Windows 8 Could Require Internet Access for Continued Use

Discussion in 'General Software' started by Rob Williams, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. Rob Williams

    Rob Williams Editor-in-Chief Staff Member Moderator

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    Jan 12, 2005
    Atlantic Canada
    It's no secret that one of the most pirated pieces of software is the entire Windows OS, and if not for the fact that a Windows license is forced on consumers more often than not with the purchase of a desktop or notebook PC, the number of non-legal users could be at unfathomable levels. Piracy is an issue Microsoft has obviously sunk a lot of R&D and money into, but to this day, the company has never seen the success it's wanted - or needed.

    [​IMG]

    Read the rest of our post and then discuss it here!
     
  2. 2Tired2Tango

    2Tired2Tango Tech Monkey

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    Trust me on this... Piracy will never be fully eliminated. We're talking about software and some truly brilliant programmers who have a knack for leveraging behaviours and bypassing security. I don't think I (personally) know how to bypass online validation... but I do know a couple of people who might sit and giggle at the simplicity of it, while discussing stuff I will never understand.

    But... let me give you one reason "The Cloud" and online validation at boot time are really really bad ideas...

    Back in the first week of June a contractor doing a fire upgrade in a local apartment building was pouring cement plugs into wiring conduits that ran into the services panels on each floor... not a big deal, it's done all the time, except this dude got the bright idea to "clean up the wiring closet" while he was at it... So he very calmly cut every phone line in the entire building and took about a meter of wire out of each line in the process... and then buried the cut ends in concrete. 114 apartments with no phone service... most of them using DSL.

    Ok... mad scramble to get the phone company in there to fix the problem. But about half of the cut lines cannot be restored because the remaining ends are not long enough to splice to... the partial restoration took nearly three weeks and was followed by a mad scramble to swith to rf cable based services...

    Now, I got into this because a couple of my friends live there and needed to conduct business from home using online data stores (i.e. Cloud computing). In both cases they could just see their buisnesses swirling the drain but were able, to continue in a limited way by using cellphones. One estimated the loss at $100,000, not sure what the other guy's losses were...

    Ok... good reason not to rely entirely upon Cloud computing... But most were able to carry on with their businesses and hobbies in limited ways... because their computers still worked locally

    Now ... extrapolate that situation to include "totally disabling every computer in the building" and you get some idea what kind of fiasco can arrise from total dependency upon an 8 pin jack on the back of your computer...

    If Microsoft does this, they are putting every one of their customers at the total mercy of an unpredictable 3rd party function... Just think of the flaming disaster for a major corporation where a simple digging mistake cuts their fibre feeds, totally disables hundreds of computers and isolates them from their data bases... I doubt even Microsoft would survive that.

    Here we see, once again, a bright idea undertaken with absolutely no thought about "How many ways can this come back to bite my ass" before doing it...
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  3. MacMan

    MacMan Partition Master

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    I'm all for Microsoft trying to stop privacy, but as 2Tired2Tango astutely observes, it will never really be totally eliminated, unless of course, you can change human nature itself?

    Microsoft, of course, has the right to do whatever they feel will reduce the piracy of their bread-and-butter IP, but doing it by requiring to be on line constantly is asking a little too much, and therefore I don't think it will work as the public outcry would be a little too much for even big, old Microsoft to handle.
     
  4. 2Tired2Tango

    2Tired2Tango Tech Monkey

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    Religions have been trying to do that for thousands of years... and look how THAT worked out!

    Indeed!
     
  5. marfig

    marfig No ROM battery

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    May 15, 2011
    Not sure why Extreme Tech felt that was a good opportunity for conjecture. Thinking hat washing day?

    Microsoft has benefited greatly from piracy. Bill Gates himself first, and other prominent officials since then, have been saying so for years. The company wouldn't probably be what it is today if it was not for Microsoft operating systems ubiquity that was for a long time (up and well into windows 2000) significantly driven by piracy. I would say it was a 50-50 between OEM deals and piracy. The two main responsible parties for Microsoft ruling the world of operating systems.

    Since then Microsoft has started several programs that give their products for free or at extreme discount prices; appealing licencing schemas, different SKOs for different markets, student and small business programs, etc, all have finally been taking a slice of that "piracy market" and returning to Microsoft the control of OS distribution worldwide. In addition, while not toughening the licensing methods, Microsoft has been creating parallel processes that remove the appeal from piracy. The most notable being Windows Genuine Advantage (now, Windows Activation Technologies).

    This was, in my opinion, a smart move. Not imposing gargantuan anti-piracy measures, but making the pirated operating system less appealing by requesting that only a genuine copy can perform updates. Likewise, making the OS more affordable regardless how the user positions itself on this market. Microsoft understands, perhaps better than anyone due to its history, that piracy cannot be stopped and should in fact be cuddled to an extent. It guarantees a position on the market and future business, as the two quotes from Microsoft illustrate:

    • "If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else."
    • "We understand that in the long run the fundamental asset is the installed base of people who are using our products. What you hope to do over time is convert them to licensing the software."

