Feeds

MS gives MSDN WinXP Beta 2 access after all

Web-based product key distribution arrives...

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Microsoft mollified MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) subscribers at the tail end of last week by giving them download access to WinXP Beta 2 code. Microsoft also mollified The Register by pressing a CD into its hot little hand, but more of that RSN.

The MSDN move takes the heat off the company, which was being beaten up something rotten by subscribers. They pay serious money in order to get access to all the latest code, and had been expecting to get Beta 2 when they beta testers got it. Or at least by the time the preview program subscribers got it.* Or at the very least a couple of days after all the warez guys got it. So although they've got it now, they're unlikely to forgive Microsoft entirely.

The more important aspect of the release is however the mechanism. Microsoft was considering releasing the code to MSDN at the same time as it released it to testers right up until the last minute, but it didn't go ahead. The problem cited was getting unique product keys to subscribers - testers are issued with their own individual keys, and as MSDN subscribers don't have such keys, the beta test distribution mechanism wouldn't be much use to them.

This also goes for preview program subscribers, so actually making downloadable code available to them had to wait for the product key distribution mechanism to be rolled out. This however has now happened - MSDN people get a unique key from a Web page, then activate as specified.

So long as this works efficiently, The Register has a great suggestion. We put it to Microsoft reps in Seattle on Friday, and although they were for some reason unenthusiastic, we're undaunted, we think it's a runner. They should Open ISO Microsoft operating system and applications code.

Think about it; the essence of having a legal copy is having a legal product key, and registering the product via the official product activation procedure (according to our reading of the new licence agreements, using universal keys invalidates your licence, even if you've paid real money for the code). So it really doesn't matter where you download the code from, so long as you've bought a key. At a stroke, Microsoft could decriminalise all of those, er, enthusiasts who just can't stop themselves offering its code for FTP download. It'd have a similar effect on piracy as the decriminalisation of marijuana would have on the war against drugs.

Of course, it'd require that universal keys for products didn't exist... Ah, we think we see the problem. ®

* BTW, Register would-be preview program subscriber William H Spam III still hasn't received his email telling him the code's available - what is it with these guys?

Related Story

MS nixes MSDN WinXP Beta 2 downloads

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.