Microsoft To Begin Blocking Fake Windows Users From Downloads

Microsoft Corp., the world’s largest software maker, said it will fight piracy by requiring some customers to verify they have a legitimate copy of the Windows operating system in order to download some company programs.

Customers using Czech, Norwegian and Chinese versions of Windows won’t be able to use a Microsoft download Web site next month unless they have a valid copy of Windows, said David Lazar, Director for Genuine Windows. Microsoft in February also will expand a voluntary program that rewards customers who verify their Windows by giving them free software and discounts.

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Microsoft has made some moves in this area before, of course, but this would be the first solid move to keep the illegal copies of Windows from getting ANY patches.

This brings us to the perrennial question about whether it’s really smart to block pirated copies from security patches. I understand Microsoft’s angst in the matter, but if their avowed aim is to improve the security of Windows and the Internet, then this is NOT the way to go. Which do we suppose costs Microsoft more money- piracy or security?