August 5, 2005 5:29 PM PDT

Another way past Windows antipiracy found

Microsoft's efforts to fight counterfeiting have hit another snag with the posting of a new method claimed to get around a Windows piracy check.

The check is meant to prevent people with pirated copies of the operating system from downloading additional software from Microsoft. By changing a setting in a Microsoft validation tool called "GenuineCheck.exe," it's possible to generate a code that will validate the Windows software on a machine as genuine even if it is pirated, according to a Web site publicized on Thursday in a posting to the popular Full Disclosure security mailing list.

Microsoft would not confirm that the method works, but the software maker is investigating the issue, a company representative said. "It is not a surprise for us that those who never intended to pay for software would try to find some way to circumvent Windows Genuine Advantage," the representative said.

Microsoft last week made the Windows piracy check mandatory for all customers who want to download add-ons for Windows XP and 2000. The effort, dubbed Windows Genuine Advantage, requires users to verify that they have a legitimate copy of the operating system before they can get files from Microsoft's download Web sites.

Tricking the check
For the software maker, the news could be another episode of people finding a way to get around WGA. Last week, several Web sites said it was possible to bypass the piracy lock by several means, including pasting a JavaScript string into the Web browser. Earlier this year, during WGA's pilot phase, a security researcher outlined another way to trick the check.

The GenuineCheck.exe tool is meant to provide an alternative way for people to prove that their copy of Windows is an official Microsoft version. The primary WGA checking mechanism uses ActiveX, which is not supported in all Web browsers. The popular open-source Firefox Web browser, for example, does not support ActiveX.

"To make the validation experience as user-friendly as possible, Microsoft engineered a process that enables customers to validate their systems easily, and unfortunately, unscrupulous users are able to exploit that," the Microsoft representative said.

According to the Thursday posting, all a PC user apparently has to do to have GenuineCheck.exe generate a valid code on a machine with pirated Windows XP is to run it in Windows 2000 compatibility mode. This is done by downloading the tool, right-clicking on the file and selecting "properties." Then select the "compatibility" tab in the menu and change the compatibility mode.

If the method actually works, it may be short-lived. "Microsoft will be updating the validation system from time to time and plans to address these issues," the Microsoft representative said.

WGA is a stepped-up effort by Microsoft to increase the number of Windows users that are actually paying Microsoft for its software. At the moment, the company estimates that roughly a third of Windows copies worldwide are not legitimate.

85 comments

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C|Net is really helping...
By posting how to bypass Microsofts security checks.

And also today I saw how the first "virus" for vista was out.

I smell bias.
Posted by wazzledoozle (288 comments )
Reply Link Flag
C|Net Does Not Have to Like MS Anyway
As long as those open source fanatics support it, C|Net should be fine.

BTW, PCWorld is VERY biased as well :)
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
Link Flag
Sue CNet
sue cnet for provided method to bypass, they are promoting piracy, aka piracyware aka gnu copying. bla bla bla, termatim copy if this is bla bla bla. btw, if gnu allows all its page to be copied in any way then what the use of putting the copyright gnu bla bla bla, its becomes a joke of law!
Posted by (128 comments )
Link Flag
If it was a OSX hack
you'd be yelling at all the Apple supporters writing the same tired lines as you do for the Microsoft camp.


Cnet can and should report this information. But then I guess you don't believe in a free press.
Posted by R. U. Sirius (745 comments )
Link Flag
C|Net is really helping...
By posting how to bypass Microsofts security checks.

And also today I saw how the first "virus" for vista was out.

I smell bias.
Posted by wazzledoozle (288 comments )
Reply Link Flag
C|Net Does Not Have to Like MS Anyway
As long as those open source fanatics support it, C|Net should be fine.

BTW, PCWorld is VERY biased as well :)
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
Link Flag
Sue CNet
sue cnet for provided method to bypass, they are promoting piracy, aka piracyware aka gnu copying. bla bla bla, termatim copy if this is bla bla bla. btw, if gnu allows all its page to be copied in any way then what the use of putting the copyright gnu bla bla bla, its becomes a joke of law!
Posted by (128 comments )
Link Flag
If it was a OSX hack
you'd be yelling at all the Apple supporters writing the same tired lines as you do for the Microsoft camp.


