another rant against Microsoft
Published on July 31, 2005 By averjoe In Personal Computing
The latest game Microsoft is playing is using so-called validation software to rummage through your home computer to make sure it is using a legal copy of Microsoft before it allows you to update.



This rummaging and tagging of your computer is suppose to happen only if you want your operating system to get the latest upgrades or tweaks to the Microsoft operating system in order to make it “function” better (is that possible?).



Microsoft said it was not going to force one to go through this procedure and that no matter what that critical security updates would be allowed to be downloaded and installed on all systems using the Windows operating system.



If you try to update your Windows running computer with these critical security updates without having your system rummaged through and tagged you will find it difficult to do. In fact, it is so difficult that I reckon most will decide to take the easy way out and let Microsoft rummage through and tag their system.



Microsoft makes my ass ache with all their validating of software. I mean you already must go through a pain in the ass procedure to “authenticate” your copy of Windows XP Home Edition or Professional in order to use it on the Internet otherwise not only will you not be able to use the Internet after thirty-days but the operating system will become unusable.



I’m happy to say that I use a copy of Windows XP offline, with no attention of ever using Windows XP online that works only because of a crack that some enterprising programmer/ hacker provided online.



Thank goodness for the programmer or computer enthusiast that in his/her leisure time provide cracks for overly protected software where the respective corporations are milking every little bit of profit from the public (is way beyond the cost of development and reasonable return).



I have no problem with Microsoft trying to authenticate that a legal copy of its operating systems is being used, but I do have a problem with it trying to regulate how many machines in one single family residence their software can be used on. I have a problem with them building a time bomb within their software so that unless you register it online it will become inoperable within a certain time period. What if you don’t want to use your copy of Windows XP online?



Now Microsoft wants to rummage through and then tag every machine running Windows in order for one to get non-critical updates (wink, wink). Of course as I said they make it difficult to go to their website to get the critical updates without being able to rummage and tag.



Microsoft should immediately make it possible for one to get the critical updates without going through the rummaging (checking out your machine to make sure it is running a legal copy of their operating system) and tagging (installing a unique key that will indicate that your machine was rummaged through and proven to be using a legal copy of their operating system) process. When I go to their update site I should be presented with the critical updates and the offer to rummage and tag my system in order to get less critical updates to my operating system.



I will be ending this nonsense with Microsoft hopefully soon by using a flavor of Linux most of the time online. Finding drivers that work with wireless technology and a few other things is the only thing really stopping me from using it online most of the time right now.



I still think certain things about Linux will keep the average computer user from migrating to it at this time, but hopefully people are working on making it more average user friendly (like Suse and Mandrake Linux- Mandrake Linux changed its name but I can’t think of it right now).



May I suggest they make the installing and removing of software much easier and try to limit all those various dependencies that a lot of Linux software need. It is always the case that if you install a program A you’ll need a program B for Linux.



Until things get a little easier Linux will remain a system primarily used by the computer programmer, computer enthusiast, or computer geek.



In the meantime something must be done about all the ridiculous hoops that Microsoft is trying to make its customers jump through. Apple anyone?

Comments (Page 1)
on Jul 31, 2005
I have no problem with Microsoft trying to authenticate that a legal copy of its operating systems is being used, but I do have a problem with it trying to regulate how many machines in one single family residence their software can be used on.

Why? The licence says it's for use on one machine only. Use it on more and you a violating it. I don't feel the authentication is much of a problem really. It seem to me that you complain about Microsoft making it harder for illegal versions of Windows to get updates. Why wouldn't Microsoft be fullly entitled to do that?

And you don't have to go online to register your version of XP. You can do that by calling a number.
on Jul 31, 2005
You know, last I looked, Stardock checks back with its servers to verify your account information before updating Object Desktop components. Should we be complaining about Stardock then? They're doing exactly the same thing.
on Jul 31, 2005
Mandrake = Mandriva
on Jul 31, 2005
All my software is legit and I don't mind authentication and now validation. I really do wish, however, that I could install XP on another home computer without having to buy another license. I really can't afford it and I don't see why MS shouldn't allow multiple installations in a HOME environment. Not sure how we would verify that with them, but I'd be willing to do whatever it was. I have nothing to hide
on Jul 31, 2005
If you have nothing to hide, this kind of verification shouldn't bother you. I was happy to have my copy verified. I like being legit! However, I do agree with werewolf about being able to use it on more than one computer at home.
on Jul 31, 2005
i use more than one computer at my house but i don't buy all of them. people throw out their old computers and i fix them for myself. i install windows XP but like werewolf said i can't buy another license especlly when i have more than four computers.
on Jul 31, 2005
If someday Apple's move to Intel architecture brings about a boxed OS that we can install on our own systems, I think Microsoft will rethink things. Mac allows home users a 5 machine license, and I think that is beyond fair. I'd be happy with 3.

