Print 107 comment(s) - last by glennpratt.. on May 22 at 3:28 PM

The counterfeit notification

Clicking the counterfeit notification gives the user the ability to purchase a new license

Upgrading from an openly pirated version of windows costs a mere $149

The checkout process completed
Users running illegal copies of Windows XP are being offered discounted purchase prices

Recently in the DailyTech labs we had a test bed machine that was giving us "this copy of Windows is not genuine" messages. Last week we tried to remedy the message by following Microsoft's recommended course of action, which was to verify the copy through its website and purchase a legitimate key. When we attempted to do so, Microsoft's website indicated that the upgrade service was not available to US customers (or any customers as far as we could tell).

On a whim we tried again this evening and it appears that Microsoft has updated its website and now allows US users of pirated or counterfeit versions of Windows XP to buy legitimate keys for $149 each -- a unique key is still required for each computer that runs Windows XP. The full version of Microsoft Windows XP Professional retails for $249.99, which means if you purchase the CD and key from Microsoft, there is a net savings of $100.  The OEM version of Windows XP can be purchased online from online vendors, but this discounted version requires the purchase of hardware.  Microsoft waives all shipping and handling charges, but sales taxes is still added onto the purchase. 

The new Genuine Advantage program is intended for unsuspecting users who have inadvertently purchased counterfeit copies of Windows XP. To fight against piracy while allowing honest customers to go legit, Microsoft is allowing users a discounted purchase option while informing users that an authentic Windows XP will benefit from greater support and security. All high risk security updates are still available via Windows Update for illegitimate copies of the operating system, but non-critical updates require legitimate keys.

Last month DailyTech reported that pirated versions of Windows Vista would be crippled. It appears that Microsoft will begin using more aggressive tactics to persuade users to purchase legitimate copies of the Windows operating system.

People looking for instant gratification however will be disappointed. Once a customer purchases the "Genuine Advantage Kit" from Microsoft's website, it may take up to 10 days before the product key is sent. Users will also receive a Windows XP CD in the mail, but this will take 2-4 weeks for delivery. A Microsoft Passport account is also required to receive your CD key, but an account can be created for free within a few minutes.

Microsoft previously had a program where users would send in the pirated installation disc as well as a receipt of where the illegal copy of Windows XP or system it came on was purchased from. The requirement was later scratched because it was decided that the process was too much of a hassle for consumers.  Microsoft still has other methods of "getting legit," including a program where you can get a free copy of Windows if you reveal the source where you obtained the pirated copy.

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RE: The final call.........
By PrinceGaz on 5/15/2006 7:53:56 AM , Rating: 2
Excuse me but the vast majority of "pirate" software is not crippled in any shape or form. At least not if it's from a reputable source (though your definition of what counts as reputable may be slightly different to mine). I'm not saying I use any pirated software by the way, just saying that pirated software is usually every bit as good as legitimate software.

RE: The final call.........
By segagenesis on 5/15/2006 8:34:37 AM , Rating: 3
Do not feed the troll. I think he forgot to take his meds this morning.

Regardless, as I posted above it gets to the point that running the illegitimate version of software is more convenient than using the real version. I continue to use "No CDs" for games I've freaking bought so I don't have to swap discs so often... let alone if you go to a LAN party it saves from someone swiping your discs on top of that. I've almost come to believe that these added protections do no more good than entice those to try harder to break the software.

If Microsoft wanted to disable Windows from running outright they could have done it with Windows 98 and beyond... or even patched 95. The unfortunate reality to the situation is that all those pirated copies actually *help* keep thier market share, even increasingly so in poorer countries where they did not have the money to buy the software in any form. Even so, a total shutdown of the OS would likely be bypassed also.

RE: The final call.........
By crystal clear on 5/15/2006 8:52:38 AM , Rating: 2
There is something called Honesty,Respect for the law of your country.
As for the poor its not my/our problem,there are many Aid Agency to help them out.Just because YOU are poor that does not give you the right to STEAL.......

