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Cant see a real benefit RRS feed

  • Question

  • I've got a perfectly legit copy of xp from a perfectly legit source, so that's not my concern. 

    From what I've read here, this genuine advantage is anything but an advantage for the user.  Seems people are having lots of false alarms and breakdowns from this proposed little addition to our machines.  When is it supposed to be fixed?

    Also, I  read here that the OS software is now intent on tormenting the user when you move the software from machine to machine - when did that start?

    Finally, I read what is in the machine hash - thats a lot of very end user specific information.  What's with that?

    At this time, I'm disinclined to let the software through to booger up my machine.  What's my punishment for saying NO?

    Oh, and as I unchecked this from my updates list,  I noticed that the advantage software is HUGE!  On dial up it's like a whole evening to bring in.  What does it do, anyway?

    Lots of questions, questions on my mind.

    Sunday, May 7, 2006 7:36 AM

Answers

  • I understand the concern about larger downloads for Windows over dial-up connections. The current size of WGA Download is 710KB. If you are seeing another size there may be some other issues occuring on your machine. We are constantly trying to develop ways that prevent large downloads and will continue to do so moving forward.

     

    The hard drive serial number does not provide us with PII. PII is considered to be any information we could use to identify and contact an individual.

    In order to ensre the consumer is getting the best opportunity to Genuine software we are trying to provide the least intrusive method of doing that and appreciate your feedback. We are constantly trying to improve this and take all feedback seriously.

    hth

    dave

    Sunday, May 14, 2006 2:34 PM
  • The control needs to be updated occassionally with updates that have been made to it. To include new blocked keys that have been identified. New controls will delete the old control and will increase only in size difference between the 2 controls if applicable. We are constantly trying to decrease the size of our downloads and appreciate this feedback. This is best evidenced by our Installer utility for Windows Update now being downloaded and retained on the local system and not having to donwload it each time. Of course the caveat here is that it does expand the Windows base on a computer. It is give and take.

    When replacing a motherboard on an OEM system and how this will effect your computer I would recommend you contact your vendor to discuss their policy around this and the OEM EULA you were provided with that computer.

    I would love to be able to convince you as to why you should stick with Windows and not go back to MAC but I really am not a salesman.

     

    I am a firm believer in freedom of choice. If one thing works for a customer and another does not we should commit to that which does what we want.

     

    hth

    davar

    Monday, May 29, 2006 4:29 AM

All replies

  • I will attempt to answer each question to your satisfaction.

    1. If and when WGA specific issues are identified they are researched immediately and determined to either need a fix or are by design. If a fix is needed we then begin the process of coding such a fix but cannot provide specific timelines as to its release since coding and testing can vary depending on the depth of the issue.

    2. There have been some identified issues with WGA much as there are with any software we use today. WGA is no exception. From the support volumes we have seen the actual % of problems compared to the validated machines has been extremely low and well under typical software release statistics.

    3. This has always been included in our EULA

    4. Each machine hash is unique to each machine and is randomly created during installation and relates to hardware on a computer. There is no collection or inclusion of PII (Personally Identifiable Information) in the hash. I ahve included some additional information below as well.

    Q: What information is collected from my computer?

    A:
    The genuine validation process will collect information about your system to determine if your Microsoft software is genuine. This process does not collect or send any information that can be used to identify you or contact you. The only information collected in the validation process is:
    • Windows product key
    • PC manufacturer
    • Operating System version
    • PID/SID
    • BIOS information (make, version, date)
    • BIOS MD5 Checksum
    • User locale (language setting for displaying Windows)
    • System locale (language version of the operating system)
    • Office product key (if validating Office)
    • Hard drive serial number

    Q: How does Microsoft use this information?

    A:
    The information serves three purposes:
    • It provides Web page flow, tailoring the pages you see based on your responses.
    • It conveys demographics, which help Microsoft to understand regional differences in Windows or Office usage.
    • It confirms user input. User input is often compared against data collected from the PC in order to determine whether to grant a user’s request for additional access.

     

    5. Currently if you fail to validate your machine as Genuine you will not be able to download updates from the Windows Update site, while setting Automatic Updates will provide you the critical updates and high priority updates for windows, you will also have limited acces to software on the Microsoft download center and Genuine software loacted here: http://catalog.microsoft.com/genuine/offers/default.aspx

    6. Could you please further define huge? This should be less than 500kb.

     

    hth

    dave

     

    Monday, May 8, 2006 7:10 AM
  • Thanks for the reply. Huge is defined as nearly 1mb in this case - that's the size Windows Automatic Update quoted.  A long wait at slow speeds.

