Genuine Windows and Browsers


The information published in this post is now out-of-date and one or more links are invalid.

—IEBlog Editor, 12 September 2012

The core of my team’s job is to make IE7 and Windows Vista so compelling so that people choose our products. The people who work on Windows want you to have a good experience, whether you use IE or not – for example, Windows Media Player has a Firefox plugin. I also recently got a chance to play with a new Firefox plugin that simplifies and improves the Windows validation process on that browser – since, as I said to Scoble a long time ago, it would be arrogant for the people working on a product not to use other products in that category.

I talked with Brad Graziadio, the guy who runs the Windows Genuine Advantage team, and he walked me through customer feedback. Basically, customers said “We want to make sure our PCs are running genuine Windows and have access to all the content on the Microsoft Download Center; the experience when we’re running a Mozilla browser is not great. Do something about it.” Brad’s team did. I think that’s a good thing for customers.

Microsoft wants to provide a good user experience to all Windows customers who are validating their systems. If you choose to run Firefox, I know Brad and his team want to hear feedback on this plugin. This can be given here.

 – Dean

Comments (87)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi

    Two things on my wishlist here:

    1) A Windows Update that does not depend on IE. I know it’s been suggested here before, but I just feel the need to second it, as it really is a good idea.

    2) I would like to see certified third party windows software developers being given the chance to offer their patches and updates through the Windows Update service. I know there are probably lots of technical issues surronding this. For example, you guys would probably need to establish the legitimacy and authenticity of the company in question and would certainly need some kind of quality assurance program to ensure that any of these patches offered over Windows Update are of a certain standard. However, this would definitely make it far more convinient for users, as they would no longer have to go hunting through multiple websites to find the patches for their most used programmes.

    I kinda remember reading somewhere that one of Mr Gates’ main aims was to increase the number of people who where actively updating their systems. Well I believe these are two great ways of achieving this.

    Thanks.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Don’t steal your copy of Windows and you’re not scared of WGA.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Lol.

    >Basically, customers said “We want to make >sure our PCs are running genuine Windows

    I’m sure that’s what you heard, but probably not what was said. The average person doesn’t even know what ‘genuine windows’ means.

    I don’t pirate but I find that statement quite amusing.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Are there any plans to offer this for the Opera browser? (you know, the company Microsoft paid millions to avoid a lawsuit for sending broken websites to, purposefully?)

    http://news.com.com/Microsoft+behind+$12+million+payment+to+Opera/2100-1032_3-5218163.html

  5. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been developing very exciting html/xml/SVG contents in the latest build of Firefox and i LOVE it!

    I dream of IE7 supporting SVG besides XAML to make developer lives easier.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Although I primarily use Linux, I always have ONE machine running *GENUINE* Microsoft Windows… I have Firefox running with the WGA plugin, which does not seem to be accepted by Microsoft’s WGA system… Every time, it keeps telling me to download the stupid WGA tool to copy and paste the code into Firefox to validate Windows…. I can do nothing more than force myself to use (blech) Internet Explorer… (downloads 3rd antimalware suite to fix IE again)

  7. Anonymous says:

    This will be good news for folks who keep MSIE locked down under group policy or with hacks like setting the proxy server to `localhost’. Sure, that’s less necessary these days, but it’s going to take a long time (and a lot more convincing) before admins stop doing it.

    This means one less exception to worry about when administrating a system, and that makes me happy.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I just tried this on Firefox 1.5 (released today) with Windows XP, and went directly to a WGA-required download. No hitches; no Firefox restart required. Good job. BTW, it still bugs me a bit that "Details…" for Windows Updates are essentially disabled if I have configured them to display in Firefox :(

  9. brantgurga says:

    That is great news, and it is further evidence that Microsoft is actually paying more attention to Microsoft-alternatives. Hopefully, other Microsoft products will follow including the Microsoft File Transfer Manager.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Well, it worked great on my Windows XP systems, but not so great on my Server 2003 system… it reports Unsupported OS. Fortunately, GenuineCheck.exe and IE still work just fine! I’ll keep my eye on the plugin though for when it’s updated again.

  11. Anonymous says:

    It is good to see that Microsoft is concentrating on the user experience, even where the users are using products from other vendors.