I don't see Linux as a viable alternative any time soon.
on Jul 31, 2005
I have a problem with them building a time bomb within their software so that unless you register it online it will become inoperable within a certain time period. What if you don’t want to use your copy of Windows XP online?


Oh good lord, what in the world is WRONG with you. You can activate it by phone and it plainly tells you that.
The meat of your complaint centers around you violating the license agreement in the first place. Most software that is worth anything only allows 1 copy per machine.

Stardock checks back with its servers to verify your account information before updating Object Desktop components. Should we be complaining about Stardock then? They're doing exactly the same thing.


Very good example Lotherius. I have no problems with this process at all.

bottom line...
Deal with it. It's not a big deal in the first place.
on Jul 31, 2005
Ah, another one dissatisfied about not being able to update their cracked software. Damned Microsoft, how dare they!
on Jul 31, 2005
To be fair, there are a lot of people that don't like hardware activation that use legit installs of the OS. I don't, for one. Many people don't like being tied to a vendor for life once we buy their product.
on Jul 31, 2005
Activation is not an unreasonable way of ensuring software use is legal. It's not an oppression of legit users, but a way of dealing with piracy.
on Jul 31, 2005
I don't like that activation process. My copy of WinXP is 100% legit and I went through the new update process with no trouble, but I can't help it; I just had a strange feeling in my gut doing it. I was even contemplating of downloading a crack for my legit copy, just to not being snooped out.

I think it is a little bit too close to Big Brother for me. What will be next? Or in 5 years?

I find Ubuntu quite a viable (and free) alternative to XP. Their download system for almost all linux software automatically downloads and installs those annoying 'dependencies'. Now if only Nvidia would clear up their act and write some decent graphic-drivers we could run almost all Window-games with Cedega......


Posted via WinCustomize Browser/Stardock Central
on Jul 31, 2005
aufisch,
I can understand your complaints and you phrase them much better than the original poster.
I still think you are making a bit too much of it though. There are other software vendors which follow the same proceedure. Have you installed Adobe Acrobat 7 Pro yet?
I really don't think the software is sending pertinent info about you when it validates your product and it is a necessary evil to endure because of the vile pirates (arrrr-matey) out there.

On the other note...d'loading ubuntu right now. I wont be using it as an alternative to Windows, but I like to tinker. I will install it on a VMWare Virtual Machine.
on Jul 31, 2005
"Activation is not an unreasonable way of ensuring software use is legal. It's not an oppression of legit users, but a way of dealing with piracy."


It's unreasonable in that it puts the brunt of the inconvienence on those who are the least of the losses for Microsoft. They don't lose money on home users, they lose money on businesses with dozens or hundreds of installs, and foreign piracy.

The reason these are so successful is MS still instists on releasing "corporate" versions that don't need to be activated. When you buy a pirated copy on the street, that's what you get. So, they, themselves are creating the problem by giving an 'out' to businesses they want to court, and imposing their tightest standards on people who weren't really a problem to begin with.

IF they had addressed all those and still saw massive losses, then I could understand them micromanaging how many times I can install new hardware per year. As it stands, though, it seems like a symbolic act just to make a statement that does little to help their bottom line, and a lot to annoy legit users.
on Jul 31, 2005
Microsoft’s plan to stop pirating doesn’t work at all, and only presents a minor inconvenience to the rest of us. For example, the versions of Windows XP that require activation are the standard Home and Pro versions. Software pirates use (as stated above) the corporate version that does not require activation.

Also, this whole validation thing. I didn’t like the idea of them snooping around my computer every time I updated, so I fixed that problem. It’s funny. Like mentioned, I suppose you could go onto a hacking website to download a crack, but there’s a much simpler way. I just played with IE and found a way to disable the validation (very easy to do, but I won’t post instructions, because that’s probably not allowed). Now it doesn’t need validation.

My XP’s legit, but still, this activation stuff does bug me and get in my way. Also, it DOESN’T DO SQUAT ABOUT PIRATES. So, let’s see, not stopping pirates AND inconveniencing me, yeah, that’s a problem. I hope Vista has a new method of dealing with this.