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Microsoft Admits Wga Mess Up


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#1 quietman7

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 07:53 AM

THE VOLE in charge of Microsoft's privacy strategy has admitted that the outfit dropped the ball when it came to Windows Genuine Advantage anti-piracy tool...Peter Cullen...admitted that the software maker stuffed up its handling of the affair...

theinquirer.net

Edited by quietman7, 05 July 2006 - 08:07 AM.

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#2 Scarlett

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 08:19 AM

Isn't that precious?

Well they are just trying to cover their tracks, and mop up after the mess from
the WGA/Spyware controversy, and the filing of the class action lawsuit.

PR nothing but PR....

Microsoft to stop checking if Windows is pirated amid controversy

Microsoft has announced its plans to drop its Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA), an application which checks if your copy of Windows is pirated. There has been a huge amount of controversy over the application that, every time your PC is booted, sends data to their systems to check if it is genuine. Microsoft is turning off this part of the application.


Good to hear I suppose but....
Isn't this a little like closing the barn door after the horse has already ran out.
:thumbsup:
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#3 quietman7

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 08:25 AM

More like pulling the horse's tail to get him back into the barn. :thumbsup:
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#4 jgweed

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 12:06 PM

One could take a malicious view of this episode and conclude that MS Knew Very Well what they were doing, and wanted to see if they could get by with it. They certainly were neither honest about it nor up front with their users when they sneaked the spyware in under a "critical update."
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#5 Scarlett

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 02:19 PM

One certainly could jg. They did get away with it for some time. And are we to believe that MS is that naive'? Hmm... not likely.
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#6 rms4evr

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 05:57 PM

Microsoft to stop checking if Windows is pirated amid controversy

Microsoft has announced its plans to drop its Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA), an application which checks if your copy of Windows is pirated. There has been a huge amount of controversy over the application that, every time your PC is booted, sends data to their systems to check if it is genuine. Microsoft is turning off this part of the application.

I like this quote:

The main problem with the tool was that it was downloaded automatically with automatic updates and installed without the user's consent and then periodically sent data back to Microsoft, which is what spyware does.


I understand that they are trying to curb piracy...but two wrongs don't make a right!!!!!! :thumbsup: They can't hold user's computers hostage with an ill-written program that picks info from your HD and sends it back to their server, where God-knows-who is looking at it!!!!

Sheesh...what are those morons in Redmond thinking??? :flowers:

#7 Herk

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Posted 05 July 2006 - 09:13 PM

As much as I hate the fallacy of slippery-slope arguments, I'm going to present one here:

First, they came out with this great idea of activation for preventing piracy. You have to activate your copy of Windows within thirty days or it stops working.

Many thought that it was really an annoyance, that the product key we used in the past was enough. But we clucked and shook our heads and said, "Well, we all understand that piracy is theft."

Then, we were offered free programs. Microsoft Antispyware. But there was a catch: you had to let Microsoft install a tool on your computer that would check for the validity of the operating system. OK, so the activation scheme seems to have run into a snag: the operating system is still being pirated. But it's still more annoyance. The already-clogged internet's bandwidth is being used for the express purpose of protecting Microsoft's profit margin, which certainly isn't hurting.

But again, that wasn't enough: now, you get regular injections of their latest anti-piracy software when you thought you were getting some sort of protection. Indeed, they're presenting it as if it were protection for the user! It's installed without the average user's even knowing about it, because of the automatic updates, and it phones home, again without the average user's knowing it's doing it. This is deceptive, and again, a waste of bandwidth as millions upon millions of computers are phoning home all at once. And we're supposed to trust that they haven't made some secret deal (Yes, going into wild conspiracy theories now!) with the government to search for keywords or something. We all know how the current administration loves to spy without anyone knowing about it, how they like to use banks and demand information from other sources, such as ISP's - we're supposed to trust Microsoft that they aren't gathering personal information.

So here's the slippery-slope part: what's next? They've gotten this far. And let's face it, they're a monopoly. They know they've got us. Sure, we can switch to Linux and abandon our most-cherished programs for an operating system that we don't understand. I have no doubt that the latest antics of Microsoft are giving some folks the idea that it's finally time to switch.

But if the big giant heads in Washington get the idea that they can pressure MS into using our computers for information, what could we do, and how would we know? And if MS wants to escalate the program further to gather more information about us, what's the difference between that and Dell putting MyWay Search Bar on their computers? The consumer's desires no longer matter - the corporations get what they want.

It's not that it's just a small annoyance; it's that we're all being treated as potential criminals. The lie that Microsoft's purpose is to keep pirated copies of their software from causing their users problems is just too ludicrous to be borne. Or did I read that wrong?

What's next? We need to find out what programs you're using to make sure they aren't in conflict? Hey, isn't that serial number on that 2000 version of Word the same as the one on six other computers? Well, that's piracy - we'll have to shut you down. We need to watch for terrorist keywords. Whoops - you just used a word that is questionable. Expect to see men in black suits at your door presently.

My opinion is that Microsoft should stay out of the police business and just build the software, but I fear that we're entering a new era of corporate domination. Do we own the software?