    I should have this listed on PluginDoc in a few hours.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Tried the plugin link with FF under linux just for fun, I get into an infinite loop w/ a JS dialog popping up.

  13. Anonymous says:

    thanks for posting something, keep it up.

  14. Anonymous says:

    It will be greater if I can use .NET to develop FireFox plugin and have access to everything available under the .NET runtime. Of course, the plugin must follow both the FireFox and the .NET security model!

  15. Anonymous says:

    "Dean told me yesterday that when they release a patch, it needs to be tested in 400 different iterations." Scobleizer page…

    Perhaps MS could be innovative and allow the user to change the rendering engine between IE/Opera/Gecko in internet options for Vista? 400 iterations to test is what you folks have to suffer from previous exploits to destroy Netscape.

    I’ve purchased 98, SE, ME (eh) and XP (and I get laughed at for having paid for my copies) and I don’t have a problem running a Genuine copy…but the activation process needs to be revamped! SP1 was great…running SP2 was like letting George Bush run my OS…I ended up permanently reverting to SP1. After 30-some odd installs because Windows has…occasional issues and of course lots of hardware upgrades I have to call every single time I need to activate? Anyone who knows what information is being sent is very much aware it is info on our hardware. It should be obvious that a CPU/mobo or other set of upgrades with the same everything else hardware would suggest a hardware upgrade, not piracy.

    Microsoft has a bad history (at least in some departments) of coming out with great versions of products and then completely goofing up on them. MS Internet Keyboard Pro, 9.9 (-0.1 because it didn’t come in black). Then the F1-F3, F-lock, and enter key sized delete key were some examples of some big goofs on a previously great product. Heck, SP2 is an example of what I’m talking about. Having to wait 10 minutes before processes are associated to usernames (task manager) before certain network functions work, installing an antivirus after being warned non are running and then still getting harassed about it afterwards? This does not compel me to use or mention these things to my customers.

    I don’t mention these things to create a negative post but rather share my concerns that my friends and I have noticed and agree on. The Vista sidebar is another great concern…users at 800×600 will not have horizontal space needed due to assumptions seen through screenshots and thus mutilating or disabling parts of sites like that. Will this mean designers will have to create JavaScript in the future to detect the available horizontal space available for rendering?

    Such things are critical because no doubt there are an unlimited number of people who think MS sets standards, not true (at least in some respects)…but this still creates issues. Perhaps a useful work around is that the Vista sidebar automatically collapses when a browser is opened. Given this will also force other browser developers to get added to the list (perhaps a system preference?) or add extra code. Like the f-lock perhaps good intent but completely ugly execution!

    Developers are very good at what they do — develop, but more often then not they are not the best visual designers!

    http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase/winvista_5231ctp2_gallery_04.asp

    Terrible initial GUI (I hate the default Firefox GUI also). Users don’t know what images are, they need text to make them feel comfortable when clicking on something. Microsoft has a habit of not maintaining consistency in it’s GUI. While it’s great to give us new and nifty GUI features and such moving things around (like spellcheck, or even hiding menus..personalized menus?). Stick to the Windows 98SE feel for physical location of items but THEN use the new spiffy stuff like vector graphics. Moving stuff around will only confuse end users and even techies when they first sit down hoping the hundred bucks they just spent isn’t another Windows ME.

    The same with Firefox only in Mozilla’s case when they are talking about tabs there is NO +tab button at the top in the GUI thus pretty much negating it unless you custom install it. Windows in general has an overwhelming history of having all the wrong defaults…

    Let me say some positive things! The black GUI for Vista looks sexy and given improvements to IE’s GUI I think it’d look pretty sweet. MS’s AntiSpyware (what’s the new codename? I read about that earlier this morning) is very effective (just make sure it’s only running one process to do it’s job…antiviruses have terrible habits of running so much junk to do one simple job).

    Improvements to rendering in IE are very welcome as well as the security fixes mentioned (such as phishing exploits). I often visit sites such as IE Blog several times a week and enjoy reading the posts. The open communication with the interested techs in regards to the forward development of IE let’s us know that hope is on it’s way.

