Microsoft Says Only Legit Owners Get Fixes
from the and-so-it-goes... dept
While it's been rumored in the past and they've tried to imply it was required even when it wasn't, Microsoft is now going to start enforcing the rule that anyone downloading security updates must first prove they have a legit copy of Windows. The reasoning certainly makes some sense, and they have a legitimate claim in doing this. Why should Microsoft patch systems for those who haven't paid for it? However, the damage done by unpatched systems could outweigh the benefit of moving people to authorized copies. In fact, for people who are unlikely to buy Microsoft products at that time, this actually gives them even more incentive to investigate alternatives, rather than keeping them on the Microsoft platform, should they later be in a position to purchase. Also, it seems like this actually puts the wrong incentive on Microsoft. In this case, they should want to release buggy software with security holes to really screw over those who pirate it and can't patch it. The reality, of course, is that there will be unauthorized copies of patches as well -- so the folks who are really serious about getting illegal copies will continue to do so. However, those of us with legitimate copies that we paid for will need to prove ourselves every time Microsoft fixes one of its own problems. That doesn't seem particularly customer friendly. Update: As pointed out in the comments, this might be even stranger... unauthorized installations can still get the security patches if they turn on the "automatic update" feature -- at which point you have to wonder why this new policy matters at all?