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Microsoft's Office nagware dead in icy water

Microsoft quietly yanked its Office nagware program off the interwebs last week. The company’s Office Genuine Advantage notifications program, which Microsoft only expanded to be used in 41 countries across the globe in August 2009, was killed on 16 December. ZDNet’s Ed Bott received word that it had been axed, after a tipster …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 Dec 2010
For Sale sign detail

Windows 7 'genuine' nagware winging its way to OS

Microsoft has been keeping a surprisingly low profile about its recent nagware win - could that have anything to do with its latest efforts to sink marauding software pirates? The company confirmed yesterday that it would pump out a Windows Activation Technologies patch for Windows 7 before the end of this month. Microsoft said …
Kelly Fiveash, 12 Feb 2010
The Register breaking news

MS beefs up WinXP Pro's anti-piracy nagware

Microsoft wants to rein in more Windows XP pirates over the coming weeks, by pushing out a new version of its “nagware” which detects when a machine is running a fake copy of the OS. The company’s Genuine Windows director Alex Kochis said yesterday that Redmond will release the latest version of its Windows Genuine Advantage ( …
Kelly Fiveash, 27 Aug 2008
Pirates ahoy!

Copyright nagware accord reaches 30

This month marks the 30th anniversary of the agreement that means legitimately purchased DVD/video owners everywhere have to sit through a minute of footage warning them about piracy. The nagware stems from a resolution against piracy made at a Stockholm meeting of Interpol on 8 September 1977. Fast forward 30 years and we see …
John Leyden, 21 Sep 2007

Whistling Google: PLEASE! Brussels can only hurt Europe, not us

A few days ago President Obama wrote a cheque he knew he couldn’t cash - and this week the European Parliament will write another. Reports suggest that the Parliament is drafting a motion calling for the break-up of Google and its ilk. Much like Obama’s net neutrality pledge, it’s meaningless, but even so, it’s still hugely …
Andrew Orlowski, 25 Nov 2014
globalisation

MS fixes phone-home nagware

Microsoft has patched a controversial nagware update that "phoned home" every time Windows started. Redmond has also issued an advisory with instructions on how to remove the software. The component was designed to enforce its 'Windows Genuine Advantage' anti-piracy program, by nagging users into a state of obedience. Every …
Andrew Orlowski, 28 Jun 2006
The Register breaking news

Lawsuit seeks to tag WGA nagware as spyware

A US lawsuit has alleged that Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA), Microsoft's controversial anti-piracy software, is little better than spyware. A lawsuit (which seeks class-action status) filed in Washington district court last week also cries foul over false advertising as well as allegations of privacy law violations, …
John Leyden, 08 Sep 2009
The Register breaking news

€1bn handout from the EU targets ambient nagware and robot pets

The EU is throwing an eye-watering €1bn of public funds to bankroll some of the most whimsical technology projects ever envisaged – for a decade. A shortlist of six applicants includes talking pet robots, and ambient low-power sensors that provide health tips and "emotional" advice. The program is called FET, and is funded by …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 May 2011
homeless man with sign

Microsoft rebrands WGA nagware for Windows 7

A nagware anti-piracy feature in Windows isn't going away, it's just getting a marketing makeover by Microsoft. Windows Genuine Advantage is being re-branded Windows Activation Technologies in Windows 7 and for updated versions of Windows Vista, the company has said. Microsoft claimed the change reflected the use of " …
Gavin Clarke, 07 May 2009

Meet Mr Gamification: He's got a NUDGE or two for you

Do you ever get invited to talk and wish that Steve Bong was there instead of you? That’s what happened to me last weekend. The subject was "gamification" at the Battle of Ideas. Things got really strange, really quickly – I think you’ll find what is coming up to be quite eye-opening - but I’m sure Steve would have taken it all …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 Oct 2014

Is the biggest threat to your customers' security their own false sense of it?

Almost two decades worth of hacks, viruses and data breaches should mean that everyone in business is worried about security. But are your customers really taking precautions? And is your biggest competitor the false sense of security your customers have? Afterall, it's hard to buy a PC that doesn't have security nagware …
David Gordon, 28 Jun 2012
Nokia Lumia 735 Windows Phone

Nokia Lumia 735: Ignore the selfie hype, it's a grown-up phone

Occasionally a phonemaker hits one out of the park, getting almost everything right, and bringing it together in one satisfying package. Motorola did that with the Moto G, and Microsoft's (formerly Nokia) phones division has done the same with its Lumia 730 and 735 models. Nokia Lumia 735 Windows Phone A glimpse of perfection? …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Oct 2014
cloud

MS drops nagware validation for IE7 installs

Microsoft has dropped the requirement for Windows XP users to go through Windows Genuine Advantage validation in order to get Internet Explorer 7. The move, delivered via a software update on Thursday, means even users of pirated copies of Windows can take advantage of Microsoft's latest browser software. For the rest of us it …
John Leyden, 05 Oct 2007

