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[News] Vista Piracy Has Begun

Illegal KMS server appears on the Internet

,----[ Quote ]
| So what does this mean?  Well hopefully Microsoft can get the
| server shut down in pretty short order, and even if they can't
| then the key will likely get flagged and anyone that has used it
| will no longer be able to download anything that requires
| Windows Genuine Advantage.
| I think we might see the occasional rogue KMS server that
| Microsoft has to shutdown, but the real question is....Do you
| think Microsoft will succeed at protecting Windows Vista from
| large scale piracy?


The question should not be "will it success at protecting Windows Vista from
large scale piracy?", but "will it WANT to protect Windows Vista from large
scale piracy?" It could do this selectively (depending on region). See items


How Piracy Opens Doors for Windows

,----[ Article's summary ]
| Bill Gates may not be entirely dismayed by software thieves. They
| seed the world market and make Microsoft a standard.


Microsoft seals its Windows and opens the door to Linux

,----[ Quote ]
| Now comes the really interesting question. With Vista's activation
| technology, Microsoft has the power to stamp out piracy everywhere. But
| will it choose to do so everywhere? After all, if folks in China or
| Thailand or Ethiopia have to pay for Vista, they won't be able to run
| it because they won't be able to afford the licence fee. In which case
| they may finally wake up to the attractions of free software such as
| Linux - and it's easy to imagine what that will do to Microsoft's
| plans for world domination.
| It's a delicious prospect: Microsoft impaling itself on the horns
| of a dilemma it has created for itself. Roll on Thursday.


Easy Way to Bypass Windows Genuine Advantage

,----[ Quote ]
| How to bypass Windows Genuine Advantage easily without patches or scripts


Hackers Crack Microsoft's Antipiracy System

,----[ Quote ]
| Windows Genuine Advantage system first exploited within 24 hours of
| its launch
| [...]
| A posting on the  Boing Boing blog claimed that a JavaScript command
| string could bypass a check that Microsoft instituted Wednesday through the 
| Windows Genuine Advantage 1.0 program.


Piracy aside, there are other factors in Microfoft's 'success' as well, e.g.:

Jury Hears Microsoft Competition Suit

,----[ Quote ]
| A judge on Friday told jurors they must accept as fact that a
| federal court found in 1999 that Microsoft holds a monopoly over
| computer operating systems and that it restricted computer
| manufacturers' ability to use competing systems.
| [...]
| She said she'll show that the company used its monopoly power
| to exclude competition and control prices and that it conspired with
| other companies to restrain trade, maintaining what she called a
| chokehold on software competitors and computer manufacturers.
| "It isn't illegal to be successful," Conlin said in opening
| remarks. "We applaud that. ... But you can't freeze out competitors
| and punish and retaliate against people who cooperate with
| competitors. Microsoft did all that and more."
| Conlin warned jurors that she would say some unflattering things
| about Microsoft and its billionaire founder Bill Gates, who
| serves as company chairman.
| [...]
| Conlin's first 3 1/2 hours of opening arguments delved deeply into
| computer industry history and how Microsoft fought off competitors
| attempting to design rival software.


Politics and tech companies: follow the money

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft took first place with $651,100 given out, while
| Hewlett-Packard gave only $185,550, and Gateway gave a paltry
| $2,000. Microsoft's donations certainly illustrate well the true
| size of the company and the extent of its political concerns.
| [...]
| For instance, Microsoft's PAC spent $1.7 million in the 2006 election
| cycle, but only a third of this went to federal candidates. What
| happened to the rest? It went to local campaigns, paid out a few
| thousand dollars at a time to groups like "Boal for Iowa House" in
| Ankeny, IA. It also funded other PACs like the "Associated Republicans
| of Texas" and the "Blue Dog Political Action Committee." No race is
| apparently too small to be funded; even Indiana State Representative
| Terri Austin of Anderson, IN got $500.
| Lobbyists
| But the real money isn't even given to the candidates directly. It
| goes to lobbyists, which can be safer investments since they stand no
| chance of losing at the polls. The complete-year figures from 2005
| show that Microsoft spent $8.7 million on lobbyist expenses. Almost
| a million dollars of that money went to Covington & Burling, a
| lobbying firm that also represents the National Football League and
| the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America. Microsoft's
| total spending on lobbying has risen substantially from the $4
| million it spent in 1998.
| [...]
| Where does it come from?
| Although some of this money comes from large employee donations,
| most of it does not. Take Microsoft, for instance; the Center for
| Responsive Politics says that the company received only $302,599
| from individual donors who gave more than $200 in this election
| cycle, only a small fraction of the $1.7 million actually spent.
| As is typical, much of this money came from the company's top
| brass, while the rest was made up of small contributions.
| The maximum individual contribution to a PAC is $5,000 a year.
| Melinda, whose occupation is listed in Federal Election Commission
| records as "homemaker," regularly contributes this amount, as does
| Bill. Steve Ballmer coughed up, too. Microsoft can use general
| company funds to support the PAC and its operations, but cannot 
| give directly to candidates.


