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Newsletter #404 Preview: The Windows Genuine Disadvantage

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.