind-numbingly unfamiliar or difficult to a Windows user. And I'm sure we can rely on Mr Shuttleworth to come up with something as awful as Metro!

          1. James Loughner
            Unhappy

            Re: 90+% dont't give a red rat's ass

            Exactly how is one to recognize it is Windows when the boot up the OS formally known as Metro???

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Devil

              Re: how is one to recognize it is Windows

              Ironically, that's sort-of why I moved to Ubuntu 10.04!

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well you are overlooking something

        "most people"? err I think you're very wrong on that.

      6. blondie101
        Meh

        Re: Well you are overlooking something

        Big companies tend to put their own image of OS on a machine instead of the preinstalled OEM version. Wonder how this new scheme is goiing to affect the bih companies.

        1. Matthew 25

          Re: Well you are overlooking something

          That's not strictly true. Big companies have enough purchasing power to tell the OEM not to install / charge for an OS at all.

      7. David 138

        Re: Well you are overlooking something

        OEMs like Dell offer non OS versions i believe.

        And i would imagine about 99.9% of people want windows installed. however at lease 99.9% of people buying Windows 8 will want to remove it.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If I dont post here again Ill miss you guys and tell my mom I love her.

      Well, she'll finally be able to clean the basement!

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I cant blame them

      What Microsoft deserves is to die. It's not a company. It's a protection racket. I was thinking a long, painful agony but on second thought I'd prefer something quick and irreversible.

  4. Steve Evans

    Ah-ha!

    At last, the *real* reason Microsoft were making such a fuss about needing the new improved BIOS.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So...

    "manufacturers will be required to write a unique Windows product key into the BIOS of each new PC, keyed to that particular computer's hardware."

    Does this mean that any minor changes to the hardware, even more than now, will completely stop your version of windows working? If I change my hardware on my OEM box I can get a new activation key from MS. If there is a key in the "BIOS" (which I thought was being done away with) which is keyed to the hardware config then how does that get updated?

    1. phlashbios
      Stop

      Re: So...

      Depending on how much hardware you change in a current installation of Windows, you may need to get a new key from MS. I would suggest that this situation will continue with the new methodology they describe too.

      I have had to get a new key from MS before now, when re-building a PC with different hardware. The worst that I can say about the experience is that it was inconvenient as opposed to a show stopper.

      It's worth noting that OEM versions of Windows are only licenced for the hardware they were sold with. If you want to build a new PC and re-use the licence, then you can't. You need a retail copy of Windows to be able to transfer the licence to a new PC.

    2. Syren Baran
      Thumb Down

      Re: So...

      "Does this mean that any minor changes to the hardware, even more than now, will completely stop your version of windows working?"

      Fijutsu-Siemens used to do the same locking down already with Windows XP.

      The windows serial key was tied to their mainboards. In other words, if the mainboard broke down you needed a new windows license, also no way to activate the key on any different box. Sounds very similiar, i assume it´s a move to screw the used-license market.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I think you are confused? Or I am.

        OEM versions of Windows are tied to the machines with which they are supplied. If your licence is an authentication sticker in the machine, then that machine is the only machine you are licensed to use its supplied copy of Windows on. However, re-authentication (for XP, at least: my MS experience stopped there), even for a new motherboard, was a routine affair.

        I'm sure MS would love to have you buy a new copy of Windows every time the motherboard battery gets changed --- but there are some things that even they can't swing. Well, yet, at least...

    3. Neil McAllister

      Re: So...

      I've had to re-activate Windows when I changed my hardware a few times. Once I had to do it on my mum's computer when I didn't change anything -- no explanation. In all cases, though, it was easy. They used to have you talk to a call center in India. The last time I read my key codes to a computer. In no case did it take five minutes.

  6. Khaptain Silver badge
    Pirate

    Its all a spoof

    Lets see now: Wireshark, ProcMon and Filemon and a lot of patience, on a valid unauthenticated machine, go thru validation process and determine appropriate files, communications, changes etc. Its even easier when virtual machines can be reset. ( Please don't even try to suggest that a process will not be written that can extract the unique serial number form OEM machines)

    Scribble, scribble, tap tap, compile my friend compile, et voila, a dummy DLL, quick edit on "hosts" and Bobs your Aunty. OK, everything works but except for being able to update this "special" version of Windows.

    Isn't that about the sum of what has been happening for the last 10 years.

    Microsoft has a definite advantage by creating a system that can be quickly overturned, a pirate running windows is better than a pirate running Mac/Linux user after all.

    PS : I also agree that MS should get paid but they should also produce software at a reasonable price. They would still make a profit at 50% of the current price.

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: Its all a spoof

      The problem with altering/replacing any files involved with licensing, is that the files are going to be cryptographicialy signed. No valid signature, no running of Windoze. And what's the bet that the licensing is going to be in the kernel...?

      1. Khaptain Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Its all a spoof

        @Mouse

        Microsoft have excellent programmers and engineers working for them. They have had the ability make their system extremely difficult to crack many years but they chose not to.

        MS having been writing kernels for more than 20 years do you really imagine for a moment that they dont know what they are doing.......

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Trollface

          Re: Microsoft have excellent programmers and engineers working for them.

          Really? They do?

          Petty they don't use them for programming and engineering...

