Jump to content

Microsoft Nags U.S. Users Of Fake Windows


The Highlander

Recommended Posts

 

If Microsoft thinks your copy of Windows is pirated, the software will display a nag screen upon login.

 

Microsoft on Tuesday expanded its anti-piracy efforts by unveiling a tool that puts "nag" messages on the screens of computers running bogus copies of Windows.

 

The "Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications" tool displays a message when users of counterfeit Windows log on. "It appears that you could be a victim of software piracy. The copy of Windows installed on this computer is not considered to be genuine by Microsoft," the initial dialog box message reads. "The notification will continue to display until your computer is running genuine Microsoft Windows."

 

A similar message pops up at random times from the system tray section of the Windows taskbar.

 

If users choose to ignore the warning -- a "Resolve me later" button is available from the log-on dialog -- Windows plants a permanent banner at the bottom of the screen that reads "You might be the victim of software piracy. The copy of Windows installed on this computer is not considered to be genuine by Microsoft."

 

All the messages will lead users to a Web site where Microsoft pitches the benefits of legit Windows, and describes its previously-announced offers for free or reduced-price copies of Windows XP Home and Professional.

 

The tool has been used by Microsoft in a pilot program involving seven countries since November 2005, but on Tuesday it was extended to the U.S., U.K., Malaysia, Australia, and New Zealand.

 

Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications won't be immediately pushed to everyone in those markets, but for those randomly chosen, Microsoft will put the tool in the "High-priority updates" section of Windows Update's and Microsoft Update's selections. (However, out of four machines used by various TechWeb reporters, however, all four were "picked" for the download.)

 

For the moment, users can decline to download and install the pirate alert. But that may not last long. "While the program is presently opt-in, as it expands later in the year, it may become a requirement for the AU [Automatic Updates] service," Microsoft said in a FAQ on its Web site.

 

Users who have set Automatic Updates -- the mechanism Microsoft's recommended Windows users apply to receive security (and other) updates -- to the "Automatic (recommended)" option must decline the EULA (End User License Agreement) for the tool by clicking the "I decline" button to sidestep the download and installation.

 

Once installed, Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications can't be uninstalled.

 

"This is phase 2," said Joe Wilcox, an analyst with JupiterResearch. "Phase 1 was withholding certain things, such as downloads. But that wasn't going to make sure that people get legal, so they went on to the next phase. Now Microsoft's going to remind them at boot, when the system wakes from sleep, that there's something funky about their Windows."

Microsoft may be anticipating a backlash about the tool, for in its FAQ it answered the leading question of "Why is Microsoft including WGA Notifications through Automatic Updates? Isn’t this an invasion of privacy for users?"

 

"We have received feedback from customers that they appreciate the ability to determine whether or not their reseller sold them a genuine version of Windows. Providing WGA through AU will simplify the validation process for customers," said Microsoft.

 

While the stick is clearly the piracy checker, Microsoft's carrot for users of legitimate Windows is access to Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Defender, the company's in-development browser and anti-spyware software, respectively.

 

"Microsoft is limiting IE 7 and Windows Defender updates for non-genuine users," the company said on its Web site. Windows Vista, scheduled for general release in January 2007, will have an even bigger carrot: its Aero Glass interface will run only on valid copies of the operating system.

 

"Microsoft thinks it's time to tell people that they've been a naughty boy," said JupiterResearch's Wilcox. "My expectation is that they'll get more aggressive [in anti-piracy] than not."

 

By its move Tuesday, Microsoft's already started.

 

Full lik here to artical

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As you can see by my posts , im the same.

don't like IE7 and don't want or use there antispyware tool..

 

But what really pevs me off is in the automatic on-line updates, if you get this notice saying that there is a new update available, you see the spyware Defender tool in the list and you de-select the tick and when you go apply it asks you do you want to be notified of this update again , and you select NO...

well within 5 minutes it says that there is an update available again , and guess what it shows in the list....Defender..

this happens in the corporate SUS update to..

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As you can see by my posts , im the same.

don't like IE7 and don't want or use there antispyware tool..

 

But what really pevs me off is in the automatic on-line updates, if you get this notice saying that there is a new update available, you see the spyware Defender tool in the list and you de-select the tick and when you go apply it asks you do you want to be notified of this update again , and you select NO...

well within 5 minutes it says that there is an update available again , and guess what it shows in the list....Defender..

this happens in the corporate SUS update to..

