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Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates – Windows XP song and dance show is getting tuned up for Windows Vista but reviews are not very good

April 3rd, 2007 · No Comments ·

Previously we wrote:

Today’s Microsoft out-of-cycle patch – should we be pleased?

Steve Palmer – motivating workers – a new approach

To get you up to speed it is necessary to go down history line a bit.

A while back we were one of the earlier geek sites that pointed out a trend regarding Microsoft’s strategy for getting an ever tighter grip on the desktop market. At the time lots of people belittled us a bit about what we had to say:

2001-10-24 — Microsoft Windows XP: First Grab Market Dominance, ….. then get mean with copyright violators

2001-10-25 — Microsoft XP: …therafter Let us Try to Eliminate IT Security and Other Software Vendors

2001-10-26 — Microsoft XP: …Not Everything Works Perfect…. So we have to please those Security Vendors at least until we get things under control

Now we are beginning to see that Windows Vista is represents a carefully orchestrated effort to get ever more control over copyright issues and leverage the operating system for an ever greater revenue stream as we have outlined here:

CyTRAP Labs – trend – Windows Vista – user rights, prices and Aldi machts moeglich

While with Windows XP antipiracy measures were a bit of an afterthought as shown in the above links, things have changed for windows Vista. Now Microsoft makes copying Vista a monster task

As we predicted in 2001, Microsoft began fighting pirates slowly beginning with quietly testing a Windows Genuine Advantage program in 2004. At that time users had an an optional check that offered neither benefits for taking part, nor penalties for machines that did not pass. In fact, security updates were provided to all machines.

These efforts were quickly expanded by first adding some incentives for those machines that were verified. Thereafter, Microsoft made these checks mandatory in order to download most Windows updates and free add-ons.

Technology built into Vista enables Microsoft to periodically evaluate the PC’s Operating System, thereby making sure it is legitimate. Before 2004, Windows XP enabled the firm to check only, when the product key was first entered at activation.

As we pointed out in the Aldi story above, you can no longer take a Windows Vista from your old machine and install it on your newer one in a year or so, the activation key will no longer work. In fact you have to proof to Microsoft that the ‘old’ system is no longer running Windows Vista, otherwise MS assumes your Vista on your new PC is a pirated version. Hence, your machine will fail validation and, therefore, go into reduced functionality mode if not remedied within 30 days. As a result, your new PC can be used only to browse the Internet for an hour at a time unless you either:

a) purchase a new version of Windows Vista even though you paid for it already and you did remove it from your old PC, or else

b) convince Microsoft that you did not pirate the version you are using, however, the onus of proof is on your side and Microsoft was unable to let us know exactly what will be required (our version did start to have problems …. within 30 days already … we made a test, of course, about the above scenario … to tell you how it works).

Hence, your user rights are limited with Windows Vista and Microsoft’s interpretation of copyright is such that a user has difficulty in getting the rights he or she is provided with if we follow the law. We are convinced that this will cause a lot of bad press for Microsoft but, the firm will master this problem as well.

Incidentally, volume licensing is also getting tougher. In the past, enterprises were able to use one product key across an unlimited number of machines. Those were the good old days, now the firm has two options:

1) either use a PC or server as a sort of Vista cop kepping track which machines run Vista, or else

2) get a key that has a set number of activations and use that key until all numbers are used up.

If you prefer you are able to use a combination but, you will be forced to account for Vista much more extensively than you did for Windows XP …. otherwise your employees are sitting in front of a PC that turns itself up after an hour of use…. what a nice work day that will be when we have all these Vista user’s going to the park because they are unable to work with their computers. You can be sure that mistakes will happen whereby Microsoft’s antipiracy system decides that certain PC’s in the corporate network use pirated software…. you may as well send those workers home since their machines will be not functioning properly.


If you do not have broadband Internet access, things can get REALLY cumbersome with Windows Vista as we pointed out here a while back:

Windows Vista content protection – why it will fail and hurt users in the developing world the most

Windows Vista is not great if you use a metered internet connection

Windows Vista – big brother is watching and you better behave or else ….

If the above material does not get you to pause a bit and wonder, we are not sure what will but if you are concerned about your rights as an end-user, Windows Vista must be getting you worried.


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