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No Aero Glass for you

Microsoft is doing everything within its power to deter pirates from using unauthorized copies of Windows Vista. Its latest move disables a key feature in Vista, but is it enough to deter pirates?

Microsoft's latest strategy is to disable the fancy Aero Glass user interface for pirated copies of Windows Vista. A Microsoft representative told CNET yesterday that a software check will be in place to verify the authenticity of a Windows Vista install. "Those who are not running genuine Windows will not be able to take advantage of the Windows Aero user experience."

Pirates will join the poor souls who don't have enough graphics horsepower to enjoy features such as transparent windows and Flip3D. While the final hardware requirements are not available for Vista -- besides requiring a genuine copy of the operating system -- a user's graphics card will need a Vista-specific WDDM driver, at least 1.8GB/sec of memory bandwidth and a minimum amount of graphics memory based on screen resolution.

In the end, I feel that disabling Aero Glass isn't enough for pirates -- I say shut down the whole operating system. A quick check shows that an OEM copy of Windows XP Home, XP Professional or XP Media Center Edition can be had for $90, $145 and $115 respectively. Is that too much to ask for an operating system that you will likely be using everyday for the next four to five years?

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I really dont get it either.
By Plasmoid on 4/14/2006 12:03:45 PM , Rating: 2
So i understand its another attempt to deter pirates.

But if they can detect that its a pirated copy then why not track the copy and take legal action, or yeah shut it down.

The only thing i can think of is that the method they plan to use to detect if the copy is pirated is less then accurate... which wont be good.

RE: I really dont get it either.
By Xenoterranos on 4/14/2006 12:11:49 PM , Rating: 1
No kidding. The least we can hope for is that it's better than what they did for XP. I often have to fix computers for people whave older pre-sp1 keys on the side sticker...but no installation media. It sucks because I then have to tell them that their CD key doesn't work anymore and that they have to buy windows again (since I don't have any pre-sp1 disks). I've called MS about it and ll they say is that it's an issue they have to take up with their OEM. I wonder if DRM will ever go full-circle back to the dongle days?

RE: I really dont get it either.
By glennpratt on 4/14/2006 8:23:24 PM , Rating: 2
Dude, you have your clients buy a new copy when they have a valid SP1 key! Really, just find a copy, if your gonna do that kind of work much it's worth it. I keep a copy of just about every version of Windows from MSDN in my notebook. I haven't looked into the legalities of it, but frankly I don't care. If I have ever had problems with an OEM key, I just telephone for activation and say I'm reinstalling and they very graciouly oblige. I've even told them that someone lost the original media and I was using media from another machine and they didn't care.

RE: I really dont get it either.
By glennpratt on 4/14/2006 8:23:49 PM , Rating: 2
SP1 ==> pre SP1

By horsecharles on 4/15/2006 1:10:26 AM , Rating: 2
I agree! Send those poor souls to me-- i'll take better care of them. Read them their rights to seek a second opinion before charging them anything....LOL

RE: I really dont get it either.
By KenGoding on 4/17/2006 4:38:15 PM , Rating: 2
I frequently install XP SP2 OEM on computers with stickers from the older days... never had a problem. Always gets me to Windows, then when it's time to activate I call, explain that I had to install OEM on a Compaq or whatever, and everything's cool. Don't see why you can't do that.

RE: I really dont get it either.
By Wwhat on 4/14/2006 12:14:06 PM , Rating: 2
It is against the law (so far) to collect personable identifiable information of users without their consent.
(microsoft found that out the hard way when the law warned them before)
And as if that aero thing won't be cracked before they even have the final cd in the shop btw.

RE: I really dont get it either.
By TomZ on 4/14/06, Rating: 0
RE: I really dont get it either.
By Decaydence on 4/14/2006 3:04:09 PM , Rating: 2
Privacy laws, which are derivatives of constitutional precedent.

RE: I really dont get it either.
By TomZ on 4/14/06, Rating: -1
RE: I really dont get it either.
By fsardis on 4/14/2006 6:14:01 PM , Rating: 2
Hello!! This is earth calling TomZ. Come in TomZ do you read me?
Its called Data Protection Act. It cannot be violated by anyone apart from the government. Though how RIAA and the likes of them bypass it and trace file sharers i dont know.

RE: I really dont get it either.
By TomZ on 4/14/2006 7:55:43 PM , Rating: 1
What is the Data Protection Act? Is this a U.S. law? I've never heard of it, and I can't find anything on Google, except for laws in Europe with that name.

RE: I really dont get it either.
By Camylarde on 4/14/2006 3:04:28 PM , Rating: 2
Probably the same law that fines a home owner for having the burglar locked for three days in the owner's garage, as the burglar was skilled enough to get to the house but when he went to the garage, he got locketd there. He suited the house owner, he won. Nonsense to me, but that is the america.

RE: I really dont get it either.
By debunked on 4/14/2006 3:16:26 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, the bit about the burgler suing after being locked in the garage is urban myth (

RE: I really dont get it either.
By Decaydence on 4/14/2006 3:25:39 PM , Rating: 2
Ignore my last post about the truth of this story, even though the url debunked gave doesn't say anything about it. This place link indicates the story is fabricated: . I thought it was true at first because an insurance provider used the story on their site to try and sell people homeowners insurance. Probably not a good idea to get insurance from that place.

RE: I really dont get it either.
By debunked on 4/14/2006 3:38:34 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, wrong link. Wiki mentions it:

RE: I really dont get it either.
By Decaydence on 4/14/2006 3:20:12 PM , Rating: 2
I wouldn't have believed that story to be true had it not been for the fact that I just looked it up. That is just about the worst thing I have ever heard (or read, as it were).

By darrenforster99 on 4/17/2006 3:56:53 PM , Rating: 2
Well the easiest way to get round that is in the big long disclaimer thing that no-one ever fully reads, find a place somewhere in the middle that reads something like "By agreeing to this disclaimer I give my consent for Microsoft to collect personable identifiable information" (maybe cut out some of the stupid bits of the disclaimer, like not using Windows to control a nuclear power plant or a life support machine - I mean come on who in their right mind runs a nuclear power plant on such an unreliable OS as Windows anyway - Blue Screen of Death - "Nuclear Meltdown in Sector 7G but don't worry, Windows will restart in 5 minutes" and I can imagine that paper clip on a life support machine "Hello, this person's heart has stopped beating, Would you like me to run the resucitation wizard?" (LOL)), then Microsoft have permission to gain the information from pirates, and sue them for breaching the disclaimer (and for piracy!).

Their goal isn't zero piracy.
By AndreasM on 4/14/2006 12:19:06 PM , Rating: 4
Because they still want as many people as possible using Windows and reinforcing their dominance in the OS market. Even if they are able to stop people from pirating Windows, it won't automatically result in one more copy sold, instead the pirate might go to Linux.

Microsoft doesn't really care about private persons pirating as even Gates has stated that it's a good way to get their foot in the door, as people who are used to Windows at home are more inclined to use it at work as well; corporations are Microsoft's main source of income.

Of course they still want to maximise their profits by selling their OS to ordinary people as well, hence the crippling of pirated copies of Windows. Those who really don't want to pay for Windows won't, software can always be hacked.

RE: Their goal isn't zero piracy.
By TomZ on 4/14/2006 2:10:37 PM , Rating: 1
No, way! Microsoft cares deeply about sales of Windows to home users. Home users account for a significant portion of Windows sales, and also a good portion of the near-future growth in sales of Windows, i.e., due to HTPC sales.

RE: Their goal isn't zero piracy.
By ToeCutter on 4/14/2006 2:57:08 PM , Rating: 3
No, way! Microsoft cares deeply about sales of Windows to home users. Home users account for a significant portion of Windows sales, and also a good portion of the near-future growth in sales of Windows, i.e., due to HTPC sales.

