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Microsoft: Legit Windows or no updates


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#1 TeMerc

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Posted 26 January 2005 - 02:40 AM

Published: January 25, 2005, 9:00 PM PST
By Ina Fried
Staff Writer, CNET News.com

Aiming to crack down on counterfeit software, Microsoft plans later this year to require customers to verify that their copy of Windows is genuine before downloading security patches and other add-ons to the operating system.

Since last fall the company has been testing a tool that can check whether a particular version of Windows is legitimate, but until now the checks have been voluntary. Starting Feb. 7, the verification will be mandatory for many downloads for people in three countries: China, Norway and the Czech Republic.

In those countries, people whose copies are found not to be legitimate can get a discount on a genuine copy of Windows, though the price varies from $10 to $150 depending on the country.

By the middle of this year, Microsoft will make the verification mandatory in all countries for both add-on features to Windows as well as for all OS updates, including security patches. Microsoft will continue to allow all people to get Windows updates by turning on the Automatic Update feature within Windows. By doing so, Microsoft hopes it has struck a balance between promoting security and ensuring that people buy genuine versions of Windows.

"We think that the best foundation for the most secure system is genuine software," said David Lazar, director of the Genuine Windows program at Microsoft. "We want to urge all of our customers to use genuine software. (At the same time), we want to make sure that we don't do anything to reduce the likelihood that a user will keep their system up to date."

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#2 stidyup

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Posted 26 January 2005 - 03:52 AM

They talk about cost to the software industry in $bn's but how many of the users can actually afford the software at the prices quoted or would buy it at the given price, especially those in developing nations. I always think that's a misleading figure to quote.

Also M$ seem to be saying the cheapest way to get windows is to get a pirated copy then buy a discounted legit serial number from them, I suppose that there are no production costs (of the physical CD) and distribution costs aren't incurred.

Targeting China first may secure Linux as the OS of choice there.

Edited by stidyup, 26 January 2005 - 03:54 AM.


#3 TeMerc

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Posted 27 January 2005 - 01:46 AM

Is Mandatory Windows Validation a Security Risk?

Microsoft's plans to clamp down on the way illegal copies of its flagship Windows operating system receive updates—including security patches—could have a major impact on the SOHO (small office, home office) market and increase the risk of malicious hacker attacks, experts warned Wednesday.

The warning follows an announcement out of Redmond, Wash., that the "Windows Genuine Advantage" anti-piracy initiative, hitherto voluntary, will be mandatory by midyear.

The program calls for Windows users to validate product keys, PC manufacturers and OS versions to allow Microsoft to crack down on cracked versions of the operating system.

"This shouldn't surprise anyone. We all know this was coming once Microsoft went to an activation model for Windows XP," said Rick Fleming, chief technical officer at Texas-based security outfit Digital Defense Inc. "From a pure business standpoint, I understand it. Software vendors are losing the war against piracy, and they have to make some tough decisions."

However, Fleming said any move to limit the application of critical security fixes will "create bigger headaches" for everyone

"The security implications concern me," he said. "Even now, with patches available to everyone, we know there are folks who ignore software security. There are others who will simply refuse to validate, and their unpatched machines will be a bigger threat."

For its part, Microsoft said it will continue to push out critical security updates to customers through Windows Automatic Updates, with or without product key validation.

Full Read At eWeek

Edited by TeMerc, 27 January 2005 - 01:50 AM.

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