xp snooping?

  red dragon 21:18 12 Jan 2003
  red dragon 21:18 12 Jan 2003

After reading the "readers' writes" in the march 03 issue I noticed a letter by Bob Ford about snooping software in Windows XP. As I dont have that issue (march is the first I've bought) can someone tell me what was in the letter?

  MAJ 21:43 12 Jan 2003

"I have had my legitimate copy of Windows XP for some time and, of course, registered it on the dayof purchase and installation. I was not aware that it was also tracking everything that happened within my PC beyond the normal Add/Remove programs,

You can imagine my surprise when, after installing a further 512MB of RAM, my PC refused to load beyond the startup screen because my "PC had changed significantly" and had to be "reregistered with Microsoft". The csreen would not allow anything further than connecting to the Internet and registering my PC.

What right does Microsoft, or any other software supplier,have to deny me access to my machine? The PC cost many more times than the software on it, all properly purchased and licensed from the individual suppliers.

We appear to be being spied on pretty much by everything we load on our PCs and it s time it stopped. Is it any wonder many companies are still running old operating systems when newer versions are released full of bugs and security flaws and are now spying on every move you make? ISPs have to retain your emails for years but they cannot stop obvious spam from reaching your mailbox.

Please, Microsoft, give us back control of our lives and mnchines before we start to lose trust in you and stop using our PCs for anything confidential. Perhaps it is all a conspiracy to build up the Royal Mail again. After all, who is reading our land mail letters?"

George Monaghan

  MAJ 21:44 12 Jan 2003

as I'm not a great typist.

  leo49 21:58 12 Jan 2003

Must've been a thin postbag that month if they printed this tired old anti-MS schtick.


  Brian-336451 22:03 12 Jan 2003

I've made several changes to my PC over the last 18 months, several of them have asked me to re-register with MS.

I've phoned up and found the operators to be very helpful and each time they have given me a code for the OS and that's it.

The last time was totally 'canned' with no 'real' person to talk to - it too went like clockwork.

Yes, it (the OS) 'looks' at your computer and if too many changes are made at one go, it surmises that you've put it on a new machine, so it checks.

If you want to do that, all you need do is wait the requisite 12 weeks or whatever it is and then the OS re-instates itself. Now you've got two independent systems.

Moral of story, don't tinker too often!!

  VoG™ 22:53 12 Jan 2003

It is an anti-piracy feature and we all have to weigh up the inconvenience of having to check-in with Microsoft versus the theft ("piracy") of operating systems and the like. Personally, with nothing to hide, I am perfectly happy for MS to employ this technology. They can scan my hard drive if they like!

But I was gobsmacked to see that letter published in the mag. The editorial policy in the mag and on this site seem to be diametrically opposed. Or am I going mad?

  Forum Editor 23:11 12 Jan 2003

VoG™ but I don't see where ytou get the idea that the "editorial policy in the mag and on this site seem to be diametrically opposed". The magazine's readers' writes page is there for the express purpose of giving readers a chance to express their views. It wouldn't really be a readers' writes if we only published letters that agree with a particular policy of ours would it?

Anyway, which 'policy' did you have in mind? We don't support software piracy, if that's what you mean, but we certainly don't deny that there are those who feel Microsoft has gone a tad too far with product activation. Time (and market forces) will tell in the end. At the moment, if you want to use Windows XP you must put up with the product activation procedure, but that doesn't mean you have to agree with it.

  VoG™ 23:16 12 Jan 2003

Fair comment but reading the editorial comments in the mag (which I buy religiously by the way) and on here seem to have a different flavour. Perhaps it is just me in my dotage.

  'kinell 00:21 13 Jan 2003

Micro$oft are well 'out of order', software piracy will go on regardless, Imagine having to phone Ford every time you changed the oil filter on your Mondeo. Try XP Antispy 3, this software has worked for me and after many upgrades I have only ever phoned Micro$oft once for the initial activation, If Micro$oft want to reduce piracy they should sell their operating systems or at least the upgrades at an affordable price.

"..Imagine having to phone Ford every time you changed the oil filter on your Mondeo"

But that is just it isnt it? Fords are nortorious for employing methods that prevent or hinder the average home "Mechanic" from repairing / servicing their own car without the acquisition and use of "Special" tools to do an otherwise fairly simple job!

Many the time I have found that I have had to hot foot it down to the local dealer to "borrow" a tool of some kind that is not available to purchase in your local Halfords.

The idea is that owners will have to use Ford Dealerships for repairs and servicing and so increase the dependance and profits of them.

There are thousands of examples of a pretty standard "Connection" being changed simply to prevent users using non-"Authorised" componants.

Having just purchased the Orange SPV mobile phone that runs on windows and Pocket PC technology, I found that the connection on the mottom was the same as for the Ipaq pocket PC. Great, I thought, I can use the Ipaq keyboard for the phone!

Only to discover the when inserted the phone is back to front and you cant see the screen! Result? I will have to wait for orange to produce EXACTLY the same keyboard but witht he connection "the right way around".

In the end XP Antispy will not overcome the activation of XP. If you have changed certain items it will require reactivation regardless as it checks the ID of them before Antispy has even had a chance to load.

Try it, change a network card if you have one, better still, pop in a new Mobo and see...

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