RE: The final call.........
By segagenesis on 5/15/2006 9:02:06 AM , Rating: 2
News flash since its not "crystal clear" for you, regardless of what you say or think they will keep doing it because they dont have the money. Period. End of story. Take your religious banter elsewhere, like slashdot.

RE: The final call.........
By mpeny on 5/15/2006 10:07:16 AM , Rating: 3
Uhm yea, people with computers, internet connection, games, etc dont have money for the OS - sure. You are not being disegenous.

RE: The final call.........
By crystal clear on 5/15/2006 10:53:39 AM , Rating: 2

"Take your religious banter elsewhere,"
Iam talking simple LAW(criminal law) not RELIGION-get yourself some EDUCATION.
No point in discussing with you any further.
Period. End of story

RE: The final call.........
By jkostans on 5/15/2006 1:03:29 PM , Rating: 2
Grow up

RE: The final call.........
By mindless1 on 5/20/2006 6:56:14 AM , Rating: 2
End of story?

Do you promise?

RE: The final call.........
By GoatMonkey on 5/15/2006 9:31:46 AM , Rating: 2
What kind of Aid Agency would go and hand out copies of Windows? They have higher priorities like food, water, medical supplies, etc.

The people stealing software are usually not the ones who are begging for food and water, they have a place to live, own a computer, but can't afford much on top of that like software that they see selling for $250.

At this point windows should be much cheaper for MS to sell. I mean they've been selling it for many years. Other products as the economy of scale kicks in they get cheaper. But somehow (monopoly) MS is getting away with increasing prices over those years.

Now all of my copies of XP are legal OEM versions purchased with hardware. As you can see we're on a geek web site and pretty much everyone here upgrades regularly anyway, so getting the OEM version is not that big of a deal. But for the guys who don't know any better, all they see is CompUSA and Best Buy prices.

Now, back to your point, stealing... In the long run the people in third world countries stealing copies of windows will eventually be helping MS in their market share as the standard of living increases in those countries. If I were MS I would go and hand out free or very cheap copies on the streets of China and India. They are next in line for massive computer software sales. And as you know MS wants to establish their dominance there.

RE: The final call.........
By Wwhat on 5/15/2006 12:08:04 PM , Rating: 3
Respect for the law of your country? what country is left on this planet with laws that you can respect? respect laws that were bought by big companies to leech of the user in their 'honesty' you mean, nice job sticking your head in the sand there, must be sand you stole from iraq too :)
Perhaps people don't have money left after supporting those honest and respectable oilcompanies.
Or perhaps you live in a country were big honest and respectable companies outsourced jobs to, so you work 20 hours a day for 10 dollar a week.

Not that we aren't in this boat all together and we can't try to help eachother out by buying stuff fairly and so boosting the economy which brings you more money which in turn allows you to buy stuff andsoforth.
But putting it like crystal clear does is well, outdated and unrealistic.

RE: The final call.........
By crystal clear on 5/15/2006 8:40:28 AM , Rating: 2
"I am sure MS considered all options available to curb piracy & the best options was "shut those PCs down "
I have at no point said pirated software is crippled in form etc.Nor bad/good as legitimate software etc.
I implied MS can through new techniques/methods cripple a
pirated OS via the internet, on computers using them.
I use IBM computers with preinstalled WinXP ,so I consider
them the most reputable source.
Anyway I hope I clarified my point.

RE: The final call.........
By IvanAndreevich on 5/19/2006 11:25:25 AM , Rating: 2
If this was possible, it would basically be a security exploit. If you know what you are doing and shut down all the services responsible for any sort of this crap, you are 100% OK.

And before you say anything about security updates. There are cumulative packs available which you can integrate into the Windows installation files. That way you don't have to sit for 3 hours waiting for Windows update to complete.

To sum up the situation, MS has no way to coerce the illegal users to buy a legal Windows (why would they?) and no way to really inconvenience them. If you say otherwise, then it is likely that you don't really know what you are talking about.

"DailyTech is the best kept secret on the Internet." -- Larry Barber
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