February 17, 2005

MS acknowledges the existence of Wine

/rant on.

Here's a recent excerpt from the wine-devel mailing list.

From: Ivan Leo Puoti (ivanleo_at_gmail.com)
Date: Wed Feb 16 2005 - 15:28:59 CST
Subject: Microsoft genuine downloads looking for wine

As some of you may know, Microsoft is planning to totally restrict access to the Microsoft download center to all non-genuine windows users. So you would expect some check for pirated copies of windows to be involved. If you visit the download center with IE you get an activex control, but if you try with Firefox, you'll have to download a little program, that returns a code you have to copy into the download page, to get access to the download you selected. By quickly looking at the program, I noticed it looks for a registry key, this key is... SOFTWARE\Wine\Wine\Config the wine configuration key. the Windows Genuine Advantage program press release http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2005/jan05/01-26GenuineAdvantagePR.asp says that in the second half of 2005, all users connecting to the Microsoft download center or to windows update will have to validate their copy of windows. Interestingly if you run the validation program on wine, and the version of windows you're emulating is prior to 2000 or is windows server 20003, you get a message saying a validation code couldn't be found, because of technical difficulties or because you're running an unsupported operating system. If you set winver to win2000, you'll get a validation code that doesn't work, this may be a bug in wine, or in the validation program. A valid and working code is returned if the version is set to xp. Still, even if this is only an initial attempt, they appear to want to discriminate wine users, while this may be acceptable for operating system components/updates, this is probably a violation of anti-trust law for all other downloads. It's also the first time Microsoft acknowledges the existence of Wine.

Ivan Leo.

Stuff like this irks me like no tomorrow, Microsoft is back to their previous dirty, monopolistic, anti-trust violating ways, oh wait they were always like this.

Basically what is happening is that MS is detecting Wine and will not allow any downloads from the downloads.microsoft.com site. There's a temporary fix that you can do just by making a change to your registry as noted above.

I'm glad the mentality on the wine-devel list is to not just make these little changes as it would just lead to an arms-race which which wine will lose, but instead work to build wine so that there's no dependancy or need to download anything from that site.


/rant off