MS EULA excerpts:

1.1 Installation and use. You may install, use, access, display and run one copy of the Software on a single computer, such as a workstation, terminal or other device ("Workstation Computer"). The Software may not be used by more than one processor at any one time on any single Workstation Computer.

3. RESERVATION OF RIGHTS AND OWNERSHIP. Microsoft reserves all rights not expressly granted to you in this EULA. The Software is protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws and treaties. Microsoft or its suppliers own the title, copyright, and other intellectual property rights in the Software. The Software is licensed, not sold.


No, we don't.

#8 graveangel

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Posted 06 July 2006 - 09:32 AM

:thumbsup: er.............well said Herk!

Im not totally sure about conspiracy theories, but if there was an argument for one, it would be now with all the WGAN software, and whos to say thats all that is on there? Come on,its Microsoft, theyve been in this business from the start and if they wanted to find things out about us, i pretty sure they would be able to without any of us having a clue about it.

Do we own the software?

RESERVATION OF RIGHTS AND OWNERSHIP. Microsoft reserves all rights not expressly granted to you in this EULA. The Software is protected by copyright and other intellectual property laws and treaties. Microsoft or its suppliers own the title, copyright, and other intellectual property rights in the Software. The Software is licensed, not sold.


Somthing sadly that will forever remain. We are just pawns in a game of financial and powerful chess!

Big Brother is watching!
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#9 tos226

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Posted 07 July 2006 - 08:43 AM

Need a sanity check.
A thought occured to me on the false positives when Microsoft decides your copy is not legitimate.
I have a OEM built system and no problems with genuine disadvantage :thumbsup:
A friend of my has a similar computer, but since the original registration, he changed the disk drive.
He's getting notifications about his being not legit.
Now, if MS picks up BIOS checksum and /or hardware checksum of installed devices - well, if the serial# of device changes, perhaps your Windows copy is not legitimate anymore.

Just a thought.

#10 tos226

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 10:28 PM

I know this is an outdated thread, but I thought some of you might be interested in minor details, so this is just FYI:
Genuine advantage tries for 30 seconds to get in an gives up. Most recent Zone Alarm log 7/23 is full of those lines. Days when it happens are easy to spot. ZALog<date>.txt files suddenly become 68-108kB from my usual 1-5Kb.
I set ZA to ask me ("?" setting) rather than just block because I wanted to see what ZA will tell me. ZA was saying MS want access to the internet, to computer resources, memory ,etc.

This is the repeating line in the logs, 100Kb of MY DISK SPACE :thumbsup: . In ZA suite, OSFW stands for OS firewall.

OSFW,2006/07/23,23:18:12 -4:00 GMT,BLOCKED,Windows Genuine Advantage Notification,C:\WINDOWS\system32\WgaTray.exe,PHYSMEM,MAP,SRC

If that's not a portrait of spyware, I don't know what is.

Edited by tos226, 26 July 2006 - 10:29 PM.


#11 Scarlett

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Posted 26 July 2006 - 10:51 PM

Good work tos!
In reference to both of your posts above.
Very interesting....
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#12 Andrew

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Posted 30 July 2006 - 04:37 PM

And here's an excerpt from my ZA log, 242 attempts by WGAN in 2 seconds!


OSFW 7/30/2006 13:58:34 -4:00 GMT BLOCKED Windows Genuine Advantage Notification C:\WINDOWS\system32\WgaTray.exe (x54 Entries)

OSFW 7/30/2006 13:58:36 -4:00 GMT BLOCKED Windows Genuine Advantage Notification C:\WINDOWS\system32\WgaTray.exe (x188 entries!)



#13 Scarlett

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 10:39 AM

tos226 and Amazing Andrew

Are eiether of the situations you experienced still occurring?

http://news.zdnet.com/2100-1009_22-6082334.html

Microsoft is cutting the cord on its antipiracy tool.

The software maker this month plans to update the Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications program so that it only checks in with Microsoft once every two weeks,



Does anyone find that the above is true?

instead of after each boot-up , a company representative said Friday. By year's end, the tool will stop pinging Microsoft altogether, the representative said.



Was it initially only after each boot???

Edited by Scarlett, 08 August 2006 - 11:51 AM.

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#14 Andrew

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 12:24 PM

tos226 and Amazing Andrew

Are eiether of the situations you experienced still occurring?

I haven't checked. I set ZA to block WGAtray.exe silently. Probably is, though.


http://news.zdnet.com/2100-1009_22-6082334.html

Microsoft is cutting the cord on its antipiracy tool.

The software maker this month plans to update the Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications program so that it only checks in with Microsoft once every two weeks,



Does anyone find that the above is true?

Not yet for me.

instead of after each boot-up , a company representative said Friday. By year's end, the tool will stop pinging Microsoft altogether, the representative said.



Was it initially only after each boot???


Yup.

#15 Scarlett

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 09:31 PM

Could they say what they mean, and mean what they say? :thumbsup:
I just took my chance and removed it, last month. Via MS instructions.

Info:

Removing Wga, Location Windows Downloaded Program Files

Under My Thumb...
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