Yesterday, viz. February 16, Microsoft put this voluntary, ‘if-you-are-truly-out-of-your-mind,’ self-test for Windows 7 validation on this Genuine Microsoft Software page. Yes, I know that many innocent folks, who THOUGHT they had a genuine copy of Windows 7, will fall foul of this self-test — when they, gullibly, seek confirmation that they are indeed legit.
As of today, the so called WAT (Windows Activation Technologies) update, KB971033, will be available as an optional, voluntary, ‘if-you-are-truly-out-of-your-mind’ update.
So far, so good. I can’t see any outrage on the Web or on the blogs.
Many are unlikely to have volunteered to commit Windows harakiri. But, that will, alak, change at the end of the month. At the end of the month KB971033 will get pushed out to Windows 7 users (who still have Updated Enabled) as an important, but optional, Windows update. That is when the ‘fun’ will start.
I have two issues here.
- As I have repeatedly maintained Microsoft has never been serious about cracking down on Windows 7 piracy. Microsoft needs FREE [i.e., pirated] copies of Windows 7, around the world, to maintain market share. It is simple as that. It is how Microsoft competes against genuinely free Linux and the far superior Apple Mac OS. Hence, this flaccid effort.
- This flaccid, ‘if-you-are-truly-out-of-your-mind,’ self-test and update will only clobber INNOCENT consumers who thought they were buying genuine Windows 7. The true pros who glibly market and sell pirated Windows 7 will not be impacted. They are too smart to run this OPTIONAL test. That is not fair. Even up here in the sticks we have so called IT ‘professionals’ who have delighted in installing and pedaling pirated Windows 7. There are thousands of folks who THINK they got genuine Windows 7. I know folks who paid $99 for Windows 7. Pirated. Some of those will get burned.
Well, lets wait until March. The fun will begin. There will be an outcry. Coincidentally, on March 1 those who are still running Windows 7 RC will start seeing forced shutdowns. In my opinion, a lot of pirated copies of Windows 7 are rc versions. So we are now poised for a perfect storm.
This is why I turned off my Windows Updates … even though I know, for a fact, that I have genuine copy of Windows 7 Professional. To make matters worse, based on the recent DUD Windows updates, e.g. KB977074, KB971033 could, knowing Microsoft, claim that legit copies of Windows 7 are fake while validating pirated copies. Remember, “Ballmer looks best in drag.”
So batten down the hatches. Hope for the best. Good luck.