    I read the entire Q&A before I chimed in.  Isn't the hard drive serial number a unique PII?

    You never answered what this update download does.  Does this replace other code, or does the Windows footprint just keep getting bigger and bigger? 

    This is a hard one - my first e-mail was edgier than I like, and I don't want to have this one be that way -  but  - the steady flow of updates, and the need to repetitively validate paid for software is making me, well, edgy.

    Friday, May 12, 2006 7:38 AM
  • I understand the concern about larger downloads for Windows over dial-up connections. The current size of WGA Download is 710KB. If you are seeing another size there may be some other issues occuring on your machine. We are constantly trying to develop ways that prevent large downloads and will continue to do so moving forward.

     

    The hard drive serial number does not provide us with PII. PII is considered to be any information we could use to identify and contact an individual.

    In order to ensre the consumer is getting the best opportunity to Genuine software we are trying to provide the least intrusive method of doing that and appreciate your feedback. We are constantly trying to improve this and take all feedback seriously.

    hth

    dave

    Sunday, May 14, 2006 2:34 PM
  • Thank you for the reply. 

    710Kb was the actual size. 

    Why so many WGA downloads? - it seems something like that should be right from the start, and not need updating all the time, and yet, here we are. 

    I never did get an answer to one of my questions - is Windows growing on my machine, or is this replacement code?  I have a big hard drive, but the space grows smaller by the day. 

    I guess, since this is in the feedback section, I'll add another thought - I read in another thread that the OEM software that came from my computer supplier was probably not really a full version of Windows, but was probably cripple ware (only came with one disk) and that it may start kicking trouble when I upgrade this system with a new motherboard, etc.  Is there any truth to that?

    I know it's heresy to the faithful to admit this, but I switched my home computing environment over to Apple years ago, and only recenty switched back because my employer uses MS, and I thought it might be convenient to only have one set of platforms to manage.  I really am regretting that decision more with each passing update or goofy tweak needed to keep the equipment running.  I just today bought a MS based laptop for my mom.  It's a Gateway, and probably has crippleware on it, too.  I know it has a crippleware version of MS Office that needs to come off.  She's not tech savvy, and I'm afraid it will become a time wasting pig like my home systems have become.

    Guys, give me a good solid set of reasons not to take it back and trade it for a trouble-free Powerbook.  WGA is the final straw for me, and maybe other MS licensees, too.  Sorry to be so tough on you, you are probably great guys - but this issue came at a decision point, and MS may not be the preferred vendor for this purchase. 

    Here's your chance to convince me that WGA really is what it calls itself, and that my brand new purchase has good software that will work well.

    Also - if I ultimately keep the Gateway, I'll want to dump MediaPlayer 10 in favor of 9, to ditch that funky music licensing weird stuff (and I want to preserve her CD's, not damage them by ripping them.  :-)  Is there someplace to do this?

    I'll watch for your reply before I unbox that machine.

    Tuesday, May 23, 2006 5:48 AM
  • Still waiting.
    Sunday, May 28, 2006 5:01 AM
  • The control needs to be updated occassionally with updates that have been made to it. To include new blocked keys that have been identified. New controls will delete the old control and will increase only in size difference between the 2 controls if applicable. We are constantly trying to decrease the size of our downloads and appreciate this feedback. This is best evidenced by our Installer utility for Windows Update now being downloaded and retained on the local system and not having to donwload it each time. Of course the caveat here is that it does expand the Windows base on a computer. It is give and take.

    When replacing a motherboard on an OEM system and how this will effect your computer I would recommend you contact your vendor to discuss their policy around this and the OEM EULA you were provided with that computer.

    I would love to be able to convince you as to why you should stick with Windows and not go back to MAC but I really am not a salesman.

     

    I am a firm believer in freedom of choice. If one thing works for a customer and another does not we should commit to that which does what we want.

     

    hth

    davar

    Monday, May 29, 2006 4:29 AM
  • "The hard drive serial number does not provide us with PII. PII is considered to be any information we could use to identify and contact an individual."


    ...so, a telephone number, street address, sites surfed to, any software installed on the PC, bank balances and account numbers, etc. are NOT considered personal information since they don't identify a single individual?

    <sarcasm> Sounds VERY safe to me </sarcasm>

    Friday, June 2, 2006 10:01 PM
  • Random Name,

    According to Consumer Reports magazine and severa leading computing mags that poll their readers, Apple laptops are roughly in a tie for first place in laptop reliability, tied with IBM.

    So if you love your Mom, you'll buy her the Mac.

    Friday, June 2, 2006 10:18 PM