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Old 15th August 2002, 06:32   #41
Oni-Dracula
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snitzh: Theres a reason why you cant save files in gimp as *.gif. Doing so would violate some sort of copyright. Compuserve (AOL) owns the encoding algorithim.

If Pal. turns out to be what everyone is talking about, then consider me a Linux user. I'd better start reading up...

Heh if paldium controls everything, then my computer parts will jump in value 10 fold.
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Old 15th August 2002, 22:21   #42
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That's right. Time to go beyond windows.

You know, it doesn't really matter if palladium is the end of privacy or not. Clearly the technology is a step in that direction, and the next time Osama gets lucky, the government might be quite willing and able to take us the rest of the way. We need to think about the future. I don't know a damned thing about Linux, but it's obvious that I'm going to have to make the effort. Why would anybody NOT be pro-linux and antiwindows? Paying 300 dollars to the world's richest man is a good thing because... ??? Letting Bill Gates dictate to us how we can run our computers is a good thing because...???

Do we want the future to be open source, where everyone can contribute and profit, or do want a big windows logo stamped on the future?

I just read in CNET about how microsoft is bankrolling a lobbying group that is trying to stop the trend toward adoption of open source OS's by governmenmts trying to save money. They're calling it the coalition for choice or some such thing. How's that for corporate doublespeak? Microsoft lobbying for choice is like Jerry Falwell lobbying for gay rights.
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Old 17th August 2002, 04:43   #43
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Quote:
Originally posted by JustSomeOni
snitzh: Theres a reason why you cant save files in gimp as *.gif. Doing so would violate some sort of copyright. Compuserve (AOL) owns the encoding algorithim.
speaking of gimp, I ahve it for the PC, but it will not even let me save it in its won format, the .xfc one. The version on my old pc had it, but not the I downloaded. Any way around this or do i have to go back to an older virsion for windoze, or get a newer one?

I truly see this as the start of M$ downfall. I mean I will never pay for any M$ OS (and havent yet) So why the hell would I buy something that I have no privacy using it?
FUCK YOU M$, Im not taking your shit!

I am trying to learn Linux.. but I have RedHat7, and I hate it. So what is a good one to d/l? Im thinking of mandrake but i d/led teh first 2 cd's of 8.2 then the beta of 9 came out so i stoped. now waiting for 9. any others I should look into?
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Old 17th August 2002, 08:25   #44
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Ok, i just read the first post on this thread and not any others, but If MS releases this OS, or even starts working on it, they will be WASTING a LOT of time and money. If new mobos and CPUs will support this chip NOBODY will buy it, I am fine with my computer right now, it gets good framerate in Quake3 and runs very smooth, there is NO WAY I am gonna upgrade to a PC OR an OS that will just infringe on my rights. And If I cannot access Palladium serves so be it. They dont mean SHIT to me anyways. And i'll just use Windows XP as it is right now.

MS is just wasting its time investing in something they will never be able to control.
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Old 17th August 2002, 08:33   #45
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OK, another thought.

IF and when Microsoft executes this plan of "Digital Signaturing" or whatever. Apple (who does NOT have anything to do with MS) will DESTROY the IBM-type PC. Apple Macintosh computers use a totally different hardware scheme that Microsoft will never control (why would Apple want Microsoft, their main competitor, try to take over them?). All that needs to happen is make generic hardware (mobo's by Asus, Soyo, etc. that are MAC OS compatible) as well as standardizing of Mac hardware. Right now you just simply cannot BUILD your own Macintosh computer, that's Apple's biggest weak point. Make it possible and Microsoft will be bankrupt in no time at all.
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Old 17th August 2002, 10:35   #46
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damn straight biznatch
the US courts and congress (the republican court) would be in a majority favor of this because it protects mpaa riaa dmca copyright bull shit. however most consumers wouldn't buy it. think about copyright schemes in the past like sony's memory stick mp3 player. you had to convert your mp3's into attrack format to put on the player for copyright protection and no one bought it. well a few did but it sold VERY poorly

the internet is not run by microsoft. like others said. its unix based. this basically splits the internet and no one will stand for that. the backlash will make microsoft rethink its methods. just like the backlash that IE6 got that forced microsoft to remove the purple links it put inside html pages linking to microsoft services and altering the documents authors true intentions. a truely evil use for XML.

conclusion: this idea will fail. past schemes faild both microsoft and other copyright holding giants. microsoft is just wasting money on R&D like it always does. What wont probably fail will be the new entertainement TV PC idea (the other part of the next windows) but Pladium will fail.

