MICROSOFT IS DOING its level best to make Windows 7 seem more palatable than the Broken OS, but it is all just show. As usual, once you look beyond the hype and spin, you will see it is once again a cynical scam.
This time, Microsoft is dipping its toes in the water around its latest WGA / WAT control freakery. It will forcibly shut down Windows 7 RC machines every two hours. It will start to do this three months before the RC programme ends in June 2010, but Microsoft will kindly give you two weeks notice before it starts shutting you down. This kindness can be thought of like two 'just out of prison types' showing up at your door saying, "Youze wanna pay for dat softwarez? If youze don't, youze kneez just might break on dere own, ya know? Mista Balma don'tz likez peoplez like youze."
Microsoft has every right to do whatever the heck it wants with the RC, and it also has every right to get paid for its software that you are using. But then again, is it insane? No, don't answer that, it is not. It is cold, calculating, and doesn't give a rat's *ss about your rights. All Microsoft cares about is forcing money out of you, repeatedly and as often as possible. If you buy Windows 7 or even use it, you are an idiot. Consider this about your 17th warning, as if everything Microsoft has put people through over the years wasn't enough. Maybe someday you will get a clue.
The real problem with this customer abuse is that, once again, the IT press is abdicating its responsibilities. Some are simply stupid, others are paid off, but either way, Microsoft is cynically using them. How? Remember a few days ago when Microsoft said that the RC would be good 'til June 2010? The IT press outlets fell all over themselves praising how you could get Windows 7 free for a year, and how great and kind Microsoft was to do that.
That is Microsoft's strategy. It did the same for the XP Mode (XPM) scam. Neither thing is what Microsoft at first touted it to be. It puts out a part of the story that sounds good, and the press doesn't think, doesn't question, just reposts how 'awesome' it is. Microsoft gets good press coverage, and then a week or two later, the truth comes out. But by then, no one is paying attention anymore. The public is too stupid to actually read a second article on a topic, and no one in the trade press updates their old stories or puts up a story about how they were used. If they even get it.
So Microsoft wins, and once again the customers lose. Journalists that play ball are rewarded, financially or otherwise, and those that tell the public the truth are cut out. Isn't our new world order wonderful. But the Vole has been doing this, and mostly getting away with it, for over 20 years.
And that brings us back to the abuses Microsoft is heaping on customers with this latest WGA / WAT thing. It just announced that it would push out "test" fake updates to Windows 7 RC users. People are rightly annoyed at this, but the RC is a test for Microsoft to get data with, so no problem there. What is a problem is that it is changing how things are done. If you ignore the test the first time, it will just do it without your permission the second time. That is a problem.
Once again, but not for the test version, what you are seeing is an aggressive WGA scheme in action. In Windows XP, Microsoft stole your rights after purchase with WGA, but you could simply chose not to install it. I don't. Ever. With the Broken OS, it is a little less clear because that malware is built in, but you could mostly still chose not to do the updates. Mostly.
Evidently, user rights are not a concern at Microsoft, because now it is has begun forcing the updates on people whether they want them or not. If you don't want to load the 'patch' that breaks your PC, you don't have a choice any longer. Microsoft is testing a way to cram whatever it wants down your throat. You 'signed' the EULA contract of adhesion, almost assuredly without reading it, so Microsoft will abuse you with it and you are up a creek without a paddle. Suckers.
In a few months, all those people who thought they were getting a 'free' copy of Windows 7 will have their PCs shut down. I can't wait to hear about the lawsuits over this, but that will have to wait a while. In the meantime, if you are dumb enough to use Windows 7, or sad enough to have bought the hype, have fun rebooting every two hours. If you didn't, have fun laughing at your friends when these 'test' abuses become real abuses.
Microsoft has crossed the line twice this week, but no one is calling it on any of this. The legacy press is too tame and too afraid to be cut off from the Vole's stream of advertising revenue. People are too stupid to think about the consequences of their actions, and Microsoft is abusing the public with its monopoly power. But, sigh, it was ever thus. To quote Egan Orion, "The slaves love their chains." µ