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December 4, 2007

Microsoft kills the Vista "kill switch"

Posted by David Hunter at 3:49 PM ET.

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.”


Filed under Genuine Advantage, Microsoft, OS - Client, OS - Server, Technologies, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista

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September 14, 2007

Big brouhaha over Windows Update updating itself

Posted by David Hunter at 10:12 AM ET.

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.


Filed under General Business, Genuine Advantage, Microsoft, OS - Client, Public Relations, Technologies, Windows Update, Windows Vista, Windows XP

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August 27, 2007

Microsoft WGA goes AWOL

Posted by David Hunter at 12:15 PM ET.

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.


Filed under General Business, Genuine Advantage, Legal, Microsoft, OS - Client, Public Relations, Technologies, Windows Vista, Windows XP

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March 2, 2007

Microsoft Weekly Miscellany, March 2, 2007

Posted by David Hunter at 12:33 PM ET.

Some Microsoft news items from this week that did not find a post of their own.

An Open Letter to Microsoft: Re-Release Windows XP:

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.

Latest Zune stats: 10% of hard drive MP3 player market at North American big box retail according to NPD. Also Microsoft fix to keep Zune from skipping a beat coming in March.

Warner Buys Halo Soundtrack and Other Microsoft Game Music. Maybe it’ll be on iTunes?

Open source Exchange competitor Open-Xchange wins deal with giant web hoster 1&1 Internet.

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.

Microsoft, GM, Schwab, Halliburton Sued Over Network Security Technology.

Filed under Argo, Coopetition, Defender, Exchange, General Business, Genuine Advantage, Google, IE7, Internet Explorer, Licensing, Linux, Live Search, Microsoft, ODF, OOXML, OS - Client, Office, Office 2007, Open Source, Patent Lawsuits, Patents, Public Relations, Servers, Standards, Technologies, Windows Live, Windows Live OneCare, Windows Live Product Search, Windows Vista, Xbox, Zune

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