Um, not really. Retail sales of Windows licenses account for less than 15% of Microsoft's revenue overall Windows revenue (as of Q2 2005). It's probably much lower than that now as WinXP is another year old.

MS hasn't been real agressive on curbing the piracy of Windows. Even when WPA fails, all that is required is a phone call to MS, give 'em the code and they'll reset the license. This is hardly represents a global campaign against Windows piracy.

A few years ago it was always suspected that MS basically allowed the rampant "piracy" (more accurately, rampant *installation*) of Windows, right up to Win2000, to allow MS to maintain broad market share. I remember Dvorak or someone writing an article that mentioned that even by MS's own estimates of Win95 users just before the release of Win98 showed that there weren't nearly enough Win95 licenses sold to account for the associated market share.

Summary: This isn't new. It's been going on for years. MS doesn't want to *kill* a pirated copy, they just want to make it painful enough to force one to buy a copy.

Oh, and regarding HTPCs: Watch for several OEMs to release full-blown "Media Center" clones based on Linux. Cyberlink has already released theirs to OEMs:

RE: Their goal isn't zero piracy.
By debunked on 4/14/2006 3:29:43 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft's revenue growth for fiscal year 2005 "was driven by growth in licensing of Windows Server operating systems and other server applications, licensing of Windows Client operating systems through OEMs ..." The business units responsible for Client and Server OS licensing represent 30% and 25% of Microsoft's FY2005 revenue respectively.

RE: Their goal isn't zero piracy.
By Chernobyl68 on 4/14/2006 5:12:03 PM , Rating: 2
In my experience the software or OS I use at home has no bearing whatsoever on what I have at work...if it did I wouldn't be still using office 97 at work...!!
companies use whatever suits them...wether its the most compatible, most secure, cheapest, etc, they make up their own minds.


RE: Their goal isn't zero piracy.
By agentcooper on 4/15/2006 9:43:34 PM , Rating: 2
Or really?

So having access to free versions of Linux and other software (e.g. OpenOffice) isn't enough reason for companies to abandon MS?

It would sure save a lot of money. Especially when they are under the very real and very expensive threat from the BSA for licensing violations.

If MS made it impossible to install Windows w/o activation the market share of Linux would explode. The reason companies stick with Windows and other MS software is because that's what people are used to using at home. I know lots of Mac uses where I work (university research). At home they have only ever used Mac and when they get in front of a Windows machine at work they act as if they were working on a computer form planet Vulcan. IOW they would rather use only Mac at work.

RE: Their goal isn't zero piracy.
By rrsurfer1 on 4/19/2006 11:30:49 AM , Rating: 2
The fact is, no, access to free software is not enough to get most companies to switch.

It's the cost of ownership companies look at, not the cost of the product. Windows is what most people know, so they don't need to pay for costly service, or they already have service contracts with MS. In addition, companies usually have large amounts of sofware that will only run on windows, and switching platforms is a very expensive (or even impossible) proposition. Not to mention in-house software that would need many manhours of porting.

By darrenforster99 on 4/17/2006 4:01:32 PM , Rating: 2
This comment is quite correct. Piracy is good for some products. Piracy is the main reason why Sony are leading the console battle at the moment, Dreamcast's & Gamecube's both died because they prevented piracy, no doubt if Microsoft managed to eradicate piracy 100% they'd find that the Linux OS would suddenly get a lot better than Windows and most people would be using that.

Yes, $90 can be much.
By xdrol on 4/14/2006 12:10:12 PM , Rating: 2
There ARE ppl, who
- need to use Windows
- don't have $90

Like students in middle/east Europe (as myself..). Ok, I don't say pirating is good, they should at least try the free alternatives, but what you state is not true everywhere.

RE: Yes, $90 can be much.
By haelduksf on 4/14/2006 1:06:12 PM , Rating: 2
Whatever you sell (I'm assuming you sell/produce something), do you give it for free to anyone who needs it?

Here's a hint: there are at least 1 billion people who can't afford whatever it is you make, and who probably NEED it just as much as you need windows.

RE: Yes, $90 can be much.
By Patrese on 4/14/2006 1:56:37 PM , Rating: 2
Whatever you sell (I'm assuming you sell/produce something), do you give it for free to anyone who needs it?

I think you're missing the point. US$90 in the US is not such a problem, but R$279,00 in Brazil (the price of WindowsXP Home) is a really big amount of money for most people who buys PCs, specially considering that the usual home/office PCs here costs about R$1100 with a 14' CRT. It'd be a 25% increase on the computers price, to cut the story short. The Brazilian Government is already migrating much of its software base to Linux, so it's quite likely that if Microsoft increases its DRM while keeping their price levels, they'd sell less software here, and not more... That said, it'd pay R$90 anytime for a original copy of Windows.

RE: Yes, $90 can be much.
By TomZ on 4/14/2006 2:14:49 PM , Rating: 1
How is this really any different than the situation as it stands today? Does Windows cost that much in Brazil now?

RE: Yes, $90 can be much.
By mtnmanak on 4/14/2006 5:27:57 PM , Rating: 2
You're seriously not living in the real world if you believe Microsoft would lower their prices if there was less piracy. They have a monopoly. They will continue to charge high prices even if their software was never illegally copied.

RE: Yes, $90 can be much.
By TomZ on 4/14/06, Rating: 0
RE: Yes, $90 can be much.
By masteraleph on 4/16/2006 10:30:51 AM , Rating: 2
Think it through for a second- he's saying that Windows costs approximately 1/4 of the price of a computer with a 14" CRT. Now, in the US, you probably can't even find a 14" CRT, but if a computer were to be sold with one, the price would certainly be less than $360 (see some recent cheap Dells). The actual percentage of the price is not unreasonable. The difference is that computers in Brazil cost much more relative to the average person's salary than they do in the US, not that Windows costs more relative to the average computer.

RE: Yes, $90 can be much.
By Snuffalufagus on 4/14/2006 2:36:51 PM , Rating: 2
I think he hit the point very well, and MS does more than its share to bring both hardware and software (and other things) to countries/people that have difficulty obtaining them. And the less pirating there is the more they could do. Of course, when they give a copy of software to someone who would have pirated it anyways, the same guy turns around and screams how they're trying to saturate the market and force him into compliance. LMAO-STFU and don't use it then. For a bunch of people who hate Windows we sure do give up any ethical concerns quickly enough to steal it and run our games (or stolen office apps, whatever).

Many of these 'deterrents' are put in place due to MS complying with legal issues and regulations, they cannot simply remove them, or make them bulletproof. If anyone has a solution that would be transparent to the legitimate user but full proof against every pirate out there I bet you could get a job and retire in a month.

FWIW - this price point would drop if less copies were pirated and legitimate licenses were paid for (yeah!! for the shitheads screwing it up for everyone again).

RE: Yes, $90 can be much.
By bob661 on 4/14/2006 3:46:34 PM , Rating: 2
MS does more than its share to bring both hardware and software (and other things) to countries/people that have difficulty obtaining them.
How does MS actually do this?

RE: Yes, $90 can be much.
By peternelson on 4/14/2006 6:12:30 PM , Rating: 3

The planet has various countries with a range of disposable incomes or none.

That is why Vista will be offered in a "Starter Edition" (or LAME edition) which will be restricted eg to running a maximum of three applications at once. Whilst still letting the user "use" windows.

Certainly linux is often an option.

However when thinking "Is $90 too much" well if you use it all the time on a machine, it's maybe ok, but if you have 10 PCs in your house and need to install OS on all of them, and some you only use rarely, then you have to seriously question whether $900 is money well spent.

