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#### toasty0

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##### Windows Product Activation (WPA)
« on: October 05, 2005, 11:22:38 pm »
MCTS: SQL Server 2005 | MCP: Windows Server 2003 | MCTS: Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist | MCT: Microsoft Certified Trainer | MOS: Microsoft Office Specialist 2003 | VSP: VMware Sales Professional | MCTS: Vista

#### prometheus

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##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA)
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2005, 05:06:56 am »
I can understand Microsoft wishing to contest the incredible amout of piracy involving the Windows Operating System, but one thing I've never approved of is the idea that if I have three PC's, I should buy three copies of Windows...  I think that is the thin end of the wedge, not to mention extremely greedy...

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#### Dash Jones

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##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA)
« Reply #2 on: October 06, 2005, 05:23:25 pm »
Actually the way MS views piracy, that's the type of piracy they view as most common.  The idea that you have one copy of Windows, in their mind goes with one computer.  The second you put it on a second computer with the same disk you have committed piracy.  According to MS.

Hence this is one of the methods they have of combatting this.

I personally am against it because it makes you dependant upon another source every single time your reformat and reinstall.  I find that it is a little annoyance personally...and that's one of the big things that I am against with the Windows activation ploy...BUT just for your information...

For MS (this is not the piracy MOST manufacturers of computers and software are concerned with) they define piracy as using an OS from the same disk on more than one computer.  An OS goes for one and only one specific computer, and when that computer goes caput, so does the OS...hence why they will probably not feel the need to support XP over 5 to 10 years after they stop production of it...for how many computers are that old and would be still running it vs. the amount of money they'd have to put in to keep it up.

Addedum:  In essence they are correct in regards to what the major source of piracy is (when using their definition of software piracy vs. what is normally used) that a majority of extra copies in the West (in regards to the US and Europe) were from people installing an OS mulitple times on multiple computers from the same box copy.

Personally I think they were a little short on their time estimates in relation to Win9x...BUT part of it also is that they probably wanted to push XP and sell more OS's to make more money.
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#### prometheus

