Microsoft is out to slay the software piracy beast, but its methods are raising privacy concerns and could mean more work for enterprises not using centralized update management tools.
After a year of beta testing, Microsoft went live on July 25 with Windows Genuine Advantage. Security patches will still be available with no strings attached, but to get other updates users must allow the company to scan their computer to ensure the software in use is legal.
Elliot Katz, senior product manager, Windows Client for Microsoft Canada, said piracy is a major issue in the software industry. The Canadian Alliance Against Software Theft estimates software piracy costs the Canadian economy $1.1 billion annually. “It’s not just a Microsoft issue, it’s really an industry issue that impacts the whole channel,” Katz said. “We’re taking a leadership position in our effort to counteract piracy.” It’s not just a Microsoft issue, it’s really an industry issue that impacts the whole channel.Elliot Katz>Text Microsoft will ask users to install an Active X control on their PC. It will scan the system and collect the name of the PC manufacturer, OS version, product ID key, BIOS version, language settings and language version.
“It in no way collects any personal information that would allow us to identify who you are or allow us to contact you,” said Katz, adding German security auditor T