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Old 17th August 2002, 14:52   #47
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Re: so what?

Quote:
Originally posted by andyr0ck
so what? don't buy it, then. i know i won't be. if i had to, i would keep using the system i have that doesn't have that crap as a part of it. i would also keep using an old OS, or one that didn't incorporate such rubbish. there is always a choice. people don't need a 3 Ghz P4 but they still buy them. something like this may put a price on older tech; older CPU's and motherboards.

i think people vastly underestimate their power to make a difference simply by refusing to buy sh1t and it's time we woke up to that fact before we lose that power. similar to voting, i suppose.
Perhaps, but the situation is a little more complicated than that. How long do you really expect that machine to last? Potential compatibility hurdles aside, hardware has a limited useful life before it eventually breaks down and dies. In many cases, you're looking at five years, if that, before a component throws in the towel. Computer components are just not designed for the long haul, because technology moves so fast that manufacturers EXPECT people to upgrade. Like it or not, your PC will eventually break. Let's just hope you can still get pre-palladium hardware replacements for a long time.
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Old 21st August 2002, 07:11   #48
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My Letter to Microsoft

Hello peoples.. I took initiative a wrote a letter to Microsoft.. I strongly urge all you guys who are worried to do the same and write somthing like mine. If they see that ALOT of their customers may be gone then they might take action and change pallidium/stop pallidium. Here it is.. thanx (:

To who it may concern,

Pallidium
http://forums.winamp.com/showthread....ighlight=Linux <--Go there
You guys BETTER not implement this feature. This will screw the world over as we know it.. HA! what a gay way to take the market. Don't you guys have enough money already!? What are you guys thinking!? I will have no part in you guys' stupid pallidium network if this is how it is going to turn out! You will LOOSE alot of your customers if you go this route, but gain... actually, you have hardly anything to gain. JUST DROP THE IDEA, or change it! I always knew you guys were going to go this route. Well I am going to covert as many people as I can to Linux to lose your guys' business until you guys e-mail me back telling me exactly what is happening with pallidium or until I am satisfied with how pallidium will HELP! You guys say one person can't make a difference, well that is true to some extent, but if I convert 100 people to linux (I can probably do more and that is not including converting businesses' etc..) then that is 100 less customers for you guys --- lost forevor. I thought before I found out about pallidium that you guys were a respectable company that was trying to offer a good product to the community. Well I guess I am wrong.. unless I hear otherwise from you guys. That is really nasty what it appears that you guys are doing. Whatever.. email me back if you don't want me to go on my linux-converting rampage.. (the reason I know it will work is because I will provide all of the support they need) Man.. I was even a customer of yours and still am atm... I dual boot. I pay for your software, so why don't you guys make it fair for everyone and throw away or change the idea of pallidium.

Sincerly,
WES
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Old 21st August 2002, 11:35   #49
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yo wes get me some sort of address to microsoft. whether it be snailmail fax or email. i wanna send a letter.

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Old 21st August 2002, 13:07   #50
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I Sent em an e-mail.

It went something like this: "Just heard about palladium. Switching to Linux. Thank you and Good night".

I've found that a vast amount of information is available about Linux. mandrakelinux.com has an online course you can take, and I was able to download PDF and HTML versions of several Linux manuals from Kaazaa, including a package of 12 books bundled together. linuxnewbie.org features great forums where I posted a question and received my first reply within minutes.

I was originally considering installing Linux on my older, second-string machine. Then I was considering a dual install, but now I'm thinking: why bother? According to my new friends at linuxnewbie.org, I can do anything I'm currently doing with windows with Mandrake Linux, most of it for free, so why not just switch? There's even a Windows emulator program called Wine, so you can run Windows programs.

Okay, so lets add this up: in the plus column, linux is faster and more stable, it's free, it keeps improving, and if I ever get much smarter about computers than I am now, I can alter the code any way I like, it's more resistant to viruses, and it can even run Windows programs. The only plus I can think of for Windows is that it's what's already on my computer.

www.npr.org/ramfiles/fa/20010226.fa.01.ram
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Old 21st August 2002, 15:33   #51
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Well people wont be able to connect to IIS server now. What a shame, there are like SOooooo many of them about .

