KB971033, Microsoft’s supposed measure to stop pirated copies of Windows 7, started to get pushed out today, February 24, well ahead of the originally stated schedule. Though it was available for voluntary download from Microsoft’s Windows Update site since February 17, Microsoft had initially stated that it would not be included in Windows Updates pushed out to users till the ‘end of the month.‘ Well, February ends on Sunday, on February 28. But, this is Microsoft’s prerogative.
To Microsoft’s credit, it hasn’t, however, changed any of the other parameters. KB971033 is still classed as an OPTIONAL update. That means, unless you are one of those folks who give Microsoft carte blanche to install and and all updates without any intervention from your part, KB971033 will not get installed UNLESS you ask for it to be installed.
Well, I for one do not plan to install KB971033 right now.
I shouldn’t have anything to worry. I bought a genuine OEM copy of Windows 7 Professional from newegg.com — on ‘pre-order,’ so that I could get it on the official release date, i.e., Oct. 22, 2009. But, I worry that given Microsoft’s recent trend with updates, KB971033 might get some ‘false positives,’ i.e., flag genuine copies as pirated while giving the seal of approval to some pirated copies.
I just do not have a good feeling about Microsoft and their current desire to crack down on pirated Windows 7. They need the pirated copies to garner market share.
So I am going to wait and see. There will be people who install KB971033 without realizing it. Lets see what happens. Plus, Windows 7 RC copies will start their ‘forced shutdown’ next week — unless, of course, subvert that using the workarounds now appearing on the Web.
So be careful. Good luck.