Not cool, Adobe: Give the Ninite guys a job, not the middle finger

Adobe wants the ability to easily roll out Flash updates removed from Ninite, the sysadmin Swiss army knife. I'm going to explain why this is a terrible thing. First, though, I would like to discuss the real-world practical uses of products such as Ninite. Ninite is used by systems administrators and ordinary folk alike to …
Trevor Pott, 01 May 2013
The Register breaking news

Coming soon to a theme park near you: Shocking ANTI-PIRACY NAG ADS

While the world's economic powerhouse China uses the muscle of the state to strengthen its intellectual property industries, Britain is apologetic and embarrassed about its own. This was plainly evident in a dog and pony show this morning starring Business Secretary Vince Cable. The event was staged by officials at the much- …
Andrew Orlowski, 17 Dec 2012
The Register breaking news

Deezer launches stunningly original music idea in the UK

French internet outfit Deezer is bringing its YASMS (or Yet Another Streaming Music Service) to the UK. It's FFU-compliant (Far From Unique). The UK has no shortage of music streaming services already: We7 was the first to get established, and Spotify launched in the UK over two years ago. In France, Deezer claims to have six …
Andrew Orlowski, 02 Sep 2011
Samsung Series 9 NP900X4C

Review: Samsung Series 9 super slim notebook

Samsung has taken an expensive legal hit from Apple over copying design elements in the iPhone. Yet with the Series 9, Samsung has created something a bit special. The entire Ultrabook concept took its inspiration from the Apple MacBook Air, of course. But Samsung's Series 9 has developed a confident design language of its own …
Andrew Orlowski, 11 Dec 2012
channel

10 years ago today: Bill Gates kicks arse over security

Sunday marks the tenth anniversary of Bill Gates's trustworthy computing memo, which made securing applications from the ground up a key priority at Microsoft for the first time. The directive followed a period during which Redmond took a sustained shelling over the instability and insecurity of its software, especially in …
John Leyden, 15 Jan 2012
The Register breaking news

Top security firm: Default Windows 7 less secure than Vista

Windows 7 is less secure out-of-the box than Vista, despite Redmond's protestations to the contrary, a top security firm has claimed. Trend Micro said that the default configurations of Windows 7 are less secure than Vista. Raimund Genes, CTO of Trend Micro, said that Windows 7 had sacrificed security for useability - at least …
John Leyden, 10 Dec 2009
For Sale sign detail

Microsoft sued in China for black screen of death

A Chinese lawyer has filed a legal complaint against Microsoft for installing Windows Genuine Advantage on his computer. He has asked the Ministry of Public Security to file criminal charges against Microsoft. Dong Zhengwei accused the company of hacking into people's computers. He said: "I respect the right of Microsoft to …
John Oates, 22 Oct 2008
Dell Vostro All In One

Dell sets date for Vostro all-in-one UK debut

Dell brings its new iMac-alike business desktop, the Vostro All In One, to the UK next month, the PC giant said this week. Dell Vostro All In One Dell's Vostro All In One: a laptop without the hinge and battery? Said to be the firm's first all-in-one desktop computer designed exclusively for small businesses, the Vostro may …
Tony Smith, 17 Jul 2009
The Register breaking news

Were Lavasoft's buyers once on its hit list?

Anti-spyware company Lavasoft AB is now owned by a set of online entrepreneurs who have been linked with misleading websites. The Montreal-based entrepreneurs, who purchased the company's assets in January, have previously been accused of selling the free versions of Lavasoft products to unwitting internet users as recently as …
Danny Bradbury, 11 Nov 2011
Nokia E6

Nokia E6 smartphone

Touchscreen phones are where both manufacturers and punters are spending now, and all other categories are seeing rapid declines in market share. But if the most important applications you use involve phone calls and messaging, all of the new, whizzy devices fall short. None do voice particularly well, or messaging …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Jun 2011

Nintendo offers weak-of-grip fresh Wii wrist-straps

Nintendo has begun offering Wii owners free replacement wrist-straps for folk who become way too aggressive in their gameplay and end up snapping the straps or simply - and literally - losing their grip. Since the Wii debuted in the US and, last week, the UK, the web has played host to a torrent of gripes from irate Wii fans …

Dell prices up all-on-one XPS desktop

Dell is still promoting its all-in-one consumer desktop the XPS One as "coming soon", but that hasn't stopped it getting ready for the big day with a webpage full of specs and prices. The PC giant has four standard models with starting prices ranging from $1499 to $2399. All four sport a 20in display, 2GB of 667MHz DDR 2 memory …
Tony Smith, 16 Nov 2007
The Register breaking news

MS opens up Security Essentials downloads from today

Microsoft plans to release the final version of its free-of-extra-charge anti-malware scanner later on Tuesday The application, Microsoft Security Essentials or MSE (formerly Morro), is designed to provide consumers with basic protection against Trojans, computer viruses, spyware and rootkits. The product lacks the personal …
John Leyden, 29 Sep 2009
Acer Easystore H340

