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The Mysteries of Windows XP

25 July 2001 13:03
By Tornado Staff

Just a few days ago Thomas Lopatic and Matthias Kunze, caused a great sensation among experts by revealing the mysteries of Microsoft’s new operating system, Windows XP. The system will be launched on 25th October amid much hype: the advertising campaign alone will cost $1 billion.

According to Microsoft, the revolutionary Windows XP system, which is now in beta test phase, will prevent the indiscriminate use of the same software by multiple users. In order to use Windows XP, in fact, the user will have to activate a license directly with the producer, supplying data that enable the identification of the computer. This announcement caused controversy because it was generally believed that the procedure worked by means of obtaining the serial number of the network card, (a sort of I.D card of the computer, the MAC address). The general suspicion was that through the new Windows system, Microsoft’s aim was to gather personal data to be used for reasons other than the official ones.

Mattias Kunze says:” Microsoft should improve its communication because we have clearly demonstrated that there is no type of personal data transmission in Windows XP. Privacy violation does not, in fact, exist”. Indeed, the computer serial number is not recorded in a univocal manner. According to what has been demonstrated by Lopatic, Microsoft simply gathers ten technical specific aspects of the computer that activates the license. As soon as four parameters are changed, (for example the graphics and the audio card, etc), there are good chances that the user could be interpreted as a completely new one and the operating systems is thus automatically disabled. The most sensational implications are quite obvious: if Microsoft is unable to obtain the univocal identification of the user’s computer, it will be unable to hinder the use of the same of software by various users.

Just a few days after the announcement of the decoding of Windows XP’s activation system, Lopatic and Kunze have obtained the main advantages of their spectacular demonstration. Kunze says:” We have attracted the attention of venture capitalists and we have already carried out talks in order to obtain financing”.

Indeed, the discovery of these two German friends is also an effective marketing campaign, since Lopatic and Kunze have just created Fully Licensed, an IT startup based in Berlin. The company intends to develop its business on a technological platform for online distribution and the demise of software that should be launched on the market in September.

“We are not only interested in financing, since we do not need a high amount of capital at the moment”, states Kunze, joking about the fact that the Berlin startup’s cash burn rate is very low, (only 1,500 Marks per month). “What we really need are shareholders who can provide contact with American software producers”. In any case, the founder of the startup does not want to reveal information on expected sales for the next months and all he says is that breakeven is expected for the first quarter 2003.

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