Cnet can and should report this information. But then I guess you don't believe in a free press.
Posted by R. U. Sirius (745 comments )
Link Flag
What's the point.
""It is not a surprise for us that those who never intended to pay for software would try to find some way to circumvent Windows Genuine Advantage," the representative said."

So I ask again, what's the point? It says to me that Microsoft anti-piracy methods are more about keeping legit users in check. I think of it as a way to keep a thumb on the legal users. It's obvious it does nothing to stop piracy.

I suppose with Vista we will have to sign a consent form so that Microsoft can come into our homes and businesses when ever they want to audit our software licence compliance. Of course this will help stop piracy because only legit users will have signed the aggreement. (by the way I was jumping off the deep end)

I get the idea that when someone gets told their copy of Windows isn't legal that they are going to fink on whoever sold them the copy, but I'm guessing that very few people will probably actually fink on the seller. Most people probably won't even know who the sell was if it wasn't a local computer store. I sorry, but I just don't see any of these measures working to combat piracy. At best it's an aggrevation to legitimate users.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What's the point.
""It is not a surprise for us that those who never intended to pay for software would try to find some way to circumvent Windows Genuine Advantage," the representative said."

So I ask again, what's the point? It says to me that Microsoft anti-piracy methods are more about keeping legit users in check. I think of it as a way to keep a thumb on the legal users. It's obvious it does nothing to stop piracy.

I suppose with Vista we will have to sign a consent form so that Microsoft can come into our homes and businesses when ever they want to audit our software licence compliance. Of course this will help stop piracy because only legit users will have signed the aggreement. (by the way I was jumping off the deep end)

I get the idea that when someone gets told their copy of Windows isn't legal that they are going to fink on whoever sold them the copy, but I'm guessing that very few people will probably actually fink on the seller. Most people probably won't even know who the sell was if it wasn't a local computer store. I sorry, but I just don't see any of these measures working to combat piracy. At best it's an aggrevation to legitimate users.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Way to Past Windows Antipiracy is for Cheap Bastards
Or software pirates, I must say :)
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ah, no, MS is a monopoly that is taking advantage of it's customer base...
In case you haven't noticed MSes prices are going *UP.* The
company is making money hand over fist over hand over fist.
They have cash reserves larger than most small nations. While
I'm all for successful business, they've got some SERIOUS
problems. Security for one (obviously), stability for another, and
a TOTAL lack of innovation and features.

Have you looked at MS Office prices lately? They're waaaay up
there $200+, if you're lucky enough to qualify for academic
discount. The base os (Windows XP Home Edition, which has
artifically limited large memory and multiple CPU support) is
about $200 as well. Upgrades are about $100.

Do the math, many PCs are selling at a $500 price point. For the
independent system builder/local computer shop OEM versions
are still right around $100. That's 1/5th of the total machine
cost, and often times one of the biggest, if not the biggest
single expense for a small player to sell a machine! Talk about
pushing out competition, MS won't make a deal with you unless
you're going to make THEM atleast a million a year.

So no, I think MS is getting some VERY well deserved consumer
backlash for its petty, thieving business practices that RUIN
small, independent businesses, artificially inflate prices for
everyone, and drive hardware manufacturers to smaller margins
because they need to sell product since there's no monopoly
there. MS doesn't care, they can price the OS at whatever they
damn well please. People will pay it because they have no
choice.

No Linux is not really a choice, not yet anyway. It's slowly
gaining mass. As is Mac OS X, however Apple may have tanked
that by deciding to do yet another platform switch. So really MS
is top dog, and has no competition whatsoever, and they know
it.

Oh and, as published on many news sites MS plans to raise
prices for Office and VISTA in the coming releases. By releasing
'more premium' product. Likely they'll strip something out of
one or more of the 'lower end' product in order to build this new
more expensive product. Office already costs easly $250+ --
how much more do they want!?

When nearly ALL other software has maintained price, or
declined in price Windows and MS software products of PC have
nearly universally increased in price, without comparable
increases in performance, or features. And no, clippy the
psycotic paperclip is NOT a feature. They waste more money in
'development' than many game companies spend to bring us
huge worlds of content, entirely new technologies and ideas.

