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Is "Genuine Windows Advantage", really an advantage for open source?
I've been seeing an increasing number of comments suggesting that Microsoft is moving ahead with tools designed to reduce the numbers of unauthorized copies of Windows out there. Blogs such as this one on ZDNet do a good job of describing the possible implementation of this program, which has the potential to shut down a lot of copies of Windows deemed to be illegitimate.
Predictably, this has led to a lot of positive buzz in open source circles, with a general curiosity about how the open source world can best take advantage of this actually happening. Users affected would be legitimate candicates to switch to open source should their ability to use pirate software end, esepcially if the WGA system caused their computers to suddenly not function one day.
Open source folks, generally, don't like piracy. I've always maintained that open source would be a big winner if people using unauthorized proprietary software were confronted with the actual cost of using it. In fact, I've often heard conspiracy theories that companies such as Microsoft tolerate a certain amount of piracy to help stem the rise of open source.
Well, if this tolerance is at an end, it's good news for those who are promoting the free alternatives.
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