  16. PatriotB says:

    "Perhaps MS could be innovative and allow the user to change the rendering engine between IE/Opera/Gecko in internet options for Vista? 400 iterations to test is what you folks have to suffer from previous exploits to destroy Netscape."

    Well, I would imagine if you start letting the user switch rendering engines, the 400 would go up to about 600. Or they could allow you to switch it and give a big warning that you do so at your own risk (like the stickers on the sides of computers that they use to tell whether you’ve opened them up and voided your warranty).

    "Having to wait 10 minutes before processes are associated to usernames (task manager) before certain network functions work"

    I had something similar happen to me for a while, although it wasn’t 10 minutes it was more like 1-2 for me. I had the same symptoms: I’d log in, desktop shows up right away, but when you try to really do something, it would get stuck. RunAs would fail with an error. Task manager wouldn’t show usernames.

    I managed to track it down to a USB network adapter that I had installed a while back. As soon as I uninstalled it, no more problems. So it was either SP2 was exposing a problem in the 3rd-party driver, or vice versa.

  17. Anonymous says:

    > The core of my team’s job is to make IE7 and Windows

    > Vista so compelling so that people choose our

    > products.

    I thought thain Windows ’98 IE was a core component that couldn’t be changed…? Has MS come round to the idea that having a browser *Independent* of the os is a good thing…? Nope, not done a u-e there…!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Hey, your guys.

    I’d like to post a feedback to your IE Team. I think it might be a bug, but I don’t know how to contact your guys, so, I have to post it here and wish one of you will see it.

    [The problem description]

    Today, when I was trying to do something like drag and drop on IE, I found a problem.

    My purpose: I’d like to build a table and when user click on the cell and drag it, it will work as what we select some word in MS Word. And I had added onMouseDown, onMouseOver, onMouseUp events to those cells which can be "selected".

    The essential mechanism is using onMouseOver to change the background color of the cell when onMouseDown is fired on some cell at first.

    One more thing, I used an Array to act as a stack which used to store those cells which are already selected.

    My problem: When I traced the onMouseOver event, I found that, when dragging over some cell, the corresponding onMouseOver event it not fired! thus made the selection not work correctlly!.

    Here is the demo file: http://www.totodotnet.net/index.php?op=ViewArticle&articleId=100&blogId=1

    Ur… it’s really not make sense! Is there anyone can tell me why it happened?

    BTW: My system enviroment is listed below.

    CPU: Intel P4 2.4G

    Memory: 512MB

    OS: WinXP +SP2

    IE Version: 6.0.2900.2180.xpsp-sp2-gdr.050301-1519

    [Another BTW :)]

    If such kind of comment is not welcome here, your guys better give me a clue!:)

    Thanks..

  19. Anonymous says:

    Well done Windows – innovative and practical. Worked fine on my machine XP SP2. Working across platforms is the obvious (competitive) future and inter-connectivity is crucial.

  20. Anonymous says:

    Bang on!!! @ZhuLien

    The ONLY thing that Microsoft is missing from their product line/website, is a DIRECT, user feedback page/site.

    I have Dozens of VALID issues with MS products (IE in particular, Office next) that I can’t get addressed, because I won’t pay extra, for "support".

    This is not just anoying, it is mindbogglingly simple.

    Q.) Why do I use Firefox?

    A.) Because they listen. Period.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Great!

    This isn’t really innovative and I don’t kown what Richard was talking about when he said cross-platform because you guys aren’t even developing on the mac any more, much less *nix platforms. However, it’s nice to see that Microsoft is noticing that other people do exist.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Could you perhaps do something about the fact that while IE loads pages, it steals focus from the address box and erases the text the user might be typing at that very moment… …twice?

    Seriously, if the focus is on the address box and is typing, there’s no excuse for wiping out what is being typed. The user was typing that for a reason, regardless what the browser was up to.

    And IE7 doesn’t just do it once. It does it *twice* during a page load.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Awesome stuff. Now if somebody can get Windows Update to work with Firefox, I will love you all forever.

  24. Bruce Morgan [MSFT] says:

    Alex – your posts are short, don’t add all that much to the thread, and have 4 different URL links (the Alex name plus the 3 embedded URLs. That makes them blog spam, so I delete them.

    The comment system allows everyone to have a link back to their site via their name. One is enough.

