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Windows XP SP2 And Pirates

Microsoft have stated that Windows XP Service Pack 2 will not install on pirated copies of the OS. Is this the right decision?

Personally I think it isn't, because I think the greater good is more important i.e. I'd rather PCs running Windows XP connected to the Internet were patched, irrespective of whether the OS was paid for.

John Topley (
Friday, June 4, 2004

Bull. A continual security update service is an important part of the deal. Why should they give that away free to non-subscribers? Don't get me wrong: it would be a great act of altruism if they did, but I don't see why they should.

Just me (Sir to you)
Friday, June 4, 2004

They should give it free, because those are also the people that will host DOS attacks, spread virus, and impact those of us, who do have legal copies. 

If they do not want to provide the entire SP, then provide a "security only" pack.  Much like we immunize people, not because they may get sick, but they make make the rest of us.

Friday, June 4, 2004

So basically you are saying that Microsoft should be providing everyone with an upgrade service regardless of whether they bought the software or not?
If they do this then there is no incentive to buy any future software from them as they will be giving everyone a free upgrade anyway. The argument that they should do it because there will be lot's of machines that aren't patched and will cause a security problem for everyone - well when this happens and the people realise that the only way they can fix it is by buying registered software so that they can download updates, don't you think Microsoft will expect to get increased sales from people buying so that they can update? If your pc is screwed up and the only way to fix it is to buy a licence and update then what would most people do?

Friday, June 4, 2004

SP1 was easy enough to workaround so I'm sure SP2 won't prove much difficulty to get that onto illegal machines as well.

Also generally people with illegitimate copies are also more clued up about security so I think that the people most affected by these updates are the people with legitimate copies.

James 'Smiler' Farrer
Friday, June 4, 2004

Actually, unless you've got some new information  it's not clear exactly what is happening.

The last I heard they said that SP2 would not install on the twenty most commonly pirated serial numbers. This means one of two things:

1) The twenty most pirated serial numbers represent a very small proportion of XP installations, in which case why are MS bothering with the restriction.

2) They represent a very large proportion of the installed base, in which case their are going to be a load of unpatched machines attached to the Internet, and legtimate users and sysadmins are going to be having headaches.

At least they are not doing what they did with Office 2000 SR1 and having it completely immobilize your program if it doesn't like the serial number, and force a clean format of the hard disk. And, of course, not bother to tell you unless you searched the knowledge base.

Presumably they are hoping that some people will be so worried that they will go off and buy a legit copy. In my opinion there will be little chance of that. Most people won't even know of the existence of the service pack until their local pirated software dealer offrers them cracked versions of WinXP SP2.

Stephen Jones
Friday, June 4, 2004

"The last I heard they said that SP2 would not install on the twenty most commonly pirated serial numbers."

Hmm... and what if you have a legitimate copy of one of those twenty numbers? Surely you still have the right to the update?

Mr Jack
Friday, June 4, 2004

With Office 2000 SR1 you had to contact Microsoft to get Office working again.

At least if SP2 refuses to install you'll still have a working machine. I suspect that MS has long ago been in contact with the people with legit numbers, if only to huff and puff about their allowing them to be pirated.

Stephen Jones
Friday, June 4, 2004

I'd have thought #1 in the most pirated serial number list would be the MSDN one.

Simon Lucy
Friday, June 4, 2004

There isn't a single key for Windows XP for MSDN. You have to go online and generate one that's unique for (and tied to) you.

Brad Wilson (
Friday, June 4, 2004

"and legtimate users and sysadmins are going to be having headaches."

Just out of curiosity, since I haven't done large-scale sysadmin'ing - is it really that difficult to pull the plug on an infected machine? I mean, that's what my ISP does - storm of packets coming from your IP? You're off the network. But some of the major ISP's seem oblivious to this option. I've got a friend whose hobby is finding and reporting spammers, infected machines, and so on - he's gotten very cold responses from some big ISP's when he's tried to tell them they have an infected machine on their network. Generally the response is "what are we supposed to do about it?"

So - on large networks, if you've got an infected machine, I would think it wouldn't be that hard to a) identify it, b) cut it off the network.

So why don't more ISP's do it? If *every* network did it, wouldn't virus outbreaks be over in a week?


Friday, June 4, 2004

MS can blacklist keys *that they know about* (i.e., ones that has been widely traded on the Internet) -- that's what they did with SP1.

But there's been a key generator available for over 2 years now.

My Cousin Vinniwashtharam
Friday, June 4, 2004

Unless I'm mistaken, this is mostly irrelevant, becuase last I checked, MS said they would let pirates install XP SP2.  Google for "XP SP2 pirates".

Richard Kuo
Friday, June 4, 2004

I just came back from Malaysia, and have seen the XP SP2 pirated copy on the market. Even though i wouldnt expect the sp2 to be a fully tested version. However, the fact is, its there.
Secondly, has microsoft ever heard of the "BlueList" group?. They invented the Bluelist- XP Serial- Generator that successfully hacks the activation scheme, and thus giving your illegit windows xp a genuine activation key. Thus this is what allowed SP1 to install successfully on pirated copies of xp. The generator can come up with hundreds of serial numbers, depending on the hardware id and the activation keys algorithm.  Has microsoft even taken this into consideration?, and they are boasting of blacklisting a mere 20 of the most commonly used pirated serials.

Friday, June 4, 2004

There was whole bunch of complains on russian forums starting around last summer about "I just got pirated WinXP SP2!!! Why $#$#$ M$ created this WinXP SP2 that that breaks my machine". You can buy anything you want even if it is not anywhere near production quality (or barely planned yet) :)

Friday, June 4, 2004

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