Microsoft comes down hard on XP Pirates even though they don't sell it any more - Move up to Vista ?
Microsoft has stopped selling Win XP. Micrososft employ a lot of people on very high salaries. Microsoft want you to buy and use Windows Vista.
In some markets - for example Malaysia - there are about 8.6 million users of Win XP Pro on the internet. Microsoft consider there must be 3 million that are ...er.. unlicensed.
Starting in the morning, users with pirated (unlicensed, borrowed, stolen) copies of Microsoft Corp's Windows XP Professional operating system (OS) on machines that are Internet-capable
could will find their computer displays going black and with no screen icons visible.
Easy peasy - reset the machine’s desktop background. Everything will return to normal. Easy peasy except it only last an hour - until the user buys a license ... or decides to move up (?) to Vista. (Exactly what happens when you load the Task Manager under Vista and you get that horrible empty feeling in your stomach)
This blackout will keep happening on the hour, every hour until the user licenses the copy of Win XP Pro on the machine by going to a Microsoft reseller or getting a licence online at the www.microsoft.com/malaysia/genuine. Each licence costs RM580 = US$170.
This initiative Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA), is apparently to "educate" users on the benefits of using genuine software, says K.T. Ng, Microsoft Malaysia’s director of client business group.
Win XP Professional was chosen for the antipiracy blitz because it is the most pirated version of Microsoft’s Win XP operating system , next to Windows XP Home.
Two years ago, it sprang its WGA initiative on local users of Win XP Pro and Win XP Home.
That time, a pop-up message said “This copy of Windows is not genuine.”
It was quite successful. At that time, there were about 5.1 million pirated copies of Windows XP Pro and after the exercise, about two million of the copies were ..er ... validated, said Microsoft Malaysia. Fran Foo @ C Net in April 2001 reported that copies of Office XP were selling for about RM 10 = US$3 on open air markets in KL. Microsoft said at the time that Office XP would cost about US$526 in Malaysia
In September that year ZDNet reported that Imbi Plaza and Low Yat Plaza -- in downtown Kuala Lumpur was a hive of stolen software sales .
On 20 August 2001 Microsoft managed to obtain a court order against Imbi Plaza, forbidding any store or operator in the premises from selling unlicensed Microsoft products.
“Microsoft has stopped selling Win XP in the market, so you have to wonder why it is spending time and money to take down users of pirated copies of this OS,” said a PC user, who asked for anonymity. “Why isn’t it also targeting users who have pirated copies of Windows Vista?”
“So if I’m using a pirated copy of Vista at this time, I won’t be hassled? Got to wonder about that.”
Ng says XP Pro, is widely pirated. “Vista isn’t pirated as much. WGA is continuous and should there be a Vista piracy problem, we will address it down the road.”
Perhaps the lawyers out there might have views on Microsoft's activities and the rest of us wonder why these tactics aren't used in other countries.