    Eric K. – yes, we’re working on fixing that. It’s as annoying to us as it is to everyone else. We’ve "fixed" it two or three times, as a matter of fact.

    Much as it seems simple to fix, it’s just one of those areas in our code that’s tricky to fix, not regress other areas, and stay fixed while more changes get dropped in.

    It’s certainly our goal to ship IE7 with this fixed.

    Tonny.Xu – you can send bug reports via the Contacts form (see the My Links box).

  25. Anonymous says:

    I’ve started loving MS even more now (not that I didn’t love it before)…I think it’s a nice way of shedding the image of being a company which is out there to destroy even healthy competition.

  26. Anonymous says:

    @Sean:

    "Now if somebody can get Windows Update to work with Firefox, I will love you all forever. "

    Take a look at Neptune:

    http://www.meadroid.com/neptune

    We have been "plugging-in" Microsoft’s web browser control into Gecko (Firefox/Moz), Opera amd earlier Netscape browsers for years.

    It’s free, so use it to build your own local Windows Update doc to run in your non-IE browsers.

    Jerry

  27. Anonymous says:

    ‘my team’s job is to make IE7 and Windows Vista so compelling so that people choose our products’

    Honestly I cannot say I dislike ‘everything’ about Windows, but there are so many things I don’t like which mean I have to suffer using it. I use it by choice obviously because for certain tasks it is the best OS to use (please don’t confuse this statement with ‘it is a pleasure to use’ because it isn’t).

    What I’d like firstly is Microsoft to start a new section somewhere on their website where users of their software can complete surveys and with any luck, someone in Microsoft might actually read them. I doubt I’m a minority, but who’s to know. What I would like my Windows to be like: I don’t want Windows Media Player installed ‘at all’. I don’t want MSIE installed ‘at all’. Nor ‘Outlook Express’. Neither do I want any of the following: bundled games, bundled applications other than pure ‘system utilities’. I’d like my brand new Windows installation to be ‘small’ and ‘fast’ and ‘responsive’. I don’t want themes, I don’t want backdrops, skins, screensavers, I don’t want ‘any’ junk, I don’t want any fancy zooming, slow menus, I don’t want to ‘have’ to use tweakui to make the system ‘as fast as possible’ – it should be like this by default! If you have to bundle things, give me a choice to ‘not install them at all’. I don’t want a ‘registry’, I don’t want multi-user, I don’t want local security, file protections etc beyond saying someone on the LAN can or cannot modify a folder (and all things within recursively). Surely it can’t be too hard for Microsoft to optionalise everything? At least I can then get rid of the things I don’t like and make the at least tolerable and who knows, perhaps ‘how I like it’.

    regards, ZhuLien

  28. Anonymous says:

    Nice to see MS Embracing open source for a change.

    I wonder when we’ll see the rest of the "3 E’s" follow.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I’m very happy to see Microsoft supporting other products. I think the next step would be OpenDocument support in Office – that would be great! In recent months Microsoft has actually been regaining my trust a lot. I’m proud to say I own only genuine copies of Windows.

    Anyways, I would like to comment on Windows Update though. I think it’s time to ditch browser-based Windows Update. Look at Mac OS X and Ubuntu Linux for good examples of update software. It’s faster, it’s easier, it’s more secure (no possibility of phishing etc.) and it’s browser independent. Automatic updates is a great start but I think it’d be beneficial for everyone to have Windows Update be it’s own program.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I find it hard to believe that the first comments out of an MS customer’s mouth is "I want to make sure I’m running Genuine Windows." I dare say that 95% of people using Windows know whether or not their edition of Windows is "genuine," and would rather discuss such things as memory leaks, poor resource management, BSOD’s, security holes, and other things that impede their ability to use their PC’s effectively.

  31. Anonymous says:

    FYI, the npLegitCheckPlugin.dll plugin doesn’t work with the combination of Firefox on Windows Server 2003. (I’m a developer and use Win2k3 as my workstation desktop OS.) The Genuine Advantage site give me this message:

    Validation Not Completed: Unsupported OS

    [0x80080200]

    Why did it not validate?

    It appears that you are using an operating system that is not currently supported by the validation process.

