Raise Your Hand If You Didn’t See This Coming

Untitled document

The new Microsoft Vista operating system will disable your computer if it decides you are running a pirated copy of the new system.

The world's largest software maker said Wednesday that people running a version of Windows Vista that it believes is pirated will initially be denied access to some of the most anticipated Vista features. That includes Windows Aero, an improved graphics technology.

If a legitimate copy is not bought within 30 days, the system will curtail functionality much further by restricting users to just the Web browser for an hour at a time, said Thomas Lindeman, Microsoft senior product manager.

Under that scenario, a person could use the browser to surf the Web, access documents on the hard drive or log onto Web-based e-mail. But the user would not be able to directly open documents from the computer desktop or run other programs such as Outlook e-mail software, Lindeman said.

Microsoft said it won't stop a computer running pirated Vista software from working completely, and it will continue to deliver critical security updates.

The company also said it has added more sophisticated technology for monitoring whether a system is pirated. For example, the system will be able to perform some piracy checks internally, without contacting Microsoft, Lindeman said.

Microsoft also is adding ways to more closely monitor for piracy among big corporate users, who tend to buy licenses in bulk.

Microsoft plans to take similar tough measures with the forthcoming version of its Windows server software, dubbed "Longhorn," and to incorporate it into other products down the road.

Which is one reason I'm looking into this right now. (That and the enormous expense of Microsoft software). I have an older computer kicking about that I can experiment with to see if I like Linux-based systems.

UPDATE: Already having had one comment that misunderstood me, all of my Microsoft software is legal. Period. But I take a bit of umbrage at a software company that thinks it has a right to do anything to my computer without my permission. I have absolutely no plans to upgrade to Vista – probably ever.

This entry was posted in Geek Stuff. Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Raise Your Hand If You Didn’t See This Coming

  1. old_dawg says:

    Given the success with which Microsoft has implemented the other security features in its products, I am confident that an open source hack to disable this feature will be available shortly.

  2. ck says:

    I still haven’t seen where it’s written that stealing software is ok. Now don’t lock your car, that would stop a less fortunate person from using it. A copy of windows costs $100, what’s the big deal?

  3. Gaius says:

    That was not the point of the post. Sorry if you got that impression. THe point is that I do not want an operating system that can potentially do damage to my computer on its own say-so. What if it is not pirated, but the computer makes a mistake? Anymore than I want people installing software without my say so. (I bought all my copies quite legally, thank you).

    Also one copy, no big deal. Six copies, a bit larger issue.

  4. guy says:

    You might want to download some free copies of varios linux distro’s before laying out $30.

    Ubuntu fits on 1 CD and is a decent place to start.

    Otherwise SuSE is decent as well, though you’ll need a DVD to get it to fit.

    I’m messing around with those 2 right now as I currently run Win2k and have gotten tired of being forced to upgrade.

  5. Gaius says:

    I might have to check that out, then.

  6. Linux systems work fine if you have fairly common equipment. That’s the rub–anything slightly unusual and you may have feel like you’re in the wayback machine, hunting down drivers and trying to install them. That and, of course, there simply isn’t the same variety of software available for them. But most users focusing on normal tasks–surfing, word processing, spreadsheet etc.–can get along with though occasionally with the need for a little extra patience.

  7. webloggin says:

    For me there is a line between activation and monitoring. If Microsoft intends to allow one time activation then I am fine. Systems should not run into the prospect of being disabled once activated. If however they decide that they will actively monitor my machines that is something entirely different. I would imagine that they would continue to check as part of the numerous critical updates that will be needed to fix the holes in the OS from time to time. (to time to time …..)

    The price may be prohibitive for people with large networks. That and the prospect of upgrading all that great software we bought already! This is where Linux comes in handy.

    I am both a Linux and Windows developer and like the flexibility given on the open source platforms but they don’t come without a cost in time. For people who do intense video and graphics either Microsoft or Mac are my preferred platforms (especially since MAC is based on BSD).

    However, it will still be important to check code changes on blogs with a copy of Internet Explorer even if you use Opera or Firefox.

Comments are closed.