1) It's counter productive for ms to do this like rm' said.
2) The people who host servers aren't stupid. I think most web servers use Sun machines running Solaris and either Apache or the Sun webserver software.
3) I want one of the 'Enchalada' machines when they're released.
4) AMD and Intel aren't the only chip manufactures in the world and neither are big players in the mobile market, that crown falls to ARM. Who admitadly only design chips. UltraSPARC IIi anyone?
5) People who run around with their hands waving and panicing about this kind of thing are silly and haven't thought too much about the practicalities of such a scheme.

/me Admits his bias towards Sun.

.: fwgx.co.uk.:.My art:.

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Old 21st August 2002, 15:33   #52
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whiteflip

just go to www.microsoft.com
then go to contact and then under software development suggestion things... they have a built in e-mail thingo. (:
thanx dude
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Old 22nd August 2002, 03:19   #53
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allright im writing a letter now in Microsoft Word 2000

dual booting linux is the best option for beginners. if it doesnt go as planned you still have windows. since windows is standard if you find a program you want to run only in windows youve got windows

wine isnt as stable as procalmed. it will run ms office pretty well and other windows aps but preformance is lost greatly. dual booting gives you the best of both worlds. compatibility when needed and cutting edge development, speed, and preformance

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Old 22nd August 2002, 03:46   #54
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http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/f...alladiumwp.asp


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Old 3rd September 2002, 00:40   #55
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Quote:
Originally posted by cmw6988
http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/f...alladiumwp.asp
I just went to that site, and formt he first few paragraphs i read, it controdicts everthing that is said in the first post.
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Old 3rd September 2002, 03:56   #56
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Quote:
Originally posted by laz9999


I just went to that site, and formt he first few paragraphs i read, it controdicts everthing that is said in the first post.
Only naturally. They wouldn't list such things; they are not that stupid. On the other hand, given what everyone is saying about anti-Microsoft SlashDot, who knows.

I really don't know who to believe though. It's key to remember that what you read at Microsoft can be interpreted in many ways, as at SlashDot, so people will have differing opinions on it. We need more evidence to validate what it really means.

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Old 3rd September 2002, 19:41   #57
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Quote:
Originally posted by Signal Box
We need more evidence to validate what it really means.
dont expect it till it gets releases
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Old 6th September 2002, 13:06   #58
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Every time Microsoft talks about releasing a new OS there is this type of conversation. "They want to take over the WOOORLD!" The horror! Bill Gates and his OS of Spooky Doooom!

Come on. We're dealing with very intelligent people here. Regardless of what your opinion of the product is (*cough*linux*cough*) Bill Gates is an extremely intelligent man. AMD has *finally* become respectable. Intel is sitting pretty right now. All of them are doing very good at this moment in time. Do you really think they're going to alienate potential income by proposing these types of changes? Granted I can see Microsoft stamping out Word clones and loving it, but as far as saying "You can only access *this* server if you use *this* OS". I don't buy it.
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Old 7th September 2002, 05:32   #59
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scary as hell

We are going to have to take action against this NOW. If we all work together and send letters to AMD and Intel and as many places as possible, we can beat this. Microsoft needs to be shut down NOW. Replys with any ideas or anything will be helpful. We dont now if its this serious. But lets be safe. Something like this is dangerous. Its a hazard to our personal rights.
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Old 7th September 2002, 07:29   #60
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paranoia. plain and simple. histeria. i dont see chip makers making a move toward pladdium. if someone else can update me on this please do so.

i didnt hear world domination about windows 3.1 95 or 98

fredowl = windude on linux?

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Old 7th September 2002, 16:32   #61
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I don't think 3.1, 95, or 98 had the capability.

Microsoft has now managed to think throughly and give this new OS all of the bells and whistles they want in it.

-Signal Box-
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Old 9th September 2002, 13:48   #62
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Quote:
Originally posted by whiteflip
paranoia. plain and simple. histeria. i dont see chip makers making a move toward pladdium. if someone else can update me on this please do so.

i didnt hear world domination about windows 3.1 95 or 98

fredowl = windude on linux?
Bingo.

