Microsoft: No WGA “Kill Switch”

Last week, there were reports of a “kill switch” being built into Windows Genuine Advantage. Ed Bott, the guy who first got word of the “kill switch”, got an email from Microsoft saying there will NOT be “kill switch” technology built into WGA.

No, Microsoft anti-piracy technologies cannot and will not turn off your computer. In our ongoing fight against piracy, we are constantly finding and closing loopholes pirates use to circumvent established policies. The game is changing for counterfeiters. In Windows Vista we are making it notably harder and less appealing to use counterfeit software, and we will work to make that a consistent experience with older versions of Windows as well.

Hopefully this is true and MS won’t just start disabling PC’s found to be running illegal versions of its operating system. And if they do, so what? Switch to Linux.


Windows Kill Switch Coming?

Windows Genuine Advantage is Microsofts way of making sure you’re running a legal version of Windows. WGA is pretty easy to break, as demonstrated in this post at My Digital Life. WGA is currently optional but may be required in the coming months.

There are reports of Microsoft introducing a kill switch to WGA. The “kill switch” functions exactly as you would expect: if you don’t have WGA or your WGA authentication fails, Windows will stop functioning, totally.

He told me that “in the fall, having the latest WGA will become mandatory and if its not installed, Windows will give a 30 day warning and when the 30 days is up and WGA isn’t installed, Windows will stop working, so you might as well install WGA now.”

That’s pretty shitty of Microsoft to do. I think a whole lot of people are gonna be upset about this. Been contemplating switching to Linux? Now’s probably a great time to do that.

Really though, none of this matters, thanks to release groups like eth0 who release cracked versions of WGA hours after their official releases are out. The crackers will always be one up on Microsoft.


No Windows Vista Rewrite

Some news place in Australia claimed an inside source at Microsoft told them 60% of the existing Windows Vista code would have to be rewritten. This news had the techie bloggers pretty excited today.

Up to 60% of the code in the new consumer version of Microsoft new Vista operating system is set to be rewritten as the Company “scrambles” to fix internal problems a Microsoft insider has confirmed to SHN.

Alec Saunders brings the obvious to light in his post. The “obvious” of course being the logistics of such a project.

What utter crap! 60% of Windows is millions and millions of lines of code. You can’t rewrite that much code, and ship in January. Maybe January 2009 if a 60% rewrite is needed, but not January 2007. Perhaps Microsoft is in denial, and Vista will never ship, or perhaps reporter Dave Richards is a tad too quick to jump on “the sky is falling” bandwagon.

There’s absolutely no way in hell they could ship Vista by Jan 2007 if they had to do 60% of the code again. They probably should do it though, just base it off Linux or BSD and they’d be good. heh.

Microsofts Robert Scoble
says the 60% code rewrite claims are bogus. Thank you Robert, my mind is at ease.