How is it say, iD software, or Pandemic produces award winning
games, and game content, many of which are ENTIRELY from
scratch,a nd still sells them at about $50/each? There's more
development effort in the AI in Pandemic's Destroy All Humans
game than Office has received in it's entire product life.

I don't know about anyone else, but I think it's criminal to have
to pay $200 for a shackled version of an OS. Yes XP Pro comes
with other features and things in it, but the reality is you HAVE
to have XP Pro for any dual core, HT, or dual CPU machine. And
they like it that way. They say their bottom line has been helped
a LOT by XP Pro sales. Why? Because Intel is selling
HyperThreading! Not because it's any better, or because people
want it, they HAVE to have it to take advantage of their
hardware!

MS pricing and licensing is out of control, they're already a
monopoly, they're already pricing things well out of the reach of
many average consumers. $200 is still quite a bit of money here
people. You can buy almost any game console and a game or
two for $200. For $200 you can buy a one way plane ticket to
just about anywhere in the US! Or you can buy one copy of
Windows.
Posted by (14 comments )
Link Flag
Way to Past Windows Antipiracy is for Cheap Bastards
Or software pirates, I must say :)
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Ah, no, MS is a monopoly that is taking advantage of it's customer base...
In case you haven't noticed MSes prices are going *UP.* The
company is making money hand over fist over hand over fist.
They have cash reserves larger than most small nations. While
I'm all for successful business, they've got some SERIOUS
problems. Security for one (obviously), stability for another, and
a TOTAL lack of innovation and features.

Have you looked at MS Office prices lately? They're waaaay up
there $200+, if you're lucky enough to qualify for academic
discount. The base os (Windows XP Home Edition, which has
artifically limited large memory and multiple CPU support) is
about $200 as well. Upgrades are about $100.

Do the math, many PCs are selling at a $500 price point. For the
independent system builder/local computer shop OEM versions
are still right around $100. That's 1/5th of the total machine
cost, and often times one of the biggest, if not the biggest
single expense for a small player to sell a machine! Talk about
pushing out competition, MS won't make a deal with you unless
you're going to make THEM atleast a million a year.

So no, I think MS is getting some VERY well deserved consumer
backlash for its petty, thieving business practices that RUIN
small, independent businesses, artificially inflate prices for
everyone, and drive hardware manufacturers to smaller margins
because they need to sell product since there's no monopoly
there. MS doesn't care, they can price the OS at whatever they
damn well please. People will pay it because they have no
choice.

No Linux is not really a choice, not yet anyway. It's slowly
gaining mass. As is Mac OS X, however Apple may have tanked
that by deciding to do yet another platform switch. So really MS
is top dog, and has no competition whatsoever, and they know
it.

Oh and, as published on many news sites MS plans to raise
prices for Office and VISTA in the coming releases. By releasing
'more premium' product. Likely they'll strip something out of
one or more of the 'lower end' product in order to build this new
more expensive product. Office already costs easly $250+ --
how much more do they want!?

When nearly ALL other software has maintained price, or
declined in price Windows and MS software products of PC have
nearly universally increased in price, without comparable
increases in performance, or features. And no, clippy the
psycotic paperclip is NOT a feature. They waste more money in
'development' than many game companies spend to bring us
huge worlds of content, entirely new technologies and ideas.

How is it say, iD software, or Pandemic produces award winning
games, and game content, many of which are ENTIRELY from
scratch,a nd still sells them at about $50/each? There's more
development effort in the AI in Pandemic's Destroy All Humans
game than Office has received in it's entire product life.

I don't know about anyone else, but I think it's criminal to have
to pay $200 for a shackled version of an OS. Yes XP Pro comes
with other features and things in it, but the reality is you HAVE
to have XP Pro for any dual core, HT, or dual CPU machine. And
they like it that way. They say their bottom line has been helped
a LOT by XP Pro sales. Why? Because Intel is selling
HyperThreading! Not because it's any better, or because people
want it, they HAVE to have it to take advantage of their
hardware!

MS pricing and licensing is out of control, they're already a
monopoly, they're already pricing things well out of the reach of
many average consumers. $200 is still quite a bit of money here
people. You can buy almost any game console and a game or
two for $200. For $200 you can buy a one way plane ticket to
just about anywhere in the US! Or you can buy one copy of
Windows.
Posted by (14 comments )
Link Flag
Message to Microsoft: earn your consumers trust back
Software piracy hurts the entire industry, not just Microsoft, so I applaud anything to stop it.