Don't worry - there's no way this will take off. I find it highly unlikely that system admins will let this happen (which is really where the line will be drawn). Besides that, home users will get pretty pissed not being able to run non-palladium certified software.

The best thing is to spread the information, and not buy any Palladium-based products. Even Microsoft doesn't have infinate resources - you can't sell something people won't buy.
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Old 9th September 2002, 20:05   #63
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Quote:
Originally posted by xzxzzx
Even Microsoft doesn't have infinate resources - you can't sell something people won't buy.
Unless you bribe them enough. I'm sure Microsoft has done it before.

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Old 9th September 2002, 22:33   #64
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Paranoid Androids

jeez peeps...talk about reactionary....

Theres a whole section on that article devoted to why palladium MUST make older applications and programmes run. I know M$ aren;t exactly trustworthy...but as many have said on this topic already... commercial suicide ain;t where M$ is at. Only rank stupidity would tell you otherwise. This is just the anti M$ brigade noising everyone up again. Read that first post with some common sense and think about how much of it actually rings true...


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Old 9th September 2002, 22:34   #65
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Quote:
Unless you bribe them enough.
Kinda sounds like the US military.

"Come! Be brainwashed, be sujected to horrible conditions, be screamed at 24/7.. oh and you might die.. BUT! We'll send you to school!"

Bribe the public enough and they'll do anything. The size of the US's military is proof possitive.

Survey says:
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Old 9th September 2002, 23:53   #66
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Hmm... what's all the fuss about?



Anybody here know the term "hack" as it applies to all of these cheesy copy protection stuff?
All of this will be hacked before it come on to the market.
MS already tried a few times... last time with XP this and XP that... and guess what... all was hacked before it officially showed up on the shelves.
In the world of technology, only your imagination is the limit!
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Old 10th September 2002, 01:25   #67
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paranoia

I may have sounded really paranoid...but think about the worst case situation. think about what could happen. in this country, its sad but true, if you have enough money you can do whatever you want. lets just try to tell as many people as possible about palladium, and make sure nobody buys it. If it starts to become commonplace, more and more buisnesses will buy it, and then it will really suck.


what does "fredowl=windude on linux" mean?
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Old 10th September 2002, 18:32   #68
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bullshit

well, i believe that really can be truth, too well writed and planne to be a lie by someone that just want tp scare ppl but stop and think :

WHO IS GOIN TO BUY THAT IF THINGS WOULD WORK REALLY THAT WAY ?

aparently as i saw in most of opnions here, noone would

so y be scared , just we will have to keep our older machines in case of emergency or somethin, maybe that slow 500 hz thing have some use in future
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Old 10th September 2002, 19:53   #69
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many pc and stock analysist predict that if the internet moves to a mpaa riaa version of such than older producuts such as burnners and hard drives and cpus from pre dmca2 days will sky rocket in value above current market hardware.

what does this teach you? keep your PII's and Durons and Old school hardware. dont throw out your old computer hardware. just store it somewhere safely and if DMCA2 happens you have a small fortune in your basement. or a backup.

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Old 10th September 2002, 23:58   #70
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reply to vitamin boy

You are right in the fact that no person in thier right mind would buy a product of that discription. the problem is that microsoft can use marketing strategys that twist the meanings around...and thats just for consumers...for buisnesses it would be eaiser to sell, because buisnesses have a policy that they upgrade to all of microsoft's products...all microsoft needs to do is claim that it is a wonderful buisness product...or some shit like that and then one buisness uses it...and since palladium is only compatible with palladium...it could start to catch on...like popular culture yet somehow worse. pretty soon all the buisnesses will be useing it...

im sure its not as bad as the first poster said it was...but the end of open source!! *shudder*
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Old 11th September 2002, 12:24   #71
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Quote:
but the end of open source!! *shudder*
Does anyone know the status on that? I seem to recall one of the bills passing talking about anti-copywrite something or other that would require software to be digitally signed (?) by the government? I don't remember the specifics, I heard about it awhile ago. I do remember though that it effectively would make anything open source illegal. Has this actually passed? Do I have the facts right?
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Old 11th September 2002, 14:24   #72
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what the hell. how could you make open source code illegal.

would that not violate the 1st amendment, at least in the US (where all the retards are anyways)?

oh and for all you guys saying "oh yeah someone will just haxor it yeah sure"...um...yeah maybe the software end.

wanna do some soldering? cause you are gonna have some sort of "modchip" if anything in order to get around the hardware end, and I'm not talkin a playstation modchip...
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Old 11th September 2002, 14:36   #73
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It was something along the lines of software having to be "registred" with someone somewhere otherwise you wouldn't be legally allowed to run it. Open source code is modified sometimes on a daily basis. There is no way it could follow that type of model, thus making it illegal. The purpose of it was to keep people from writing software that exploited holes and/or from being able to get around copy protection.

