Microsoft "Update"

I happen to be a fan of Linux, but at the moment my desktop computer is running Vista Business Edition. It's a free but legal copy (via MSDNAA).

One of the things that annoys me about Vista are the frequent security updates. Typically, they seem not to be any useful but, like this update, all they do is patch Microsoft's DRM to try and prove that you have an illegal copy. Nothing critical, not really a security update, but you're left with a regular nagging to reboot.


Most updates are actual security updates to fix vulnerabilities. The update you're referencing is for detecting activation exploits. That's not typically referred to as DRM; DRM is copy-protection for individual files, normally used on music.

Microsoft is trying to reduce piracy of their software. A lot of people scoff at that because the general opinion is that Microsoft has so much money the effect is negligible. Although that may be true, if you were in their position as a much smaller company, you would certainly want people to buy your software instead of steal it.

But back to updates in general. Typically, the same people who criticize Microsoft for frequent updates are the same people who criticize them for having security holes. It's not really that Windows has more security holes than other operating systems, but that there are more people looking for them in Windows than any other operating system. IMHO, the updates don't come fast enough - the cycle is once per month on the first Tuesday. Some vulernabilities go several months before a patch is issued. You want less frequent updates so that attackers have better opportunity to take you down? If you want to criticize something, criticize the Linux distributions which have no auto-update mechanism, forcing you to hunt down patches for everything manually. I've got better things to do with my time.

criticize the Linux distributions which have no auto-update mechanism

Typically commercial distributions will have a way to automatically update (I'm running Fedora so, if anything, it updates too frequently). However, unlike Microsoft's typical updates, this does not generally require a reboot, and thus is not particularly painful.

BTW, how would you define DRM? (Microsoft's Genuine Annoyance...err Advantage is intended to verify your copy of the operating system, and to cripple if it it thinks that your copy isn't legit)

DRM stands for Digital Rights Management. The term is normally used in reference to music tracks.

If you're copy of Windows is legit, you have nothing to be concerned about. Only pirates are affected.

If you're copy of Windows is legit, you have nothing to be concerned about. Only pirates are affected.

Incorrect (even if you discounting nagging to reboot, which is already annoyance enough).