Very interesting article about WGA

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starfoxtj
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Very interesting article about WGA

Post by starfoxtj » Thu Jun 29, 2006 7:32 pm

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?
Any thoughts?
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Post by depablo » Thu Jun 29, 2006 7:47 pm

WGA has started disabling automatic updates already, as well as putting up a splash screen stating your copy of windows is not genuine.

The only reason I use it is simply because I don't know what version of linux would be an easy install for myself as a newbie. I only use the internet for forum use and visiting the support sites.

There are regular cracks available which fool WGA. But this is a constant battle with Microsoft and the folk who use non-genuine windows.
(myself excluded :oops: )

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Post by starfoxtj » Thu Jun 29, 2006 7:49 pm

I suggest: Kbuntu. ALOT of users love the simplicity of it. Its probably the easiest linux distro.
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Re: Very interesting article about WGA

Post by Bison911 » Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:40 pm

Thank god I don't use windows :)
starfoxtj wrote: What gives them the right to force that all users install every update there is?


It's their product so they can pretty much do what they want.

As for the question of linux. Start with a live CD (They run completely off the cd - no install necessary) like Slax or Archie (the only exceptible ones). If you want to continue with that get another 'beginner' distro and install it. Although i'm pretty sure both of those livecd's mentioned have hd installs.

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Post by Newfie » Thu Jun 29, 2006 8:46 pm

starfoxtj wrote: I suggest: Kbuntu. ALOT of users love the simplicity of it. Its probably the easiest linux distro.


I'm downloading it now. :D

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Post by depablo » Fri Jun 30, 2006 5:55 am

starfoxtj wrote: I suggest: Kbuntu. ALOT of users love the simplicity of it. Its probably the easiest linux distro.


Downloading as well, been looking for a simple version for a while

Cheers :)

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Post by karlsemple » Fri Jun 30, 2006 6:42 am

hehe i removed WGA and there are oher ways to update windows.
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Post by Timtam1234 » Fri Jun 30, 2006 9:35 am

Like to enlighten us on how, but I see if you cant, you may get in trouble.


There is a problem, if they are going to force us to update, I cant.I cant install SP3, it cant find some file, and not even I canfund it. Its something like 0cw10.dll, I think.

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Post by Ramon Fincken » Fri Jun 30, 2006 10:39 am

ok but when you have a legit/legal version of windows there is nothing to worry about :)

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Post by karlsemple » Fri Jun 30, 2006 10:41 am

Ramon Fincken wrote: ok but when you have a legit/legal version of windows there is nothing to worry about :)

Rfn



apart from the fact you have a program reporting to microsoft without permission
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Post by Ramon Fincken » Fri Jun 30, 2006 11:23 am

karlsemple wrote:
Ramon Fincken wrote:ok but when you have a legit/legal version of windows there is nothing to worry about :)

Rfn



apart from the fact you have a program reporting to microsoft without permission


true.. but i stick to the fact that you should have a legit copy of your operating system :)

however... I have never seen this program or a download version.
I have win xp ..

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Post by SamG » Fri Jun 30, 2006 12:25 pm

I'm not a Microsoft fanboy by a long shot, but I think the fuss over WGA is more over principle than over any actual abuse of its customers by Microsoft. And sadly, but not surprisingly, Microsoft's response to all the fuss gets a lot less attention.

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Post by jwunderly » Fri Jun 30, 2006 2:22 pm

SamG wrote: but I think the fuss over WGA is more over principle than over any actual abuse of its customers by Microsoft.


Their business practices are a form of abuse, neglect, indifference, mental cruelty, etc.
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Post by who_cares » Fri Jun 30, 2006 5:47 pm

karlsemple wrote: apart from the fact you have a program reporting to microsoft without permission

A good firewall can handle that

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Post by Drunky » Fri Jun 30, 2006 5:56 pm

who_cares wrote:
karlsemple wrote:apart from the fact you have a program reporting to microsoft without permission

A good firewall can handle that


Aside from the fact that some people have to disable their firewalls?

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