Microsoft "intentional" piracy myth ?

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  2. last week

    Michel B

    Feb 17 Pre-Release Testers, Xojo Pro

    The only benefit of a rental for the user would be the relatively modest immediate cost, as compared to a much steeper purchase price.

  3. Karen A

    Feb 17 Pre-Release Testers
    Edited last week by Karen A

    @Michel B The only benefit of a rental for the user would be the relatively modest immediate cost, as compared to a much steeper purchase price.

    I would say that is not a benefit ... Personally I would rather pay more upfront... I will NEVER rent software, I would go to free/open source stuff first.

    One never knows what the future will hold... If I hit a bad financial downturn, I do not want to lose the ability to use what I have... If the company takes a direction I don't like with their product, I don't want to have to pay just to keep using an old version (if they even allow that!!!)

    If I can't afford to buy it, then I certainly can not afford to rent software I have a long term need for.

    - Karen

  4. Julian S

    Feb 17 Pre-Release Testers, Xojo Pro UK

    @Tomas J We live in strange times Michel... our civil rights, liberties and freedom in general are at stake...

    What would be funny is if you thought you had any in the first place.

  5. Daniel T

    Feb 17 Pre-Release Testers

    @Lynn F For the big fish like Adobe, Microsoft and Autodesk, making it so the software absolutely will not work without going through an elaborate, secure process, and everyone knowing that is a requirement, will force casual pirates who actually use those products to just give up and pay - especially if the cost per month is low.

    Will it? It has been a long time since a casual user could pirate software on their own. For years they've turned to file sharing sites with cracked binaries or key generators.

    AFAIK nothing about the subscription model makes it more difficult for hackers to crack binaries and share them online. High end software...Windows, Adobe products...have been calling home for years. And hackers have been defeating the calls for just as long.

    I agree with the low cost part. But that plays on the average person's sense of honesty and/or fear of embedded malware. Subscription software is not stopping the hackers. I don't even think it slowed them down.

  6. Daniel T

    Feb 17 Pre-Release Testers

    @Tomas J Yesterday I made a small experiment. In my vmware fusion box I started up a fully patched Win10 Pro with installed Microsoft Office 2016 and pushed the record button on my firewall for 30 Minutes. The results are disgusting...

    Yep. I will not run Windows 10 from anything other than an isolated virtual machine. I also canceled my Office subscription and removed every trace from all my computers and VMs. I have to keep VMs with Visual Studio, but to be honest I find myself using 2008 and 2010 because later versions are unbelievably large, cumbersome, and slow.

    I think it's downright creepy what Microsoft is doing and I would like to see a government force them into giving a full explanation as to what and why. Then again, it would be nice if they just had to pay their taxes like the rest of us.

    There was a thread recently comparing the Surface tablets to the MacBook Pros. They seem like nice tablets but I would never know because I wouldn't be caught dead using Windows 10 as my main OS for the 76 reasons you gave.

    I still have some faith in Apple due to things like Secure Enclave and standing up to the FBI. I also know of a couple instances where management said "no" to profitable data gathering activities that Microsoft or Google would have jumped on. They either didn't pursue them or they took great effort to obscure the data from the source.

    But it wouldn't take much to send me screaming to FOSS at this point.

  7. 7 days ago

    Michel B

    Feb 17 Pre-Release Testers, Xojo Pro

    @Karen A I would say that is not a benefit ... Personally I would rather pay more upfront... I will NEVER rent software, I would go to free/open source stuff first.

    Understanding the customer is key to success. I remember reading in this very forum a post asking for Xojo to adopt the rental model.

    I am not saying it is great, I am just remarking not everybody is like us gruffy old geeks, and it seems youngsters don't mind.

    @Daniel T I will not run Windows 10 from anything other than an isolated virtual machine.

    Microsoft knows my IP address, so what ? Microsoft knows I opened Xojo this morning, so what ?

    It can only get information I put in. I do not store personal information on my PC like contacts, so I don't really mind. I don't use it for mail.

    What I mind about is making sure my customers have the best experience on Windows. And I frankly don't believe it is possible to really see how an app behaves in the VM on Mac. In particular, Mac alleviates flicker to such a point that VMWare (I haven't used others in years) shows a Windows app solid as a rock and very smooth, but when run on a physical PC, it is a pitiful catastrophe.

    Call me cynical, I have no particular love for the PC, but I do enjoy selling software for it.

  8. Tomas J

    Feb 18 Pre-Release Testers, Xojo Pro Europe (Germany)
    Edited 7 days ago by Tomas J

    Wow... we are touching many items here...

    @Julian S: the fact that we germans lost the war doesn't mean we don't know any liberties since then ;-) but besides that do you know the movie "enemy of the state" with Gene Hackman and Will Smith? Premiere was long time ahead 9/11 in 1997/1998 I guess. Everything what seemed exaggerated there has become reality today, think about it!

