Chinese Windows Users Accuse Microsoft Of Hacking Their Computers

from the a-successful-antipiracy-day,-huh? dept

Part of Microsoft’s big antipiracy day festivities was to talk about how it was ramping up efforts to crack down on unauthorized copies of its software in China (again, despite the fact that unauthorized copies in China are part of what helped establish Microsoft software as the de facto standard there). The efforts in China include more use of what Microsoft likes to call “Windows Genuine Advantage” — which is really a DRM system known mostly for falsely accusing legitimate buyers of being pirates. Approximately half a million legitimate buyers were accused of piracy, leading many to suggest that WGA is quite similar to a rootkit, making your computer not function properly, all in the name of stopping piracy.

Over in China, it appears that they’re not at all happy about WGA. Last year, a student there sued Microsoft for privacy violations in sending info back to Redmond via WGA, and in response to Microsoft’s “get tough on piracy” campaign, apparently a bunch of folks in China are publicly denouncing WGA as being an illegal intrusion on their computers. They’re accusing the company of trying to control computers without permission and of “hacking” their systems. Microsoft’s response, of course, would be that legitimate buyers have nothing to worry about — even though that doesn’t quite seem to be the case. Still, it’s difficult to feel all that sympathetic for the complainers — as they should have known what they were getting with Windows. If they don’t like it, there are other options on the market.

Filed Under: , , ,
Companies: microsoft

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Chinese Windows Users Accuse Microsoft Of Hacking Their Computers”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
20 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

not that many

as they should have known what they were getting with Windows. If they don’t like it, there are other options on the market.

thats is the real problem there aren’t many options in the market.
before the Linux and apple fanboys get on my case.
– Apple OS is too much of a closed system to be used by most ppl.
– A PC with a Linux OS(with all its different versions isn’t much more than a big paper wait for the average user).

crystalattice (profile) says:

Re: not that many

“- Apple OS is too much of a closed system to be used by most ppl.
– A PC with a Linux OS(with all its different versions isn’t much more than a big paper wait for the average user).”
How is Windows any less of a closed system than Apple? Because you can buy any PC and have a copy of Windows on it? Because you can only (legally) have OS X on a Mac?

The underlying OS is still a closed-source, proprietary system. You don’t know what is being sent back “home”. And with virtualization programs like Parallels or VMWare, you can still have Windows when you need it.

Linux systems aren’t paperweights for most people. Most people only need to do email, web surfing, and light office suite tools. Linux works just fine for that.

Yes, I use all three OSes and I’ve encouraged friends and family to buy non-Windows systems. All have been happy with the switch.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: not that many

Um, at least for English speaking countries, Ubuntu is apparently kicking ass for the average user. The average computer user checks email, browses the ‘Net, types up stuff and does their bills.

All they need is a browser, e-mail client, word processor, and spreadsheet maker. All of those readily available for free and usually pre-installed.

Truth be told, DirectX is the primary selling point for Windows in the home market. If Microsoft didn’t have DirectX, game makers wouldn’t have a reason to only make it on Windows.

And face it, DirectX is pretty damn good. There is a reason OpenGL and OpenAL have been runners up usually, and not for lack of OpenGL games (I have a few; Half Life comes to mind).

And I’m sure OSX from Apple can do all the stuff Linux can, considering it’s based on Linux now.

So really, for home users, there are only 2 reasons to be going with Windows:

1. It is familiar.
2. You play video games.

For 98% of the other things you need a PC for, Apple’s OS X and most Linux distributions will work more than fine.

Using Windows in a business environment is a different matter, and has more to do with Active Directory (which you can use with OS X with a few third party solutions).

Ali Khalid (user link) says:

No option at all.

Still, it’s difficult to feel all that sympathetic for the complainers — as they should have known what they were getting with Windows. If they don’t like it, there are other options on the market.

Clearly there are no options available. When you buy Windows; you buy a platform. if you suggest that there are many options available then all those options should be to run all the current program available in the market which run on windows. That i am afraid is not the case.

Luka Marinko says:

>thats is the real problem there aren’t many options in the market.
>before the Linux and apple fanboys get on my case.
>- Apple OS is too much of a closed system to be used by most ppl.
>- A PC with a Linux OS(with all its different versions isn’t much more than a big paper wait for the average user).

Both of this are an option for 80% of the people. They just have to invest some time to learn the difference/alternatives.

