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News   News : MS bans covermounted updates for its software
   posted by _Steve_ on 25-Sep-2003 16:10:21 (2500 reads)
Microsoft has banned the cover-mounting of its software on magazines, and is advising users to go to its own web sites for updates instead. And apparently, it's all Sun's fault.

The decision, which is thought to have emanated from the US, bites particularly hard in the UK, where computer magazines usually include CDs of free and trial software. Historically these have also been a useful source of large patches and updates, especially for those who don't have a broadband connection. In the current (November) issue of PC Pro, however, editor James Morris writes: "Microsoft US has banned the inclusion of any of its code on magazine discs. Presumably, the company assumes we all have broadband to download up to 166MB for DirectX 9b or 134MB for Windows XP Service Pack 1a."

Presumably... But The Register asked. A spokesman in the UK initially suggested the ban didn't apply to all software, but was unable to name any qualifying products after we expressed disinterest in the consumer software. No, we said, we mean stuff that people are likely to want. We were told we'd have to talk to Microsoft's legal people, but that the ban was related to Microsoft's 2001 settlement with Sun, in which it agreed to cease support of the Microsoft Java Virtual Machine (MSJVM) from January 2004.

When does the hold come off? The messenger doesn't know. What's the difference between the software you can download from Microsoft and the same software on a cover disc? If you're legally allowed to distribute it, then why can't a magazine distribute the same thing?

The messenger doesn't know this either, and will have to check with legal and get back to us. Which she does, this time with a full prepared statement:

"Downloading Microsoft products from the site ensures that the customer is receiving the most up to date version of a service pack, patch, update or trial product, and also provides the added reassurance that they are receiving the original product. There are also options available for customers to access a number of automatic update services from Microsoft which will scan your computer and recommend software updates that fix problems, add functionality, or provide the latest drivers. These sites do not collect any form of personal, identifying information from your computer."

This, you will note dear reader, doesn't mention the JVM matter at all, but is an attempt to justify a policy whereby distribution channels other than Microsoft are banned from distributing patches and updates permanently. Magazine cover mounts could be out of date, could even be copied (Er, wouldn't they have to be? - Ed). Add in a virus scare and it could have come from the antipiracy mob.

Funnily enough, Microsoft trying to get a lock on the update process was the first thing we thought of, until we remembered the Sun settlement and decided ask them about it. But it's now kind of difficult to see the settlement as anything more than a peg Microsoft is using to hang an 'all your updates are belong to us' policy on. Flip that over though - does not confining the delivery of settlement-compliant software to downloads from Microsoft amount to a restriction of their distribution to users? Over to you, Sun lawyers...

Source: The Register ®

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Re: MS bans covermounted updates for its software
Posted on 25-Sep-2003 16:52:48
#1 ]
Super Member
Joined: 9-Jan-2003
Posts: 1439
From: Azjol-Nerub


I hope this won't be the case for Australia. Such large downloads quickly swallow the cap limits which many ISPs have. We are on a 3gig plan and although it may seem alot it quickly goes with such downloads for updates .

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Re: MS bans covermounted updates for its software
Posted on 25-Sep-2003 17:25:35
#2 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 29-Jul-2003
Posts: 6739
From: Unknown

No way! Forget it, I'm gonna go ballistic if that's the case... what will happen to Ravenshield and Day of Defeat . Damn Australian ISP's.


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Re: MS bans covermounted updates for its software
Posted on 25-Sep-2003 17:33:45
# ]

{Song in the tone of Jingle Bells}
Oh Micro$oft, Micro$oft, what a crock of sh(beep)t
Stick your stupid software right up your smelly bit!

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Re: MS bans covermounted updates for its software
Posted on 25-Sep-2003 18:06:39
#4 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 13-Jan-2003
Posts: 662
From: Unknown

This (for some reason) harldy surprises me. Microshaft seem to like trying to control everything in the name of "customer satisfaction". First they need to get a product out of the door that people are satisfied with, THEN worry about people distributing freely distributable software.

Also alot of people in the UK are still on dial-up, and with the ever incresing size of Microshaft updates, are customers really expected wait one hour just for 10meg of the download? And what happens if it will take longer then 2 hours? Most ISPs cut you off and you have to dial back in again, and start your download all over again. Even with Broadband it still takes a while to get a 100meg download.

Linux is starting to look nice (OS4 would be better tho )



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Re: MS bans covermounted updates for its software
Posted on 25-Sep-2003 22:00:20
#5 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 10-Mar-2003
Posts: 8042

haha thats what you guys get for beeing a pc user.. move to amiga and you wont get such crappy problems.


See my blog and collection website! .

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Re: MS bans covermounted updates for its software
Posted on 25-Sep-2003 22:14:38
#6 ]
Super Member
Joined: 8-Jun-2003
Posts: 1502
From: UK/South Wales

Looks like Halloween has come early this year. It?s that time of year when Microsoft starts creeping through the wood work scaring the pants off of people.

Forget Halloween, forget Friday 13th, and forget Nightmare on elm street, this is The Night Microsoft Attacks.

So Amigans beware, your in for a scare.


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Re: MS bans covermounted updates for its software
Posted on 25-Sep-2003 22:31:20
#7 ]
Super Member
Joined: 8-Jun-2003
Posts: 1502
From: UK/South Wales

@ Bobie 1&2

Looks like the end is neigh for Australia. Microsoft striks agane.


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Re: MS bans covermounted updates for its software
Posted on 26-Sep-2003 15:37:11
#8 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 10-Mar-2003
Posts: 2651
From: . . outside the Pod-bay; Australia

#icrosoft® publishes Windows2000 bug list

Now, #icrosoft®'s WinXP has to built exactly the same way!

-vortexau, who's A1 XE-G4 remains at half-RAM !
A2000HD (from 1991) 060 64Mb PicassoII with OS3.5 . . . still working.

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Re: MS bans covermounted updates for its software
Posted on 27-Sep-2003 16:10:11
#9 ]
Cult Member
Joined: 2-Aug-2003
Posts: 589
From: Melbourne, Australia

I wonder if I'm the only one here who thinks that M$ got its name from a cruel assessments of the boss' package. Billy-Boy, on the vague chance that you're reading this (or that one of your butt-slurping sycophants is) take my advice and buy that glass vaccuum tube thing. Screwing the world over time and time again won't make your penis any bigger...

/me wonders how long this post lasts before it gets yanked (pun intended!) by the moderators...


logicalheart wrote:
You know that pretty sound you play when the computer starts?
You need another one to play when the computer is actually ready to use.
Maybe add more for malfunctions and then we'll have music all day.

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Re: MS bans covermounted updates for its software
Posted on 28-Sep-2003 12:39:00
#10 ]
Joined: 17-Sep-2003
Posts: 19
From: In Ger Lund

If Microsoft has only explicitly banned covermount distribution of thir updates, then hopefully they will still make redistributable packages for inclusion with software (e.g. DirectX is usually included with PC games) and it might still be okay to distribute them electronically.

If you go to a trustworthy P2P index site and check their legit section they will probably have a large variety of patches, etc available too. Are there any unofficial Windows update sites?


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Re: MS bans covermounted updates for its software
Posted on 9-Oct-2003 22:09:16
#11 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 7-Mar-2003
Posts: 7629
From: ..Pederburgh .. Iceni

Sod M$

I dont suffer from Insanity - I enjoy it


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