Windows 7 update aimed at pirates, lands next week

By on February 12, 2010, 12:51 PM
Microsoft revealed yesterday that it would release an update for Windows 7 to patch numerous holes used by pirates to bypass Windows Activation Technologies. General manager of Microsoft's Genuine Windows division, Joe Williams, told CNET that the software giant will plug more than 70 activation hacks.

What's more, the update will periodically phone home to check for additional vulnerabilities. You needn't worry though, no personally identifiable information will be transmitted according to Williams. Also, the patch is not being force-fed; users can opt out of it. Williams said the update would available for manual download via Microsoft's Genuine site or Windows Update on February 16.

Surprisingly, there's no catch -- or at least not candidly. If you don't install the patch, you will still be permitted to download other Windows updates. It's unclear whether the fixes will be present in Windows 7 Service Pack 1, in which case, they probably won't be discretionary.




User Comments: 33

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Guest said:

here we go xp sp2 again. why do they even bother to talk about things they dont do ? there's better ways to get pr.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

"If you don't install the patch, you will still be permitted to download other Windows updates."

Not sure what this means. So if you're a pirate, you can just skip this patch and then continue to download updates?

isamuelson isamuelson said:

Just goes to show how this doesn't work as well as they would like yet it sticks it to those of use that are legit users.

otester said:

There has been one like this before, theres one on Vista as well.

Just don't install it.... lol.

If they put it in SP1 and make SP1 compulsory (for certain apps/games), there will either be a hack for it or I'll go Ubuntu (now DX9/DX10 compatible).

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

TomSEA said:

"If you don't install the patch, you will still be permitted to download other Windows updates."

Not sure what this means. So if you're a pirate, you can just skip this patch and then continue to download updates?

Yep, according to Joe Williams anyway.

red1776 red1776, Omnipotent Ruler of the Universe, said:

so its aimed at dumb pirates?

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

Or folks that don't realize they're running Windows illegitimately, I guess.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Is Joe Williams mentally retarded? Someone at Microsoft needs to go find that man's baseball.

dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

so its aimed at dumb pirates?

Presumably these pirates be sailing on the Ship of Fools then.....now where that crazy cap'n Ballmer go ?

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Who the hell would manually download this? Obviously people running hacked copies wouldn't, and anyone running a real copy wouldn't take the time to download more crapware...

tropical36 said:

Try this Ubuntu download http://wubi-installer.org/ which installs without having to partition your hard drive or use another computer and can be uninstalled at any time just like any other program. It gives you the opportunity to boot into either OS at startup or will go to windows default after 60 seconds.

Once you review this totally free OS including optional free software, you have to ask yourself why windows is still in existence. It certainly wouldn't be if this would have been available before MS got their foot planted squarely in the doorway and I think the difference will come about if and when Google comes out with a Linux based system. Having a famous name behind this system will make all the difference in the world.

Guest said:

Hey Joe! Say it isn't so. What are they smoking over at Microsoft these days.

princeton princeton said:

Except most windows 7 pirates(my brother) got a copy thats a reusable OEM from a laptop. If windows disables that then thousands of HP laptops get deactivated. So double fail for MS.

Clrabbit said:

The point of this update isn't to swat the normal user pirate that Dl's there copy off the net. It's targeted (and all of the past one's have all been targeted towards) PC-repair, and Customer build places that put a Pirated copy of windows on a PC and charge the user full price. So as a real example: you grab this update, If you took you're system in to be fixed and decided to just have it updated when they told you it needed to be reformatted and you want to check if its legit. "Yes I know every body here including my self is likely A+ certified and can fix there own system, BUT there are tons of people out there who do this."

Really as far as I can tell MS doesn't care that much if a couple million people pirate there OS they just don't like people selling pirated copies as real. Most people who are going to take the time and energy to pirate windows them selfs are them same group that would rather just jump ship then pay for a new copy, And it's better for MS if they stick to Windows more user's = More reason for High paying Developers to stay with there OS.

JudaZ said:

clrabbit said:

The point of this update isn't to swat the normal user pirate that Dl's there copy off the net. It's targeted (and all of the past one's have all been targeted towards) PC-repair, and Customer build places that put a Pirated copy of windows on a PC and charge the user full price. So as a real example: you grab this update, If you took you're system in to be fixed and decided to just have it updated when they told you it needed to be reformatted and you want to check if its legit. "Yes I know every body here including my self is likely A+ certified and can fix there own system, BUT there are tons of people out there who do this."