As I said, Im a little fuzzy on it as its been awhile since I heard it talked out. I do remember open source being a target and that something going threw congress was threatening it. If anyone knows what Im refering to, or if Im completely off base let me know. Though saying "There is no way it could happen" isn't valid. Im talking law not logic. Those two things don't seem to mesh well.
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Old 11th September 2002, 19:24   #74
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Ok.. There are things I've read in this thread that I agree with, and disagree with. And my memory isn't that great, so I'll try to re-read stuff before I type, but I can't guarantee I wont say something exactly as it was said before.

I think there is Over reaction, and there is complacency. I am of the opinion that one needs to over-react in moderation (just above the 50% mark between over reacting and complacency)
The issues I see are:
1) a large majority of Americans are just that, complacent. They will believe whatever the media tells them. If the media tells them that palladium is good, they will accept is as "necessary to protect their computers". The entertaiment industry has a huge advantage in this arena becasue they benefit from moves like this (primarily because they are obsessed with raping the consumers wallet for stuff that is low quality. How many times have you bought a CD that only had one good song). Because the media industry benefits, you aren't going to see much about palladium on the 10 o'clock news, and if it is there, it certainly wont be that negative (based on what I've seen, but I haven't seen everything, so I could be wrong there, but I'd be supprised).
2) People blindly believe that intelligence means honesty and benevolence. Look at what has happened in the past 6 months with major corporations like Enron. And they expect us to believe that these guys are just exceptions? $$ corrupts. Power corrupts. Bill Gates has a lot of both. MS has a lot of both. And in my opinion MS would be stupid not to work its way into forcing Palladium on us. The American people are so totally lazy, they will take anything that is spoonfed to them.
On a side note, I don't like political bashing, but please remembe that these days politicians are pretty messed up regardless of which side of the fence they are on. There IS legislation being pushed through (per an article that was on abcnews.com about a month ago) that would allow groups like the RIAA to hack into personal computer systems in order to seek and destroy what they deem to be illegal copies of music, movies, etc. This legeslation was proposed by a Democrat. So it's not just the repubs that are a problem these days.

Right now, in America, there has been a huge surge of attacks on the privacy rights of the citizens. They are attempting to control our computers, our music, our movies, our TV's, our way of life, all because the masses are easier to target than the individual who is pirating thier stuff. The big corps are far to lazy to track down the guy that is distributing illegal software, so they are just going to punish us all (god.. reminds me of fricking first grade)

Personally, I've just about given up. The news media backs this stuff 100%, and because of that, there is no way to get the word out to a majority of people regarding what is happening.

On a positive note.. If you can see it, or hear it, you can copy it. Take mp3's for example. Your amplifier puts out stereo sound (at least R & L channels). Most sound cards have a stereo 'line-in'. So you run your your music from a legit CD player, and into the Line-in on your PC. Record it as a WAV (which they can NOT prevent, unless they want to kill the artists right to record music. thought that would certainly not be beyond the lowness of the RIAA). Anyway, you have your music in WAV format, convert it to mp3 (gee..hmm..what program do I know that will do that. ) and then burn away.

I know, the last paragraph was probably preaching to the choir, most of you probably thought of that before I did, but I thought I'd throw it in for the newbies.

Any way.. that's my thoughts.
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Old 12th September 2002, 01:02   #75
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Quote:
Originally posted by Tac-Man
what the hell. how could you make open source code illegal.

would that not violate the 1st amendment, at least in the US (where all the retards are anyways)?

oh and for all you guys saying "oh yeah someone will just haxor it yeah sure"...um...yeah maybe the software end.

wanna do some soldering? cause you are gonna have some sort of "modchip" if anything in order to get around the hardware end, and I'm not talkin a playstation modchip...
Yeah, - it does, of course, violate the 1st amendment, but that hasn't stopped it.