    Also, the plug-in doesn’t register itself with the add-remove programs applet. So to uninstall, one has to figure out that it put npLegitCheckPlugin.dll into the Firefox plugins folder and nsILegitCheckPlugin.xpt into the Firefox components directory.

  32. Anonymous says:

    ummm, this is stupid. I don’t really care if the genuine windows deal works in firefox. Now if you could make OWA work with firefox the same way it works in IE, that would be a different story.

    Deliver something that benefits the user rather than benefitting microsoft and you will get your pat on the back.

  33. Anonymous says:

    still wont persuade me to use Doze tho…..

  34. Anonymous says:

    It would be nice if Microsoft would contribute to Firefox so it has the NTLM v2 code/support. By doing so, it would allow users to log into Windows servers with the NTLM v2 security features.

    Another feature I’d love, but I doubt we’ll ever see, is having Microsoft WSUS (Windows Software Update Services) handle Firefox updates. :)

  35. ieblog says:

    Brian Reiter and others,

    The plug-in is not supported on Server operating systems. Please see the WGA FAQ at http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/downloads/FAQ.aspx?displaylang=en.

    Under the question "Do all Windows users need to validate, or is validation limited to particular versions of Windows?" it states:

    "Validation is required for all genuine Windows downloads on Microsoft Download Center and the Windows Update service for users of Windows XP including Windows XP Home, Windows XP Professional and Windows XP Media Center Edition. Security updates are accessible to all users via Automatic Updates. Genuine Windows downloads are available, without validation, to customers running Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, Windows Vista, and Windows NT 4.0 with Service Pack 3. Genuine Windows downloads are not available for older versions of Windows (Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0 with Service Pack 2 and earlier), and non-Microsoft operating systems."

    Al Billings [MSFT]

  36. Anonymous says:

    <i>Basically, customers said “We want to make sure our PCs are running genuine Windows and have access to all the content on the Microsoft Download Center; the experience when we’re running a Mozilla browser is not great. Do something about it.”</i>

    Call me crazy, but I don’t believe that is what your customers actually said. Not for a second.

    No, what your customers most likely said was "I use Firefox and this Genuine Validation crap you added is making it hard for me to download patches to your software. Get rid of it."

    What you and Brad *heard* may indeed be as you describe it, but that’s definitely not what they were actually saying. Your "users" know very well if their software is "genuine" or not. Your customers are not fools. And they’re not interested in making sure you know that they paid for the software, they’re interested in making the software work more effectively and with less failure and downtime. They’re interested in getting *their* work done, not in dealing with problems *your* software is causing them.

    If you want to fix the Genuine Advantage process, then get rid of it. It’s totally worthless to the customer. It may have value to Microsoft, but for the end-user it does nothing but potentially make things more difficult and confusing.

  37. Anonymous says:

    I have to say that I’ve been more impressed with MS recently. It amazes me that at many major corporations (I happen to be sub-contracted out to one right now) employees are not allowed to use any browser but IE, yet at Microsoft, employees not can, but are encouraged to, use alternative browsers and products. Ah, the irony.

    It is also fun to think about how many Linux servers and workstations there are at Redmond, and it makes me happy to see the note on live.com to Firefox users that support will be coming. Sure beats the days when MSN.com sent purposefully-mangled HTML to Opera users.

    Kudos MS. While my relationship with the company is still bittersweet, they continue to amaze me by taking steps in the right direction everyday. For the first time in my life, I am tempted to actually pay for a Windows OS. (Of course, I’ll still use FF :)

  38. Anonymous says:

    With respect to Otto’s comments about what users are telling us… Customers have been very clear in their feedback about WGA.

    First, a vast majority feel that we (Microsoft) do have the right to validate windows in exchange for access to certain downloads and other services.

    Second, customers WANT TO KNOW if they have a genuine copy (unfortunately a many were ripped off by unscrupulous counterfeiters).

    Third, they want us to improve the user experience of the validation process.

    I’m very proud that we’ve been able to respond to customers with improvements on an on-going basis since WGA launched. We’ve removed that annoying 5×5 key entry requirement, added complementary replacement offers for customers who received high-quality counterfeits, and now have improved the experience for customers who choose to not use IE.