What would be the point in switching to another exactly(or even mostly) the same system anyway. You switch(or don’t) because you want the difference. If you want Windows stick with Windows.

crystalattice (profile) says:

Options are available

Macs are just as capable as Windows and have most of the same software. Linux is good for the vast majority of what people want to use a computer for; with Wine, even Windows programs will work.

Yes, it will take a little effort to learn a new OS. The problem is everyone forgets what a struggle it was to learn how to use Windows. Especially since MS decides to change the “Windows idiom” with every upgrade; that’s why they have “Windows Classic” as an option for XP.

Learning how to use a Mac only takes a few days; a week at most. That’s how long it took my wife when we bought our first Mac, and she’s not computer-savvy.

Linux can take a little bit longer, depending on the distro. But if someone is pissed off with a vendor monitoring the computer, it’s a small price to pay.

So, yes. There are options. People just have to be willing to take a few days of pain.

Gozza says:

Re: Options are available

If your wife wasn’t computer savvy then it’s easier for her to learn how to use the mac-os.

If she was MS savvy, she would already have a mental model to work with, and it would cost more energy and brainpower to understand the differences between OS. Because she couldn’t ‘unlearn’ her MS experience and fill in the blanks with Mac experience.

Bigness says:

Ironic

Funny how the Chinese people are screaming about illegal copies of Windows when they counterfeit anything they can to flood the market with crap (how about those “iClones” running pirated copies of Windows?!?!)!

And all of you are missing the boat here, this is about illegal copies of Windows, not what OS they are using. It’s like they are crying about getting arrested for stealing a car and complaining because the cops ran the license plate “without their consent”. Well, I guess they have “other options” to steal!

TRD says:

Good points, AC, and I agree, but at least in my personal experience, I’ve had some difficulties getting Linux to run right on my machine – older versions of Ubuntu give me the infamous random freeze glitch, and new versions of any distro won’t recognize my video drivers – they just dump me into a linux prompt no matter what I do. So I’m stuck with Windows for now.

But it is pretty funny, what the Chinese are saying, given their government’s reputation and all, and the piracy going on there.

Ed says:

The trouble with Linux/OsX

Personally I have two machines under my desk at work. One Linux, one Windows.

Why you ask? Some software is only available under Windows, some only for Linux.

To make matters worse, under Linux it usually must be a specific version of Linux. Too new, and the software doesn’t work. Therefore, if two programs require different Linux kernels, I am out of luck. While the Windows versions generally all work under XP.

As for Apple, if has some nice features, but is useless for most of what I do. They just don’t make the software I need for it.

Ben Matthews says:

Few things

First, I don’t see where MS’s response is that they shouldn’t have anything to worry about if it’s a leagl version.

Second,

“thats is the real problem there aren’t many options in the market.”

And all other quotes along these lines simply state that Windows is a better product than the alternative. People try to use this as a way of discounting Windows’ legitimacy, but it really just solidifies it.

No Six Pack says:

Windoze == Spyware

Microsoft charges a lot for their software and then uses it to monitor what you do with your computer. They probably sell information based upon the results obtained via their spying.

Microsoft is a convicted monopolist and they abuse their position. This is old news but nothing has changed.

The Chinese need to learn how to turn off all the crap that enables the spyware. Maybe their great firewall blocks access to “howto” sites.

Rose M. Welch says:

Huh?

Still, it’s difficult to feel all that sympathetic for the complainers — as they should have known what they were getting with Windows. If they don’t like it, there are other options on the market.

I’m afraid that I disagree. I purchased my computer in anticipation of Windows. I purchased Windows XP and Office 2003, knowing that there is a huge database of templates and help available for these products. I purchased many peripheral software programs that only run on Windows.

Then I’m told that I can’t use or am limited in my use of those services unless I install mystery software onto my computer – software with a misleading, short description. If I don’t like it, I can switch to something else, and lose most of my software and (possibly) all of my hardware, depending on my platform choice. Wtf?

It doesn’t matter that there are other products on the market. What matters is that I purchased these products with an implied promise to deliver certain goods and now they have reneged. Want to DRM new products? Go ahead. But I purchased these products, and all of the other peripheral Windows-based software that I use, intact and I would like them to stay that way.

I am all for letting a company choose what they want to sell, including DRM, but I am also for letting a consumer choose what they want to buy and not changing it later. After all, we can’t change it by cracking the DRM on our purchases later, now can we? Why should they be able to?

My next computer will run Ubuntu. I am not looking forward to the day that I severely lose functionality, but I can see the plethora of programs that will be created once there is a market for software for Ubuntu and other ‘alternative’ software.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »