Microsoft Genuine Advantage
Microsoft Not Only Doesn't Respect the Government, They Don't Respect Their Customers
April 13, 2008
Microsoft has this program, which has been around for a while now, called Microsoft Genuine Advantage.
Ostensibly, it is to verify that your software is legitimate ad in working order, to insure that Microsoft can serve you better.
What it really is is an excuse from Microsoft to spy on you and refuse to provide you service and support.
Microsoft Genuine advantage (or, as I prefer to call it, Microsoft Major Disadvantage) is only a revocation of your rights. What it does is checks your computer for software that Microsoft decides is not 'legitimate' and then reports it to Microsoft.
This software should be offensive to anyone who owns a computer. It is the assumption, on the part of Microsoft, that you are stealing software from them (or maybe some non-disclosed third party), and they're going to catch you at it.
This is dangerously akin to having the police come to your home, arrest you and your family without giving reason, and then ransacking your home until they find something. And they probably will. In the case of the police, they'll probably eventually find that you had late fees to a video rental place that you haven't paid by the deadline, or that you have a burned "mix" CD that has a track on it that you don't legitimately own use of. In the case of Microsoft, they, too will probably find something; maybe a downloaded video game that contains code that was not properly licensed by the game creator, or copyrighted images in your web browser cache.
Does this mean that you are a criminal and need to be prosecuted? Probably not. However, it does mean that your privacy has been invaded without reason or provocation. It means that reasonable suspicion was not generated before searches were performed. It means that Microsoft is spying on you.
To make this that much worse, this is happening when Microsoft s still pushing on their "automatic updates" system. This is where Microsoft is telling you to trust them, though they have demonstrated that they are not trustworthy. It is also where Microsoft is stating that you need the newest software from them to make things better, though this they have also demonstrated to be untrue. Microsoft is telling all their users: "We don't trust you as far as Bill Gates can throw your house, but you have to trust us, because we're Microsoft."
Microsoft Genuine Advantage should definitely be offensive to all Microsoft software users, and probably should be offensive to all computer users, if not all people everywhere. It is an unreasonable invasion of privacy, and is both a violation of people's trust of Microsoft and just one more abuse of Microsoft's market control.