On the other hand, the honest consumer has a reasonable expectancy of integrity in the product that his hard earned money is spent on; which far too many times MS has failed to deliver. We all know far too well, that when MS sets a release date, it is written in stone, because of the marketing, hoopla, etc. So, ready or not, that product gets released. As was the case with Windows 98 First Edition. We all should remember Office 97, where Outlook was so bad, that MS actually GAVE away Outlook 98 free.

And lets not mention the biggest bomb of the last decade, Windows ME! That product was such a POS, that it made even the best designed computers run like crap. It was so bad, that PC manufacturers lost a ton on tech support from the O/S alone. Ive even had tech support people tell me that Windows ME was a very bad product, and I should upgrade to Windows 2000 (which was out before ME). There is still at least one reference on MSs tech support pages that reads Microsoft acknowledges that this is a known issue with Windows Millennium Edition. At this time, there is no fix planned and we recommend upgrading to Windows XP. That was back in 2002. So, let me get this straight, I paid good money for POS just a year ago, you know its buggy, you dont plan to fix it, and now you want more money? And they say Ken Lay is crook.

Ive heard first hand from otherwise honest individuals that said theyve spent hundreds on MS products that have never lived up to their expectancy over the years, ended up in the trash, and if I install an unlicensed piece of MS every now and then, I feel Im just getting even.

While I dont condone this action, can you blame them? I mean, we have lemon laws for cars. Has anyone ever read the EULA? In what other area can you buy a product as is with no warranty what so ever? Now, just imagine the hundreds of millions that companies have spent on IT over the few years patching, updating, and fixing buggy software. Im NOT talking about 3rd party stuff, such as spyware, etc., Im talking about things like the shutdown issue with Win 98 that took 6 months to resolve.

Message to Microsoft: earn your consumers trust back, and there will be far less pirating (at least in the US)
Posted by gmycyk191 (32 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Message to Microsoft: earn your consumers trust back
Software piracy hurts the entire industry, not just Microsoft, so I applaud anything to stop it.

On the other hand, the honest consumer has a reasonable expectancy of integrity in the product that his hard earned money is spent on; which far too many times MS has failed to deliver. We all know far too well, that when MS sets a release date, it is written in stone, because of the marketing, hoopla, etc. So, ready or not, that product gets released. As was the case with Windows 98 First Edition. We all should remember Office 97, where Outlook was so bad, that MS actually GAVE away Outlook 98 free.

And lets not mention the biggest bomb of the last decade, Windows ME! That product was such a POS, that it made even the best designed computers run like crap. It was so bad, that PC manufacturers lost a ton on tech support from the O/S alone. Ive even had tech support people tell me that Windows ME was a very bad product, and I should upgrade to Windows 2000 (which was out before ME). There is still at least one reference on MSs tech support pages that reads Microsoft acknowledges that this is a known issue with Windows Millennium Edition. At this time, there is no fix planned and we recommend upgrading to Windows XP. That was back in 2002. So, let me get this straight, I paid good money for POS just a year ago, you know its buggy, you dont plan to fix it, and now you want more money? And they say Ken Lay is crook.

Ive heard first hand from otherwise honest individuals that said theyve spent hundreds on MS products that have never lived up to their expectancy over the years, ended up in the trash, and if I install an unlicensed piece of MS every now and then, I feel Im just getting even.

While I dont condone this action, can you blame them? I mean, we have lemon laws for cars. Has anyone ever read the EULA? In what other area can you buy a product as is with no warranty what so ever? Now, just imagine the hundreds of millions that companies have spent on IT over the few years patching, updating, and fixing buggy software. Im NOT talking about 3rd party stuff, such as spyware, etc., Im talking about things like the shutdown issue with Win 98 that took 6 months to resolve.