"Someone will Haxor it" - Yeah, they will. Until it becomes part of the CPU core. How exactly do you "Haxor" a CPU? I don't think it's possible, unless you've got a several billion $ budget. Of course, it's possible when it's a chip on the motherboard to "modchip" it. Of course, there is the O/S side - which, of course, would be illegal under the DMCA to distribute.

Wonderful, isn't it?
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Old 12th September 2002, 02:54   #76
whiteflip
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send assembly code to the cpu?

I'm Back?
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Old 12th September 2002, 11:32   #77
binary hero
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it'll never work, but anything released by microsoft from now on, will contain more and more ways to try to stop piracy (and music sharing), and to build up their 'empire'. If, by some miracle, everything neko said comes trye, then people will keep on using current versions of windows, on current computers, and it will die.
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Old 12th September 2002, 18:52   #78
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Quote:
Originally posted by whiteflip
send assembly code to the cpu?
??

The point is that the CPU will have the chip embedded in the core. It will use a public/private key encryption, and will require that it be fed the correct answer, provided by the internet server (or another source), before it will run code. Hopefully, that encryption will be broken by someone outside of the US - so that they can distribute the free speech that the DMCA prevents:

"No person shall manufacture, import, offer to the public provide, or otherwise traffic in any technology, product, service, device, component, or part thereof, that is primarily designed or produced for the purpose of cicumventing a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title;..."

- DMCA
http://www.loc.gov:8081/copyright/ti...ap12.html#1201

"Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech, ..."

- First Amendment

Seems odd to me that I would have to leave the US in order to have the freedom of the first amendment.
4856507896573978293098418946942861377074420873513579240196520736686985134010472374469687974399261175109737777010274475280490588313840375497099879096539552270117121570259746669932402268345966196060348517424977358468518855674570257125474999648219418465 5710084119086259716947970799152004866709975923596061320725973797993618860631691447358830024533697278181391479795551339994939488289984691783610018259789010316019618350343448956870538452085380458424156548248893338047475871128339598968522325446084089711 1977127694120795862440547161321005006459820176961771809478113622002723448272249323259547234688002927776497906148129840428345720146348968547169082354737835661972186224969431622716663939055430241564732924855248991225739466548627140482117138124388217717 6029841255244647445055834628144883356319027253195904392838737640739168912579240550156208897871633759991078870849081590975480192857684519885963053238234905580920329996032344711407760198471635311617130785760848622363702835701049612595681846785965333100 7701799161467447254927283348691600064758591746278121269007351830924153010630289329566584366200080047677896798438209079761985949364630938058633672146969597502796877120572499666698056145338207412031593377030994915274691835659376210222006812679827344576 093802030447912277498091795593838712100058876668925844870047077255249706044465212713040432118261010359118647666963858495087448497373476861420880529443

http://primes.utm.edu/curios/page.php?number_id=953

oops - that's a Gzip of illegal material. Looks like I'm facing up to 5 years and/or up to $500,000 - no wait, this is definately not my first offence. Make that up to 10 years, and up to $1,000,000.

Freedom of speech is the basic freedom of humanity. When you've lost that, you've lost everything.
1\/\/4y 34|<$p4y 1gp4y 33714y, 0d4y 0uy4y? | Roses are #FF0000; Violets are #0000FF; chown -R ${YOU} ~/base
The DMCA. It really is that bad. : Count for your life.
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Old 12th September 2002, 19:16   #79
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I have to question this. Not because I disagree, but because Im having a hard time with understanding it.

How is me sending you a file that was designed to do one thing and one thing only, which happens to be illegal, protected by free speech? How is sending binary data over the internet speech? Granted I could really give a flip if someone doesn't get my $20 for a DVD, but I question how providing tools to crack a DVD's copy protection can be protected by anything at all.

What I'm mostly concerned about is embeding copy protection in normal audio cds because in doing so, you render things like personal mp3 devices obsolete - and not only that, illegal. I'll fight to see that I can use my legally purchased cd in what ever manner I wish, which breaks no laws.
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Old 12th September 2002, 19:47   #80
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Just read this article online.

