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Microsoft urges people not to use the Internet

You are at great risk, says the Beast of Redmond

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Updated Finding out what exactly Microsoft is thinking is harder than getting blood out of a stone or a coherent sentence out your grandma, but work hard enough...

The Beast of Redmond has put an online form on its Web site that will tell you what sort of risk you are running of having obtained unlicensed or pirated software. Which is nice. Depending on how you answer, M$ will give you a low, medium or high-risk rating. So we had a play around to determine exactly what Microsoft saw as risky behaviour.

Unsurprisingly, if you buy all your software off Microsoft, have all the licences at hand and also purchase upgrade licences, client access licences and purchasing licences, then you are at low-risk. Deviate much from this and you enter medium risk.

Your software is pre-installed (keeping all the other answers the same)? Medium risk. Your IT department installed it? Medium risk. You're not sure that you have licences for every piece of software? High risk straight away. You don't know exactly how many workstations your company has? From Low to High risk in one fell swoop.

However, of most interest to us were the Internet options. It would seem that Microsoft - despite everything it says - doesn't trust the Internet at all. In answer to the question "How did you acquire the software installed on your workstations/servers?", three of the ten options concern the Net. These are: Internet acquisition - On-line Store, On-line Auction and Downloaded from Internet.

Select any of these three and you are immediately sent from a Low risk situation to a High risk one. So there you have it - Microsoft doesn't want you to use the Internet. We'd always suspected.

Update

Incidentally, don't bother to try the quiz out if you are using anything but Internet Explorer. Such is the complexity of running a simple quiz that only a product as amazing as Explorer can deal with it. Good to see Microsoft hasn't changed. ®

Related Link

MS' online form (try it yourself - you'll be Medium risk)

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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