Really as far as I can tell MS doesn't care that much if a couple million people pirate there OS they just don't like people selling pirated copies as real. Most people who are going to take the time and energy to pirate windows them selfs are them same group that would rather just jump ship then pay for a new copy, And it's better for MS if they stick to Windows more user's = More reason for High paying Developers to stay with there OS.

This actually sound resonable. Lots of the activations hacks they cant prevent without causing problems for a lot of OEM machines. But hunting people selling computers with a pirated software, there is where they actually loose a lot of money.

so if this is their aim, I say good on you Microsoft.

I pirate myself from time to time, but selling and making money of pirated software is something I really hate. It's something only scum do in my opinion.

Most people pirate because they cant afford to buy a legitimate copy of something, so its really not a real loss for the manufactutrer. But if people sell pirated software for almost full price, there is an actuall real loss of profit.The unknowing customer gets screwed and also the manufacturer, in this case Microsoft.

If i cant afford something, i cant buy it. Then if get it for free...what have they really lost? I would never had bought it anyway, because i cant.

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

tropical36 said:

Try this Ubuntu download http://wubi-installer.org/ which installs without having to partition your hard drive or use another computer and can be uninstalled at any time just like any other program. It gives you the opportunity to boot into either OS at startup or will go to windows default after 60 seconds.

Once you review this totally free OS including optional free software, you have to ask yourself why windows is still in existence. It certainly wouldn't be if this would have been available before MS got their foot planted squarely in the doorway and I think the difference will come about if and when Google comes out with a Linux based system. Having a famous name behind this system will make all the difference in the world.

Ohhhhh buddy, I like the words in your post. They make me happy and tingly inside.

And sorry for making that weird, but Linux fans could understand, maybe.

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

clrabbit said:

The point of this update isn't to swat the normal user pirate that Dl's there copy off the net. It's targeted (and all of the past one's have all been targeted towards) PC-repair, and Customer build places that put a Pirated copy of windows on a PC and charge the user full price. So as a real example: you grab this update, If you took you're system in to be fixed and decided to just have it updated when they told you it needed to be reformatted and you want to check if its legit. "Yes I know every body here including my self is likely A+ certified and can fix there own system, BUT there are tons of people out there who do this."

Really as far as I can tell MS doesn't care that much if a couple million people pirate there OS they just don't like people selling pirated copies as real. Most people who are going to take the time and energy to pirate windows them selfs are them same group that would rather just jump ship then pay for a new copy, And it's better for MS if they stick to Windows more user's = More reason for High paying Developers to stay with there OS.

Guilty. However, I don't charge for that itself for morality reasons. (Of course some would see problems in this and call me a hypocrite) I only charge for the time it took me to install. Good thing I've only done this to a few computers.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

It's Like Deja Vu al over again

Hey Joe! Say it isn't so.
Whoa..., that sounds like something from the vice presidential debates. You couldn't be Sarah Palin... or could you?

In fairness to you, I don't actually think Ms Palin is that articulate. I'm pretty sure she used "ain't".

What are they smoking over at Microsoft these days.
I wonder if "programmer's block" is on the list of approved usage for medical marajuana.

This actually sound resonable. Lots of the activations hacks they cant prevent without causing problems for a lot of OEM machines. But hunting people selling computers with a pirated software, there is where they actually loose a lot of money. so if this is their aim, I say good on you Microsoft. I pirate myself from time to time, but selling and making money of pirated software is something I really hate. It's something only scum do in my opinion. Most people pirate because they cant afford to buy a legitimate copy of something, so its really not a real loss for the manufactutrer. But if people sell pirated software for almost full price, there is an actuall real loss of profit.The unknowing customer gets screwed and also the manufacturer, in this case Microsoft. If i cant afford something, i cant buy it. Then if get it for free...what have they really lost? I would never had bought it anyway, because i cant.
I think that something less than "full disclosure" would have been more prudent and acceptable in this post.

This actually sound resonable. Lots of the activations hacks they cant prevent without causing problems for a lot of OEM machines. But hunting people selling computers with a pirated software, there is where they actually loose a lot of money. so if this is their aim, I say good on you Microsoft. Selling and making money of pirated software is something I really hate. It's something only scum do in my opinion. Most people pirate because they cant afford to buy a legitimate copy of something, so its really not a real loss for the manufactutrer. But if people sell pirated software for almost full price, there is an actuall real loss of profit.The unknowing customer gets screwed and also the manufacturer, in this case Microsoft.