      2. RICHTO Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Its all a spoof

        Licensing is unlikely to be in the kernel. This would break the hybrid microkernel architecture that is one of the main kernel design advantages of Windows.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Its all a spoof

      Well maybe, but I doubt it especially with all the important files being signed these days.

      To be honest, whilst it might be possible, its getting to the point where its just not worth the hassle. Even if you were to be able to get a running copy of windows, you still need to jump through hoops every time you want to install some other microsoft program, or install a critical security update.

      Its getting to the point of being crunch time, if you want to use windows on a PC, pay up, otherwise use linux. Or just dont use a PC anymore....

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And if I don't want Windows?

    Will I be able to demand my money back or will I be forced to pay the Windows tax?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_refund

    1. George 24
      Happy

      Re: And if I don't want Windows?

      Same as if you buy a Mac with intent to run another OS on it....

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: And if I don't want Windows?

      You wont get a computer. I've found with laptops you cant get a refund on windows - they will take the whole machine back and refund you but you CANT have it without windows.

      1. Blitterbug
        Happy

        Re: And if I don't want Windows?

        Um - Shirley an uber-cool Linux beardy wouldn't be seen dead *buying* a PC on which to run the holy of holies? What happened to the DIY mentality? Still the cheapest way to a powerful rig IME.

        1. Dana W
          Meh

          Re: And if I don't want Windows?

          Ever try and BUILD a laptop? :/

          DIY is great for a desktop. But these days most people want a laptop. If you look at sales, that's where the market growth is.

          1. Blitterbug
            Unhappy

            Re: But these days most people want a laptop

            ...Not sure if that's true.

            Don't get me wrong, I treated meself to a nice new laptop a couple of months back - but it was mainly for on-the-go work, certainly would never use it as a main rig. The price was right & I needed a 2nd machine, but my main PC will *always* be a desktop for obvious reasons which include raw power w/out overheating, plus room for 4 HDDs (currently have around 3TB online, this could go up to 8 or more now we have 2TB & 3TB units).

            I repair too many overheated laptops to ever rely on one as a primary PC!

            1. Mephistro Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: But these days most people want a laptop (@Blitterbug)

              "I repair too many overheated laptops to ever rely on one as a primary PC!"

              Hear! Hear!

              I'd also add the worse ergonomics, and the higher price of laptops' parts.

            2. Vic

              Re: But these days most people want a laptop

              > I repair too many overheated laptops to ever rely on one as a primary PC!

              Overheated laptops are great.

              The problem is keeping me in modern-ish kit recently :-)

              Vic.

        2. Vic

          Re: And if I don't want Windows?

          > What happened to the DIY mentality? Still the cheapest way to a powerful rig IME.

          It goes through phases; quite often, it's cheaper to buy a built-up machine than to buy the same components from the same supplier.

          And if you're charging for time, or putting the machine somewhere it needs to be warranted, building it yourself just isn't an option.

          Vic.

          1. Blitterbug
            Happy

            Re: building it yourself just isn't an option.

            Vic, you have a point but we're talking about Linux here and how MS are going to lock non-MS OSes out on shop-bought PCs, so I reckon full DIY will suddenly become rather attractive!

            1. h4rm0ny

              Re: building it yourself just isn't an option.

              "Vic, you have a point but we're talking about Linux here and how MS are going to lock non-MS OSes out on shop-bought PCs, so I reckon full DIY will suddenly become rather attractive!"

              You know, I keep seeing you posting the above and I keep posting polite corrections. I have to start wondering why you prefer to keep repeating the false information when you must know it's not correct. PCs - i.e. x86 computers are not "locked", you can install a non-MS software on them just as you always could. It's part of the requirements to get the Windows 8 certification that a physically present user be able to disable this. ARM devices that WindowsRT will run on are not "PCs" any more than an iPad is a PC.

              So direct question to you because I recognize your username - why are you knowingly posting incorrect information when it's been pointed out to you as wrong multiple times. How do you rationalize dishonesty? Do you think that you are spreading misinformation in a "good cause" some how?

              1. Vic

                Re: building it yourself just isn't an option.

                > It's part of the requirements to get the Windows 8 certification that a physically

                > present user be able to disable this

                That's my understanding too - but I just tried to find a statement to that effect on Microsoft's web site. I failed...

                Got any current links?

                Vic.

                1. h4rm0ny

                  Re: building it yourself just isn't an option.

                  "That's my understanding too - but I just tried to find a statement to that effect on Microsoft's web site. I failed... Got any current links?"

                  I actually do, because someone asked for actual links on this site before. I've highlighted the relevant parts.

                  You can find the MS hardware certification requirements on their website. Here is a link to the PDF of them: MS Hardware Certification Requirements

                  I'm just going to copy and paste this from the last time I was asked to back up my statement (though why people are so keen to tell others that PCs are locked down, I have no idea):

                  "If you skip down to the section on UEFISecureBoot (begins on page 118) it is covered in this section. As per usual, when you actually get into the detail it's more complicated, but the summary version that it is a requirement to be able to disable secure Boot on x86 is correct. Relevant passages below:

                  "17. Mandatory. On non-ARM systems, the platform MUST implement the ability for a physically present user to select between two Secure Boot modes in firmware setup: "Custom" and "Standard". Custom Mode allows for more flexibility as specified in the following:

                  a. It shall be possible for a physically present user to use the Custom Mode firmware setup option to modify the contents of the Secure Boot signature databases and the PK. This may be implemented by simply providing the option to clear all Secure Boot databases (PK, KEK, db, dbx), which puts the system into setup mode.

                  b. If the user ends up deleting the PK then, upon exiting the Custom Mode firmware setup, the system is operating in Setup Mode with SecureBoot turned off.

                  c. The firmware setup shall indicate if Secure Boot is turned on, and if it is operated in Standard or Custom Mode. The firmware setup must provide an option to return from Custom to Standard Mode which restores the factory defaults.On an ARM system, it is forbidden to enable Custom Mode. Only Standard Mode may be enabled.

