I am neither a
Microsoft booster nor a Microsoft basher. What I AM is someone who is
concerned with my privacy. I am also concerned about the level of
aggravation I have to go through to play with my toys.
I feel strongly that Microsoft is taking the wrong path in their attempt to
prevent piracy. I do think that they have a legitimate issue that they are
trying to overcome. They have a legitimate problem. Piracy IS affecting
their revenue, and intellectual property should be protected.
However, they are not the Evil Empire. Bill Gates is not Adolf Hitler reincarnated.
Redmond, Washington is not Stalinist Russia.
Think about what Product Activation will mean in the long run. It is either
going to solve the problem it was intended to solve, or it will create a
much bigger one that was unintended. I lean towards believing the latter.
Why? Because Product Activation (as I understand its current methodology)
is unrefined and looks for the wrong things to trigger the request. In so
doing, it will generate an unexpectedly high number of reactivation requests
and will eventually overwhelm Microsoft’s customer service facilities.
If Redmond experiences severe customer service headaches (far in excess of
what they are experiencing now), they will either have to increase staffing
(initially), or modify the source of the problem (possible, but
unlikely to happen quickly).
Microsoft is indeed a very large corporation.
They have the financial means to absorb this burden for a time. They are
not invincible though. Increased costs to support a newly released product,
with the likelihood that those costs will only increase, will eventually
affect the profitability and hence the stock price of the company.
great deal of the wealth of the individuals that work for Microsoft are in
some way affected by the stock price and the value of their stock options,
this will have a negative effect on their income and net worth.
If you were an employee in a company whose products were negatively
affecting your income and portfolio, wouldn’t you mention something to your
WindowsXP is a product whose time is not yet come. It is a product
that is nice in concept, but whose execution so far falls short. It is also
not a great leap forward from Windows2000. With all of the negative press
surrounded it right now, and with the slowdown in the US economy,
especially in the tech sector, now is not a good time to release a product
that isn’t truly needed yet which carries this half-baked baggage.
What does this mean? It means that very shortly after Windows XP gets
released, one of several things will happen.
Option one is that Microsoft
increases staffing until they can no longer afford it.
Option two is the
refinement of the Product Activation feature to the point that it ISN’T an
Option three is the elimination of Product Activation
If Microsoft tries Option one (which they are likely to do
first), my guess is that it will eventually have to go to number two or
three soon after, for the reason mentioned above.
Sometimes a company needs to have something like this blow up in their face
to realize the error of the path that they chose. I for one hope that the
error becomes clear early on, and that the technology press continues to
expose the troubles as they occur.
In the long run, it can only be good for
the industry for this to be tried and for it to fail, and fail loudly and
Do I hate Microsoft? Nope. I use many of their products and enjoy the fact
that just about any piece of software and hardware works with the operating
system. Something that I do not enjoy with Linux, yet.
At this point in
time though, I think that Windows 2000 will be the last upgrade for a while
on my computer. When it gets to the point that I HAVE to upgrade, I will,
but only if I can do so relatively painlessly.
In the meantime, I hope
that the XP troubles generate a lot of work for me in the service sector. I
could use the work.