Message to Microsoft: earn your consumers trust back, and there will be far less pirating (at least in the US)
Posted by gmycyk191 (32 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Windows costs too much
Besides the other coments don't you think it's a little unreasonable to expect someone to have to pay $289 for an operating system. This doesn't include other software just to do something on the PC. Put the DMCA into this and you might just have the death of Windows. It's nice, but is only for rich people. Where do you think all these pirateers are going to go if they can't pirate Windows? Answer: Opensource. Just like music CD's being price controlled and much too expensive, Windows is the same way, and is suffereing the same problem! It costs too much. Got that Bill? We're broke.
Posted by GrandpaN1947 (187 comments )
Reply Link Flag
RE:
A Ferrari costs too much. I can't afford it. Ah what the hell, I'll just steal one instead! During my get-away I'll pop-in to a store and steal a few things I can't afford too.

My case in court will be 'Well don't you think they're too expensive?'
Posted by SmokieUK (39 comments )
Link Flag
Yep
Windows IS priced way too high. And on top of that, you also need to purchase antivirus software, antispyware and a descent defrag package to to keep it running right. Funny how Windows is the only OS on the market that needs to be defragged on a regular basis, Linux doesn't and neither does OSX.

I am a big fan of Linux and Open Source, but Linux has a long way to go to overcome Windows on the desktop. Too many distributions and very few standards. And before I get blasted by some OSS advocate out here, I run a Linux firewall and PBX as well as a dual boot Win XP/Ubuntu system at home. I also have rolled out many low cost Linux based solutions over the course of my career in IT. It's a great server product.

OSX seems to be the best desktop alternative and I for one am eager to see what the new Intel based Macs have to offer when they come out. Apple just seems to be doing a lot of things right lately.
Posted by (56 comments )
Link Flag
If You Are Broke, Get a Mac
And you will be paying your OS "minor" upgrades for $120 EVERY SINGLE YEAR. Talk about ripping people off :)
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
Link Flag
Windows costs too much
Besides the other coments don't you think it's a little unreasonable to expect someone to have to pay $289 for an operating system. This doesn't include other software just to do something on the PC. Put the DMCA into this and you might just have the death of Windows. It's nice, but is only for rich people. Where do you think all these pirateers are going to go if they can't pirate Windows? Answer: Opensource. Just like music CD's being price controlled and much too expensive, Windows is the same way, and is suffereing the same problem! It costs too much. Got that Bill? We're broke.
Posted by GrandpaN1947 (187 comments )
Reply Link Flag
RE:
A Ferrari costs too much. I can't afford it. Ah what the hell, I'll just steal one instead! During my get-away I'll pop-in to a store and steal a few things I can't afford too.

My case in court will be 'Well don't you think they're too expensive?'
Posted by SmokieUK (39 comments )
Link Flag
Yep
Windows IS priced way too high. And on top of that, you also need to purchase antivirus software, antispyware and a descent defrag package to to keep it running right. Funny how Windows is the only OS on the market that needs to be defragged on a regular basis, Linux doesn't and neither does OSX.

I am a big fan of Linux and Open Source, but Linux has a long way to go to overcome Windows on the desktop. Too many distributions and very few standards. And before I get blasted by some OSS advocate out here, I run a Linux firewall and PBX as well as a dual boot Win XP/Ubuntu system at home. I also have rolled out many low cost Linux based solutions over the course of my career in IT. It's a great server product.

OSX seems to be the best desktop alternative and I for one am eager to see what the new Intel based Macs have to offer when they come out. Apple just seems to be doing a lot of things right lately.
Posted by (56 comments )
Link Flag
If You Are Broke, Get a Mac
And you will be paying your OS "minor" upgrades for $120 EVERY SINGLE YEAR. Talk about ripping people off :)
Posted by 201293546946733175101343322673 (722 comments )
Link Flag
Microsoft just doesnt get it
People who pay for software are going to pay crack or no crack. These are to only people that are really being scrutinized by yet another failed mean by MS to stop piracy. As a legal owner of a copy of Windows XP I myself am quite tired of proving to MS that I own the software. I have given a code, I have activated now I have to WGA. Why must I constantly prove I bought the software? I dont have to do this with any other item I own. Pirates on the other hand do not worry about activation, codes or WGA as tools such as this are made to keep them from dealing with this hassle. In fact this constant bombardment from MS to prove I bought my copy is starting to make me wish I was using a pirated version.
Posted by Buzz_Friendly (74 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Just pay but use a pirate version
Buzz wrote: "this constant bombardment from MS to prove I bought my copy is starting to make me wish I was using a pirated version" -- so do it! You're doing nothing illegal because you already paid, and you won't get bombarded anymore. Best of both worlds! (I'm serious, too).
Posted by Anonymous1234567890 (53 comments )
Link Flag
I'm tired too!
I too am very tired of having to constantly prove to MS that I have a legal copy of XP. I think it's ridiculous! I bought it, installed it, activated it - it's legal! Stop harassing me!