My redacted version, for your approval.

Badfinger said:

I don't get this announcement at all, don't say anything and just cripple the non-paying PCs until their 'dispute' is resolved?

Must be to avoid some ridiculous lawsuit when it cripples misdiagnosed versions, somewhere?

Guest said:

Back up my windows 7 with acronis which is also a pirate version, I'm sure someone with hack it after Microsoft sends out the wga tool. Give it a few weeks or may days before it's hacked again!

treetops treetops said:

Windows xp wont let you get past sp1 without genuine activation. I bet they will do the same thing with windows 7 and vista regarding this patch. This is probably a prototype(for lack of better word), they probably do not want to force it on windows 7 users until they know it wont cause big problems. If that's the case and I assume it is then good job not forcing a buggy patch down my throat.

Guest said:

Windows xp wont let you get past sp1 without genuine activation. I bet they will do the same thing with windows 7 and vista regarding this patch. This is probably a prototype(for lack of better word), they probably do not want to force it on windows 7 users until they know it wont cause big problems. If that's the case and I assume it is then good job not forcing a buggy patch down my throat.

Or you could have just installed a pirate version of SP3 and not had to bother with the "genuine activation" bs in the first place.. Which is what I did back when I was running Windows because I refused to put up with that nonsense in the first place, not because I couldn't afford a legit copy of the OS. That, snagging the latest DirectX versions out of the developers packs, which don't have any of that "validation" nonsense on them, and shutting down all those unnecessary "features" microsoft likes to leave active by default.. and you don't miss out on anything important security wise, plus Microsoft's "Ransomware" doesn't phone home to check up on you.

Now I've just switched to Linux, and I'm really happy to not have to bother with anymore of Redmond's mental illness.

Guest said:

Great news!

Because now these posers have doubt, what is the point of using a hacked version anyways..?

$140 really isn't that much if you need Windows 7... so those who use an illegitimate copy have no rational reason, they are just scum. If you don't need Windows, then Linux is there for free. If you do need Windows... do you NEED 7?

If not, then you are a pozer who wants to own, but without paying.

Cost?

Hardly.. I'm quite sure that 4 months of internet service is more than the cost of Windows. You're here, so the cost is moot. It the idea that you are stealing or hating on MS... while at the same time you want their product. So ironic that some went threw the trouble to install a hacked version.

Funny isn't it? Super Johnny is'nt so super, when his budz see that he a poser!

Guest said:

Or, people might have more important things to take care of, like children & families that doesn't feel the necessary expense to line Microsoft's pockets with more money for 1/2-assed software that wasn't properly tested, and rushed to release to make more money. This has been going on since the release of Windows 95. We, the consumer, have been paying for beta-software that has never been truely ready and polished for release. And we keep doing it, at least some do, and that's what they want to keep happening. So, any of the sheep that follow what Microsoft dictates, go for it. If it's not your way, I say keep on truckin' & keep on keepin' on. I, for one, will consistantly refuse to pay for software that isn't complete upon release, and necessary to patch weekly because it was rushed and 1/2-assed developed. You don't see this kind of crap with games for the PC, because they are polished & properly tested, and those are things that I WILL pay for (and always have).

Untill Redmond decides to get their collective heads from their behinds, I will never pay for another version of windows. They got their $100 for my version of XP, and that's the last cent that they will receive from my pocket. There's always someone that makes their WGA null & void, and it's not going to stop. Windows 7 was available 0-day release the same time that OEM was receiving it. So it's a non-ending battle that Microsoft has to just accept and deal with it. OR, like I said before, release a polished and completed product that doesn't necessitate patching every week.

Guest said:

How stupid can Microsoft be? Umm lets see, you have a pirated copy of windows 7, we are sending out a update so that it will close the holes that keep you from activating your copies of windows, but it is a optional patch, you DON'T have to download it. Who is the genius at Microsoft? He deserves a dumba** award.

Guest said:

An addition to your message:

If the software was complete at launch, it should be uncrackable. Then they wouldn't have to worry about illegal versions strung about.

As for the Linux users, I wish I could switch to Linux, but most of the "Legit" software I use on my computer doesn't support Linux.

princeton princeton said:

Well it seems people already have found a way to bypass this on the pirated copies even though its optional. Guess the pirates are preparing for SP1.

