Microsoft genuine downloads looking for wine

Holly Bostick motub at
Sat Feb 19 10:13:49 CST 2005

Ivan Leo Puoti wrote:
> 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...
> SOFTWARE\Wine\Wine\Config
> 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.

By the way, has anyone yet spoken to the Software Freedom Law Center 
about whether there is legal recourse available to us in this matter 
(now, or in the future)? How lovely to have had a legal service specify 
that they wanted the project as a client, scant weeks before a big 
corporation targeted the project in a quite possibly actionable way 
(naturally, IANAL, but any 'reasonable person' would find these 
circumstances sufficient cause to check and see if they were in fact the 
victim of a prosecutable crime).

Serendipity doesn't happen so often; don't forget to take advantage of it.



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