NOTE TO MICROSOFT: Lower your prices and you would cut piracy in half, and save yourself a ton of money that you now pay your developers to come up with these schemes!
Posted by robbtuck (132 comments )
Link Flag
Microsoft just doesnt get it
People who pay for software are going to pay crack or no crack. These are to only people that are really being scrutinized by yet another failed mean by MS to stop piracy. As a legal owner of a copy of Windows XP I myself am quite tired of proving to MS that I own the software. I have given a code, I have activated now I have to WGA. Why must I constantly prove I bought the software? I dont have to do this with any other item I own. Pirates on the other hand do not worry about activation, codes or WGA as tools such as this are made to keep them from dealing with this hassle. In fact this constant bombardment from MS to prove I bought my copy is starting to make me wish I was using a pirated version.
Posted by Buzz_Friendly (74 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Just pay but use a pirate version
Buzz wrote: "this constant bombardment from MS to prove I bought my copy is starting to make me wish I was using a pirated version" -- so do it! You're doing nothing illegal because you already paid, and you won't get bombarded anymore. Best of both worlds! (I'm serious, too).
Posted by Anonymous1234567890 (53 comments )
Link Flag
I'm tired too!
I too am very tired of having to constantly prove to MS that I have a legal copy of XP. I think it's ridiculous! I bought it, installed it, activated it - it's legal! Stop harassing me!

NOTE TO MICROSOFT: Lower your prices and you would cut piracy in half, and save yourself a ton of money that you now pay your developers to come up with these schemes!
Posted by robbtuck (132 comments )
Link Flag
Microsoft ohhhh Microsoft
I was at your XP roll out and most other roll outs you have performed in the past. One thing I REMEMBER YOU SAYING IS..... Your products will get cheaper because you have developed better security for your products. I am still paying over 200.00 for your OS and 400.00 fo ryour office suite!!!!!! I think you forgot to do something BILL!!!!!

If yo want to cature the market (more than you already have)<snicker>. Price the stuff down...

I understand you have R&D, legal, employees, stocks, etc... But it looks like you are doing pretty well and their seems to be more money than what you need to keep pushing new products out. I have spent about 6K on MS products and proud to say I do not pirate anything from anybody. BUT!!! If I could buy a FULL RETAIL OS from you for 75.00 I would update all 5 of my computers and buy some more of your stuff to go with it. I use a MS mouse an keyboard. I think everyone else may buy the darn things too... Some people like to hack just because and some do it because they can't afford the high price.

I don't care if MS peeks into my boxes to see if I am legit (if that's all they do).... I think that figure will go down quite a bit and MS would sell TONS of copies more and people would pirate a lot less.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Microsoft ohhhh Microsoft
I was at your XP roll out and most other roll outs you have performed in the past. One thing I REMEMBER YOU SAYING IS..... Your products will get cheaper because you have developed better security for your products. I am still paying over 200.00 for your OS and 400.00 fo ryour office suite!!!!!! I think you forgot to do something BILL!!!!!

If yo want to cature the market (more than you already have)<snicker>. Price the stuff down...

I understand you have R&D, legal, employees, stocks, etc... But it looks like you are doing pretty well and their seems to be more money than what you need to keep pushing new products out. I have spent about 6K on MS products and proud to say I do not pirate anything from anybody. BUT!!! If I could buy a FULL RETAIL OS from you for 75.00 I would update all 5 of my computers and buy some more of your stuff to go with it. I use a MS mouse an keyboard. I think everyone else may buy the darn things too... Some people like to hack just because and some do it because they can't afford the high price.

