Microsoft now says SP2 will not install on pirated copies of Windows XP

In: Operating Systems

12 May 2004

BetaNews reports that SP2 Will Not Install on Pirated Copies of XP, contrary to what local (Singaporean) publication Computer Times reported earlier.

Just when I was being amazed at how thoughtful Microsoft was for everyone of us Windows XP users, pirates and legitimate users alike.

This (in the Computer Times article) made very, very good sense:

“Having these unsecured users means bigger worm and virus outbreaks – which also impacts the Internet and consequently, our legitimate users as well.”

Legitimate users should damn well be pissed at this announcement more than users of pirated copies. Why? Simply because there is no doubt whatsoever that when SP2 comes, cracks and keygens will quickly be released that would allow you to install SP2 anyway, if you have a pirated copy. Informed users of pirated copies won’t be stopped from getting SP2. But a good majority of users of pirated copies may simply not care and live with a non-SP2 Windows XP. And what good will it do to protect only the legitimate users when vulnerable systems are legion? (Of course, this is based on the assumption that SP2 does greatly secure a system.)

Sure, illegal users don’t deserve updates, I very much agree. But when this encroaches into the security of legitimate users, I think it’s very very prudent and smart to give them the updates as well, for all the reasons that Barry Goffe put forward in the Computer Times article. Illegal users don’t deserve updates, but legitimate users do very well deserve to have these illegal users’ Windows XP setups secured and protected as well, for their (legitimate users) sake.

4 Responses to Microsoft now says SP2 will not install on pirated copies of Windows XP



May 12th, 2004 at 2am

I whole heartedly agree with you on this topic. I’m apalled that the best idea yet has come out of their lips, just to be retracted one day later. Really iritating.



June 16th, 2004 at 3pm

Not something special. SP1 had a check on the serialnumber as well. And there where fixes for that one too. The same fix can be applied this time. Just have to keep in mind what serial codes won’t work. If you look around, you will know what will mark a code (il)legal.


some guy

August 9th, 2004 at 3am

anything that runs on a computer can be cracked – period, end of discussion. i’m glad you mention and accept that.

although you say “[A] good majority of users of pirated copies may simply not care and live with a non-SP2 Windows XP,” you ignore the fact that some people simply don’t care for Microsoft’s tinkering and will not install SP2, SP3, or any other Service Pack after that unless it allows me to magically run Mac OS X on my x86 hardware.

i spent the whole day yesterday installing XP from scratch so i can get back to work (my Windows 2000 installation got corrupted due to a failing Linksys wireless card). although i’m disgusted with the fact that i have to do this every six months or so, i always find a sick pleasure in cleaning house after a new Windows installation and hacking out all the branding, changing the silly settings, turning off the awful colors. Microsoft always breaks more than they fix, so there’s no way i’m going to risk installing something that will change all of those settings back to their unfriendly and cognitively challenging defaults. security be damned – i’ve got two software firewalls on this machine, a dedicated firewall on my router. i run Firefox/Thunderbird and i don’t execute arbitrary code or install a bunch of filesharing apps. antivirus software only works after the virus has already become a threat to your computer, so there’s no need to install that stuff. i’m as secure, if not more secure, than anything Microsoft could offer with a new Service Pack.


bad, curious, faithful nothing comparative to coolblooded

May 30th, 2006 at 2am

Very nice. I hope you’ll update very soon. right soldier will kill boy without any questions