                  18. Mandatory. Enable/Disable Secure Boot. On non-ARM systems, it is required to implement the ability to disable Secure Boot via firmware setup. A physically present user must be allowed to disable Secure Boot via firmware setup without possession of PKpriv. A Windows Server may also disable Secure Boot remotely using a strongly authenticated (preferably public-key based) out-of-band management connection, such as to a baseboard management controller or service processor. Programmatic disabling of Secure Boot either during Boot Services or after exiting EFI Boot Services MUST NOT be possible. Disabling Secure Boot must not be possible on ARM systems."

                  1. Vic

                    Re: building it yourself just isn't an option.

                    That's what I failed to find. Thanks.

                    Vic.

              2. Blitterbug
                Unhappy

                Re: You know, I keep seeing you posting the above...

                I beg your pardon??

                I read then re-read your post several times and am still at an utter loss to know what you are referring to. 'Knowingly posting incorrect information'...'how do I rationalize dishonesty...'

                As I am a huge fan of MS and a long-time coder in VS, and a defender-to-the-hilt of MS against nearly every anti-microsoft comment I find here, I am just flabberghasted. The only *two* things I dislike about them, and have commented - pretty extensively about - on this forum is Metro and (here for the very first time) the 'alleged' (better?) lockout of non-MS OSes from shop-bought Win 8 PCs.

                I've also seen your username many times. I've read all your posts with interest, and replied to some in (what I hope) was a polite fashion. But it would never occur to me to accuse you - or any other poster, even rampantly nutty ones - of dishonesty.

                I can honestly (!) say that I have never read anything quite like your post, and coming from someone whom I had assumed was a fellow Microsoft admirer, albeit one who takes a different view on some of their recent policies, just makes it all the more incredible.

                1. h4rm0ny
                  Pint

                  Re: You know, I keep seeing you posting the above...

                  I'm really sorry. I may have made a mistake with your username. I have repeatedly read from posters here that you wont be able to install Linux on PCs that Windows 8 comes on. I must have posted polite corrections on that at least five, maybe six times now. And yet, people still keep posting this. I've even linked to the actual hardware requirements and highlighted the relevant parts, but the factoid seems to popular to kill.

                  I saw your post, I recognized your username and thought you were the same person who I had politely corrected last time. At which point I went and lost the polite part.

                  I'm really sorry. Based on your reaction, I must have misremembered the username. I apologise unreservedly. Even if I'd got the right user, my tone would have been out of character for me. You called me a "fellow Microsoft admirer" - ironically I actually spend more time on Linux than I do Windows (though increasingly via a VM). But the endless biased bashing of what I see as really good moves and work by MS has really done my head in. This place gets more like Slashdot every day. Different tastes are one thing, but actual factual errors that are easily checked are being trotted out repeatedly to bash MS and I just can't see how people can rationalise that to themselves. I saw your post and thought you were someone else (they'd previously asked me for proof about Secure Boot which I'd provided via the actual hardware requirements document) and flipped.

                  As I say, even if I'd got the right person, I should have stepped away from the computer first.

                  Beer, because I owe you one. Sorry. :(

      2. Gnomalarta
        Stop

        Re: And if I don't want Windows?

        Surely Novatech (http://www.novatech.co.uk/) can't be the only company in the UK selling decent laptops and boxes sans Windows.

  8. PM.
    FAIL

    Another stab in the back of WIndows 8

    As if it hadn't tough life already ...

  9. Kwac
    Stop

    Are you watching, Neelie Kroes?

    Lenovo ordered to pay €1920 for making French laptop buyer pay for Windows too

    The court based its judgment on a European Union directive, which campaigners hope will make the ruling applicable elsewhere.

    07 February, 2012

    http://www.techworld.com.au/article/414500/lenovo_ordered_pay_1920_making_french_laptop_buyer_pay_windows_too/

    1. George 24

      Re: Are you watching, Neelie Kroes?

      Lets hope all manufacturers, including Apple, will be subjected to the same standards. It will widen consumers choices.

  10. Tezfair
    FAIL

    Mobos

    Lets hope that no ones motherboards die, or suffer like Dell did with their popping capacitors.

    Does a replacement board demand a new key? If its so easy to change the key in the bios then it makes a mockery of doing this in the first, or do we now have the ship the pc back to the manufacturer for replacement?

    I can see a class action forcing this to be dropped.