I don't care if MS peeks into my boxes to see if I am legit (if that's all they do).... I think that figure will go down quite a bit and MS would sell TONS of copies more and people would pirate a lot less.
Posted by (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
There is always a way...
No matter what security scheme Microsoft comes up with (or any other software company, for that matter), as long as people in some parts of the world want cheap copies, copy protection schemes will be cracked and software will be copied cheaply. In some countries, it is not illegal to make such copies and defeat such copy protections. As long as it is a desired product, a certain amount of software will be pirated, no matter what.

Just as retail stores have realized a certain amount of shoplifting happens and have implemented the most cost-effective and least intrusive procedures for controlling shoplifting, so too will software companies have to realize that piracy happens and that they will need to implement the most cost effective and least intrusive methods to control piracy. Do more than that and you'll be cutting into your bottom line by discouraging people from buying your software and/or increasing your own costs just to produce the protection schemes.
Posted by Shoa_Creek (79 comments )
Reply Link Flag
There is always a way...
No matter what security scheme Microsoft comes up with (or any other software company, for that matter), as long as people in some parts of the world want cheap copies, copy protection schemes will be cracked and software will be copied cheaply. In some countries, it is not illegal to make such copies and defeat such copy protections. As long as it is a desired product, a certain amount of software will be pirated, no matter what.

Just as retail stores have realized a certain amount of shoplifting happens and have implemented the most cost-effective and least intrusive procedures for controlling shoplifting, so too will software companies have to realize that piracy happens and that they will need to implement the most cost effective and least intrusive methods to control piracy. Do more than that and you'll be cutting into your bottom line by discouraging people from buying your software and/or increasing your own costs just to produce the protection schemes.
Posted by Shoa_Creek (79 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Going above and beyond.
Well, I don't guess it really matters. As long as we choose to use Windows Microsoft can pretty much do and get away with whatever they want so long as it doesn't violate the law (or even if it does sometimes).

Now an alternitive. I use WordPerfect 12. It works a whole lot better than any of the Office versions and cost about half the price. It is also a true WYSIWYG word processor unlike any of the other Office applications (although truthfully I'm not sure that makes a difference anymore). WordPerfect will open and save to the Word format (although I keep a copy of Open Office around because it generally works better for the newer Word formats). WordPerfect hasn't updated their document format since version 6. Office updates their every version I think.

And heres the best part. No product activation. You can even put it on multiple computers. At work we can install it on all of our computers and even let the employees take a copy home to use without violating the licence. Now I'm sure you guys are going to tell me how crappy WordPerfect is and how much better Office is, but I can tell you that I have to use both and Office sucks compared to WordPerfect. Like everything from Microsoft it takes five times as long to get anything done in Office as it does in WordPerfect.

My point is that as far as an office application goes anybody out there buying one should at the very least seriously consider WordPerfect Office 12 (and I only wish I was getting paid, I could use the money).
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Reply Link Flag
OpenOffice RULES
OpenOffice now rules.... I have been using it for years due to MS prices. Version 1.9 (2.0 Beta) works incredibly well. No more MS office.

Now if MAC would just get their x86 OS out,,, I would have no more MS stuff...

AVG, OpenOffice, Ad-Aware, Thunderbird, Opera/Firefox...Life is good.....
Posted by Diablozx9 (2 comments )
Link Flag
Going above and beyond.
Well, I don't guess it really matters. As long as we choose to use Windows Microsoft can pretty much do and get away with whatever they want so long as it doesn't violate the law (or even if it does sometimes).

Now an alternitive. I use WordPerfect 12. It works a whole lot better than any of the Office versions and cost about half the price. It is also a true WYSIWYG word processor unlike any of the other Office applications (although truthfully I'm not sure that makes a difference anymore). WordPerfect will open and save to the Word format (although I keep a copy of Open Office around because it generally works better for the newer Word formats). WordPerfect hasn't updated their document format since version 6. Office updates their every version I think.

And heres the best part. No product activation. You can even put it on multiple computers. At work we can install it on all of our computers and even let the employees take a copy home to use without violating the licence. Now I'm sure you guys are going to tell me how crappy WordPerfect is and how much better Office is, but I can tell you that I have to use both and Office sucks compared to WordPerfect. Like everything from Microsoft it takes five times as long to get anything done in Office as it does in WordPerfect.