I believe there should be CHOICE in the OS supplied by manufacturers. Already there is price difference between XP home and professional. So why not offer linux too but reflect that in lower price of PC.

The only issue that skews competition is things like DRM where content, games and/or programs are locked so that they ONLY work on "windows". That gives Microsoft an unfair advantage and should be opposed. I support anti-piracy measures and have not pirated any OS or software. It's all licensed. Having said that, it was a no-brainer to use Openoffice on most of my machines and just have one MS office for compatibility if needed because MS pricing is $$$$.

RE: Yes, $90 can be much.
By haelduksf on 4/14/2006 2:51:07 PM , Rating: 2
You're missing my point. MS worked to produce Windows. They paid money to develop it. The did the reaserch, and made it compatible with the rediculous number of IBM-compatible systems and peripherals. They produced it, and they own it, therefor they can charge what they like for you to use it.

And now, because they are charging "too much" (according to you), you have the right to steal it from them? If it's too expensive, use Linux/xBSD/DOS. If enough people don't buy it, MS will be forced to lower their price rather than lose money in your locale. If you HAVE to run a Windows app, then I guess you have to buy Windows.

According to your philosophy, if you have a compact car and you want to haul something large, you should steal a cube van, because cube vans are obviously too expensive for a poor compact-car-owner like you.

Your need is not a substitute for your money.

RE: Yes, $90 can be much.
By Patrese on 4/14/2006 10:10:08 PM , Rating: 2
You certainly got a point haelduksf, but what I'm saying is that if they really want to decrease piracy/increase DRM on underdeveloped countries, they should do something about their prices. Otherwise they will end up forcing people to use Linux, and when most people starts using Linux, why bother paying a Windows license anymay? They may end up losing installed base, not only in terms of pirated copies, but also people who's already got an original but can't see the point in upgrading anymore, since lots of people are turning their back to MS and using Linux.

- TomZ, as I said before, a Windows XP Home in Brazil costs R$279,00, which is about US$130. A basic PC (CeleronD with onboard video and CD-RW, 14'CRT, 20GB HD and 128MB of RAM), commonly sold in supermarkets around here is worth R$1100, or US$518, without OS or with Ubuntu or Kumumin Linux .

RE: Yes, $90 can be much.
By semo on 4/15/2006 8:45:22 AM , Rating: 2
can you play most popular pc games on a linux os?

RE: Yes, $90 can be much.
By haelduksf on 4/16/2006 9:19:22 AM , Rating: 1
Some- heard of ?

And I don't see what this has to do with anything- if you only "need" Windows to play $50 games, then you can certainly pay out $90 for the OS.

RE: Yes, $90 can be much.
By darrenforster99 on 4/17/2006 4:13:38 PM , Rating: 2
Woah! R$279, just put that into and it came up with £73.98, that's pretty cheap in comparison to the UK for Windows. When I bought XP for my computer last year it was about £150-£200 for XP Home in the UK, in the end I had it imported from the states, it only cost me £65, and that was a proper legitimate copy of Windows XP with sticker, CD, book everything (except box) - why should I pay extra to live in rip-off Britain!

RE: Yes, $90 can be much.
By jconan on 4/14/2006 10:19:37 PM , Rating: 2
ubuntoou linux to the rescue...

RE: Yes, $90 can be much.
By MrSmurf on 4/15/2006 12:38:39 PM , Rating: 2
Like students in middle/east Europe (as myself..). Ok, I don't say pirating is good, they should at least try the free alternatives, but what you state is not true everywhere.

You mean like... Linux? Don't use that "I can't afford it" excuse that's usually follows everyone who downloads PhotoShop.

RE: Yes, $90 can be much.
By bpurkapi on 4/15/2006 11:16:59 PM , Rating: 2
I totally agree, I am a student and tech costs can be outrageous for us school kids. Paying for tuition, books, rent, and if money is left over for the occassional beer, 90 bucks is still pretty steep for any college kid. And the solution microsoft gives us is only allowing three programs at once for the value customer? Do background apps count? All I know is the future of tech kind of sucks digital media management rights built into vista make we wanna stick with xp and say no to hd/bluray and keep my upscaling dvd player.

Pirating, to be consise is called stealing...
By clementlim on 4/14/2006 5:53:30 PM , Rating: 2
Pirating is stealing. Full stop. No laws in the world allow people to steal stuffs from other people. Robin Hood do steal from the rich and give it to the poor, but you can't really say it is the same case for pirates, turning something expensive into something very affordable.

In my country, you can get a pirated Windows XP Pro SP2 for RM5- that's USD1.50. just a little more than a burger at Wendy's or McD, or a song download from iTunes. An original copy cost RM500 - that's USD150. I guess the debate here is that, IF an average American income is USD3000 (so to speak), you can surely afford USD150. IF an average Malaysian income is RM3000, can he afford RM500? Well, I guess no. But still, piracy is illegal...

I am not making a point. Just giving my 2 cents...

RE: Pirating, to be consise is called stealing...
By Wwhat on 4/14/2006 9:00:43 PM , Rating: 2
No laws in the world allow people to steal stuffs from other people.

uhm, how about tax laws?
(and how about invading countries)

RE: Pirating, to be consise is called stealing...
By NateSLC on 4/15/2006 6:04:51 PM , Rating: 2
If you can show me someone who doesn't use:

- Roads
- Electricity
- Clean water
- Sewer
- Police

and.. is not a mountain man living off bear and racoons then I'll agree. Taxing is stealing.

As for invading other countries... That's a bit more complicated.

By Wwhat on 4/16/2006 9:47:48 AM , Rating: 2
Well tax in itself isn't but it often comes down to stealing if it's a ridiculous tax like the tax on cigarettes and the tax on energy in europe, which can get up to 100% tax, that I call stealing.

RE: Pirating, to be consise is called stealing...
By haelduksf on 4/16/2006 10:10:27 AM , Rating: 2
If you can show me a rich person who gets what they pay in taxes back in services, I will eat my shorts.

RE: Pirating, to be consise is called stealing...
By NateSLC on 4/16/2006 3:33:04 PM , Rating: 2
If you're a rich person, you do pay a lot more in taxes and probably don't use many social services. However, the environment that is created with these taxes enable you to become/stay rich.

If your employees couldn't come to work or customers couldn't get to your store(s) because there were no roads... If you couldn't spin off an online store because there was no internet or electricity... I doubt many rich people would stay rich.

Rich people may not use the food stamps program directly but should be interested in the fact that this program helps people return to their customer base.

I have no children but all of my state income tax goes to public education. I'm not using that service directly. However, paying for public education does not seem to me as 'stealing' because I am getting the benefits of (mostly) educated society to live in.

Like it or not, taxes are required to foster an environment that includes any kind of 'rich' population.

By haelduksf on 4/18/2006 7:06:25 PM , Rating: 2
The government is not the only entity which can provide electricity, charity, roads and education, as I'm sure you know. However, this isn't the place for a debate on the merits of government, so I'm going to leave it at that.

RE: Pirating, to be consise is called stealing...
By Odeen on 4/15/2006 5:37:35 PM , Rating: 2
But I, Alex, say, "Wrong wrong wrong!"

(+1 point to whomever can name that reference)

In order for theft to occur, three things have to happen:
1) The victim has to be in possession of something of value
2) The thief has to acquire possession of it, without the victim's consent.
3) The victim has to no longer be in possession of it.

If I break into a computer shop, and physically remove a Windows XP box from the shop, I have STOLEN that COPY of Windows. I am now in possession of the item, and the shop, which paid money to the distributor for the copy, and hopes to make money by reselling it, is no longer in possession. Assuming the software is replaceable, the damage the shop incurs is the wholesale price of the software.