Quote:
BILL GATES SAYS security is Microsoft's top priority, but just whose security does he have in mind? Consider some of Microsoft's recent boilerplate legalese -- language you or your company might already have unknowingly accepted -- and then decide for yourself.

The language is contained in the Product Use Rights (PUR) document that can be found at www.microsoft.com/licensing/resources. As the PUR document is part of most customers' volume license agreements and is subject to periodic change, in theory Microsoft customers should check it regularly to see what rights Microsoft has decided to grant or take away.

You can be forgiven if you feel like you have better things to do with your life than reading and rereading all this mind-numbing legal gobbledygook. Fortunately, one Microsoft customer did review the PUR document recently and noticed a change. In the section on Windows XP Professional, he found the "Internet-Based Services Components" paragraph that said in part, "You acknowledge and agree that Microsoft may automatically check the version of the Product and/or its components that you are utilizing and may provide upgrades or fixes to the Product that will be automatically downloaded to your Workstation Computer."

The reader was stunned. "By changing that term in the PUR, Microsoft has found a creative way to obtain authorization from users to access their workstations at will," he said. "How many customers are going to review this PDF file and realize they've given Microsoft this right? And all the risk for the security and privacy violations due to this are neatly put on the customer's shoulders, not Microsoft's."

After the reader shared his discovery with me, I asked some other Microsoft volume license customers if they were aware of the PUR term. Not surprisingly, most were only vaguely aware of the PUR's existence, much less the terms in the XP section. But they had plenty of concerns once they read it, the most obvious being the damage the most benign of automatic OS upgrades could cause in a corporate environment. "The idea that Microsoft can change our software without notifying us is totally unacceptable," said one corporate IT manager. "Any alteration to our standard configuration can only be rolled out after careful evaluation and testing. Does Microsoft have no clue?"

Several readers were also worried that Microsoft's broad assertion of its right to access their computers would force their companies into noncompliance with government security guidelines and various privacy laws. This concern was exacerbated by additional PUR language in the same Windows XP section. In terms of "Security Updates," users grant Microsoft the right to download updates to Microsoft's DRM (Digital Rights Management) technology to protect the intellectual property rights of "Secured Content" providers. It says Microsoft may "download onto your computer such security updates that a secure content owner has requested that MS, Microsoft Corporation, or their subsidiaries distribute." In other words, it would seem Microsoft's idea of a security update is one that protects the property rights of vendors, not the security of customers' systems.

Currently, DRM technology is associated just with music or video content, but there's no legal reason it can't be used with software applications as well. One reader expressed the concern that in order to enforce common license terms, DRM technology might have to distinguish customer communications from those of internal users at a company. "As I read this, we will be guilty of violating federal privacy laws if we don't at least warn our customers that Microsoft and its partners may have access to their records," the reader said. "Perhaps our firewall can prevent Microsoft from doing this, but how can I be sure?"

Microsoft officials say that the language in the PUR agreement, which it confirms is also in the Windows XP EULA (End User License Agreement) itself, is not intended to force upgrades on customers. "Our goal is to give the user control over whether a system is being updated, regardless of whether the user is a consumer or an institution," a statement from Microsoft's legal team read. "The 'Internet-based Services Components' section of the Windows XP EULA was written specifically to ensure that we are in compliance with all regulations that require notification when the configuration choices that a user makes could potentially access one of the auto-updating features of Windows XP. We clearly have more work to do to make sure that it's clear when these automatic features are used, and we are looking at how to do a better job at that. But it is certainly not our intent to access any user's system when that is not what they desire."

Both corporate and individual customers can choose to turn off Windows Auto-Update, the Microsoft officials pointed out. Similarly, users will be told when a content owner is requiring an update to Microsoft's DRM technology and they will have the option to download it. "If the user elects not to update the security component, he or she will be unable to play content protected by our DRM from that point forward, although content previously obtained would still be usable."

Well, swell. But if it is indeed Microsoft's intent to continue giving users the right to decline downloads, why has the company written its XP agreements to force users to explicitly surrender that right? Are customers supposed to ignore what the licenses say and just hope Microsoft won't ever do what the terms say it can do? That's not a concept that will make anyone other than Bill Gates feel very secure.
"But it is certainly not our intent to access any user's system when that is not what they desire." Kinda contradicts a lot of the quotes/concerns raised in this thread.

So whos telling the truth??

Time will tell.
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