    1. kain preacher Silver badge

      Re: Mobos

      When you replace an HP MB you flash it with the serial and byte code on the case. I imagine it will be the same.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Testing the water for what is to come

    If what I've read about Project Midori is correct in some future version of Windows (I'm betting 9) your Windows image will stream from a server in an MS data centre and your hard drive will just be a temporary cache for the features you've used that session and your files with maybe a small microlernel to manage the remote boot process (we had shitty diskless workstations when I was at school)

    This is nothing less than the hated Palladium http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Next-Generation_Secure_Computing_Base technology back from the dead but as everyone is obsessed by tablets MS is slipping it in via the back door.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Compromised keys?

    I wonder what happens when a few thousand compromised product keys from top tier manufacturers are leaked (for example, with the help of a virus that sniffs for such keys, or direct from the manufacturers themselves)?

    Will Microsoft be able to blacklist the keys without any risk of shutting down the legitimately authorised systems from which the keys came? If not, then it's no different than the deeply flawed Windows 7 activation method, just more granular.

    With Windows 7, Microsoft went to great lengths to make it difficult to illegally activate the OS, but in fact all they achieved was to make it piss-takingly simple, and impossible for Microsoft to blacklist illegally activated systems.

    Maybe they've learned their lessons from Windows 7, but probably not - I suspect the Windows 8 product activation will be blown wide open within weeks if not months. Not that I'm interested in legal or illegal versions of Windows 8 as I won't be installing it - as far as I'm concerned Windows has now jumped the shark.

    1. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Compromised keys?

      The keys are tied to the exact hardware that they shipped with. For instance by MAC address, processor serial, disk serial, etc, etc. Only a certain level of changes to that hardware will be permitted, so you wont be able to reuse keys on another system even if you did want to reprogram your BIOS!

  13. N2 Silver badge

    But

    Is it worth the effort to hack?

    1. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: But

      It will undoubtedly be hacked. But I doubt it can be worked around. And Microsoft will constantly attack hacks via Windows update and similar.

    2. Blitterbug
      Unhappy

      Re: Is it worth the effort to hack?

      Almost certainly not. And if I were an OEM I would give MS the middle-fingered salute over their new audit requirements. If enough big names tell 'em to fuck off, we could have our very own Windows Spring...

      ...And then I woke up. Bah!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: give MS the middle-fingered salute

        That is not going to happen.

        PCs without Windows are unsaleable to the mass market, which means that MS controls the hardware sellers.

        Even a couple of devastatingly unpopular versions of Windows would probably only be a blip. Time will tell.

        1. keith_w
          Windows

          Re: give MS the middle-fingered salute

          you mean like ME and Vista?

      2. Crisp Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: Is it worth the effort to hack?

        Everything is worth the effort to hack!

        Even if it's just to see if it can be done.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Thrashing around, gotta maxmise what you already have because as soon as games get to linux this is all crashing down

    1. John McCallum

      Games on Linux

      As most games have DRM on them will the Linux fans buy them.

      1. Vic

        Re: Games on Linux

        > will the Linux fans buy them.

        Yes.

        Vic.

      2. Kiwi Silver badge
        Linux

        Re: Games on Linux

        I'm a Linux fan. The only thing I use Windows for are the few games I play which I haven't got successfully running on Linux (or found a Linux version for). I don't have a problem with DRM that doesn't get in the way of the game.

        I mainly use Linux because it's so much easier to get up and running than Windows is these days. Can't be bothered finding drivers/entering reg keys/having the machine out of action while the install runs (love that I can at least browse the web/play some games/do many other things while I run the install from the LiveCD/USB/PXE)

  15. Andy
    Facepalm

    who cares..

    no one is going to want windows 8 anyway ;o) ...

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Joke

    Go Microsoft!

    Making it harder to activate Windows 8 copies, I think that's a development anyone can root for!

    Oh; only illegal copies. nvm ;)

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Go Microsoft!

      The pirate versions generally aren't oem, they're the "full" enterprise versions.

      I suspect this is about MS testing its DRM infrastructure, perhaps to help secure their download shop.

  17. George 24

    Rather than

    spending time and money to make it harder to pirate the OS, sell it cheap enough so people just buy it....

    1. TheTallGuy
      Pirate

      Re: Rather than

      Certainly for upgrades I thought they had done that, Haven't seen any retail prices yet, but Shirley((c) Zucker) no-one wants win8 so shouldn't they make it easier to pirate to increase their marketshare (for nothing), after all according to the mindthink it increases their profits somehow.

  18. TheTallGuy
    Flame

    Windows 8 & piracy

    Since all the commentators have been saying what a failure Win8 is going to be, shouldn't they be happy that fewer people will be able to pirate it, surely it means that folks and or pirates will move to their prefered OS for free, rather than Windows 8? Or just stick with XP (ugh time's running ouy folks) or 7.

    Do the Linux crowd really want all the ex windows users running as root (they will), bombarding their support sites and making various popular distros look like Windows ME on a bad day on forums everywhere?

    As for problems with motherboard replacements I've never had an issue that calling MS on a freephone number didn't resolve quickly, do you really think they haven't got a way to fix the issue?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows 8 & piracy

      In 5 years most people will be using tablets rather than PC's anyways...

  19. Goat Jam
    Pirate

    Interesting

    This whole thing presupposes that people will actually want to pirate Windows 8 wich IMHO is a wildy optimistic position.

    I for one hope that they make it impossible to pirate Windows, I really do.