On the other hand, if I download and install Windows, then no one has incurred damage. The local computer shops have their merchandise, and Microsoft still owns the intellectual property rights to Windows, and can keep selling it. I have not taken anything FROM anyone.

Intellectual property piracy fails to meet the third requirement of theft above. If I have a copy of Microsoft Windows that I didn't pay for, I have not deprived anyone of any rights or benefits associated with Windows.

I'm not saying that piracy is not wrong, it is against the law, and you shouldn't do it. But I have a problem with people calling it theft.

By Decaydence on 4/15/2006 6:41:24 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks you, odeen, for making the point I was getting ready to spend valuable time making.

Just to bolster it a bit, I know people will now say "but you are stealing the money they would have gotten when you bought the software". There is no gaurantee you would have bought it, and in most piracy cases, you most likely wouldn't have. Just to be clear, i'm using a registered copy of windows; just want there to be intellectual honesty and logical precision in the debate.

By haelduksf on 4/16/2006 10:10:45 AM , Rating: 2
Is this the legal definition of theft? According to, under US law,

"To constitute larceny several ingredients are necessary.

-The intent of the party must be felonious
-There must be a taking from the possession, actual or implied, of the owner
-There must be a taking against the will of the owner
-There must be an actual carrying away, but the slightest removal, if the goods are completely in the power of the thief, is sufficient
-The property taken must be personal property"

I see your second point here, not your first or your third. Just because there are infinitely many copies of Windows doesn't mean that stealing one is not theft.

Casual pirates only
By Cullinaire on 4/14/2006 12:11:40 PM , Rating: 2
I think this is only targeted towards the "casual" pirates, say a family member who is not terribly knowledgeable about computers save for the fact that, once nephew Dewey has a copy of WinXP, he doesn't have to buy one as well! It's more likely that such people will care about not being able to have a UI as "cool" as Dewey's. (And you know Dew will rub it in every chance he gets)

Then again, MS is probably underestimating the cheapness of human beings.

RE: Casual pirates only
By SunAngel on 4/14/06, Rating: -1
RE: Casual pirates only
By peternelson on 4/14/2006 6:22:41 PM , Rating: 2

In the UK windows XP 64 OEM is more like £130. (Nearly twice that in equivalent dollars price). So be grateful if you can buy it at USA prices!

Even as a legal user buying legit OS, I do find some activation/problems when reinstalling often or changing components in the system are a big pain I would rather do without. That is the reason some people prefer to install from a corporate type disk as there is not the same activation.

It is often useful to do a reinstall eg when clearing virus, when wanting unbiased comparison with another hardware system etc etc. Hopefully future Microsoft OS will implement this stuff better so that legal users are not inconvenienced.

I don't support the MS policy of only making SP2 security fixes only available to legal users. It helps spread a lot of malware around the world. If they innocuated all (legal and nonlegal) there would be less malware propagated around the world. Security aside I don't object to restricting other features (eg Aero glass) from nonpaying users and maybe they could extend it further. However I don't like the fact you have to subscribe monthly to get their security/virus service in future. I want to just pay ONCE at point of sale and expect security to be part of the functionality of the product. Insecurity is a fault in the product. Fixes should be FREE.

RE: Casual pirates only
By Wonga on 4/15/2006 9:38:58 AM , Rating: 2
I don't know about service packs, but Microsoft still allows pirated copies of Windows to install critical updates and security fixes, just nothing else. The reason for that is as you already stated: it stops malware from freely travelling around, which in turn makes everyones lives easier.

RE: Casual pirates only
By Wwhat on 4/14/2006 8:58:27 PM , Rating: 3
ROFL sunangel, stay away from drugs son.

In the middle east
By Palestine on 4/15/2006 6:36:12 AM , Rating: 2
Here in middle east 99,9% of home users just get 1.00$ copy of windows and GIVE THE MIDDLE FINGER FOR M$$$$$$$ ...
90$ ? and for every PC in the home ? Bill Gates: Kisss my Asss ...

RE: In the middle east
By haelduksf on 4/16/2006 9:27:33 AM , Rating: 2
I find it sad that people are proud of being petty thieves.

By Wwhat on 4/14/2006 12:08:39 PM , Rating: 2
Yes it is too much to ask for forcing a crappy DRM infected piece of software on us that you MUST have to play future games.

RE: yes
By TomZ on 4/14/2006 2:13:59 PM , Rating: 1
Nobody is forcing anything on you. If you decide to buy Windows, it is your choice. If you decide to not buy Windows, that is also your choice. Please take more responsibility for your actions, and don't blame Microsoft for "making" you buy their product!

RE: yes
By Decaydence on 4/14/2006 3:10:52 PM , Rating: 2
I love reading your posts TomZ, they always make me laugh and feel better about myself. If you have bothered to read the post before you scolded the poster, you would realize that he indicated they are "making" him purchase the software in order to play certain games. Obviously he didn't mean to imply that they are going to go to his house, put a gun to his head, and force him to buy Vista. Furthermore, the line "please take more responsibility for your actions" not only doesn't fit, in any way, the post you are replying to, but it acts as a window into your thought process that you may want to keep shut.

RE: yes
By bob661 on 4/14/2006 3:44:34 PM , Rating: 1
I think TomZ was on point. But I'm an asshole. :)

RE: yes
By TomZ on 4/14/2006 6:00:05 PM , Rating: 1
It's the poster's choice also to play the games that would require Vista, right?

...or would you blame Ford because you don't like their cars, and the store is too far and you have to drive a car?

RE: yes
By Wwhat on 4/14/2006 8:54:52 PM , Rating: 3
But what if the stores only serviced people driving ford, what then eh, would you not feel forced to buy a ford?
Point is that if a game is designed to exclusively run on dx10 and if it is true that dx10 will only be available for vista microsoft is in a sense forcing people that want to play computergames on their computer to use vista.

how does this work?
By crazycarl on 4/14/2006 12:42:28 PM , Rating: 3
i would guess that this software check is done similarly to the Windows Genuine Advantage check on windows update?
it seems that unless one would have to actually download the GUI enhancements from windows update, that this will get cracked eventually.

RE: how does this work?
By haelduksf on 4/14/2006 1:07:53 PM , Rating: 2
I hate to break it to you, but WGA was cracked in less than a week.

RE: how does this work?
By secretanchitman on 4/14/2006 1:50:02 PM , Rating: 2
while this is good for pirates, it probably will be cracked sooner or later. everyone knows it. think about microsoft genuine advantage. think about the betas of vista. even though though pirates dont even touch the vista cd/dvd (it wont install if the original copy is altered), there are cracks out there that get rid of all the activation.

but microsoft, think about all the rest of the people who dont have enough money or need windows. if you are planning to "force" everyone to upgrade to vista sooner or later, you have to take into consideration about the HDCP nonsense you put in there, the 1GB of ram for smoothness (2GBs or higher for gaming), the "modern" cpu, and a modern video card. im sure half the people running windows xp are still using pentium III/early IV cpus with 16-32MB video cards and 128-256MB of memory. it will be even costlier to people to upgrade to vista.

i would lower the cost of the OS, but keep some sort of protection in place.

RE: how does this work?
By stupid on 4/14/2006 2:28:01 PM , Rating: 3
Slow down a bit. Vista is not making Windows XP obsolete overnight. Okay Microsoft will no longer support Windows XP Home 2 yars after the release of Vista, but it will still be usable. Those who do not have the hardware to run Vista must either upgrade or stay with XP Home. Hell some people are still running Windows 98. The increasingly higher hardware requirements are a brutal part of advancing technology. Either spend the money or be left behind, what's the point of having more powerful hardware if software doesn't take advantage of it?

