Microsoft "intentional" piracy myth ?

These are all sites Microsoft Win10 is connecting to… sending data across literally the world… some hosts are located in Europe, in USA and in India(!) aswell.

The bottomline is: The user has no control over his PC anymore. In fact the OS turned against its users. As soon a PC is connected to the Web, Microsoft “knows” who, where and what. Despite the discussions if intentional or not - today nothing is unintended anymore.

Oh, I see.

You know, I wonder if this is perceived as so offensive by millennials. They already posted their entire life on social media, and use tons of apps that report everything. Maybe we are somehow old fashion.

Fact is, for better or worse, Windows 10 is here, and still equips the vast majority of PCs.

Do you think adding these sites to the hosts file would block them ?

yeah… and regarding hosts file… no this doesn’t help. Microsoft hard-coded several hosts to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks - they say so. I am always wondering myself how ppl believe that browser-plugins or different webbrowser could help to reduce their data-fingerprint. It’s nonsens. Only a proper configured content-filtering firewall/ proxy server might help. But even then you get in trouble when it’s coming down to CDN servers which are also used by regular websites.

Just look here: https://www.petri.com/windows-10-ignoring-hosts-file-specific-name-resolution

We live in strange times Michel… our civil rights, liberties and freedom in general are at stake…
I do not expect Apple behaves differently… will check this out tonight…

As I said, it is generational thing. New generations care a whole lot less about privacy.

BTW the only sure way not to be spied on is to unplug the Ethernet cable, and switch off WiFi and BlueTooth :wink:

Microsoft gives away for free OS version x,
Microsoft ask money for OS version x.1 *
:wink:

  • Only if version x is buggy (full of bugs)…

[quote=316342:@Tomas Jakobs]We live in strange times Michel… our civil rights, liberties and freedom in general are at stake…
I do not expect Apple behaves differently… will check this out tonight…[/quote]

Id like to be able to blame all of this sort of thing on the big companies, but I can’t. Software is becoming a rentable service that can be remotely tracked and ‘turned off’, mostly legally.

On one hand, the change to this business model allows these companies to maximize their incomes and to maintain dominance in their market sectors.

On the other, piracy just kept getting worse and worse, with ineffective consequences. And because of the rampant piracy of some industry leading products, those products became market leaders in countries where they were unaffordable - and so, those who used to pirate and cannot break what’s currently out there so easily, they are being converted into actual ‘rent’ customers.

If you really dislike the model, then don’t contribute to it. It is entirely clear to me that all the freedoms we enjoyed as computer users in the 80s - 00’s are going away - and they are going away because of these factors.

The switch to subscription model for Adobe and Microsoft is no doubt the result of massive piracy.

Didn’t someone here say that it was also to get around foreign laws around licensing?
I would rather respect the developer and not illegally transfer my license without their consent than rent software.

“Renting” does clarify that it is under a limited time license and not a sale, because its only active when 1) you agree to whatever the current effective user agreement is, and 2) while you pay, you can play - otherwise, no play. There are a lot of benefits to the rental model for the vendor, but I haven’t found any that actually benefit the customer that the vendor couldn’t already grant the customer (or used to grant the customer).

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. If they convert even a relatively small portion, it results in a big influx of money. Keep in mind that previously, in all three cases, a lot of their revenue was being generated by upgrade revenue, and often people would skip one or more upgrades. They have the potential to make a lot more because if you want to continue to use it, you must continue to pay. Probably Autodesk though is the worst off though, because their monthly rental rates are particularly high.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Wow… we are touching many items here…

@JulianS: the fact that we germans lost the war doesn’t mean we don’t know any liberties since then :wink: 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.

@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…

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.

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.

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 !

@Emile Schwarz: 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