Not genuine Windows: 'embarrassing' tech snafu in Melbourne CBD shopping centre
The embarrassing message that appeared on at least one directory. Photo: Cliffano Subagio
If you were walking around a certain shopping centre in Melbourne's CBD last week you may have noticed some of its digital directories showing an embarrassing warning about running a non-genuine version of Windows.
Cliffano Subagio, a software developer in Melbourne, snapped a picture of the message on his smartphone showing at least one of the digital directories displaying the warning at Melbourne Central and tweeted about it on Thursday.
It's still an embarrassing, annoying message to have pop up and we're working to fix it.Paul Pettersen, operations manager at Abuzz Solutions
Far from being non-genuine, it turns out the company that installed the directories, Abuzz Solutions, didn't run the Windows XP activation software on it (and others) before deploying them. And because they aren't connected to the internet, they couldn't run the activation software on their own without human intervention.
Paul Pettersen, operations manager at Abuzz Solutions, said he didn't know what had prompted at least one of the directories to show the message, which he labelled as "misleading", after being in place for several years.
"Basically those machines are sitting on a private network so they can't get to the internet and so [that means] the Windows validation tool can't completely run ... and it comes up with that message," he said.
"What it should say is that the validation test has failed and you should check out why it's failed."
One of the possible causes for a licensing message to be shown on a Windows machine is due to it running a pirated version of Windows without a license. Another reason is due to the validation software not running.
"It's still an embarrassing, annoying message to have pop up and we're working to fix it," Pettersen said. "But if Microsoft said we want to come and audit you then you know, bring it on — they are all licensed.
"They've all got license stickers on them."