This is the last straw: read this new MS crap: (Feb/12/01) By Jim Asikis
Microsoft wants you to "experience" its next-generation software, Office XP, and Windows
XP (aka "Whistler"), the first operating system that combines the Windows 2000 and
Windows ME code. According to the company the XP stands for "experience." Naming the
software "XP" gets rid of the idea of versions and moves Microsoft toward subscription
services. Microsoft has made no secret of its desire to make packaged applications go
away, while replacing them with a subscription or a service. (Hold on to your wallet) They
also don't want the software to experience too many trips to your CD-ROM drive.
The company has put strong anti-piracy protection into its XP software that requires
registering it and reduces the number of times it can be installed. But securing the software
in such a manner is certain to cause belated headaches for customers if the software
becomes unstable. And we all know unstable and Windows are not exactly unrelated words.
Microsoft has added "Product Activation" to its forthcoming Windows XP operating system,
and Office XP productivity suite, which requires users to send product keys via the Internet or
telephone to keep the software functional. When activating the software, the Product
Activation utility examines the PC's hardware and generates a "hash," an electronic
fingerprint, based on all of the different pieces in the system. When the software is activated,
Microsoft stores both the activation key and the hash. That way, if a user has to reinstall the
software, Microsoft's server will recognize the hardware configuration.
One or two peripherals can be swapped on a system and the hash would be preserved, but
any major overhaul or new system would require the user to call Microsoft to confirm that
they have rights to the software to get it activated.
Now one thing I'd like to point out to our friends at Microsoft is that there are some of us who
like to upgrade or build new computers more often than some of their customer support
people change underware, and we are not about to call and beg them for permission to let us
reinstall software we have paid for. More and more consumers seem to have no rights at all
when it comes to software, we only have the right to pay for it and then the various
Microsofts of the industry get to dictate to us what to do or not with it. Have you ever bought
a boxed piece of software that had the license agreement on the outside of the box so you
could read it before you pay for it? And we all know what the policy is after you open the
box, no returns, only exchanges.
The bottom line is that pirates will find a way of bypassing this activation scheme, they
probably already have, but it's the honest consumer that will suffer with these measures. All
of a sudden Linux is looking better and better for me, and if Microsoft sticks with this new
policy I suspect there will be millions like me. So here's this weeks tip, it's short and
sweet.... Buy Linux stock.