Leaked letter warns of open source 'threat to eco-system'

,----[ Quote ]
| leaked letter to the European Commission has revealed the extent of
| lobbying by proprietary software groups to prevent the widespread
| adoption of open-source software.
| Sent in response to a recent report on the role of open-source
| software in the European economy, Microsoft-funded pressure
| group, the Initiative for Software Choice (ISC) warned of
| potentially dire effects if too much encouragement was given
| to open source software development.


Report Says Nonprofits Sold Influence to Abramoff

,----[ Quote ]
| E-mails released by the committee show that Abramoff, often
| with the knowledge of the groups' leaders, exploited the tax-exempt
| status and leveraged the stature of the organizations to build
| support among conservatives for legislation or government action
| sought by clients including Microsoft Corp., mutual fund company
| DH2 Inc., Primedia Inc.'s Channel One Network, and Brown-Forman,
| maker of Jack Daniel's whiskey.


Open Source Foes In Bed With Abramoff


Microsoft offers schools in Mass. free software (to stop ODF adoption)

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft's software includes normal applications, such as word
| processing and spreadsheets, as well as more advanced programs.


EU official joins consultancy serving Microsoft


US ambassador to the EU was former Microsoft lobbyist

,----[ Quote ]
| Before C. Boyden Gray was named as George Bush's number one person in
| Europe, he was a lawyer lobbying on behalf of Microsoft.


US politicians go to bat for Microsoft


Changing the Report, After the Vote

,----[ Quote ]
| That agreement was nearly imperiled last weekend, though. Gerri
| Elliott, corporate vice president at Microsoft's Worldwide Public
| Sector division, sent an e-mail message to fellow commissioners
| Friday evening saying that she "vigorously" objected to a paragraph
| in which the panel embraced and encouraged the development of open
| source software and open content projects in higher education. 


Bill Gates lends cash to buy newspapers

$350 million to MediaNews

,----[ Quote ]
| Gates involvement has been very behind the scenes. In fact many of
| those involved in the deal didn'teven know he was one of the investors.
| It was carried out through the Gates Foundation, the world's largest
| philanthropy outfit.



,----[ Quote ]
|     "Some years back, Microsoft practiced a lot of dirty tricks using
| online mavens to go into forums and create Web sites extolling the virtues
| of Windows over OS/2. They were dubbed the Microsoft Munchkins, and it
| was obvious who they were and what they were up to. But their numbers
| and energy (and they way they joined forces with nonaligned dummies who
| liked to pile on) proved too much for IBM marketers, and Windows wont
| he operating-system war through fifth-column tactics"
|     Mr Dvorak wonders if Microsoft is today using reverse-dirty-tricks
| to promote the Xbox 360: pay people to create Web sites that slam the
| gaming computer in order to provoke a barrage of defenders. 


Recent examples

,----[ Quote ]
| In 2001, the Los Angeles Times accused Microsoft of astroturfing
| when hundreds of similar letters were sent to newspapers voicing
| disagreement with the United States Department of Justice and its
| antitrust suit against Microsoft. The letters, prepared by Americans
| for Technology Leadership, had in some cases been mailed from
| deceased citizens or nonexistent addresses.

A new Microsoft-commissioned anti-Linux study debuts

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft seemingly has backed off from trumpeting its "Get the
| Facts" studies, as of late. But that doesn't mean the company has
| ceased commissioning research outfits to perform its anti-Linux dirty
| work. 
| On September 25, Mercer Management Consulting released a new
| Microsoft-backed study. The study is entitled "Driving Lower TCO and
| Rapid ROI through UNIX Migrations." The synopsis: "Microsoft Windows
| the preferred choice for UNIX migration when IT organizations migrate
| servers as part of a focused effort to improve business processes,
| deploy critical applications or restructure their IT architecture." 


IDC pronounces Linux unimportant to European economy 

,----[ Quote ]
| A recent IDC white paper on the economic impact of Microsoft's super
| soaraway new Vista operating system seems to be lacking one crucial
| ingredient -- other operating systems.


Microsoft Traps and Hunts for Bloggers in India !!

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft has announced the "Microsoft BlogStars" contest, to Hunts
| for Developer Bloggers in India. After feeling the power and increase of
| the Bloggers community in India, Microsoft tries to trap and hunt Bloggers
| in India to buildup the blogging community, for writing blog posts
| supporting towards Microsoft Technologies.


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