    As I have posted may times since we shipped WGA, please feel free to send me feedback. We’re committed to listening to customers and responding to their needs. Believe me or not, just drop me a note at bradg@microsoft.com.

    -Brad Graziadio

    Product Unit Manager

    Windows Genuine Advantage

  39. Anonymous says:

    Hi, I’m curious about something and before I ask it, I would just like to point out that I’m not saying it to be mean or anything, I really am just wondering (so basically, please don’t remove this comment, lol).

    So anyways, I remember that a while back (more or less immediately after the WGA scheme became a required thing if memory serves) there had been a lot of articles talking about how the WGA system could be curcumvented. I can’t remember how this was accomplished, but I was just wondering if it has been sorted out yet? (I’m guessing that since I haven’t seen it mentioned anywhere here it might have been, but I’m still curious for a definitive answer one way or the other).

    Thanks.

  40. Anonymous says:

    Unless this is truely a 1st step to other ports, these seem like self-serving choices.

    – Media player to extend the franchise vs Apple

    – Genuine Advantage – for obvious reasons

    If Microsoft had ported Windows Update – something that benefits me – then I’d care.

    What’s been done is tantamount to RoundupReady Soybeans.

  41. Anonymous says:

    90% of user DO know whether their Windows is "genuine" or not. And they dont realy care about this.

    What they care is – "how useful it is", "how fast it works", and "how frequently it crashes".

  42. Anonymous says:

    Yes, there are some hacks to get around WGA (MSN search will point you to them). Some of them still work, others don’t. We’re committed to making sure that none of these hacks can be used to intentionally deceive customers into thinking they have a genuine copy. That said, WGA is a service and will evolve all the time.

    So, think about WHO wants to hack around it and why. We’ve been thrilled with the fact that customers who validate have pointed us to numerous unscrupulous counterfeiters. You may not hear about it in the press, but WGA is having a positive impact for the whole software ecosystem.

    -Brad

  43. Anonymous says:

    Brad, thanks for the speedy responce and I would just like to point out incase there was any misunderstanding that I wasn’t questioning the validity of WGA, or the overall effect it’s having, I really was just curious.

    In fact I commend any scheme like this, since software (and other forms of) piracy often fund other types of crimes, so any type of crackdown is good.

    Thanks.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Ok. Starting to support Firefox is good.

    Now, how about following the same standard set by all the other plugins instead of making me download and run an installer?

    Every other plugin you click the link, accept the install and wait 4 seconds. With the MS one, I have to download the app, run it, click on a couple of buttons, then reload FF.

    Get with the party!

  45. Anonymous says:

    Eric,

    Yes, we looked into this, however, we had a ton of problems getting signatures to work correctly with that approach. We haven’t given up on the approach. If you know of an expert dev who’s been able to get signing to work on plug-ins, please point them my way.

    Thanks…

    Brad

  46. Anonymous says:

    <<It would be nice if Microsoft would contribute to Firefox so it has the NTLM v2 code/support. By doing so, it would allow users to log into Windows servers with the NTLM v2 security features.>>

    If you’re referring to NTLM HTTP Authentication, it’s worth noting that Firefox for Windows already supports this. Because Firefox doesn’t have a Zones model, you must manually enter every server you’d like to permit to use NTLM authentication in a list in about:config.

  47. Anonymous says:

    Why is another browser necessary, if the same functionality can be made available in FireFox? Wouldn’t it be better for the team to devote their expertise to that?

    I’m sorry, but the whole "Windows Genuine Advantage" thing sounds genuinely Orwellian to me.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Danny, my copy of windows comes with IE. Why would they need to support Firefox. If you only want one browser, use the one built into windows.

  49. Anonymous says:

    Are there any plans for Firefox 1.5 support? The plugin seemed to install correctly, and it is listed in about:plugins, but it doesn’t work.

  50. Anonymous says:

    Jonathan,

    Ping me in e-mail (bradg@microsoft.com) and I’ll hook you up with a dev who can investigate. All of our tests showed that it should work on Firefox 1.5. Would be very interested in seeing what’s happening in your config.

    -Brad

  51. Anonymous says:

    Way to go Microsoft! (and this is from a die-hard Linux user who is also a Windows user too).

