I am not sure if you guys are familiar with this, but Microsoft has been pushing a tool called "Windows Genuine Advantage" which is now a required install if you want to download certain updates and programs. (Last I checked, the microsoft anti-spyware program was one of them).
Once installed, this program "authenticates" your copy of windows and tells microsoft. If its not legitimate (and there have been many false reports) it continually harasses you with notifications that your copy of windows is not legitimate.
More concerning, is it has no uninstall option. And it has been discovered that the tool continually "dials home" and connects to microsoft's servers for whatever purpose it deems necessary. This "call home" occurs anywhere from once a day, to a couple times a week. Alot of individuals speculate its possible that nothing prevents this tool from installing/configuring/checking anything on your system that microsoft deems necessary. Although it has not been proven.
I just read on Slashdot, that its possible that Microsoft will requiring ALL users of windows XP install WGA otherwise they will disable all the computers that do not have it installed. You will be given a warning, then after 30 days, windows disables itself.
This move has not been confirmed, it was originally mentioned by a microsoft support employee over the phone. The person who was told then sent a letter to microsoft and the response did not confirm or deny the move, but it did state that "customers may be required to participate".
I must say, IF this is indeed true and microsoft does have this planned, its ethically and morally wrong and should not be allowed.
What gives them the right to force that all users install every update there is? Especially if you dont agree with them or want them?
Microsoft's general response on not installing updates is that "its only the pirates that dont wan to and they have something to fear" etc etc. I have a legit copy of windows I purchased when I built my pc, and yet I still disagree with installing most of the updates microsoft pushes out. Its not a matter of legality, its a matter of choice and not being muscled into something you dont agree with, especially when it phones home and does who knows what.
I do not know what update for windows includes this "kill switch" check, or if it was included in the OS in the beginning. But reasons like this are why I disable windows updates and only (if I absolutely have to) install the high-risk patches manually.
Article link http://it.slashdot.org/it/06/06/29/1657241.shtml
Isnt this a form of extortion?
Does anyone have anymore information about this?