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.

Comments     Threshold

This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled

RE: Bah...
By TomZ on 5/15/2006 11:16:15 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, and a stolen car drives just as well as one you own yourself. Just because a pirated version "works," does that make it (theft) right?

I think one bad side effect of the open-source movement is that people feel justified in making illegal copies of software. The thing we have to remember is, that the right to copy software is the legal right of the author. If the author grants rights to copy the software, then it is legally and ethically right for us to do so. But if someone decides to sell their software intead, then we have no legal, moral, or ethical basis to copy it.

I don't know why the distinction between right and wrong is so blurred these days. Right and wrong in this case is absolute and clear. Theft is wrong, period.

RE: Bah...
By bob661 on 5/15/2006 9:10:26 PM , Rating: 2
I think one bad side effect of the open-source movement is that people feel justified in making illegal copies of software.
What does making illegal copies have to do with the open source movement? In the open source world, there are NO illegal copies. Copying is legal AND encouraged. Using Windows illegally is a crime, no doubt. I think M$ is on the right track here offering legal, RETAIL copies of Windows for cheap. That's a great deal if you ask me. Although, like another poster said, if I was running Windows illegally, I would not install the legal copy. Much less hassle that way.

RE: Bah...
By mindless1 on 5/20/2006 6:47:15 AM , Rating: 2
We have ethical problems because you are confusing YOUR ethics with altruism. Your subjective opinion has it's place, but that place stops right about when you try to project it onto others.

For the record-
1) It's not "theft". Illegal yes, theft no.
2) It is ridiculous to project that people are rationalizing pirated software due to open source sw.
3) The thing we have to remember is, first things first. Before Windows XP became this desirable to copy software, MS became a monopoly that had to necessarily be ended. XP cannot belong to MS because MS cannot exist to own it. Fair is fair, we can't just ignore one reality to presuppose another in the same context.
4) It has nothing to do with copying software. It has to do with the license to run it.
5) We can have a million moral or ethical reasons to do something that is illegal, and indeed we do, do things moral and ethical (as considered by the majority) that are illegal in other countries. Do not confuse legality with morality or ethics. They are not the same even if you subjectively want them to be. That doesn't excuse illegal behavior though, it is nonetheless illegal if one disagrees with it morally.
6) Trying to impose your values on others is the same mindset that has cost mankind all those nasty wars and millions of deaths. There can be no doubt that taken issue by issue, all of us do "something" that at least one other person finds wrong in some way. Maybe your shoes cause the death of innocent cows. Who knows, there are always excuses to look down one's nose at another who isn't just like "us".

"I'm an Internet expert too. It's all right to wire the industrial zone only, but there are many problems if other regions of the North are wired." -- North Korean Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il
Related Articles

Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. - RSS Feed | Advertise | About Us | Ethics | FAQ | Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information | Kristopher Kubicki