XP Woes

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“I am entirely confident that in the months up to XP’s release and for some time thereafter, we will see a great campaign of gossip and lies about harm users will suffer from the new product.”

That quote comes at the end of this piece on product activation.

I guess this guy is gossiping and lying, too. His copy of OfficeXP shut down on him and now refuses to do any new work (the original article doesn’t say that, but the followup does). This is due to some unknown configuration change at the very beginning of a business trip.

What’s truly scary about this is that the guy doesn’t remember any hardware changes being made. Even if some ZDNet tech installed Office, then made a hardware change or two to the guy’s notebook computer, is that all it takes to trigger it?)

When it comes to product activation, overclockers and computer hobbyists are the Boys in the Bubble. What might be an infrequent annoyance to the average user is deadly to us. Especially if it’s “one strike and you’re out.”

If it’s “one strike and you’re out,” I could easily see people trying to troubleshoot serious problems by swapping computers part end up needing to reactivate five or ten times in a single day. Try and tell me that’s not major aggravation.

On top of that, in any automated procedure, the programs searching for warez puppies is pretty likely to flag your little number. Might refuse additional activations. Then what? At best, call MS and try to persuade some CSR that you’re really not a crook?

Even if the MS CSRs are instructed to reactivate, no questions asked, do you really want to add a phone call to Redmond to your upgrade procedures?

It’s not like calling Redmond is such a wonderful pleasure that thousands of people call them up every day just to chat. It’s more like calling the IRS. No matter how well the service works, it’s just not something you want to do often.

The person with the in-air shutdown is supposed to talk with MS people about this later this week. I will keep a close eye on what he finds out.

But if his experience is going to be typical for people using XP, I don’t see how anybody not on a certain Redmond payroll or not the MarGeek de Sade could recommend this to overclockers and hobbyists. Well, maybe the Bastard Operator from Hell, too. 🙂

For Those Who Always Color Within The Lines

For every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. There will be tons of “MS is always right” supporters; they always come out. I started off the article with a quote from one.

Something I’ve noticed about a lot of these people, though, they often have a mindset just not prone to challenging authority. Like the whole civilized social order will collapse if MS doesn’t get its way.

I suggest to these people that they grab a general history book, any general history book, read it for ten minutes, then come back and try to tell me authority is always right.

For those who’ll argue that MS has every right to protect its intellectual property rights, anybody who’s read me about MP3s knows I’m not agin that.:)

But let me ask you this.

If intellectual property rights are so important and need to be protected so badly, then why does the corporate version of the program, the one most MS defenders are likely to use, have no product activation? I’d bet most consequential piracy (not warez puppies grabbing trophy programs) comes from “borrowing” a copy from the office.

If you want to stop warez, why in God’s name would you make a version of the program with no protection? Put just one copy of that in the warez channels, and the puppies are off to the races.

This is like trying to stop bee stings by swatting at lonely bees and leaving the beehive alone.

So please don’t write me defending MS unless you can answer those two questions. Don’t defend this particular action until you can answer those two questions. Consider asking the defendant for an answer to those two questions before defending him.

Email Ed

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