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Microsoft Privacy

Microsoft Giving Away Vista Ultimate, With a Catch 495

Opinari writes "In case you haven't heard, Microsoft is giving away copies of Windows Vista Ultimate (32-bit or 64-bit DVD), Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007, Microsoft Money Plus Premium, Microsoft Student with Encarta Premium 2008, or Microsoft Streets and Trips 2008 — you can choose any one. The caveat is that you have to let them monitor your use of the program."
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Microsoft Giving Away Vista Ultimate, With a Catch

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12, 2007 @12:57AM (#21667423)
    I'm a microsoft/windows fanboy and I completely disagree with your viewpoint about windows sucking, but i'll freely admit that I laughed after reading your comment. Congrats.
  • Re:Not accurate. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by lionchild ( 581331 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2007 @01:03AM (#21667485) Journal
    And what if you're not using XP or Vista currently? Are you just left out, or do they have a linux tool to monitor you?

    I've got a machine still loaded with OS/2. And a nice little G4 with OS X 10.4.11.
  • Upon further digging (Score:3, Interesting)

    by HadesInjustice ( 872477 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2007 @01:08AM (#21667535)
    Does the software impact the performance of my computer? "We have gone to great lengths to design the Windows Feedback Program software to limit the amount of computer resources it uses to collect data. You may see a minor change in performance when you first log in to Windows; however, this typically only occurs during the first few minutes after login while we are collecting basic configuration information." In my opinion, that translate to... "The print out of the code is so lengthy the printer ran out of ink, twice. The software will not severely hamper the performance of the computer (as compare to Vista that already used up ~500mb of RAM on idle, there isn't all that much performance left to hamper anyway). After you first log in, we are going to collect some basic information and make sure you have an authentic Windows OS. We might decide to sue you or disable your OS if we found it to be pirated."
  • by HadesInjustice ( 872477 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2007 @01:25AM (#21667651)
    I am sorry if I am a chemical engineer and not a EE or CS major. But if what you said is true, then the RAM usage on a perfectly new computer with Vista shouldn't used up around 500mb of RAM either, but they are. Also, if it already cache the information, then how come every time I open Firefox or Winamp, I see a clear jump in my RAM memory? What I mean is...why is it that Vista sit at idle at around ~500mb, and the moment I open firefox (which I have been using on a daily basis for months), it jump to around 650-700mb? If it is already cached, shouldn't it stay relatively constant?
  • Make it productive. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rantingkitten ( 938138 ) <(kitten) (at) (> on Wednesday December 12, 2007 @01:49AM (#21667827) Homepage
    Why not install this on a couple VMs (or actual machines sitting around) and then install all kinds of free software on it? Let them chew on the fact that so many people, straight away after installing, go get Firefox and Open Office and GIMP and VLC and Thunderbird and Pidgin.. and never bother using IE or Office or whatever else. Make sure they also see all the useless services you disable and how quickly you can shut off UAC.

  • by FliesLikeABrick ( 943848 ) <> on Wednesday December 12, 2007 @01:50AM (#21667835)
    I tried to sign up so that I could run my free XP in a virtual machine with this spy software of theirs and see exactly what kind of stuff it reports. I didn't realize they were out of "gifts" and completed their survey before realizing this. I went through the survey and answered their questions honestly, saying that I use Linux and never use Windows anymore. 5 minutes later, I wanted to remove myself from their database for this so that I don't get e-mails in the future related to it when I have no involvement with it whatsoever... being that they had no more software to give out and all.

    I looked on their FAQ page and found conflicting information. Two separate sections saying to send a blank e-mail to two different e-mail addresses with 'remove' in the subject. I e-mailed both, and what did I get in return?

    I did that. What did I get back? Two NDRs for separate reasons:

    : host[] said: 550
            5.7.1 (in reply to end of DATA command)

    -- and --

    : host[] said: 550
            5.1.1 User unknown (in reply to RCPT TO command)

    Good one MS, you never cease to amaze me!
  • Under Wine.... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by themacks ( 1197889 ) <markmccarthy@gatech . e du> on Wednesday December 12, 2007 @02:10AM (#21667943) Homepage
    Out of morbid curiosity I had to know, and it installed just fine. Thankfully it uninstalled just fine too.