    Now, this isn't to say that Microsoft won't stop pursuing ways to end piracy. Of course that any company would like to see that installed base above be composed entirely of legitimate licenses without that affecting their numbers. But instead of acting through damaging mechanisms like strongly enforced DRM policies, they wisely opted to not enter into a conflict with their users by slowly nudge them in the direction the company wishes to take them.

    As an "old" company with a firmly established user base, Microsoft has all the time it needs. It can afford itself to develop schemes that don't try to solve the problem, but increasingly minimize it. And do so in any length of time. Similarly, an operating system doesn't behave as a game. It's not a temporary piece of software on the user machine and with a short shelf lifespan. For this reason, the company doesn't feel it is necessary to impose strong policies for an immediate return of their investment on the making of the product. (That investment is in fact already guaranteed by its business licensing schemas, alone!)

    ...

    Now, to see someone like Extreme Tech, Lee Mathews, suggest Microsoft could aim for an always online validation schema doesn't make any sense. "Fast Boot" (I prefer Boot Streaming myself and I can afford to do that because currently there's no product, just the patent) is part of a much larger concept of a streaming OS; an operating system that can exist largely on the cloud. It's not a technology meant to be implemented on anything even close to Windows 8 mainstream. It targets essentially business licenses, where it can indeed be quite useful.

    But there's very little doubt that it's quite possible that -- if the cloud technology matures and the internet infrastructure changes(!) -- cloud computing will become more ubiquitous and one day conquer the domestic market. If (or when) that happens, Streaming OSes then become a natural development. And always-online validation methodologies natural consequences. That's how it makes sense. Natural solutions, not out of the blue sledgehammers down the heads of a billion users.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  6. TheCrimsonStar

    TheCrimsonStar Tech Monkey

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    pshh. This won't work. Look at online-authentication DRM in games. There are still cracks for those...they day after the games were released. Dead Space and Dead Space 2 are good examples. This won't go anywhere.
     
  7. Kayden

    Kayden Tech Monkey

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    CA
    As long as there is a need for some one to get it for free, piracy will exist, no matter what you do to prevent it. They may have to some absurd things, but compared to the cost of the software they wont care.

    I really hope it doesn't but look at D3 and etc there going to do it despite the outcry.
     
  8. TheCrimsonStar

    TheCrimsonStar Tech Monkey

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    Strawberry Plains, TN
    I know that, I'm saying it won't give them any advantage. It will still be cracked, probably hours after it's released.
     
  9. Tharic-Nar

    Tharic-Nar Senior Editor Staff Member Moderator

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    UK
    Microsoft and online services... just look at MSN and Games For Windows Live, that'll give us a good indicator as to how well perpetual connections will handle under MS control.
     
  10. madstork91

    madstork91 The One, The Only...

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    TEXAS!
    Interest and use of open source solutions to business problems is increasing.

    This would only require a pirate to be more knowledgeable about installing a crack (at least initially)

    Why would microsoft want to jeopardize their market domination by giving users a headache?

    I see this patent technology being more useful in the mobile computing market.
     
  11. Kougar

    Kougar Techgage Staff Staff Member

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    Texas
    Microsoft could do this if they wanted... but in my honest assessment there is no way they would. Microsoft has taken to erring on the side of caution when it comes to DRM protections for its OS. It would be simple for them to record server logs and identify hundreds of thousands of illegal OS installs. Correct me if I'm wrong, but they still even go as far as to provide free updates to known counterfeit installs, when instead they could log and block them, or even send a remote lock-down command had they wanted. Remember that Microsoft update about six months ago that specifically was to check for counterfiet OS installs? That was an opt-in update, it wasn't automatically installed.

    I simply don't believe Microsoft would require net access for use. It would NOT stop piracy, and cause too much of an impact on legitimate users along with plenty of fallout. I think it's a little silly to even worry that they might consider trying it.
     
  12. killem2

    killem2 Coastermaker

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    With out piracy I would have never fixed my legit copy of windows. :p

    I seriously called them 4 times to remove the stupid "this isn't genuine" bullshit from my legit version of windows and on the 5th time it happened, I torrented a version of windows that had an amazing crack to it, and have never looked back.
     
  13. DarkStarr

    DarkStarr Tech Monkey

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    Apr 9, 2010
    Seriously, the Opt-in update was opt in due to the fact they are no longer allowed to force you to install that type of update. That and they wouldn't do a constant/semiconstant online DRM scheme, i mean games maybe since you will not have a massive amount of people all on at the same time whereas windows 8 would quite possibly have multiple tens of millions, imagine the server costs to M$ if they did that. Honestly just looking at screenshots, unless metro is 100% able to be disabled I will stick with 7 or wait till I can remove all the Metro crap from 8.
     
  14. Kougar

    Kougar Techgage Staff Staff Member

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    Texas
    Well other than the ribbon interface, MS already stated users can select Windows 8 to stick to the traditional desktop interface. They are as aware as anybody that Metro is as poor an interface for desktops as the desktop interface is for small touch devices. I've also read that the ribbon can be hidden, and will pop out only when selected to save on vertical screen real-estate.
     

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