Microsoft: no patches for pirates

The PR machine went on to cast WGA has a pro-consumer initiative that would protect us poor souls from the dangers of counterfeit software, which include, and I quote, “an inferior computing experience, viruses and other vulnerabilities that can result from counterfeit software.” The curious thing about this bravado is that, well, that’s not really true. Pirated software is no more susceptible to these things than legit software. Until WGA, that is. WGA will have the explicit effect of making this ominous statement true, however, in that the program could deny pirated software users access to the patches that would otherwise at least grant them a modicum of protection. Under the current plan, validated genuine Windows users will have unfettered access to Windows Update, and Microsoft’s Download Center. Those that are not validated will not have direct access to Windows Update or the Download Center. However, “to help customers who may require more time to move to genuine Windows software,” un-validated users will continue to receive automatic updates of critical patches, if their computer is configured to receive them. Per Microsoft’s wording, it is clear that this may be yanked at any given time.