    I wonder what kind of "useful" data Wine reports...
  • by Linker3000 ( 626634 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2007 @07:22AM (#21669269) Journal
    Glad you're not having hassles with Vista. I have just got Vista Business on a laptop at work, making a total of 3 Vista laptops in our organisation:

    Laptop 1 is mine (for supporting Vista). Yesterday I installed Adobe Acrobat 8.1 - the installer told me approximate install time was 160 minutes and it was not lying. The other day I installed another app and the same thing happened - several hours elapsed while a single app was installing. When the machine comes out of standby, it occasionally will go slow for about 10 mins (I have 1.2GB RAM). The wifi switch/LED didn't work properly until a driver update was applied.

    Laptop 2 is in marketing. The user is currently sitting in their car to be outside our wireless zone because she's trying to finish tidying a mailshot spreadsheet and the laptop keeps freezing. She was working OK on two other sites yesterday where there was no wireless so she's testing the theory that it's network-related. Her wifi switch won't turn off the adaptor reliably and it also works in reverse - when the LED is ON, the wifi is OFF and vice versa - even though the switch event handler puts on the screen 'wireless on' and 'wireless off' the right way round.

    Laptop 3 has just been brought in because it stopped making RDP connections and I have just had to hack the registry.

    I am totally neutral when it comes to Vista - I don't love it or hate it, but user experience in our office has been poor; there's too many 'rough edges' and annoying little habits - simple things like the power button options not including 'ask me what to do' and sometimes a USB mouse not being detected when plugged in etc. Overall, the support effort for just these 3 laptops is disproportionate compared to the 100-odd desktops, servers and other laptops (ranging from NT4 through 2000 to XP) we support.
  • by Yetihehe ( 971185 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2007 @08:27AM (#21669511)

    Why not simply admit failure; accept that Vista was a crappy effort; and actually write a new OS capable of running on existing hardware; and existing software apps? The entire PC ecosystem has been broken by Vista
    No, it wasn't broken by Vista, it just actually changed. Customers do not anymore want system which is more shiny, if they need to have better hardware. They all think current hardware should support anything without any hassle and if not, then it's programmers' fault.
  • by aldousd666 ( 640240 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2007 @09:46AM (#21669987) Journal
    We'll be able to point, laugh, and say that "Microsoft can't even GIVE Vista away." I'm not a microsoft hater either, but vista is a colossal foobar. I work in an IT shop, and I've had to have it installed because I'm required to be one version ahead of deployment whenever possible, and I've hated every bleeding minute of Vista Enterprise. I even had to change settings to get it to hit our NAS shares, which are essentially samba shares on a huge redhat fronted storage device. (Incidentally XP hadn't any issues out of the box with it.)
  • Re:Free... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by peragrin ( 659227 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2007 @09:50AM (#21670015)
    actually I am thinking of installing a copy of windows to play one or two windows only games that i have been eyeing. this would work well. disable it so it can't connect to the Internet afterwards and let thme wonder what is going on.

    Why they ask why can't the monitoring software work I will simply say that I don't let substandard software out on the internet, and go back to my Linux box.
  • by sm62704 ( 957197 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2007 @10:19AM (#21670231) Journal
    They all think current hardware should support anything without any hassle and if not, then it's programmers' fault.

    And they're right. I built the PC under my desk at home five years ago, and it's still orders of magnatude more powerful than a supercomputer made when my last car (a 1988 Chevy) was built. I keep stuff for a long time; waste not, want not.

    Trading your car or computer every couple of years when it's perfectly servicable is for rich idiots. If one can afford to waste money, one should give to charity instead.
  • by Sax Maniac ( 88550 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2007 @11:16AM (#21670807) Homepage Journal
    Not a bad questions, but it's pretty simple. The OS can only prefetch things that are the stable from session to session, like the program's bits on disk and loaded libraries. Any memory allocated by the program at runtime be cached, because that OS doesn't know what it's going to be.

    An example.

    Let's say I have a program that's a mere 50K on disk, but allocates 200MB of memory on startup, and fills it with data in from hardware - maybe a video capture. The O/S cannot cache the 200MB because it doesn't know what video frames your camera will send to it the next time it runs. (Well, if it did you'd have a time machine on your hands, and you'd be selling stocks or making sports bets and not posting here.)

    The best it could do is preallocate 200MB of blank space so that when it starts up, it maybe doesn't have to swap anything out, or move anything around to make room for it. But then there's 200MB you don't have for another program you are using. There are well-known trade-offs on how much free space it's good to keep around (meaning, when you have to ask for it, it's there for the taking) versus how much space it's good to use for aggressively caching. I'm sure the kernel folks at MS have run the numbers.

If I had only known, I would have been a locksmith. -- Albert Einstein