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MS helps you hack Scientology out of Win2k registry

In German. But hey, sometimes it's not integrated after all, OK?

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A bizarre storm over Windows 2000 and Scientology in Germany has resulted in Microsoft conceding defeat. Microsoft Deutschland has posted instructions for removing the defrag program from all Win2k products.

Strange but true, the fact that the defrag program was written by Executive Software of California, whose CEO is a member of the Church of Scientology, became a major issue in Germany. We at The Register could perhaps understand people getting exercised about the operating (or indeed the database) software they run being produced by outfits run by deranged, pop-eyed megalomaniacs. But no, in Germany it's the defrag program and Scientology.

Scientology is indeed a major concern in Germany, where it is viewed as a big fat con rather than a religion (let your dispassionate stance slip a tad and you can see their point). But the killer that made Microsoft run up the white flag (with terrifying registry hacks written all over it) was the involvement of the Bundesamt für Sicherheit in der Informationstechnik (BSI), which is the German Federal Office for Security in Information Technology.

German government departments and states declined to buy Win2k without BSI approval, and the BSI wasn't impressed by defrag's Scientology connections. The intervention of The Wallet does seem to be strangely influential in Microsoft's strategic decision making so, Win2k can now be disintegrated, as far as defrag is concerned. If your German's up to it. ®

Related links:
How to get rid of Scientology-related defrag by hacking your registry, following German instructions
A much more detailed take on the matter from c't, and you'll need serious German for this too

Reducing security risks from open source software

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