Microsoft’s Genuine Advantage becomes mandatory

OSNews points to an eWeek article, Microsoft Lowers the Boom on Illegal Windows Copies. “Microsoft is tightening the noose for those people running illegal or pirated copies of its Windows XP/2000 software on their systems. Starting Tuesday, it will be mandatory for users of this Windows software to certify that their software is a genuine and legal copy before they will be able to receive any updates except security patches.”

This just has Bad Idea written all over it. Copy Protection (and this is just a delayed form of Copy Protection) inevitably takes out some innocent bystanders while the really serious pirates work around it. (The first PC software I bought was CopyIIPC so that I could make backup copies of the company’s Lotus 1-2-3 key disks, since the employees were always destroying disks.) Some of Microsoft’s customers will end up in a situation where the “Windows Genuine Advantage” package, in an effort to enhance their experience, stops them from doing what they legitimately need to get done. More collateral damage. We’ve all ended up in a situation where Windows demands “Office CD 2” or that you type in some product key thats back in the office a thousand miles away. From the article:

Microsoft has also made changes to streamline the process, including no longer requiring customers to enter their product key since the ActiveX control used to validate their software can now automatically determine whether they have a genuine Windows product.

Oh, that should work fine.

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