Newsletter #404 Preview: The Windows Genuine Disadvantage

August 26th, 2007

I can sense the responses now from some of you. That crazy Night Owl is going after Microsoft once again, with another unprincipled or at least severe attack. However, this particular commentary doesn’t have a whole lot to do with the quality of Microsoft’s software. Instead, I’m more concerned with the blatant example of corporate paranoia — or greed — that just serves to make people more upset with the company.

Now as everyone who has used Windows in recent years knows full well, Microsoft has an online activation feature, a process of registering the software with the company via your Internet connection. If you you fail to activate, the software is mostly or completely crippled within 30 days.

However, online activation isn’t exclusive to the world’s largest software company. In fact, Adobe is just as guilty as enforcing a similar process upon its users. So in order to use the Creative Suite, after enduring a lengthy installation, you have to go through this one-time activation process.

Well, one time unless you happen to move your stuff to another computer, where you have to go through it all over again, although the process is simplified if you deactivate the software, first, on the computer you’re leaving behind. But most of you wouldn’t remember that critical step — I know I usually don’t.

Story continued in this week’s Tech Night Owl Newsletter.

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4 Responses to “Newsletter #404 Preview: The Windows Genuine Disadvantage”

  1. Andrew says:

    So for an article that is not an attack on Windows as a software product, you sure give Aero and Vista performance a lot of criticism.

    Also, Windows won’t cripple itself if the activation server is offline, it only cripples itself if it authenticates with the server and determines that your copy is not genuine. There is a BIG difference.

  2. I think you need to read this comment again:

    Well, maybe not having Aero eye-candy is a good thing, as it’s apt to speed up Vista’s tepid performance tremendously. In passing, isn’t it interesting that the best some people could say about Vista benchmarking is that its performance hits are usually not severe, unless, of course, you enable Aero on a notebook.

    You’ll notice that I’m not personally attacking the performance, but mentioning what other people say. And they are generally product reviewers. It’s also something that’s not easily disputed, however.

    Now as to your other issue: Consider the consequences of those servers being down for several days — as they were recently — and how many PCs phoned home during that period, and you’ll see the consequences of this problem.

    At the same time, if WGA were less intrusive, the purpose of confirming the software is genuine wouldn’t be so irritating.


  3. Andrew says:

    The WGA servers being down will not disable features, only a successful login to WGA and an unsuccessful authentication does that.

  4. The WGA servers being down will not disable features, only a successful login to WGA and an unsuccessful authentication does that.

    For your information and discussion:

    You’ll see, there, that what you say isn’t happening has, in fact, happened at least twice, and tons of users are complaining about it.


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