A lot of blogs (e.g. here or here) are talking about the fact that Microsoft is now distributing its
Genuine Advantage thing via
Windows Update. This
Genuine Advantage checks your Windows periodically (currently every login, although Microsoft says they plan to change it to 'once every 14 days'). And if that check fails, you will get annoying nag messages everywhere. (And there have been plenty of reports of this check failing for non-warez-users).
So now everybody is talking about the fact that this software might give Microsoft the ability to completely disable your Windows installation. While this possibility does certainly exist (it is, after all, an executable written by M$) this discussion totally misses the point.
Microsoft has pushed its
Windows Update service as a way to push critical security updates to Windows users, in an attempt to remedy the "Windows is a insecure-bug-ridden POS - and an ideal host for virus-redistribution"-viewpoint many people share.
Now think a second about what you would do it you had a pirated copy. Would you stop using Windows? Probably not. You would just follow one of the many tutorials how to disable the "nag"-messages, and then stop using
This marks the day of the return of the standard unpatched Windows box.
Not only will this harm
the Internet with more remote-controlled
zombie boxes. This return to
buggy & unpatched will certainly harm Windows' image.
I certainly don't understand what they are thinking. But, Oh well, maybe it will actually help the various Unices gain popularity :-)