  52. Anonymous says:

    Ok, I’ve read the original post. And All the comments. And I still don’t know what the H— this download does or why I would want it.

  53. Anonymous says:

    Hey,

    This whole WGA thing…Just get rid of it. Most of the people that bring their computer to the shop that I work in (boring place really), hate WGA with a passion and view it as an invasion of privacy. Additionally End users could care less about WGA, they just want their software to work so that they can be productive.

    WGA is a complete waste of everyone’s time. The only entity that WGA benefits is Microsoft. WGA should just die a quick death. Make all updates available to those running Windows. All WGA is good for IMO is as an excersise in "how fast can I circumvent it". Kinda like a Password (no matter the length) on a Windows machine. 30 seconds to bypass it max…LOL

  54. Anonymous says:

    Tried to load IE 7 Beta 1 from the disk Microsoft gave me today at the Pasadena "Ready to Launch" event. It fails with an 0x80080299 error during the validation process, in spite of the fact that all other windows validations work for this PC (brand new Dell with XP Pro). Oh well, back to Firefox for me.

  55. Anonymous says:

    Plugin fails to install on 1.5 Brad:

    See:

    http://img300.imageshack.us/img300/1268/wgafferror2gp.th.png

  56. Anonymous says:

    My son has a problem when using IE. After he is in IE browsing the web, he clicks on a url and all that shows is a blank screen, to get the page to appear, he clicks stop then refresh, the page comes up but still lists in the page as being blank even though it is active on the screen. any help thanks

    Paul

  57. Anonymous says:

    A browser-independant windows update is on my wishlist.

    :)

    Tim

  58. Anonymous says:

    Hope this isn’t too far OT, but are there any plans to stop trying to validate Macs? I’ve attempted to download stuff from MSDN using my Mac and Safari, with the intention of burning it to a DVD on which I keep various useful bits for my frequently re-imaged (and totally genuine) Windows development box. The site insists on making me download a Windows GA executable, and that’s the end of that.

    A tech support email, in which I clearly explained I was using a Macintosh, brought a reply that began "I understand you are having trouble validating your copy of Microsoft Windows". The use of the word "understand" is the first of many things wrong with that sentence :-)

    Seriously, are Microsoft telling me I can’t use my Mac to download things like MSXML 4 for later use on a machine that isn’t connected to the net? Or did nobody think this one through properly? Just wondering.

  59. Anonymous says:

    Give me a break, Brad. While i’m sure many of your users are telling you Yes, you have a right to invade their privacy, that doesn’t mean they *WANT* you to. That doesn’t mean they *LIKE* it. That doesn’t mean they aren’t infuriated by it every time they have to jump through yet another hoop.

    You have to learn that good will is something that works both ways. If customers want to validate their copies of Windows, great. But to FORCE them to, just to get access to important downloads and updates is driving people that have been very supportive of you into questioning that belief.

    By all means, continue to provide a way for users to validate their copies of Windows if they want, but stop holding important software hostage over it.

  60. Anonymous says:

    Well, I think Genuine crap will finally convince me to move over to Linux and Open source stuff finally. I had a great deal of respect for Windows XP and I still have, but I think Microsoft is getting paranoid as Bill and Company grow older. And the Vista wait is not worth it at all if MS is going to include Genuine and crap like that in Windows itself, masked under "Security" stuff.

    This stupid and horrible genuine crap actually means that Microsoft has failed in and is not capable of creating an efficient activation process code, thus driving nuts gazillions of ppl who really need updates and other cool downloads offered by Microsoft.

    Microsoft actually became the "politicians of software" with slipping metalanguage like Genuine and so on in order to distract public attention from their own incompetence.

  61. Anonymous says:

    After using unlicensed OS for a while in retaliation for being made to suffer 98 first edition, I bought a genuine copy of XP pro to replace the unlicensed copy I was running. I really felt MS had produced something worth paying for.

    However I have a problem with my motherboard and due to advances in processors the only sensible option is to change both. Am I right in saying that my hardware upgrade will cause problems with reloading my genuine OS?

    If this is the case then I’ll be going right back to unlicensed, not buying another copy of what I already have.

    I don’t actually have a problem with WGA per se but if it’s going to scrap my OS because I dared to update my hardware without getting permission from Bill that’s different.