My point is that as far as an office application goes anybody out there buying one should at the very least seriously consider WordPerfect Office 12 (and I only wish I was getting paid, I could use the money).
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Reply Link Flag
OpenOffice RULES
OpenOffice now rules.... I have been using it for years due to MS prices. Version 1.9 (2.0 Beta) works incredibly well. No more MS office.

Now if MAC would just get their x86 OS out,,, I would have no more MS stuff...

AVG, OpenOffice, Ad-Aware, Thunderbird, Opera/Firefox...Life is good.....
Posted by Diablozx9 (2 comments )
Link Flag
Minor Upgrades?
You know, at least Apple upgrades their software. When was the last time that Windows did that?

And, I keep hearing that Vista is compared to XP SP3?

I would rather spend much less time maintaining by using a Mac.

BTW, I have a T42 at work, and even with a great IS support team, I still have to spend at least 1-2 hours a week maintaining it. This is something that I just don't have to do with my Mac at home. It just works. I also upgraded it by spending less than $50 on ebay for Tiger. So, for about the same amount as an annual virus protection subscription, I have many more features that my XP machine will not have until the end of 2006 at the soonest.
Posted by jypeterson (181 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Minor Upgrades?
You know, at least Apple upgrades their software. When was the last time that Windows did that?

And, I keep hearing that Vista is compared to XP SP3?

I would rather spend much less time maintaining by using a Mac.

BTW, I have a T42 at work, and even with a great IS support team, I still have to spend at least 1-2 hours a week maintaining it. This is something that I just don't have to do with my Mac at home. It just works. I also upgraded it by spending less than $50 on ebay for Tiger. So, for about the same amount as an annual virus protection subscription, I have many more features that my XP machine will not have until the end of 2006 at the soonest.
Posted by jypeterson (181 comments )
Reply Link Flag
unintentional piracy
Two years ago, I went to a local store and bought an XP system. I try to support the local businessman.
They had two stores, a good business, a good price.
Now I have a pirated syatem, the store closed and I'm told the owners moved to Israel.
Pay for something that I already paid for but was robbed? I'm trying to wait for the NEXT Windows. I'll buy Windows Vista.
Posted by RMargulski (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
unintentional piracy
Two years ago, I went to a local store and bought an XP system. I try to support the local businessman.
They had two stores, a good business, a good price.
Now I have a pirated syatem, the store closed and I'm told the owners moved to Israel.
Pay for something that I already paid for but was robbed? I'm trying to wait for the NEXT Windows. I'll buy Windows Vista.
Posted by RMargulski (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Piracy might be good for Microsoft.
I wonder to what degree piracy actually helps Microsoft? After all, in many developing countries most people do not have computers and usually cannot afford Microsoft products. My guess would be that if people in those countries did not have access to pirated Microsoft products they would be using Linux; after all, what good is a computer without an operating system? Most people (not everyone of course) do not do much more than browse the Internet, read email and do some word processing. Many Linux distributions are now good for all of this and many other things out of the box. It is probably in Microsoft's best interests to actually allow piracy of their software rather than let a competing product steal market share. Just a thought.

John
Posted by Mallardd (47 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Piracy might be good for Microsoft.
I wonder to what degree piracy actually helps Microsoft? After all, in many developing countries most people do not have computers and usually cannot afford Microsoft products. My guess would be that if people in those countries did not have access to pirated Microsoft products they would be using Linux; after all, what good is a computer without an operating system? Most people (not everyone of course) do not do much more than browse the Internet, read email and do some word processing. Many Linux distributions are now good for all of this and many other things out of the box. It is probably in Microsoft's best interests to actually allow piracy of their software rather than let a competing product steal market share. Just a thought.

John
Posted by Mallardd (47 comments )
Reply Link Flag
And M$ is supposed to be smart.
Hey all you M$ execs. Why not use your head just a little bit. We know you are sorry for the BSOD, but if you really want to stop the piracy, simply use MySQL server and store all the keys YOU generate and compare against the persons computer. Then set the computer to freeze up if they are not complient. Geez. You do it now if a copy isn't activated by 30 days. You have the keys you generated. By the way, I'm a Linux user now, and I run 5 different OS's and paid NOTHING and they work many times better than Windoz. :P
Posted by (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

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