Microwave Biscuit

“Genuine” Advantage

Posted in Linux, ubuntu by microwavebiscuit on March 21, 2007

I just booted up my Windows PC and was informed that I had a “critical update” that needed downloading. Upon installation, it appears that the “critical” update was the latest Windows Genuine tool which validates that your copy of Windows is authentic and not pirated. My Windows install is in fact genuine as it came OEM with the PC. After installing it, it offered to take me to the Microsoft site where I could view the “benefits” of using a Genuine copy of Windows. I don’t believe in pirating software and I have made my decision to use predominantly open source software for many reasons. For me, using open source software is the “right” way to get around Microsoft’s domination of the PC market. I think that using open source software is just better and if you are using a pirated copy of Windows, the best thing to do is to get rid of it and install one of the alternative operating systems that are available.

The irony that I find is that there is no real Genuine advantage to me but Microsoft is attempting to position it as a positive to me. Why not just come out and say “stop stealing our stuff – it hurts our profit margins” instead of pretending that there is some value to me.

Here are some FAQ’s from the Microsoft site at: http://www.microsoft.com/genuine/

What are the benefits of genuine Microsoft software?
Q: Why is genuine Microsoft software better than non-genuine software?
A: By using genuine Microsoft software, you can be confident that you will have access to the latest features, security, and support, which will help to improve your productivity and expand the capabilities of your PC. You will also have access to new innovations and offerings available only to genuine Microsoft software customers.
Q: How does piracy affect Microsoft’s customers?
A: Every year, millions of consumers and businesses are hurt by counterfeit software that they have acquired unwittingly, and many companies that license legitimate software have difficulty competing with artificially low prices offered by software pirates. Consumers, businesses, and resellers continually ask Microsoft for help in mitigating the threat posed by pirates. Microsoft works to educate the software ecosystem about piracy, to engineer products that address these concerns, and to enforce anti-piracy policies and laws.
Q: What is Windows Genuine Advantage?
A: The Windows Genuine Advantage program (WGA) is part of Microsoft’s commitment to protecting its customers and partners from counterfeiters through education, engineering, and enforcement of policies and laws. WGA differentiates the value of genuine Windows software from counterfeit software, allowing customers to enjoy the capabilities they expect, the confidence that their software is authentic, and the ongoing system improvements that help them do more with their PC.
Q: What’s the benefit of WGA for small business?
A: WGA gives small businesses the confidence that they are running Microsoft’s reliable, dependable, and more secure software, which is critical to meeting their customers’ needs. Small businesses that validate their systems as genuine have access to additional free downloads, tools, and content to help them be more productive. In addition, small businesses can take advantage of the resources available to them through the Microsoft Small Business Center, where they will find case studies, videos, and other valuable resources.
Q: What is the Office Genuine Advantage program?
A: The Office Genuine Advantage program (OGA) is part of Microsoft’s commitment to protecting its customers and partners from counterfeiters through education, engineering, and enforcement of policies and laws. OGA differentiates the value of genuine Office software from counterfeit software, allowing customers to enjoy the reliability, additional value, confidence, and peace of mind that come from using genuine Microsoft Office software.
Q: Why is Microsoft doing this?
A: Microsoft is committed to protecting its customers and partners from counterfeiters through education, engineering, and enforcement of policies and laws. Microsoft expects that these programs will cause customers to ask for, and sellers to be more likely to provide, genuine Microsoft software.

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