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You Say Genuine, I Say Spyware

It's completely understandable -- and, on the surface of it, positive for partners -- that Microsoft would want to police its installations for pirated copies of its software. That was, of course, the idea behind the coyly named "Windows Genuine Advantage" program. The question, brought up in a couple of lawsuits now, is whether Redmond is really using its anti-piracy effort as a front to track users' every move. And just for fun (and, really who didn't think this would happen?), there's a worm making the rounds posing as WGA. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,202407,00.html

Honestly, I'm not sure what to think about this... so I'm going to punt it to you. I'd like for you to please tell me what you think of WGA, whether it's useful, overly intrusive or both. Use the e-mail address you (should) know so well: lpender@rcpmag.com.

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The Cycle of Life in Redmond
One technology is born (or at least showcased), as Microsoft talks about unified communications...and another one, WinFS, at least as an integrated part of Windows, bites the dust.

Everything's Going "Fine" In Europe
See, that's the kind of lame play on words you get when I haven't had enough sleep.

Anyway, Europe must be feeling pretty powerful right now. Two Euroteams -- neighbors France and Italy -- managed to make the finals of the soccer World Cup after beating two of their Eurocousins. And back in Brussels, nerve center of the continent, the EU is still charging down the path of hitting Microsoft with heavy Eurofines for Redmond's non-compliance to an EU anti-trust order. Microsoft says it's working on it...as always. But with no settlement on the horizon (apparently), the Pride of the Pacific Northwest could be getting ready to drop some serious multi-national coins into the EU's Eucocoffers.
http://rcpmag.com/news/article.aspx?editorialsid=7586
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13130-2259684,00.html

Folks close to the situation tell me that while Microsoft hasn't really done much on the documentation front (yet...and Redmond says tons of revised pages are coming), the company has offered developers access to Windows source code. That ought to help developers work through whatever issues they say they have in getting their applications to work within Windows. I've also heard that Microsoft was kind of blowing off the EU for a while, acting arrogantly (What? Microsoft, arrogant? You don't say.) and not really taking the threat of fines seriously -- until now, we can presume.

I said in a recent edition of RCPU that the EU should leave well enough alone and let the market take care of itself and Microsoft. Some of you agreed. Others brought up some good points in contention.

Jeremiah says that dealing with the EU is just part of making money the world over.

"We helped push globalization so we have to live with it. And that means dealing with countries much more socialistic or, in the case of China, much less democratic than us. Microsoft (and Apple for that matter) may have to decide whether they are willing to make the concessions asked of them or withdraw from some markets (or bluff about withdrawing)."

And David says that Microsoft deserves whatever it gets for not working with the industry to develop its applications. There's not a lot of ambiguity here:

"The EU should not leave Microsoft alone. There used to be an established way to build and configure computer systems called RFCs [requests for comments -- LP], and Mr. Gates thumbed his nose at it, created a piece of software for small computers and marketed it very well. As it sits he did not use the RFC process until he had to use TCP/IP stacks in the very poorly built OS he had built. Now the world has Swiss cheese for security on their servers because some [um, let's just say jerk -- LP] got greedy. They should take all his money away and make them start from scratch."

Thanks to everybody who wrote in on this topic, one we'll continue to cover. If anyone has any more thoughts, I'm around at lpender@rcpmag.com.

Microsoft's Version Of 7-11
Seven security patches are due on July 11 -- there's just a host of cute little jokes possible there. Something about a Slurpee comes to mind. Hey, did you know that Dallas was home to the world's first 7-11 (or 7-Eleven, as I think it's called) store? I'll bet Martin Taylor picked that little tidbit up while he was held up in a Dallas airport. And that's probably as far as that joke should go.
http://www.betanews.com/article/Microsoft_to_Issue_7_Security_Patches/
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Posted by Lee Pender on July 06, 2006 at 11:53 AM