    It’s time MS woke up to the fact that screwing the customer over like that is the reason a lot of people pirate your software.

  62. Anonymous says:

    @Duncan

    You can not upgrade your processor and motherboard without completely reinstalling Windows. This has nothing to do with activation (you will have to reactivate after install, just call and ask for the activation number) but Windows needs the right drivers for your processor and motherboard otherwise it can’t boot up. That why you have to reinstall Windows.

    WGA does not give you any problems if you can activate Windows successfully.

  63. Anonymous says:

    About WGA, I think it should stay optional.

    I already activated Windows, I already validated Windows when visiting MicrosoftUpdate. But do I really have to validate EACH TIME I want to download something from ms?

  64. Anonymous says:

    Hi ZippyV

    I know I will have to reinstall Windows but I have been told that when I try to download updates after that I will be seen as having installed the OS on another computer because of the information gathered when I originally validated it.

    Myabe the person who told me this has done something wrong when they tried it or is passing on a chinese whisper.

    I suppose I’ll find out soon enough.

  65. Anonymous says:

    It’s important that "power users" such as myself are able to mix and match Microsoft and non-Microsoft solutions on the same desktop. Incorporating more of the software stack into the operating system can smooth the user experience for the least common denominator, but customization needs to be available within the Windows platform for the rest of us. I hope to see more from Microsoft in that direction.

    Echoing some other comments, I would also like to see Windows Update without having to launch IE, whether as a webpage that could be loaded in alternative Windows browsers or as a standalone app instead — even if it was an app still powered by Gecko and technically loading a webpage, I just don’t like opening something that presents itself as a web browser when it’s not the default web browser I want on my system.

    I have the same problem with Office 2000 opening links in IE even though that is not my Windows default browser.

    A lot of Microsoft units have more work to do in allowing customization, but this is a step in the right direction.

  66. Anonymous says:

    Brad,

    Just wanted to pass along that the WGA plugin installed with out a hitch on FF 1.5 RC3 for me.

  67. Anonymous says:

    Microsoft is a good company and I’m glad to see that they are "playing fair" with competitors, corporation and non-profit alike.

    Personally, I use IE and Firefox both… Firefox is my daily driver though :)

  68. Anonymous says:

    Personally, I am thouroughly enjoying the discourse. WGA is just another nail in the coffin. No matter what light you thrjow on the WGA issue, it comes to the same thing. It will eventually kill MS. Microsoft is trying to protect its current status, but continues to choose to do exactly what will destroy it. You can’t control information. The Fascists tried in the thirties, and the corporations are trucking down the same road. I particularly enjoyed finding Alexa in the XP retail software. Microsoft apparently needed to spy on all of its customers for some obscure, corporate reason.

    The best we as users can do is avoid these types of trials altogether. Get into real free-ware with real information exchange and open sourcing and keep our freedom to do as we please, when we please. The Method — Try Linux, its free, its open and literally thousands of people are working on its developement. It truly is a revolution that MS is going to fight tooth-and-toenail, and eventually lose.

    Greed, Greed, and short sightedness.

    "Microsoft wants to provide good user experienceto all Windows users….." give us all a break, MS wants to keep us all as customers because they want the customers money in MS’s pockets. No matter how you cut it, Windows XP is not a good experience and throwing in spyware and other controls to to keep the people in media funded and happy is not, nor ever will be a "good" experience.

  69. Anonymous says:

    About damn time – as a judge told Sony ‘its not your computer’ – now all we need is for Microsoft to stop blocking non-IE users from downloading Windows security updates. Can’t stop now, I’ve got to go and catch those flying pigs outside my window.

  70. Anonymous says:

    "The core of my team’s job is to make IE7 and Windows Vista so compelling "

    Pass the ACID2 test, add some CSS3 support, perfect HTML401 and XHTML 1.x support, add full ECMAScript support, and then ask for forgiveness and then we’ll talk.

  71. BuBlog says:

    Δεν μου άρεσαν: Έπειτα από συνομιλίες ωρών, στο World Summit on the Information Society που διεξάγεται

  72. BuBlog says:

    Picks of the week #01: Τι μου άρεσε και τι όχι…