For grandma/grandpa or even those who are not technically savy, they will not need to upgrade to the latest and greatest. As long as their current PC allows them to surf the web or send e-mails then they will be happy. The people who are going to be buying Vista as soon as it hits the shelves will be those techno-geeks who must have the newest thing out there. I'm there are people out there who will brag "I'm running a 64-bit OS!!" You know what? Who cares? Are there really that many 64-bit software that will be out that can do things current 32-bit apps can't do?

The only software that I know of that requires Vista and specifically DirectX 10 will be Halo 2. I guess that's one way for MS to entice people to upgrade to Vista. But that's not good enough for me. I'll continuing using XP Pro for a while after Vista comes out, unless there is some killer app that I need which will truly revolutionize what I do at home. I wouldn't consider games a killer app.

I don't know the expected selling price of the various Vista packages, but it should be included in whatever new laptop or PC people buy. It will hurt people like me who builds their own PCs, or those who just wants to upgrade their current PC. But, hey like I said before, you gotta pay to get the latest thing out there.

If you're going to whine about the price of Vista and it's hardware requirements, then you're better off sticking to whatever you are using.

By mtnmanak on 4/14/2006 4:19:45 PM , Rating: 2
My biggest problem with Windows pricing is that Microsoft does not have (as far as I know) a realistic licensing scheme for non-corporate users. I fully agree that I should have to pay for my copy of Windows and I further agree that Microsoft’s prices aren’t out of whack for a single copy, but they aren’t realistic for a middle-class household in the 21st Century. Most families have at least 2 computers and I would imagine that most families that have kids older than pre-school have 3 or more computers in the house. In our household, we have a server in the garage, an “office” computer, a media center computer, my wife’s computer, one for the kids and a laptop. Clearly, the “Home” version of Windows will not work well on most of these computers, but, for the sake of argument, let’s say that was all I wanted to put on each one. According to Microsoft’s policy, I need to buy a separate copy for each computer. That would cost me $450 in current OEM pricing. Realistically, if I wanted to use appropriate versions of the OS, it would probably cost closer to $600 – and that is still using OEM prices! Retail pricing would easily top $1000. That is absolutely ludicrous. Even Apple gives you a 5 user CAL with their consumer version of OS X. If you want people to stop pirating copies of the software, give us a realistic license so it doesn’t cost the average American family more than the cost of a new computer to buy OS updates!

RE: Licensing
By peternelson on 4/14/2006 6:47:39 PM , Rating: 2
And if you're in the UK pretty much double those prices ;-)

Seriously, I hadn't realised that the OSX license is a five user CAL! That's WAY cool. They should put a big sticker on the box because I thought it was PER mac.

Unfortunately OSX ONLY runs on macs. If they allowed it for normal PCs, such 5:1 home user ratio would be ideal for families or people with computers in the garage ;-) It would help Apple quickly topple MS market share in the PC world. Unfortunately it looks like Apple-specific hardware for the foreseeable future.

Another point in this discussion is that MS want you to upgrade to a NEW LATEST version EVERY TIME. And at they "force" this by withdrawing support and bugfixes for older versions.

I much prefer linux policies. Buy it once eg boxed Suse (or download free) for ALL the pcs I use. I can download many updates to new versions as I want on all my machines by downloading and burning new ISOs. That's very attractive ;-)

And if I need support I either ask people on forums or PAY for professional linux support eg from Novell. With MS retail they assume the support costs, so I have to pay for lamers who don't read the manual to make calls which I never make to MS myself. Hence OEM pricing difference. The post about MS income being based on much corporate and oem business. Well, some of that OEM business is like Dell shipping PCs. BUT realise that included in that OEM figure is all the OEM license that get sold "with an item of hardware like a fan (or not even that)" to people who don't want to pay twice the price for a retail version. I'd rather buy a reduced price retail version without support but they don't offer you that.

RE: Licensing
By mtnmanak on 4/16/2006 1:04:58 AM , Rating: 2
Checkout Apple's site at:

In the lower right corner, you will find a box labeled "Family-Friendly Pricing" where it talks about being able to load the OS on 5 different computers in a single Household. Microsoft - Hello!!??? Wake up!!!

RE: Licensing
By Snuffalufagus on 4/16/2006 6:49:40 AM , Rating: 2
All it say is:

"Mac OS X Tiger is available with a family-friendly license that allows upgrades for up to five Macs in a single household — at a price much lower than buying five separate licenses."

You can get licenses of nearly any software cheaper. And what about the lovely 'pay for our updates' Apple BS. You get the first dose cheap, buyt then we're gonna charge you.

RE: Licensing
By mtnmanak on 4/16/2006 12:56:46 PM , Rating: 2
The cost for MAC OS X is $129. The cost for the family pack (5 licenses) is $199.

Cost for 5 copies of Windows = $500 to $1000, depending on the version and type

You could clearly buy the family pack of OS X and upgrade 2-4 times for the same price as installing Windows once.

How is Apple's pricing not a bargain compared to Windows?

I am not telling anyone to buy a Mac, I am saying that Microsoft would curb piracy much quicker if it had a realistic licensing policy for home users (It already does give corporations good licensing deals)

the solution to the problem read on.....
By reaper1978 on 4/14/2006 4:37:53 PM , Rating: 2
If Microsoft really want to stop the pirated copies of there software they need to drastically drop the price of there software I used to work for a computer shop that built custom pc`s people would come in with a budget of between £350-£700 and they wanted the best system we could build for that money we would sit them down and go through the price’s and all the options but by the time you take £100 ish off for the operating system it don’t leave much for the main parts that make a real difference and if they wanted office as well they ended up walking out and buying a crappy old pc world special with all the money Microsoft makes I think charging £100 for windows and between £175 & £370 for office is a very bad joke Microsoft need to wake up yes they can keep charging the excoriate prices they now or they can do the right thing and drop the price to an acceptable level let’s face it more people will buy if the prices are lower also the hole thing about a motherboard being classed as a new system :@ come on bill WAKE UP I’m a computer enthusiast and I change most of the parts in my system every 9 - 12 months this would mean that I would also need to buy a new copy of windows every year and what if the motherboard dies... I really hope someone from Microsoft reads this because I know that I’m not alone here in thinking that this is beyond a joke now they need to drop this hole motherboard thing and lower there price across the board windows should be about £50 tops and office have they ever heard of open office (free!!!!) the lower the price the more people will buy it’s as simple as that computers have become a very big part of life and more people around the world have more than one at home (I have 4 in my home) I along with a lot of my friends won’t be upgrading to vista unless they drop the price and just one thought the pirates only do what they do because they feel there is an opening for if companies like Microsoft didn’t charge way way over the odds there wouldn’t be a need for it.

Anyway, that’s it I think rant over :D

RE: the solution to the problem read on.....
By peternelson on 4/14/2006 6:51:08 PM , Rating: 2
A quick dose of OpenOffice will wake him up!!!

Hmmmm £370 or free? Well MS Office needs to offer a lot extra to justify that £370 to most people.

By peternelson on 4/14/2006 6:54:32 PM , Rating: 2

And it's even harder to justify why someone who already paid for MS Office97 eg MS WORD 97 should upgrade to the latest Word version. Can you REALLY write a better essay, recipe, book etc or does your old version do all you want.

Many corporate users too are reluctant to update.

The cost is not justified by a few new features most people don't need.

OpenOffice to the rescue! ...or?
By BikeDude on 4/15/2006 8:03:24 AM , Rating: 2
I used to think that too, then I actually tried it.

I'm sure it works fine for writing letters (which I don't do anyway), but try opening a XML file in Excel, and then try the same thing with OOCalc (or whatever they call it). The latter results in OO opening up the word processor to let you edit the XML as text. Not exactly what I expected. Excel is great at manipulating big datasets, OO is so-so (mostly a no-show AFAICT).