 

First let's take a look at Roxio. If you go down a few posts in this forum you will find that certain among us, myself included, are required to re-register Roxio 8 each and every time we want to start the thing. If you want to complain about nag screens, start with Roxio, where there is already an active thread in the forum. I keep re-registering just for the heck of it. Roxio must know who I am, since I purchased it directly online from them and have a valid serial number, and many users don't register legitimate software because doing so might get them on a spam list. That thread is still active (much like D2D, which is outrageous if only for the amount of acreage the full icon consumes on the desktop), with no resolution yet from Roxio. Let's keep an eye on those for further developments.

 

Microsoft's protestations about piracy are something I read while wearing either of my two different Stacker T-shirts. Microsoft has its own history of borrowing other people's ideas, and to the best of my knowledge has lost at least four court cases and/or settled out of court. The real number may be much higher, because Microsoft has deep pockets and lawyers are expensive. On the other hand, Microsoft invites members of its user base to suggest, in exchange for nothing, improvements, for which read intellectual property, that might be of benefit to other users, for which read the richest man in the world.

 

I made a post about the April 11 Windows update having possibly caused me to lose a previously-functioning D2D. I got a load of updates yesterday which didn't fix the thing at all. I have XP Home on two older, back-up computers, and the IE cumulative fix won't (and wouldn't previously) even install on those. I test things on those machines, which led to my trying IE7 beta 2, which led to the demand that the computers be validated or whatever it is.

 

Fair enough, I let them do their stuff, but the problem is that both of those computers have been validated at least twice before. The demand might have something to do with government policy rather than the silly software, but once installed, the silly software wouldn't work and since the original patch was said to have much to do with security and government policy might have much to do with security, maybe Microsoft and Roxio can be persuaded that it is in everyone's interest to do their utmost to see to it that the updates that are the pretext for the validation actually work.

 

The problem is not confined to US users.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't use the auto-update.

 

Every time I turn the Beast on (plug in, turn on power strip, turn on screen, turn on computer) it advises me that auto-update is turned off and that is a potentially serious security problem, and I close the warning by hitting the "x" in the corner.

 

However, my computers are set to NEVER dial out unescorted. Besides, by not using auto-update, I didn't get WinPlayer 9 on my Win98 SE. Therefore ECDC 5 still runs - which does nothing to convince me I should use auto-update. (The Win98 SE runs 24/7.)

 

So I would define the problem as using auto-update, not what Microsoft is trying to send. However, they may have added that to the list since the last time I was there (or I accidentally failed to delete it from my custom update), so perhaps don't really know the status of things.

 

Lynn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I may be wrong Lynn, but why can't you just go to the "Auto Update" settings via the control panel and turn auto update OFF. Somewhere deep in the programming of these updates may lurk some devious doings, ya think ?

 

Frank....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I may be wrong Lynn, but why can't you just go to the "Auto Update" settings via the control panel and turn auto update OFF. Somewhere deep in the programming of these updates may lurk some devious doings, ya think ?

 

Frank....

 

I DID. That's why it is complaining auto-update is turned off.

 

Lynn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seems to me Lynn that that's all I had to do was disable it. Since then I don't get any more of those screens telling me to update. I'll go back and check what my setting look like and what I did to get that accomplished.

 

Frank....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Seems to me Lynn that that's all I had to do was disable it. Since then I don't get any more of those screens telling me to update. I'll go back and check what my setting look like and what I did to get that accomplished.

 

Frank....

Maybe you don't do a cold boot? I have the Beast on for an hour or two per day - it used to be once every week or two, but eBay has listened to the requests by the sellers, and now works best with WinXP, a High-Speed connection, and a 17" or larger screen - and I only have the first. (I let it download multiple screens while I read the paper - more than 2 or 3 screens are not a good idea on a Win98 SE / 400MHz.)

 

I guess it's nice they listened to the sellers, altho I gave up selling on eBay.

 

It may turn out that they also need buyers, tho.

 

Lynn

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You have some awful good points there Lynn. You have me stuck now :) I have all the above mentioned items you say you need but I have never had any reason to "sell" on E-bay. I have purchased there a couple of times but have found other web sites where I can do as well.

 

I cold boot several times a day on my computer and have never been bothered by that MS update since I turned it off.

 

Frank....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...