Laser Blog

Articles tagged "digital rights"

30 Groklaw covers Comes v. Microsoft, Inc.

Monday 11th December, 2006

It's well worth reading the whole article at Groklaw, but here are some choice quotes.

Co-counsel for the Plaintiffs, Roxanne Conlin, recounted how Microsoft developed a program called EDGI (Education Government Incentive). She went on to read from an internal Microsoft document on when EDGI was to be used:

β€œIt is essential, therefore, that we use this only in deals we would lose otherwise. Bottom line, do our best to show the great value of our software to these customers and ensure we get paid for it. Under no circumstances lose against Linux before ensuring we have used this program actively and in a smart way.”

Conlin then goes on to explain:

EDGI has the added benefit to the outside world as appearing to be based on Microsoft generosity, but in fact the program is intended only for use where Linux is a threat.
What is EDGI? There is no mention of any charitable purchase. This is about beating Linux. And it is not even limited to developing countries, and squarely, directly, and only for defeating competitors in the guise of benevolence.

And one I found quite funny, by Jim Alchin, group Vice President of Microsoft, sent in an internal e-mail dated January 7, 2004:

"I'm not sure how the company lost sight of what matters to our customers, both business and home, the most, but in my view we lost our way. I think our teams lost sight of what bug-free means, what resilience means, what full scenarios mean, what security means, what performance means, how important current applications are, and really understanding what the most important problems our customers face are. I see lots of random features and some great vision, but that does not translate into great products ... I would buy a Mac today if I was not working at Microsoft.”

Emphasis added.


29 Malware installed on Windows PCs by 'respectable' companies?

Sunday 10th December, 2006

It's still happening
Rob, May 2015

This sort of thing seems to happen alot recently. Remember the Sony rootkit scandal? I'm sure Sony wish you wouldn't. Sony's reaction was interesting, they initially acted as though they had the right to install the rootkit on their customer's PCs. Thomas Hesse, Sony BMG's president of global digital business, was outrageously quoted as saying:

Most people don't even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it?

ComScore, the company involved in this particular incident, claim they would never install software without permission, and it does appear that it is being installed by third parties. The risk is that the software takes screenshots of every Web page viewed by its 1 million participants, even transactions completed in secure sessions, like online banking, or shopping.

It's not a safe world for Windows users, when even 'legitimate' software is proving invasive.


22 More Vista EULA insanity

Friday 24th November, 2006

Following from two earlier posts I made about Microsoft's EULA for the forthcoming Vista, here is another very interesting analysis of the product activation component of the EULA which will be a required agreement before members of the public can use the new OS.

Some choice quotes from the article:

The terms of the Vista EULA, like the current EULA related to the 'Windows Genuine Advantage,' allows Microsoft to unilaterally decide that you have breached the terms of the agreement, and they can essentially disable the software, and possibly deny you access to critical files on your computer without benefit of proof, hearing, testimony or judicial intervention.

(Emphasis added.)

... if you buy a license to the software from a reputable dealer, but choose not to transmit information to Microsoft, you forfeit your ability to use the licensed software
But the contract doesn't limit Microsoft to these disabling attributes. It just says that they have the right to limit your ability to use features - pretty much any features they decide to at any date. And guess what. You agreed to it.

The sad thing is that so many people are so apathetic about the whole that they'll just click on the "I agree" button without reading the EULA, or even caring what's in it.


17 Dell customer gets Windows refund

Thursday 9th November, 2006

A Linux-using Dell customer has managed to get a refund for the unused copy of Microsoft Windows XP Home SP2 bundled with his new laptop.

Mitchell was careful to document that he did not run the Microsoft product or accept the EULA. "I booted the laptop, then photographed every step of the boot process up to and including clicking on the XP 'no I don't accept' button. I also scrolled through each page of the EULA, taking a photo of each page," he wrote in an e-mail interview.


15 Microsoft backs down over one aspect of Vista EULA

Saturday 4th November, 2006

Microsoft have backed down over the proposed limit of one re-installation for Vista license holders. The previous limit allowed users to transfer their copy of MS Vista to one other PC, after which the license would have been rendered invalid, requiring the purchase of another (full) license.