Of course, OO is a great product, but it has that "not-finished" feel to it. It is like a new flashy car, but when you take it for a spin, the CD changer doesn't work and the navigation system constantly tries to kill you by insisting that driving into an oncoming truck will be a sure short-cut (and in a way, it is correct).

That said, all this talk about "cheap" OEM licenses seem misguided at best. Haven't MS stated several times that these licenses are to be bundled with complete systems and they aren't transferable? So, if you are to follow the rules (which is why you bought it in the first place), then you can't use the same license once you upgrade your rig. Welcome to the "buy XP multiple times"-club! Oh, and you're not liable for an upgrade license to Vista either. (Sucker!)

Meanwhile, my notebook came with a XP Pro OEM license. Guess who tore off half that sticker while frantically looking for a screwhole? Well, that was me. I swear I felt a bump underneath. :( (no biggie, I have a MSDN Universal subscription at work, hehehe)

By Marmion on 4/14/2006 6:56:38 PM , Rating: 2
Not a specific reply to you, but generally, I think some people here need to take a class of Economics.
In basic terms, M$ owns its own demand curve, and because they are a big company, with lots of shareholders, there number one goal (as with any other business in this world) is to maximise their profits in order to satisfy their shareholders. If that means they can get away with charging $x for Office and $y for Windows, and selling such an amount (say q) that selling a lower price $x1 for Office and $y1 for Windows and selling more (say q1) totals less revenue than the higher price, then they are going to sell at that higher price.
PROFIT MAXIMISATION - that is what companies want to do.

So, solution to the problem of piracy? Well if M$ doesn't get as much revenue from selling at a lower price, it's pretty much a null and void point.
I'm sure someone at M$ is an economist and has looked at what would be the profit maximisation price/quantity. I'm also sure he would be paid a pretty sum to get those numbers too :-)

Vicious cycle
By Decaydence on 4/15/2006 4:03:32 AM , Rating: 2
We will never have realistic OS pricing from Microsoft because they have a realistic monopoly on the market. A huge majority of people use Windows because that is the platform that most software is written for. Most developers write their software for Windows because that is what a huge majority of people use.

Now to back away from the word "never". If a day comes that Linux can emulate windows in such a way that almost all software (including games) can be run perfectly, then we will have a potential competition on our hands. Until that day comes, we are screwed.

And yes, I know, they don't have a true monopoly because of Mac's. Take a look at market share numbers and tell me why that doesn't matter. MS doesn't have to adjust any prices to compete with the Mac platform; mostly because the platform is a joke. If there is no need to compete, realistically there is a monopoly.

RE: Vicious cycle
By TomZ on 4/15/2006 4:39:28 PM , Rating: 2
We will never have realistic OS pricing from Microsoft because they have a realistic monopoly on the market.

What pricing did they use to get to the point of having a (near-)monopoly? It seems to me that Windows has always cost about the same amount, all the way back since the first releases. I would think that, because of this, the OS is priced pretty appropriately. I think you could argue that it is actually pretty cheap when purchased with new hardware and/or in volume.

RE: Vicious cycle
By Decaydence on 4/15/2006 6:49:43 PM , Rating: 2
The fact that it is still the same price is exactly the point. Computers when they came out were 3k-4k, now they are down to 1k or less. Competition brought those prices down. DVD players were 2k, now they are 50 bucks. Every product goes down in price to a point where it is governed more by cost of production than by status quo. If another company released an OS that could run the same programs as windows, they would use price to compete, and, as a reaction, MS would have to do the same. The consumer would win.

It is basic economics, right now MS can price at whatever point they want, the only competition they have is the last iteration of the product, which they also make money on. MS wins on all fronts. The only choice the consumer has is how much money they want to give to MS.

Just to be clear, I love MS. They make great products and I think Gates is a good guy. They are in a great position and I don't blame them for being there. Doesn't change the reality of that situation though.

RE: Vicious cycle
By TomZ on 4/15/2006 9:59:56 PM , Rating: 2
Software is not usually priced based on production cost, as hardware is. But I'll agree with you that Microsoft's market share has allowed them to hold prices.

RE: Vicious cycle
By masteraleph on 4/16/2006 10:40:19 AM , Rating: 2
And what's the price difference on games or on other software? Has photoshop gone down in price? Acrobrat Pro? AutoCAD? You can make an argument that these are all monopolies, but the fact is, they're the gold standard and people use them.

By Lonyo on 4/14/2006 12:20:55 PM , Rating: 2
"A quick check shows that an OEM copy of Windows XP Home, XP Professional or XP Media Center Edition can be had for $90, $145 and $115 respectively. Is that too much to ask for an operating system that you will likely be using everyday for the next four to five years?"

Pirated copies don't need activating.

RE: But
By Tsuwamono on 4/14/2006 12:35:28 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed, my copy is Windows XP Pro with a whole bunch of tweaks and stuff that came with it. Works perfectly and i dont need activating. Its because the copies who are pirated are usually Corperate edition.

RE: But
By segagenesis on 4/14/2006 1:59:41 PM , Rating: 3
Like I've said before... all this garbage does is inconvenience those who actually pay for the software. If they start doing going down the road of forcing activation on corporate users I would like to invite them (and Bill Gates) down here to see if they want to go around and touch a few thousand computers just to prove they are legal.

I don't forsee this hurting "real" pirates down the road either. The Windows Genuine Advantage was a joke. As someone else stated, this will only stop the uneducated from taking one copy of Vista and putting it on thier friends computer.

Of course, I probably will still be using WinXP and 2000 until they are no longer supported... and even then I have XP stripped down to be more like 2000. Fancy features do not increase productivity, and I don't forsee myself upgrading graphics cards in computers just for Aero Glass.

RE: But
By TomZ on 4/14/2006 2:17:06 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft is trying to avoid "casual" copying. They know you can't avoid all piracy. The objective is to make it more challenging so that the average computer user can't easily get around it.

Piracy in general
By NFS4 on 4/14/2006 3:25:16 PM , Rating: 2
I guess my whole thing, I just don't get the whole piracy issue and why people have to do it. Alot of times, it's not people that are hurting for money that are actually's those that pirate just to pirate. They can afford to pay for it, but they choose not to.

I got my copy of XP Home OEM for about $90 online and use it on my laptop.

I didn't feel like paying $$$ for Office 2003, so I use OpenOffice 2.0 for free. I don't feel like paying for Norton Antiviris, so I use AVG Free. Outlook 2003 -- I choose Thunderbird. Nero -- I use CDBurnerXP instead. Frontpage 2003 or a comparable Macromedia product -- I use NVU instead. Etc, etc.

I just have a hard time understanding the need to pirate when there are great alternatives out there. For the money I saved on using freeware/opensource apps, that more than makes up for the cost of XP.

RE: Piracy in general
By peternelson on 4/14/2006 6:35:05 PM , Rating: 2

Yeah there are some great apps there ... and more too.

I think the amount saved is in the order of a new PC not just a new OS!

I dont mind buying Vista..
By Rampage on 4/14/2006 3:43:27 PM , Rating: 2
As long as they stop requiring that God-forsaken activation scheme.. half the time I cant get that damn thing to work right and I've spent more time trying to get thru to a customer service rep to activate legit copies of XP than I spent rebuilding the whole computer from scratch!!!!!!!!!!

When you change motherboards it requires you to reactivate and it just doesnt seem right for those who follow the rules and pay a measly $100 for their OS.

I dont mind paying, just figure out how to thwart pirating.. not making legit buyers pay the price for their problems.

I say, if the person has a key that isnt legit.. turn off everything but basic functions.. meaning no driver support outside of generic MS drivers (including for video).

Dont shut them out of Windows completely if they pirated it, thats the worst idea that Brandon Hill had.
MS wants you to use their software, even if you pirated it.

