Microsoft cracks down on counterfeit versions of Windows XP, offers to replace fakes for free

“Software pirates’ increasing skill at creating counterfeit versions of Windows XP has prompted Microsoft to introduce a pilot program that offers to verify whether consumers’ software is legitimate and replace fake versions with authentic goods,” Scarlet Pruitt reports for IDG News Service.

“The pilot program was launched Wednesday in the U.K. and is aimed at tracking down counterfeit versions of Windows XP that come preinstalled on new PCs sold by systems integrators. Microsoft is hoping to glean information on counterfeiters and their techniques for creating what company representatives have characterized as ‘high-quality’ fakes of Windows XP,” Pruitt reports.

“Microsoft is hoping that the program will also make customers aware of the difficulties of not having legitimate software, Hilton says. Companies that buy PCs with pirated software not only face legal concerns, but could find that their network security is compromised, he says,” Pruitt reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This raises a few somewhat esoteric philosophical (along with some rather mundane) questions:
– Can a counterfeit be counterfeited (and does it matter if the first counterfeit itself is a backwards, upside-down, poor quality simulation of a true original)?
– Can a counterfeit of Windows XP actually ever be considered “high-quality” even if it is a perfect copy?
– If a counterfeit of Windows XP can cause network security to be compromised, what’s the real Windows XP’s excuse?

We’re sure there must be others. Perhaps you can help with these and other questions and answers below.

29 Comments

  1. I wonder if Apple will put an activation code into Tiger (or some version of the OS beyond that).

    I think Tiger is doubtful, but if market share increases substantially, maybe, just maybe.

  2. I can’t wait till the day that Bacterial infections of Windows is a bigger issue than the Viral ones.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all those inclined to indulge in this Holiday.

  3. This is bull. MS just wants the code of the counterfeits to fix the real XP with. It’s probably made by some of the best Wintel programmers.

    Just like Virtual PC – MS is probably still working out how ‘undo disk’ on VPC works

    MDN: what’s with the ‘Please enter the word you see in the image below:’ thing?

  4. Melanie
    Not sure.. my inclination is that microsoft has an activiation code since its software is used on all types of machines, whereas Apple’s profit is almost entirely based on hardware.

    I could see an activation code for a Mac OS–should Apple ever allow licence the OS to be used with third party hardware–which isn’t to darn likely.

  5. Hellstudios.
    Security measure. Typing back that name verifies you’re a real person, as opposed to posts being generated by automatic scripts or whatever they’re called.

  6. Apple’s OSX has a rather expensive dongle required to use it called a Macintosh. That’s why I doubt they’d use some of their development efforts to minimize piracy (and frustrate legitimate users as an added bonus).

  7. Hellstudios
    “This is bull. MS just wants the code of the counterfeits to fix the real XP with. It’s probably made by some of the best Wintel programmers.

    Just like Virtual PC – MS is probably still working out how ‘undo disk’ on VPC works”

    MDN: what’s with the ‘Please enter the word you see in the image below:’ thing?

    That is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard, people buy a computer with XP they start getting errors such as activation popping up after every reboot (most common hack used for WPA), caused by the POORLY coded reset5 hack. Usually we fix this by just removing the hack and activating authenticly. MS doesn’t want customers to suffer because someone else is cheap and wants to make an extra buck, thats why the tech support is free to fix these kinds of problems and now cd’s are being shipped to replace the pirated copies. Pull your head out of your ass rookie.

  8. The program is a phony. I took a couple of machines running Windows XP and said I was willing to replace these counterfeit operating systems with a real one, namely MacOSX. They declined.

    Bummer

  9. Stale commentary.

    They try to protect their property and get bashed. If Apple did it, then you’d sing praise.

    And of course, the sheep eat all of it up.

    Disclaimer: Not a troll. I use Macs everyday. Got an iPod as well. Not being a sheep does not make me a troll.

    PS… Happy Thanksgiving. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  10. Stale commentary.

    They try to protect their property and get bashed. If Apple did it, then you’d sing praise.

    And of course, the sheep eat all of it up.

    Disclaimer: Not a troll. I use Macs everyday. Got an iPod as well. Not being a sheep does not make me a troll.

    PS… Happy Thanksgiving. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  11. I was willing to replace these counterfeit operating systems with a real one, namely MacOSX

    Heheh.

    MDN: Considering some of the lengthy posts your site gets, the preview post feature is sorely missed. The alternative to “preview” is, of course, “edit post.”

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