The most controversial aspect of the original Windows Vista copy protection was the introduction of a “reduced functionality mode” better known as the “kill switch”. This was a state where users found themselves when they ran afoul of the Microsoft Software Protection Platform (also called Windows Genuine Advantage or WGA) and if their machines weren’t completely dead, they might as well have been. After many complaints, Microsoft today announced that with Vista Service Pack 1, the “kill switch” will be replaced by what can only be described as “nagware.”
The smart guys over at Windows Secrets have as usual been doing some spelunking and they discovered this week that Windows Update in Windows XP and Vista recently updated some files without telling the user. Of course, the files are executables used by Windows Update itself, but the idea that Microsoft would be changing user systems without notification or even admitting the possibility caused some unfavorable buzz and Microsoft’s Nate Clinton to try to calm the raging masses.
Just what you need on a hot summer weekend – Microsoft’s Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) online copy protection system goes on the blink and now your Windows XP or Vista machine thinks it is running an ripped off copy of the operating system.
Some Microsoft news items from this week that did not find a post of their own.
Dear Mr. Gates, Mr. Ballmer, and the many good folks at Microsoft Corp.,
It’s time to sober up on Windows Vista. This just isn’t working out, and your users are getting frustrated to the point where they’re souring on Windows altogether. In case you haven’t seen some of the more noteworthy blog posts on this topic, I refer you to Chris Pirillo, Scot’s Newsletter, or Spend Matters. Or check out the recent bug reports regarding product activation and security flaws. This is all stuff I managed to dredge up that was written yesterday.
Related complaints in When life sucks to be an IT manager. Yes, there are some compatibility problems with Vista, IE7, and Office 2007, but despite all the complaining, Vista is still going to be on over 95% of all PCs sold and IE7 and Office 2007 will remain the premier Web browser and office suite. The only question is how much of a PR black eye Microsoft receives.
Speaking of PR black eyes, head over to Ed Bott’s blog for the latest on Vista validation snafus. Meanwhile, Windows XP got a new “maybe pirate” category in the Windows Genuine Advantage pirate trapper.
Microsoft, others suffer as Google’s web search share grows. No matter whose numbers you prefer, Microsoft’s share is definitely down from a year ago although there’s a hint of a minor uptick in the last month.
California may adopt OpenDocument. Er, not quite. There’s enough wiggle room in the definition that Microsoft’s Open Office XML (OOXML) may get through.
Windows OneCare last in AV test and Windows Defender misses 47% of malware. Concerning the latter, Defender nonetheless tried to eat my Alexa toolbar this morning. Alexa may be many things but it’s not adware.
The Windows Live Product Search beta was updated to provide better performance.
Linux fans ask Steve Ballmer to Show Us the Code that Mr. Ballmer loves to suggest infringes on Microsoft intellectual property.