Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Microsoft disables remote disabling

It seems that the good guys in Microsoft (and there are a quite a few of them btw) have got the message through that it is not a good idea to remotely disable customers's computers if it suspects piracy.

"Microsoft Corp. is pulling back from a system that disables programs on users' computers if it suspects the software is pirated, opting instead for a gentler approach based on nagging alerts.

Microsoft said late Monday it will roll out the new version of Windows Genuine Advantage with the first "service pack" for Windows Vista, due in the first quarter of 2008.

When computer users activate a copy of Windows Vista or try to download certain software from Microsoft's Web site, the Windows Genuine Advantage system scans their PCs for signs of pirated software. Today, if the tool finds an unauthorized copy of Vista, the glassy Vista user experience disappears and other features are suspended."

I suspect the nagging alerts are going to create major problems as innocents get targetted (identifying copyright infringement is an inexact science not best turned over to software) but it is a little better than having your brand new machine disabled.

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