    The only dark side to this whole retarded idea is that MS will somehow successfully strangle the third party mobo market through BIOS lockdowns and tying the windows kernel to the PC thereby making buying a PC something that can only be done through a tier 1 OEM such as Dell, HP et al. In one fell swoop they could kill homebrew PC's and Linux which I'm sure is a hugely desirable outcome for all the major players concerned.

    If it ever looks like that is going to happen, they can expect me and many other people to stockpile the last of the "open" motherboards and ancillary items although granted that is not going to be a long term solution, but will hopefully be enough to tide us over until Microsofts house of cards collapses completely due to shenanigans such as this.

    1. DougS Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Interesting

      Paranoid much? Adding a Windows key to your BIOS is hardly crippling it so it won't run Linux. They might tie Windows to a particular motherboard, so that if the board fails you're screwed, but Linux will still work exactly the same. If the BIOS requires the boot code to be signed that's a potential risk, but one that looks to have been defused. At any rate, that's completely separate from this activation scheme.

      I think you're right about the fact that no one will want to pirate Windows 8 anyway. With the old interface, it is barely different from Windows 7, once SP2 is out for it I doubt the upgrade would be compelling for anyone. On a touchscreen, maybe you want 8, maybe you don't, but if you buy a touchsceen device capable of running Windows 8, it will come with Windows 8. It isn't like there's a whitebox tablet market out there where you can install a random OS like you can on a regular PC.

      Given that in the past it's been easy for people to come up with keygens for Windows, combined with the "loader" method of using BIOS shadowing that Windows 7 cracks use I think it won't take long for someone to break this method. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if someone isn't putting the finishing touches on it this weekend given that Windows 8 has RTMed and it's too late to change. The trusted boot is the only real way Microsoft can stop this, but how exactly that's supposed to work for running Windows 8 in a virtual machine I'm not sure. If they want to make that easy, they have to leave a loophole that would allow pirating Windows 8 using the keygen + loader method.

    2. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Interesting

      I guess you will be able to build your own computer, but you will have to install a retail copy of Windows 8 on it.

      1. Chemist

        Re: Interesting

        "I guess you will be able to build your own computer, but you will have to install a retail copy of Windows 8 on it."

        I guess that if you are able to build your own computer, you will install a copy of Linux on it

        1. John McCallum
          Devil

          Re: Interesting

          Not necessarily I know some people that have been building their own PCs for decades and think Linux is a dirty word.

  20. Combat Wombat
    Pirate

    Will not be buying win 8..

    If this is locked to my mobo, and my mobo gets fried, in means I have to buy a new license as by Microsoft rules, it means I have a new PC.

    FUCK THAT !

    1. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Will not be buying win 8..

      Potentially - but there is usually a way round it by phoning them up - but they would only allow say 1 change like this a year or in a set period so that it cant be exploited for piracy.

      1. Yet Another Commentard

        Re: Will not be buying win 8..

        My understanding from the MS blogs is that there are no "system builder" licences now. You are either "upgrading" from Vista/7/XP or you are an OEM following the rules in this article. This muddies the water further as I don't know if this OEM-style licence could be obtained by buying (e.g.) a hard drive plus OEM licence.

        My issue with all this is that should I "upgrade" to 8 and my hard drive die, which is an entirely probable event, how do I rebuild Windows 8? Do I have to reinstall 7, then reactivate it, then install 8 and activate that? What happens when I decide to upgrade my machine big-style, and replace the Mobo, graphics, RAM etc – how do I install 8 on the new thing? I cannot buy a "system builder" licence to lob in a DVD and install it, I assume I must go via the "upgrade" path then call MS to explain why it's on new hardware. That takes ages.

        The OEM path described in the article makes it look as if there will be no "hardware plus OEM" licence sales, thereby killing a rather obscure, but still numerous and profitable, market – the home system builders.

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: Will not be buying win 8..

          MS have stated that you'll be able to do a clean install, you wont have to install Win7 and then use an upgrade process to reach 8. You just need a valid Win7 licence key apparently.

    2. phlashbios
      Meh

      Re: Will not be buying win 8..

      No it doesn't.

      In the circumstance you describe, you might have to phone MS and get a new licence key or BIOS code or whatever.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @plashbios - Re: Will not be buying win 8..

        "In the circumstance you describe, you might have to phone MS and get a new licence key or BIOS code or whatever."

        Phone MS, got that.

        Get a reply, especially an intelligent/useful reply that's another story.

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: @plashbios - Will not be buying win 8..

          "Phone MS, got that. Get a reply, especially an intelligent/useful reply that's another story."

          When I need to call to reactivate an OS, it took under five minutes. Called, explained why I needed it, they gave me a new code. That was some time ago though. For the past few years, I've never needed to call them - I just activate online.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Problem is...

    Will anyone want Windows 8?

    Any new PC in our org will be downgraded to Win7. Windows 8 is counterintuitive for work and professionals.

    1. Jess

      something missed by everyone.

      If the scheme is changed, you will not be able to install an OEM Windows 7 on a Machine supplied with 8. Currently an OEM XP will install on a machine from that manufacturer supplied with a different OS. (Typically covered legally by the downgrade rule)

      There should be no serious issues with activation, it will be the same as at present fro the user POV, just individual machines identified rather that manufacturers.