Why encourage those cheap ass bastards to use Linux? Make Windows as desirable as possible, and force them to buy it if possible.

Shutting out all but basic drivers, along with things like this Aero restriction is a great way to go. I'd leave it working, but if it has net access have MS constantly check on the OS and continue to disable features (in case they create hacks to add back in those lost features).

Heck the only surefire way of fixing piracy is to remove all pertinent portions of the OS needed to access the net. Just start removing 80% of the necessary code for the OS to function outside of the most basic functions.

With the code being gone, it starts to get very hard to "hack" it back in without MS's blessing.

By peternelson on 4/14/2006 6:37:30 PM , Rating: 2

Don't forget, Windows is already "broken" without them breaking it further ;-)

piracy & linux
By getho on 4/14/2006 8:36:57 PM , Rating: 2
I'd love to see microsft make it totally impossible to copy windows, and watch people flock to linux in the millions.
(which is why they have only knobled it, of course for fear of losing market share)

RE: piracy & linux
By Nekrik on 4/15/2006 2:56:18 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, yeah, that's it.

Linux is already free and most Windows users have already made the decision to pay for the OS rather than run linux. While most things can be done in Linux, there are still problems with it (as in XP also) and certain tasks it can't do that Windows can. While it takes a little more to make Windows secure, there are not any tasks I can do in Linux that I can't also do in Windows.

Microsoft is a pretty young company, it has taken a while to mature, but all the hackers have helped to streamline the security process and harden the code enough that most users are willing to give Vista a try before declaring it crap like most of the linux fanboys do.

is there a aero interface alternative for linux?
By jconan on 4/14/2006 10:55:07 PM , Rating: 2
are there alternatives to the aero interface for linux using kde or gnome? so far i haven't seen any and the same goes for dx other than opengl?

By NateSLC on 4/15/2006 6:22:08 PM , Rating: 2

But I am parial to SuSE

Yes, it IS too much to ask.
By xstylus on 4/15/2006 3:14:30 AM , Rating: 2
It's Microsoft. $0.90, $1.45, and $1.15 respectively is too much to ask for their bug ridden drivel.

Believe me, if we had the choice of going elsewhere while still being able to run most of the software on store shelves today, we would.

RE: Yes, it IS too much to ask.
By Nekrik on 4/15/2006 6:24:34 AM , Rating: 2
If you were good it wouldn't be an issue.

Brandon Hill - Author
By z3R0C00L on 4/16/2006 12:18:53 AM , Rating: 2
I think this line is a tad misleading.
Is that too much to ask for an operating system that you will likely be using everyday for the next four to five years

You need a new Operating system for each SYSTEM. In other words for the enthusiasts and people who upgrade there components on a regular basis... (like let's say a motherboard for instance) you need a new copy of Windows XP or face the series of questions on the phone after your Windows Install fails.

It's annoying... it's why I did buy Windows XP Pro and Home.. but I use the pirated versions as to not have to call Microsoft and wait on the phone.

RE: Brandon Hill - Author
By TomZ on 4/16/2006 11:32:48 AM , Rating: 2
I've got (legal) Windows on about a dozen machines. Even through all our upgrades and moving components around, each reinstall, the activation just works. I've never had to once call Microsoft to get an activation code.

I'm sure each person's experience will be different, but I think the problems you are describing are exaggerated. You're just using this issue as a way to rationalize your use of illegal copies of the software. The real reason is that you didn't want to pay for the software.

is it too much to ask ?
By mforce2 on 4/17/2006 6:39:07 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah , actually it si too much to ask 90$ for such a piece of crap calle Windows . I can buy a cheap computer for 300 $ and I need to pay another 100 $ for Windows ? Average wage is 200 $ a month and there are ppl that make even less so stop being so ignorant cause not everybody lives in the US or EU and makes thousands of $ a month .
I actually use Linux and use a pirated version of Windows when I need to and that's the way it's going to stay . Hell will freeze over before I pay M$ even 1 $ . If I have $ I donate to the open source projects really need the $ not M$ .

RE: is it too much to ask ?
By rushfan2006 on 4/18/2006 10:49:18 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah , actually it si too much to ask 90$ for such a piece of crap calle Windows . I can buy a cheap computer for 300 $ and I need to pay another 100 $ for Windows ? Average wage is 200 $ a month and there are ppl that make even less so stop being so ignorant cause not everybody lives in the US or EU and makes thousands of $ a month .

<plays the violin, que the the lights...start the playing the sound track of the baby crying>....

Gimme a break -- you do what you want to do. If you want to continue what you said, its no skin off my back or anything ...good for you...I'll send ya cookie. BUT don't sit here and cry like can barely put food on the table and buying Windows is gonna to make you homeless.

What pisses me off about your post really has nothing to do about this article is the fact that I know what REAL poverty is, I've seen it with my own eyes and try and help a cause to aid people in poverty anyway I can...time and money permitting. To sit there and admit you have a computer, you likely have internet access, this then implies a home, well since if lack of food was an issue I don't think your top concern would be being pissed over software piracy....

Please...I've seen families bust their arse just to put food on the table, in a crap house with no heat, broken windows, no tv -- heck they even use one of those wood spindles for a table....THAT is me even a $300 PC with Linux on it would be complete and total luxury to them.

You don't pay for the software because you, like many in this day and age -- have the selfish "ME" complex..its all about the free ride, its all about everything having to do with serving you, getting what you want and who cares who it affects as long as you get it right?

Its simple really...
By rushfan2006 on 4/18/2006 10:32:48 AM , Rating: 2
These piracy topics are very simple really, its just the debate always gets muddled from the high emotional reactions of people who get so fed up or mad about the issue they just spew forth their comments without thinking what I think is clear cut. If something is illegal, and you make the decision to still do it/circumvent the security to use the product/ not cry, whine, complain if you get charged for the crime...furthermore, do not be shocked, appalled, etc. if the end result turns out to yield less satisfaction then if you went the legal route. In the case of a stupid criminal -- don't be ticked off if because when you ripped off a store you only got $40 and for that you took a bullet in the leg, your friend got killed and you are in jail for 5 years. Well in the software version -- if by pirating the software don't complain if its a lousy copy, has less features, etc.

Do I disagree with the outrageous prices nope. People get excited and scream "yeah but I stole the software because its not fair how expensive it is"....newsflash #1 - That's a lame excuse, you stole it because you wanted something for nothing. Indicating selfishness. newsflash #2 - No one ever said life was fair, and if they did they lied to you.

Grin and bear it - save up and pay for the product like the rest of us do. If we are *really* upset over it, then don't buy the product, boycott them, but don't STEAL the product either.

Its amazing to me how so many people these days adamantly defend unethical, immoral (I mean in general not just software related crimes) and selfish behavior.

Trust me I get plenty mad over this stuff too but in the end, I'm a gamer and I know I need the Windows OS -- so through clenched teeth and huffing and puffing I fork over the money to get a legal copy.

RE: Its simple really...
By rushfan2006 on 4/18/2006 10:40:43 AM , Rating: 2
Do I disagree with the outrageous prices nope.

Sorry..typo -- I mean to say "Do I disagree with the outrageous prices YES!!!".

This one would actually work!
By sxr7171 on 4/14/2006 2:02:11 PM , Rating: 3
Nothing would drive me more crazy than a software product cripling itself like this. It would be even worse than if it stopped working altogether.

This is the sort of thing that has made me pull out my credit card to buy shareware after the trial period. If the shareware stopped working, I wouldn't care so much, but losing functions you were used to would irritate me to no end.

However in this case, I don't know if I'd care about Aero being disabled, but it would piss me off that I couldn't use it if I wanted to.