    @Daniel: I share you're thoughts regarding Microsoft. But as Michel pointed out, even when isolated within VMware they have your IP, they get your telemetry data etc. The only benefit of putting this OS in chains whithin a VM is that it cannot harm your productive enviroment. I remember the times when I was ought to reinstall my Windows NT4/2K after each larger project. Since then I am using VMware.

    Yesterday I've done same experiment with my Mac. Here's the log.

    destination: gsa.apple.com port: 443
    destination: lcdn-locator.apple.com port: 443
    destination: gspe1-ssl.ls.apple.com port: 443
    destination: configuration.apple.com port: 443
    destination: 17.173.254.222 port: 16385, port: 16384
    destination: 17.173.254.223 port: 16386
    destination: init.gc.apple.com port: 80
    destination: service.gc.apple.com port: 443
    destination: static.gc.apple.com port: 443
    destination: gs-loc.apple.com port: 443
    destination: mesu.apple.com port: 443
    destination: defra-edge-012.icloud-content.com port: 80
    destination: defra-edge-013.icloud-content.com port: 80
    destination: defra-edge-018.icloud-content.com port: 80
    destination: api-glb-drf.smoot.apple.com port: 443
    destination: smp-device-content.apple.com port: 443
    destination: gspe21.ls.apple.com port: 80
    destination: xp.apple.com port: 443
    destination: init.itunes.apple.com port: 443
    destination: play.itunes.apple.com port: 443
    destination: pd-nk.itunes.apple.com port: 443

    Some interesing thoughts. On the positive side. All IPs belong to Apple, there is no third party. The list is short (when compard to MS) but shortness does not mean that there is more privacy. We do not know what data is exchanged. But it's easy to configure your firewall cause most targets are going to *.apple.com and *.icloud-content.com. The two static IP-Adresses seems to be hard-coded. Something more is interesting. Apple seems to have an own infrastructre while Microsoft is using Edgesuit and Akamai CDNs. On the negative side is, that still unencrypted http port 80 is used, mainly on the domain icloud-content.com

    This weekend I will check my Linux MINT.

  9. Tomas J

    Feb 18 Pre-Release Testers, Xojo Pro Europe (Germany)
    Edited 7 days ago by Tomas J

    @Michel: This is the biggest failure. The assumption that this kind of shared data does not harm. But shared data is toxic. At a certain point it starts to harm. Even when everything is anonymized, the combination and overlay of multiple sources de-anonymize everything. You're profiled and everybody gets a bigger picture of you. And yes this picture is more precise than your own judgement. In real life you start to wonder, why an article in a shop is slighty more expensive. Why your insurance start raising its tariffs or sending you special offers or - worst case - end a contract. Did you know that just based upon facebook-likes its more likely to get information about your sexual orientation, religion and your political attitude than in direct interview? "They" know what you read cause you're sharing all your RSS Feeds with Feedly or Flipboard the ads and trackers on all media news-sites. These services are not free... you pay with your data.

    This is creepy, and you may call me crazy but now with my own Nextcloud Server in my office I have kicked all my RSS Reading Apps cause now this server is downloading and updating all feeds for me and no information is shared with anybody when reading them from home or when on road with my mobile devices. I have to admit, it's far less "sexy" and I cannot swipe through pages like in flipboard but it's okay. Maybe I will create a xojo ios app by my own...

    -image-

    P.S. and if you're wondering why I do not see gravatars in XOJO forum... I've blocked them away. Another intrusive collection of data about websites I am reading and ppl I am communicating with.

  10. Michel B

    Feb 18 Pre-Release Testers, Xojo Pro
    Edited 7 days ago by Michel B

    Tomas, I don't know what has happened to you, but the level of fear you display is quite amazing.

    Why do you think I post under my real name ? I have been online since 1982. Since then, I probably accumulated megabytes of data that is available for the taking. I made public my political opinions (which is common for a journalist), and, yes, my sexual orientation, as I lobbied for gay marriage.

    Do you really think I could still have the delusion that I must hide ?

    Not-so-young anymore people born with the Internet have grown on social media. They may have had their first sexual encounter through it as well. They get political and have strong opinions shared all over. Not to mention their cousin's Bar Mitzvah or First Communion, their travels, their friends and family, even the dog and cat.

    I feel that generation could not care less if Windows or Mac report anything, or if the messaging system they use logs their correspondents. There was a before, when communication was limited to the streaking sound of 56K modems, and there is now, always on Internet. I doubt very much we can go back.

  11. Emile S

    Feb 18 Europe (France, Strasbourg)

    Just in case you do not know:

    Xojo IDE too call home. They even disable your license # even if it is a legitimate one you paid for !

