Microsoft genuine downloads looking for wine

Ivan Leo Puoti ivanleo at
Wed Feb 16 15:28:59 CST 2005

As some of you may know, Microsoft is planning to totally restrict 
access to the Microsoft
download center to all non-genuine windows users. So you would expect 
some check for pirated
copies of windows to be involved. If you visit the download center with 
IE you get an activex control,
but if you try with Firefox, you'll have to download a little program, 
that returns a code you have to copy into
the download page, to get access to the download you selected.
By quickly looking at the program, I noticed it looks for a registry 
key, this key is...
the wine configuration key.
the Windows Genuine Advantage program press release
says that in the second half of 2005, all users connecting to the 
Microsoft download center or to windows update
will have to validate their copy of windows. Interestingly if you run 
the validation program on wine, and the version
of windows you're emulating is prior to 2000 or is windows server 20003, 
you get a message saying a validation code
couldn't be found, because of technical difficulties or because you're 
running an unsupported operating system.
If you set winver to win2000, you'll get a validation code that doesn't 
work, this may be a bug in wine, or in the
validation program.
A valid and working code is returned if the version is set to xp. Still, 
even if this is only an initial attempt, they
appear to want to discriminate wine users, while this may be acceptable 
for operating system components/updates,
this is probably a violation of anti-trust law for all other downloads. 
It's also the first time Microsoft acknowledges the
existence of Wine.

Ivan Leo.

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