My $.02
By redbone75 on 4/14/2006 2:25:37 PM , Rating: 2
The main problem I see with any software company having the ability to automatically disable a product remotely is that there are innocent buyers who purchase from seemingly legitimate sellers only to find that they were given pirated software. In these cases the user really won't know a thing until s/he calls Microsoft for technical support. That's why MS had that program in place where users who had purchased a pirated copy from a seemingly legitimate source could send it in to MS in exchange for a genuine copy, provided they also sent in the information that identified the seller.

In regards to having to pay for Windows, all those who bitch and moan about it just need to shut up, grin and bear it. Sure, MS has had their share of problems (MASSIVE understatement here :P ) what with security, DRM, stability and all, but the bottom line is that it's their product and if you don't like it then go with the alternative. I wouldn't exactly shout it out to the world that I'm stealing something, no matter its cost. I choose to keep my "evaluations" more secretive :P (For the record, it took me a while to pony up for XP after having totally been screwed in the @$$ by paying for that POS Windows My Enema version.) "Waah! I want to play Warcraft and Call of Duty and blah blah blah but I don't want to have to pay for Windows." That's like saying you'd like to be able to drive to this place and that place at will but you don't want to have to pay for a car or the gas to keep it going. Can MS lower the price of its software to make it more accessible to more of the world's population? Sure they can, if you're a consumer. Just remember that MS is a CORPORATE ENTITY focused on PROFITS. Yes, they can be ethical or benevolent or altruistic or whatever word you want to put in there if they'd like to be, but that's their choice to make and ours to criticize. Just remember that they are the ones going to the bank at the end of the day.

Will I move to Vista? Only if it makes my computing experience far more enjoyable than XP Pro or if there are features that I just can't do without. However, I think I'll be a bit more patient this go 'round and wait for the initial batch of bugs to be fixed.

Windows Genuine Advantage...
By clementlim on 4/14/2006 6:19:18 PM , Rating: 2
So, they introduce WGA and non-genuine Windows users can't get updates to new products under their WGA program, but still, they can get security updates for IE, Win, WMP, Office, etc...

MS do offer some way out for non-genuine or genunine (but can't validate their Windows) users after all. Same thing for Vista? i guess pirates will make do w/o Aero Glass...or someone will crack them...history will repeat itself, IMHO.

I will wait for Vista SP1 or SP2...and the price drops...

hello, people
By msva124 on 4/14/2006 6:58:12 PM , Rating: 2
This is so retarded. Why does anyone have the slightest doubt that this will be cracked in no time?

Either way, I do not think I will be installing Vista on my computer. The UI for the new Office looks horrible. I have a sinking feeling that many of those designers worked on Vista as well. Besides that, none of the features (besides better performance, which is dubious) appeal to me.

Like all of you I am curious about the eye candy, so I will be checking out Vista on a friends computer. But I am satisfied with Windows XP. These days I find I get frustrated more often with 3rd party software than Windows itself. Unless Vista offers some pretty compelling improvements that they have not told us about, I will not be installing it, nor will I be purchasing any system that comes with it pre-installed.

By DestruyaUR on 4/14/2006 8:32:02 PM , Rating: 2
...pirated versions are actually going to perform BETTER because they DON'T have Aero Glass?

By Wwhat on 4/14/2006 9:10:50 PM , Rating: 2
I must say that since we use windows plenty, and since it is a software package into which went an effort, and since games are already 60 bux that it's not unreasonable to actually buy windows.
There is a caveat though, once you buy it with a CC or you register then all its DRM personal numbers are tied to you and you are tracked like bush tracks your phonecalls, and that's something I rather not have happen.
Plus if they want me to buy windows then they should not load it up with what ammounts to disrespectful attacks against their users in the form of all the DRM and 'protection schemes' and 'advertiser support' that serve not the customer but only some big firms who incidentally themselves are involved with shooting themselves in the foot 24/7.
And perhaps we should ask those big firms to at least pay half of it then, since it's made for them and not us.

noob question
By poohbear on 4/14/2006 11:55:54 PM , Rating: 2
noob questoin, if i havea network of 3 computers, do i have to buy windows Vista for EACH one? can i just install my 1 copy on all 3?

I'm excited about Vista
By agentcooper on 4/15/2006 9:46:14 PM , Rating: 2
I plan on paying for it when (if?) it comes out.

Unless it's like $300. Then I can only say arrrgh!

By Anraht on 4/15/2006 11:17:44 PM , Rating: 2
There was a time, along time ago I will admitt when we paid money for a product and without dispute we owned it, we didnt need to seek anyones permission to use it how we wished.

We didnt have nazi's wanting registration details and all our personal information.
I dont think after you have purchased a product that the company should have any rights, I dont endorse piracy either, but software makers should never have any right to anything past the retail counter.

Clothing designers dont sue you for wearing a suite to an informal dinner if you desire, once you own their item they dont care in most cases what you do with it.

Some companies have shady histories, and even shadier business practices and yet they control the legal system and use copyright to protect themselves while at the same time being charged with patent infringements we see the law bow and scrape to them while turning a blind eye to their inconsistent dealings.

Companies only have power if you give it to them, and if you wish to be that controlled then by all means "lease" your software.

I would prefer to use linux, no cost other than perhaps the disks.. no fear of standover tactics controlled by a multi billion dollar company with a shady past... and a subscription service for updates that fix their own screwups... I mean god people you would pay a company to get updates that fix issues or oversights by the software designer... how crazy is that?.

The title really fits...
By bpurkapi on 4/15/2006 11:21:45 PM , Rating: 2
Vista will not be handicapped by pirates, but by its copy protection schemes. Add in hackers around the world who pay more attention to this OS than any other and you have yourself a handicapped product. The safe bet will be to wait a while before we buy, get to see how constrictive the digital rights will be. On the other hand its tough for any tech enthusist to stay on the sidelines, and you can bet that all the new games will be using this OS and its direct x 10 support, which microsoft will most likely never add to xp.

By a1trips on 4/18/2006 12:19:30 AM , Rating: 2
I know at least half a BILLION people who subsist on that kinda money per month. asking them to pay that kind of money for what is essentially a pizza and a movie for you n me is a wee lil bit much, doncha think?.. think relative cost here .. also called PPP purchasing power parity.
and then Microsft has the balls to call those folks Pirates.

I didn't want to...
By SGTPan on 4/21/2006 11:35:19 AM , Rating: 2
But Microsoft made me do it... kind of. I had a few customers asking about the new version of Windows coming out soon, and I really didn't have much to tell them, other than what I'd read. I've had Microsoft OEM software distribution rights for a few years now as a certified system builder and Microsoft Premiere Partner, but even my MS sales rep told me I wouldn't be able to get an evaluation copy of Vista... meanwhile, 13 year olds are playing with their legit beta's and I'm SOL? I'm sorry, but if you can't even provide me an eval copy of your software when I'm supposed to start selling it in less than a year, I'm going to get it one way or another. If they want to cripple the advanced GUI features at this point, oh well. I've already got what I need out of my copy.

OEM sucks and also update policy
By JAT on 4/24/2006 10:23:10 AM , Rating: 2
A quick check shows that an OEM copy of Windows XP Home, XP Professional or XP Media Center Edition can be had for $90, $145 and $115 respectively. Is that too much to ask for an operating system that you will likely be using everyday for the next four to five years?

Here we go again. "Intel Rules!"-site is now defending Microsoft.

Windows XP Home gets updates at most 2 years after Vista is launched. So, you pay 90 dollars for an operating system that is supported by Microsoft for under 3 years and that depends on Vista.

Also OEM-Windows has several restrictions. for example, if you change motherboard, you have to buy new OEM-Windows. How about that one?

Retail Windows XP Home costs at least twice.

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