  12. Tomas J

    Feb 18 Pre-Release Testers, Xojo Pro Europe (Germany)
    Edited 7 days ago by Tomas J

    @Emile S: Not only Xojo, plugins do this aswell. Yes I know. But this is okay to me cause this is done due licensing and anti-piracy purpose only. There is a business and privacy agreement between me and Xojo Inc. It's something different if a tracker collecting everything you read without my permission or a service is selling your data to 3rd parties or - in case of Windows 10 - when an OS is turning against the user. Btw. same with Android. It's a fact that every App has read rights to /proc/net and can track and monitor WITHOUT any permission or information to the user. The whole sandbox/ permission model is nothing more then cosmetic show (source: https://www.kuketz-blog.de/android-erlaubt-apps-vollen-zugriff-auf-die-netzwerkaktivitaet/ ). Every App can detect which other apps I am using on this device and where I am connecting to.

    It's not about sharing data. Of course I do have a facebook and linkedin account and I do share information threre. It's a question of control. I want to decide to whom I am giving information away and to whom not.

    Does anybody remember this video from 2005?
    https://vimeo.com/5168045

  13. Daniel T

    Feb 18 Pre-Release Testers

    @Michel B Microsoft knows my IP address, so what ? Microsoft knows I opened Xojo this morning, so what ?

    I have not personally verified it, but I've read complaints that Windows 10 has been caught transmitting text as it was typed. Similar complaints about file scanning. The mere possibility of this...and it seems to be within the bounds of their licensing...means Microsoft will never know if I launch Xojo because I will not risk placing source code on a Windows 10 machine.

    You make valid points about testing a shipping commercial or shareware product on a real, physical PC running Windows 10. But such a PC, for me, would never be anything more than an occasionally-powered-on test machine behind a firewall running compiled binaries. I do have real physical PCs running Windows 7 (with telemetry updates blocked). My workload at the moment does not require me to personally test anything on 10. If/when that changes I will setup a physical Win10 PC.

    But I don't know if I will ever trust Microsoft in any capacity again.

  14. Daniel T

    Feb 18 Pre-Release Testers

    @Tomas J Yesterday I've done same experiment with my Mac. Here's the log.

    Thanks for posting this! I agree there are questions, but shorter length + Apple owned IPs means a lot given Apple's reputation. I would never claim they are perfect or ideal on privacy. But it's hard to read the documentation on Secure Enclave and not believe they are serious about privacy. Apple is on a trajectory towards user privacy. Most other tech companies are on a trajectory away.

    Still, I wish there was a firm legal framework, protecting end user privacy, for everyone in tech, including Apple.

    This is the biggest failure. The assumption that this kind of shared data does not harm. But shared data is toxic. At a certain point it starts to harm. Even when everything is anonymized, the combination and overlay of multiple sources de-anonymize everything.

    Exactly.

    @Michel B Tomas, I don't know what has happened to you, but the level of fear you display is quite amazing.

    I can't speak for Tomas, but for myself? It would be difficult to sit down and imagine all the different ways in which modern data mining could be abused by corporations and governments. And that's if you exclude the possibilities that involve criminal hacking and data leaks. It seems the more I learn about data mining and information security, the more paranoid I become.

  15. Steve K

    Feb 18 Melbourne, Australia
    Edited 7 days ago by Steve K

    [ Please be aware that I'm over 55yo :) ]

    Microsoft "Intentional-Piracy"? No, that's being far too nice. More like "RansomWare".

    My case in point:
    Just today I bought a new laptop windows computer (WIN10). A birthday present for my 14yo daughter (who thinks she's 21 :)). She also needs it for school.

    Microsoft Office/365 is a requirement for her school work. Well, what a drama. it's taken me about 6hrs to get the flamin' thing running with all up to date software.

    Firstly, when I turned it on I was asked if I wanted to update the OS, which I thought was a good idea. Took about 3hrs. Then I was faced with the Microsoft subscription scenario. I don't like it. I did the monthly option, but nevertheless, even if I chose the yearly subscription, I still don't, and never will have the right to use that software whenever "I" want!

    My analogy is Music.

    Senario 1): I have a slightly disturbed sleep, get up, perhaps around 3am in the morning, I pour myself a nice glass of scotch whiskey, and put some music on (CD player or Record Player), lay back and relax listening to the music I love - my choice - my time - I'm in control.

    Senario 2): I have a slightly disturbed sleep, get up, perhaps around 3am in the morning, I pour myself a nice glass of scotch whiskey, and put some music on but realise my subscription to iTunes (or similar) has lapsed and therefore I have NO way to listen to my favourite tunes. After a bit of rant, I console myself by drinking the rest of the bottle of whiskey and playing "air guitar".