      It is a way of preventing downgrades. If you wish to downgrade from W8, you'll need a retail earlier OS (or perhaps there will be hoops you can jump through if the is a W8 pro version that allows downgrade rights)

  22. Jim McDonald

    Regardless of whether you like MS or not (or their products) this is a very smart business move for them if true.

  23. Laser Guided Hamster
    Alien

    It will be deliberately easy to circumvent anyway!

    How will bios updates be affected by this?

    1. Lars Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: It will be deliberately easy to circumvent anyway!

      Perhaps that was sarcasm or something it`s not called BIOS anymore and it can be changed like any program.

      Microsoft has tried to bond Windows with programs and hardware almost from the beginning and they will contine to do it.

      Years ago Gates predicted that harware would become very cheap while the price of software would increase.

      So when the bond between hardware and Windows is strong enough then Microsoft will be able to increase the price of Windows anyway they like.

      I hope they fail.

  24. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Holmes

    Another disaster waiting to happen

    Take this scenario

    1) Punter buys a PC from an OEM

    2) Punter happy with PC (yeah, I know I'm dreaming but please dear with me for a minute)

    3) OEM goes tits up due to poor sales of Windows 8

    4) Punter's PC Motherboard fails

    5) Punter left up shit creek without a paddle

    6) Rinse repeat from 1) above

    7) Microsoft Profits as all the OEM's fold and die.

    I predict many court cases here.

    8) Lawyers on both sides profit even more

    1. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Another disaster waiting to happen

      But that's exactly the same as now, and not Microsoft's problem.

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: Another disaster waiting to happen

        The situation is different.

        The PC owner could buy a new MOBO and get on the phone to MS. Generally they will give you a new auth key.

        In the new scheme of things MS will say 'Sorry Sir. Unless your BIOS has this super secret key burnt in you are nothing more than a pirate. Can I interest you in a Full Retail license for Windows 8? If you don't we will be sending round the lawyers...'

  25. Tony Paulazzo
    Mushroom

    End of the world.

    >under OA 3.0, manufacturers will be required to write a unique Windows product key into the BIOS of each new PC<

    Cool, a whole new army of incurable botnets running illegal win8 (I'm willing to bet there's more illegal copies of windows globally than legal), when they upgrade to an infected copy of windows 8 all the machines will rise up and destroy the internets and humanity.

    Cheers Microsoft.

    1. RICHTO Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: End of the world.

      At least Windows has far fewer security vulnerabilities than OS-X or Linux. Just imagine if either of those were market leader - everyone would be hacked to shreds.

      1. Dana W
        Paris Hilton

        Re: End of the world.

        Troll or just stupid?

      2. h4rm0ny

        Re: End of the world.

        "At least Windows has far fewer security vulnerabilities than OS-X or Linux. Just imagine if either of those were market leader - everyone would be hacked to shreds."

        Okay. I'm calling this right now. You are either a strong Linux advocate pretending to be a Windows fanperson in order to false-flag and make those who like Windows sound stupid, or you are hopelessly biased to the point of blindness. Linux and Windows 7 have comparable security models and comparable numbers of vulnerabilities found and patched. You're basically trying to attack what you see as the Windows camp, by posting incorrect and offensive remarks on behalf of it. Linux security is not perfect, but nor is Windows. Most security problems are the result of user mistakes / irresponsibility - not the software.

    2. Lars Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: End of the world.

      "I'm willing to bet there's more illegal copies of windows globally than legal".

      I would not bet on that as most PC machines come with Windows preloaded and it has been like that for a long time, then of course some of them have probably been upgraded illegally if possible, but as we know there is a limit to that.

  26. Smudge@mcr

    Said it before...

    Said this before but this is what happens when one company has a monopoly.

    I'm not sayning that mad decisions are not made in the FOSS world (eg Gnome 3) but at least people have the opertunity to code round things they don't like.

    With MS market share under pressure (from Apple) you are going to see more of these tactics to lock users in.

    If you don't like it you can either boot Linux (before MS lock down the hardware and stops you) or keep paying your tax to MS and spend your time moaning on the Reg.

    Its time to choose.

  27. Skyraker
    Go

    Isn't this going to be almost as easy as with Win 7?

    Download BIOS image -> Flash BIOS -> snigger

  28. Medium Dave

    That's going to make virtualisation a bit tricky.

    Unless there's a loop-hole for VMs, in which case it's a bit pointless.

    Did Microsoft take taken over by Fisher-Price when no-one was looking?

    1. Jess

      Re: That's going to make virtualisation a bit tricky.

      Wouldn't a VM just inherit the relevant details of the host? If MS detects several of the same machine on VMs on different IPs it would deactivate all of them.

      Using a retail copy would be no different to the current situation.

      1. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge

        Re: That's going to make virtualisation a bit tricky.

        @Jess

        "Wouldn't a VM just inherit the relevant details of the host?"

        I just moved my Windows 7 OEM version into a VM under Linux rather than direct on the hardware and it activated without any fuss.

      2. Medium Dave

        Re: Inherited details

        It could do, but then you have the problem of what to do when the host goes tits-up: If you can't move the VM to another box in short order you're humped (and that's assuming a particular VM normally boots onto the same host each time, which isn't a given).

        They need to be able to distinguish between an install popping up on a different machine because it's been moved, and an install popping up on a different machine because it's been copied. Arsing about with embedded HW codes isn't going to help.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jimmy Cliff rules.. Jimmy Cliff rules..