Acer Easystore H340 2TB Nas box

Sporting four 3.5in drive bays, 2GB of DDR2 RAM and a 1.6GHz Intel Atom 230, all governed by Windows Home Server, the latest edition of the Acer Aspire Easystore H340 series certainly piles on the features in a bid to replace any other storage/streaming/server type device you have ever bought. Sold in three configurations from 1 …
Shaun Dormon, 27 Apr 2010
The Register breaking news

Morpheus bundles McAfee.com info in P2P client

The firm behind the popular Morpheus file sharing network has selected McAfee.com as its preferred security partner. StreamCast Networks is to bundle McAfee.com's SecurityCenter information service into the Morpheus Client, providing users with a "powerful utility to view their security status and be alerted to major security …
John Leyden, 07 Aug 2002
The Register breaking news

Help! my Belkin router is spamming me

The marketing geniuses at Belkin, the consumer networking vendor, have dreamed up a new form of spam - ads served to your desktop, by way of its wireless router. Uh Clem. a former Belkin wireless router user, was perplexed to find machines on his network redirected to an ad for Belkin's new parental control system, following a …
John Leyden, 07 Nov 2003
chart

MS builds tougher piracy protection into Vista

Microsoft has announced plans to tighten up anti-piracy features in its forthcoming operating systems Windows Vista and Windows Server "Longhorn". Redmond's upcoming Software Protection Platform is designed to make software piracy harder while making software licensing less of a chore. The technology, which is also designed to …
John Leyden, 05 Oct 2006

Ten reasons why you should buy a Mac

Yes, you can accept Apple's logic that "it all just works" straight out of the packaging, but there are better reasons for moving to a Mac than a factor that's just as true of modern PCs these days. Now there's an x86-based PC sitting under the hood of every modern Mac, the old battle lines are blurring. Time to reconsider the …
Tony Smith, 21 Mar 2007
Samsung NC10

Samsung NC10 netbook

The NC10 is Samsung's take on the Small, Cheap Computer but unlike many 'me too' netbook competitors, the South Korean giant has clearly put a bit of thought into differentiating its offering from the other Eee-alternatives out there. Samsung NC10 Samsung's NC10: not a bad looker Perhaps the most distinctive thing about the …
Will Head, 16 Feb 2009
The Register breaking news

Debs cans jugs, but thite still on thong

The strange search results debenhams.com produced for the word "jugs" are no more. Mysteriously, the site went down for engineering last night, and on its reappearance "jugs" was just returning boring old coffee maker and kettle results. But the hilarity continues - try "cans" or "biscuit" or "espresso." No, we don't know what' …
John Lettice, 04 Jan 2002
The Register breaking news

Revamped Real music service aims at Napster

RealNetworks announced its anwer to Napster To Go yesterday, but with the twist that it plans to give away songs in exchange for advertising. The new incarnation of Rhapsody, Real's music download and subscription service, will provide punters with 25 songs a month free of charge. The catch - a business model not dissimilar …
Tony Smith, 27 Apr 2005
The Register breaking news

OK, RIM. How about that 'public interest' audit?

No one expects advertising to represent anything other than a glossy fantasy, but a TV campaign now running in the United States ought to win some kind of award for its disconnection with reality. At the climax of this big budget 30 second spectacular, a white collar executive hands a female employee - presumably a new starter …
Andrew Orlowski, 06 Mar 2006
The Register breaking news

Phoenix readies plan to subvert MS OEM contracts

Through its OEM contracts Microsoft has a vice-like grip on the OS installation and first boot sequence of a PC. So much so that earlier this year MS OEM chief Joachim Kempin suggested that, if PC companies wanted to advertise their own wares on their PCs, they could do it via an embedded operating system that executed while the …
John Lettice, 22 Jun 1999
The Register breaking news

Apple accused of cheating over G5 benchmarks

Benchmark results cited by Apple at the launch of its Power Mac G5 desktops yesterday have already come under fire for seeming to not only tweak the Mac test system to improve its performance beyond anything an ordinary user might experience, but crippling rival systems to deliver below-par average user performance. The tests …
Tony Smith, 24 Jun 2003
The Register breaking news

Gates plans invisible, automatic updates for WinXP users

Most of the reporting of Bill Gates' WinHEC keynote on Monday has focussed on the Tablet PC announcement, but you'd also do well to take a look at what he had to say about Windows Update. In WinXP it's back, it's bigger than ever, and this time, maybe, resistance is futile. Bill says: "One of the key elements for us is Windows …
John Lettice, 28 Mar 2001
The Register breaking news

Opinion: Office virus points toward a bigger hole

The software business was due a wake-up call, but it came from an unexpected direction. The Melissa virus might look like it was all Microsoft's fault, but although Redmond's obsession with integration, automation and Web-enablement was primarily responsible for the speed at which Melissa spread, Microsoft is by no means alone …
John Lettice, 05 Apr 1999
The Register breaking news

WinXP protection: it's the .NET, stupid

In the past few days another WinXP build, 2474, has leaked out onto IRC, and this time it's acquired an "RC1" tag. Numerous claims have been made that Microsoft's latest protection for product activation has been cracked. According to The Register's sources, however, this is not true - they insist that the current alleged cracks …
John Lettice, 21 May 2001