Viandroto said:

Poser, poser, poser. Is that all you can say? Some people really can't afford it. People who don't have jobs. $140 is actually a lot of money when you don't have a job. Sure, I probably wouldn't buy it anyway if I did have the money because I already have a pirated copy... And $140 is still quite a bit of money. I do not hate Microsoft, I just do not fully support them. Alas, I am supporting them when I actually use their product and do recommend it to people. It's free advertising is what it is.

You know what it's really about? It's about greed. And really, it's not that they're greedy, or I'm greedy.... We're both greedy. They want your money, and I want their product. Everyone wants to categorize greed as good or bad... I don't see greed as something good or bad. It just is what it is. I respect those that invest in the product, but I also respect those that support their product.

Personally, if they don't have the technology to stop me from getting it for free, why should I hold some standard to not using it for free... Specially when there's Linux out there, as you say? If all the pirates, and hackers decided to give up on Windows, do you think they'd have such a hold on the market? Don't think so... It's the pirates and hackers that really make Windows so popular, or you can look at it the other way. There are pirates and hackers BECAUSE Windows is so popular.

I suppose I'm just a poser though.

bearspencer said:

"What's more, the update will periodically phone home to check for additional vulnerabilities. You needn't worry though, no personally identifiable information will be transmitted according to Williams."

"Needn't worry?"

That phrase from a major corporation (think Sony & rootkit DRM) ranks right up there with "what makes you think something's wrong" from a wife, silence from a bunch of kids "playing" and a snake's rattle.

There seems to me to be a qualitative difference between submitting to a "genuine verification" check before updating old software or downloading new and this ET phone home play. Smacks of the cable company visiting the house every quarter just to make sure we haven't hooked up an extra tv in another room.

Nor am I sanguine about the prospect of performing a major upgrade to hardware or firmware, it not playing nice with Win7 or vice versa, and suddenly having to call "home" myself and hassle with MS' lack of support.

mrtraver said:

...Once you review this totally free OS including optional free software, you have to ask yourself why windows is still in existence. It certainly wouldn't be if this would have been available before MS got their foot planted squarely in the doorway and I think the difference will come about if and when Google comes out with a Linux based system. Having a famous name behind this system will make all the difference in the world.

Gee, so I can play Fallout 3 and Wheelman and Command and Conquer 3 and Freespace 2 and Mechwarrior 3 and Crimson Skies and Unreal Tournament 2004 and Battlestations: Midway and Mass Effect and World in Conflict and Crysis: Warhead and all my other 60 or so Windows-based games on Linux without tweaking or using Windows emulators or anything else?

I've never installed Linux because no one has ever shown me a good reason to. What can I do with it besides web browsing, email, and an office suite? I can do those in Windows, too, and don't have to reboot to a different OS to play a game. (Except Fallout 3, which only runs on my XP partition - damn you, Bethesda and your refusal to support Windows 7 even with 90,000,000 plus legit copies of it out there!)

Guest said:

Or, people might have more important things to take care of, like children & families that doesn't feel the necessary expense to line Microsoft's pockets with more money for 1/2-assed software that wasn't properly tested, and rushed to release to make more money.

Spoken like a true pirate.

I think we all remember Microsoft's ad campaign for the release of Vista. "The wow starts now". What overhyped bs that was for a polished turd.

kweeny said:

Viandroto said:

You know what it's really about? It's about greed. And really, it's not that they're greedy, or I'm greedy.... We're both greedy. They want your money, and I want their product. Everyone wants to categorize greed as good or bad... I don't see greed as something good or bad. It just is what it is. I respect those that invest in the product, but I also respect those that support their product.

Personally, if they don't have the technology to stop me from getting it for free, why should I hold some standard to not using it for free... Specially when there's Linux out there, as you say? If all the pirates, and hackers decided to give up on Windows, do you think they'd have such a hold on the market? Don't think so... It's the pirates and hackers that really make Windows so popular, or you can look at it the other way. There are pirates and hackers BECAUSE Windows is so popular.

I suppose I'm just a poser though.

Share these thoughts too. Waiting to see what MS and the pirates/hackers come up with next. .Anyway its going to affect a lot of users.

mrtraver said:

What overhyped bs that was for a polished turd.

I just saw that episode of Mythbusters this week!

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