    News fantastic does not make h eadlines..

    We want to teach you.....

    Gotta do your best...

    Alpha, beta, gamma..

  30. Fihart

    Even more will migrate to Mac

    Windows was a more attractive option than control-freak Apple when Win95 discs found in any skip could be used to install -- in my view a deliberate policy by Microsoft to gain its near-monopoly but handy if you owned multiple PCs.

    Now, what does MS really offer the average user against Apple's simpler, more elegant looking interface.

    1. Dana W

      Re: Even more will migrate to Mac

      Nothing at all, and by the way you have to fight through the crushing mobs at the Apple store, I think people are finally figuring this out.

      There is nothing on earth that could drive me back to Windows. I love people telling me how "control freak" Apple is. I'm not the one who has to play "mother may I" with a call center in India to get my Mac to start, and one copy works on ALL our machines.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Even more will migrate to Mac

        Indian ? Hmm Apple has call centers in California and Texas. In addition to serving the US market they do UK,France and Germany. All from the US

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

  31. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Ahh enforcement of anticompetitive clauses...

    Microsoft was found guilty (both in the US and EU) of monopolistic and anticompetitive practices for, among other things, having OEM contracts forcing OEMs to buy a copy of Windows for EVERY computer they ship, instead of just those computers they actually ship Windows on (this is of course anticompetitive beacuse, although the OEM is not prohibited from shipping a computer with a better OS like Linux, or ship blank, they still are illegally forced into paying Microsoft. And, yes, it was found to be illegal under antitrust laws.) In the US the penalty phase was absolutely neutered, and the board that was supposed to watch over Microsoft to make sure they don't just do the same thing again was already dissolved.

    So, now, Microsoft can continue this illegal practice, while having tight enforcement to force these OEMs to pay up.

    Seriously, though, expecting OEMs to customize each and every BIOS they ship sounds like it would be costly, and the BIOS update facilities to ensure the microsoft-info is not wiped on BIOS update would take considerable development. Hopefully, OEMs will begin to see the costs of Microsoft, tell Microsoft to shove it, and ship PCs with Ubuntu or blank at a lower cost, since this expensive BIOS bullshittery will not be necessary on these systems.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ahh enforcement of anticompetitive clauses...

      Unfortunately, for the unwashed masses out there, even the act of installing Windows is a daunting task. They prefer to let the OEMs do it for them.

      This is evident by the fact that most OEMs only provide a watered down, feature-crippled Windows *recovery disc* with every newly purchased machine. It allows Joe User to, in dire times, attempt to roll back the machine to factory settings. That's all.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ahh enforcement of anticompetitive clauses...

        "most OEMs only provide a watered down, feature-crippled Windows *recovery disc*"

        Really?

        How many OEMs provide anything other than a recovery PARTITION these days? [And what use is that if a hard drive fails, rather than if badly designed software permits the user to screw up]

        Why is this?

        There's the small but (in manufacturer's view, significant) physical cost of creating a recovery DVD and pressing enough to supply one for every box you ship. Whereas the recovery partition effectively costs the manufacturer nothing, and allows an upsell opportunity later.

        And then there's also the pressure from Microsoft to not ship Windows on media of any kind, to "minimise the risk of piracy".

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    To catch a freetard.....

    Here's me thinking that MS WANTS people to crack the authentication mechanism and then pirate W8. That way, they can check how many people bothered getting illegal copies after they connect to Windows Update, and thus get a vague idea of how successful W8 might be.

    Nahhh, ....that would far too convoluted. Right? Or would it?

    I think we need an anonymous Pirate icon.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft will soon be begging users to pirate Windows 8

    Reason? No one is touching it. And it won't dislodge Windows 7 as the king of the hill for quite some time.

    Don't forget that Windows 8 brings with it a new paradigm: the Microsoft App Store. Assuming that it is successful, it will become the main generator of revenue for Microsoft rather than actual sales of Windows licenses.

    Therefore, Microsoft should have made copies of Windows very cheap and DRM free. Legitimate users will be more likely not to pirate it, and employees at Microsoft will not have to waste time and effort countering software pirates' ingenuity (and hence spend more time improving the software). It's a win-win, no?

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Backfire?

    This might boost sales somewhat in first-world countries, but in third-world countries it's normal to use pirated versions of Windows. If you make that too hard for people, they will get fed up and work harder on finding/developing alternatives.

  35. darkpill
    Thumb Down

    BTW

    Most people don't want Windows. That's why Windows sales are down. Do you see the link there?

  36. tempemeaty
    Mushroom

    Orwellian....

    Oh how wonderful for all the world a crushing, oppressive monopoly is. Thank you Steve Ballmer for introducing the masses to your Orwellian world view for control over the worlds PC's.

  37. C 2
    FAIL

    This sounds like a nightmare

    ...for legitimate users. The crackers always seem to find a way around Micros~1's crappy programming.

    This looks like yet another reason to stay with my trusty (ancient) Win XP, or just use Linux Mint full time.

    I already deal with Win 7 and Vista at work, which is why I don't use them at home.

  38. Derk
    Happy

    I see their plan.