    Senario 3): I have a slightly disturbed sleep, get up, perhaps around 3am in the morning, I pour myself a nice glass of scotch whiskey, and put some music on but realise my subscription to iTunes (or similar) has lapsed and therefore I have NO way to listen to my favourite tunes. After a bit of rant, I pick up my guitar to bash out a bit of a tune, only to find that the subscription has lapsed on the guitar and therefore rendering it utterly useless.

    Well, that's indeed the last straw. Apparently, according to reliable witnesses, I proceed to smash every piece of technology that I could lay my hands on, making sure that each piece was divided into an even smaller part of its' parts, infinitum, as best could be done. Computers, the music player thingo, TV's, the microwave oven, musical instruments, the toilet seat warmer, the cappuccino maker, and even the old washing machine didn't fair too well.

    When the police and the people from the sanatorium came, that was a very difficult situation. I can't remember much what happened, but close friends have recounted the events. Apparently I was screaming . . . "In my world: Musical instruments can be played whenever you like", "Things called books can be read at any time" , "When you buy software, you can use it when required, without a lifetime commitment".

    Anyways, I'm feeling much better now.

    Twice a day I have to repeat this mantra:"

    Let go of the past
    New is always better
    Serenity now


    Let go of the past
    New is always better
    Serenity now

    etc... etc...

    Otherwise they won't let me have my medication. O_o ;P

  16. Michel B

    Feb 18 Pre-Release Testers, Xojo Pro

    Steve, I am 65, soon 66. Tell you, the current state of the world is nothing like it was when I was younger. Yet what can I do besides beach about it ?

    As I read the thread, I also remark there is a cultural divide at work. In certain countries, privacy is more valued than others. In the US, being the product to pay for free services seems more accepted than elsewhere. According to this http://emailclientmarketshare.com/ GMail is good second with 20% of email clients. How is that for a server that reads the messages to tout advertisement, and sell data to advertisers ?

  17. Steve K

    Feb 18 Melbourne, Australia
    Edited 7 days ago by Steve K

    Cheers, Michel.

    When I get to 65/66 in ten years time, who knows what we may face. Technology marches relentlessly forward without any proper "checks and balances". I enjoy that advancement to a point, but a what cost?

    Everyday I find we are living a world of "have's and have not's" more so than I can remember. Technology should be the one thing that binds us, not separates us. What happens when the cost of basic services become too high and when truth becomes a commodity that cannot be refuted or explored by the proletariat because the cost of information is too high?

    Is it Darwinism anyway? ie. the survival of the fittest, the strongest, the smartest, or the people with more money and brute force?

    Perhaps it's always been that way, but now I see it for what it is - ie. GREED.

  18. Tomas J

    Feb 18 Pre-Release Testers, Xojo Pro Europe (Germany)
    Edited 7 days ago by Tomas J

    @SteveKelepouris : Let me guess you bought a Lenovo Book? Believe me Microsoft and other OEMs are fully aware of this and they're offering products-lines without these !@#$%-ware, toolbars or widgets... that's why consumer PCs seems to be cheaper than Apple products on the first sight.

    Your picture could be more worst... you wake up and start to listen to your fav music with fully paid and active subscriptions but due to server problems you can't... unfortunately your guitar and music contractors are hosted on same CDN servers...

    I wouldn't say everything was better yesterday... it wasn't... but it was differently, of course less complex and perhaps we were more care-free. Just imagine the time when parents told us kids in the morning "be back when steetlights are turned on". Nobody really cared, where we were... alldaylong... and we survived ;-) somehow ;-) I am 20 years younger than you... but already feeling old...

  19. Steve K

    Feb 18 Melbourne, Australia

    Thanks Tomas. I bought a HP - not Lenovo - although I did look at that one and the price was better, but I stuck to my known brand. I've had three HP's in the past and never had an issue with the HARDWARE.

    Yep, you're right about care-free attitudes of the younger generation like ours. I grew up in a small town where you could walk the streets without a care in the world. I have a 10yo boy and 14yo girl, they are very stressed. Too much information?

    If I had a different job I would easily leave the big city and go back to the countryside living. Perhaps I will - sooner that later.

  20. 6 days ago

    Daniel T

    Feb 18 Pre-Release Testers

    @SteveKelepouris I've had three HP's in the past and never had an issue with the HARDWARE.

    I've worked with many HPs. They're fine machines. Just as long as your first step after opening the box is to wipe the drive and perform a clean install of the OS of your choice.

  21. George M

    is not verified Feb 18 Venice, Florida

    Let's face it: it's not going to be resolved by Microsoft upgrading everyone to Windows 10 and then praying they'll love the "genuine" Microsoft experience and pay for Windows 11. And Chinese consumers probably aren't going to fall for Windows-as-a-cloud-service, either.

    Not so. Just ask Google. They left because Chinese businesses, owned by the government, requires that all foreign companies hand them the keys to their patents and source code.

    China, the largest knock-off maker of products in the world, will create their own Micocroft Cloud (They are masters at misnaming as well)

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