    They have looked at the Apple business model, and envied how much money they have made by selling hardware with software installed. I think that they want the user to view the PC as just like a telly or washing machine. When it is broken, you either pay for a costly repair or buy a new one. In this way MS gains every time. It won't work for them. They are not in the same league as Apple for innovation. They do not have their own manufacturing and procurement chain. In my view they are going to destroy the "fan" base of hobbyists and small volume builders that helped make it so universal. They might have judged that they don't need it anymore? However the hobbyist market must be huge, with so many young (and old) gamers building their own rigs. Now they are going to make it more difficult for them? Bad move. I think that Gabe over at Steam has sensed that, he knows what the vast majority want, vs the corporate market, and its games. A whole new market is about to open up, gaming on Linux, it will take time but once it starts to grow, it will gather momentum.

    Microsoft have not learned the lesson of Vista, they keep trying to shot themselves. With Steve Balmer in charge, it only a matter of time before he hits something vital.

    1. Fihart

      Re: I see their plan.

      The key difference between Apple control freakery and Microsoft's anti-piracy annoyances (which as you say may be growing into hardware control) is that Apple OS and hardware is well integrated whereas, with Windows, the range of hardware available makes that much harder to work effectively in ways that could benefit the user.

      So MS will be left with left with annoyed geniune users, annoyed existing manufacturers, a reduced choice of hardware for users. And, doubtless, a powerful incentive for previously legal users to seek jailbroken copies of Windows.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I see their plan.

      Everything that Ballmer has done as CEO is making Microsoft a reactive company, and not a proactive.one.

      Zune was a reaction to iPod.

      Windows Phone was a reaction to iPhone.

      Bing was a reaction to Google search.

      Surface was a reaction to iPad.

      Most of the time, Microsoft reacts to Apple, and occasionally Microsoft reacts to Google.

      Microsoft has no fresh ideas, and I'm amazed they're still keeping Steve Ballmer around as CEO.

  39. S Foster
    Paris Hilton

    FUBAR !

    All fine & dandy but would anyone actually WANT Windows 8 on their computer ? Even Paris is not that daft !

  40. richard 7
    Unhappy

    Why cant they be honest?

    'We hate Indies'

    'You build shit pcs'

    'You can't come to our party'

    <Toys Ejected>

    I'll reserve further ranting till we find out what this will do for us but I have a bad, bad feeling about this if you arent Tier 1

  41. Derk
    Devil

    New operating systems and updates

    I'm surprised about all the negative opinion on the net about Windows 8. Normally people are enthusiastic abut new goodies, new features, but with Win8, its not so. I wonder what the bods at Redmond are thinking? or perhaps they aren't....................thinking

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: New operating systems and updates

      I believe you are instantly hit by a flying chair should you show independent thought.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: New operating systems and updates

      2012. What's next? Metro, Metro, Metro. Windows, Windows, Windows.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dc7HPmPQV9E

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: New operating systems and updates

      I think ms is already old, too old, in "company years" (like "dog years") and is loosind it.

      The young and talented working there cannot influence decisions, the older ones are groomed to follow the program and respect the authority in the hope of comfortable retirement at some level of management.

      Playing martha_stewart with the desktop and continuing to be little sneaky bastards with the OS is all they are able or allowed to innovate.

      "ms" should be broken up in a couple of small and some of them successful companies.

  42. Martin 63
    Facepalm

    Ten years ago, I dont think I could have gotten the family to swallow a non windows pill. Mostly the work they did was browser based.

    Weened them onto alternate browsers, but smartphones seemed to be the kicker. With a mish mash of Android and iOS, Blackberry (and possibly Bada) browsers on these small devices, the OS seems irrelevant for them.

    I cant judge the windows entry into this arena, but I suspect it will be at least as odd as the 2 main ones, less lock in than one, more than the other. But my family now regularly nick my tablet.

    I really didnt see that one coming...

    Mission successful I guess :)

  43. Joerg
    FAIL

    Windows8 MetroUI is going to be a failure with pirates too...

    ... just because no one will want even a pirated free copy of it. It's just unusable.

  44. koolholio
    FAIL

    SLIC BIOS modding is not NEW!

    They will just be adding ACPI entries...

    It's all sales bull****! not rocket science... and will now avoid working in a microsoft call center! (poor sods!)

  45. koolholio
    Holmes

    Weak point in the flowchart model

    Send Keys.. at M$ or OEM level (because as stated theres never a rogue OEM or a disgruntled employee)...

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    if only windows ran in the cloud, then they wouldnt even need copy protection

  47. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge
    Facepalm

    "keyed to that particular computer's hardware"

    And at what point does this key become invalid when someone adds new hardware? Didn't MS try something like this before? And get bitten in the a** when PCs suddenly went inop?

  48. ColonelClaw
    Thumb Down

    It's real

    You can tell those slides are really from Microsoft, as the graphic designer tasked with putting them together is completely colour blind. What a disgusting-looking mess.

  49. zenkaon
    Thumb Down

    upgrade

    So what happens in a years time when I decide to upgrade my motherboard? Do I have to buy a new version of Windows 8?

  50. h3

    I don't really want Windows but for me to use anything else my (Supposedly opensource friendly) graphics card needs to work semi reasonably. (Evergreen ATI bought when ATI released the full specs years ago).

    I will try again when everything is marked as done on this :

    http://www.x.org/wiki/RadeonFeature/

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019