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##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA)
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2005, 05:28:17 pm »
Well, I've paid £93.00 ($160.00) for a copy of XP that they refused to reactiviate and I swear that it is the last penny they will get from me... The latest Linux releases are as stable and pretty looking as XP anyway, so their Lisencing policy has lost them business... To make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the Universe! #### SkyFlyer • D.Net Beta Tester • Commander • Posts: 4240 • Gender: ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #4 on: October 06, 2005, 11:42:17 pm » You can reactivate after 3 months Life is short... running makes it seem longer. "A god who let us prove his existence would be an idol" - Dietrich Bonhoeffer #### prometheus • Hot and Spicy • Commander • Posts: 3610 ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #5 on: October 07, 2005, 06:25:31 am » You can reactivate after 3 months Or, alternatively, I can, and have installed Linux on one computer and Win 2K on the other... I'm not installing an OS every 30 days for three months, or buying three copies of XP just so Microsoft can have a draconian lisencing policy at my expense... I've got half a dozen CD players in this house. Should I buy six copies of Led Zeppelin II as well? I mean lets be honest, how many people here with more than one PC buy a copy of the same OS for each one of them? To make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the Universe! #### Nemesis • Captain Kayn • Global Moderator • Commodore • Posts: 12504 ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #6 on: October 07, 2005, 08:45:09 am » I mean lets be honest, how many people here with more than one PC buy a copy of the same OS for each one of them? Anyone who buys a mass market PC such as a Dell is going to have an included license for Windows unless they work hard to avoid it (Dell just released a PC with no OS installed but a FreeDOS CD included). Those such as myself who end up buying a retail version per custom built machine because of honesty. I have more licenses for windows than machines and not all my machines do windows. By New Years I expect to be down to one Windows machine until I get a new laptop, then I will be stuck with another license as it is very difficult to get a laptop without windows. If you are going to use Microsofts products you should pay for them. If you are not going to use it you shouldn't be forced to pay for it. You can also get reduced prices on multiple licenses (direct from Microsoft) after you buy the retail version. Windows XP Home Link Windows XP Pro Link Pestalence pointed that out some time back. Do unto others as Frey has done unto you. Seti Team Free Software I believe truth and principle do matter. If you have to sacrifice them to get the results you want, then the results aren't worth it. FoaS_XC : "Take great pains to distinguish a criticism vs. an attack. A person reading a post should never be able to confuse the two." #### prometheus • Hot and Spicy • Commander • Posts: 3610 ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #7 on: October 07, 2005, 09:36:29 am » I mean lets be honest, how many people here with more than one PC buy a copy of the same OS for each one of them? Anyone who buys a mass market PC such as a Dell is going to have an included license for Windows unless they work hard to avoid it (Dell just released a PC with no OS installed but a FreeDOS CD included). Those such as myself who end up buying a retail version per custom built machine because of honesty. I have more licenses for windows than machines and not all my machines do windows. By New Years I expect to be down to one Windows machine until I get a new laptop, then I will be stuck with another license as it is very difficult to get a laptop without windows. If you are going to use Microsofts products you should pay for them. If you are not going to use it you shouldn't be forced to pay for it. You can also get reduced prices on multiple licenses (direct from Microsoft) after you buy the retail version. Windows XP Home Link Windows XP Pro Link Pestalence pointed that out some time back. I have several computers that I have maintained for years that have evolved and changed and had parts swapped from one to the other until the point where it is impossible to tell what bits and pieces started where... Hell, even the towers and power supplies have been upgraded... I have a lisence to run Windows 9x and Windows XP, but there are issues starting to arise with support for Windows 9x... For example, the latest version of Adobe Acrobat reader did not want to run on my 9x PC at all... To cut a long story short, Microsoft have lost my custom for the foreseable future, since I will be on Open Source OS from now on... In being Draconian, they have done themselves out of my even buying one OS to run on three systems... Now if I was a businessman, I would think better 33% of something than 100% of nothing. I don't think they will much care about my custom to be honest, but business in Europe seems to be deserting them in droves too since XP was launched, and a lot of businesses seem to just be sticking with Win 2K... To cut a long story short, again, I think Microsoft are reaching the point where they are licensing themselves out of the market. I personally think all OS should be Open Source anyhow... To make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the Universe! #### SkyFlyer • D.Net Beta Tester • Commander • Posts: 4240 • Gender: ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #8 on: October 07, 2005, 10:34:41 am » Quote Should I buy six copies of Led Zeppelin II as well? Is the CD in all six CD players at the same time? Just playing the devil's advocate. Life is short... running makes it seem longer. "A god who let us prove his existence would be an idol" - Dietrich Bonhoeffer #### prometheus • Hot and Spicy • Commander • Posts: 3610 ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #9 on: October 07, 2005, 01:17:32 pm » Quote Should I buy six copies of Led Zeppelin II as well? Is the CD in all six CD players at the same time? Just playing the devil's advocate. I don't think I've ever had a windows XP CD that could operate in six copmputers simultaneously either... Generally, I think that Windows XP is A OKAY, it's just that the licensing policies surrounding it are B.A.D. I don't think Linux is particularly any better than XP, but I do I like it, and will be installing it from now on... To make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the Universe! #### Mr_Tricorder • 3D modeler /animator • Hot and Spicy • Lt. Commander • Posts: 1040 • Gender: • Trekkie at Large ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #10 on: October 07, 2005, 02:04:21 pm » Prometheus, how long have you been using Linux? I just got into it almost two months ago (I got fed up with the constant updates, patches, security issures, and system resource hogging that I was constantly dealing with in Windows XP), but I'm still a newbie to the whole Linux world. Which distro are you using? I'm using Vector Linux 5.0 SOHO edition. #### prometheus • Hot and Spicy • Commander • Posts: 3610 ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #11 on: October 07, 2005, 03:02:29 pm » Prometheus, how long have you been using Linux? I just got into it almost two months ago (I got fed up with the constant updates, patches, security issures, and system resource hogging that I was constantly dealing with in Windows XP), but I'm still a newbie to the whole Linux world. Which distro are you using? I'm using Vector Linux 5.0 SOHO edition. It's SUSE 9.2 I've been using... I've found it stable, easy to use and pretty secure... I've been using it about a year now... To make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the Universe! #### SkyFlyer • D.Net Beta Tester • Commander • Posts: 4240 • Gender: ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #12 on: October 07, 2005, 11:22:45 pm » Quote Should I buy six copies of Led Zeppelin II as well? Is the CD in all six CD players at the same time? Just playing the devil's advocate. I don't think I've ever had a windows XP CD that could operate in six copmputers simultaneously either... Generally, I think that Windows XP is A OKAY, it's just that the licensing policies surrounding it are B.A.D. I don't think Linux is particularly any better than XP, but I do I like it, and will be installing it from now on... What I'm asking is do you play the music on the CD on six radios at the same time? In essence thats what youre doing if you run the same copy of XP on six different computers at the same time. Life is short... running makes it seem longer. "A god who let us prove his existence would be an idol" - Dietrich Bonhoeffer #### Nemesis • Captain Kayn • Global Moderator • Commodore • Posts: 12504 ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #13 on: October 07, 2005, 11:34:33 pm » I have several computers that I have maintained for years that have evolved and changed and had parts swapped from one to the other until the point where it is impossible to tell what bits and pieces started where... Hell, even the towers and power supplies have been upgraded... I have a lisence to run Windows 9x and Windows XP, but there are issues starting to arise with support for Windows 9x... For example, the latest version of Adobe Acrobat reader did not want to run on my 9x PC at all... My computers evolve the same way. It is one reason why I am so adamantly opposed to activation. One computer (just recently given away) had evolved to the point where the only common components with the original were Case, PSU, Keyboard, Floppy and power cord. Some compponents had been switched multiple times. One of my current computers has the original case, fans, keyboard, motherboard, RAID card, floppy, powersupply and power cord. All else has changed. Do unto others as Frey has done unto you. Seti Team Free Software I believe truth and principle do matter. If you have to sacrifice them to get the results you want, then the results aren't worth it. FoaS_XC : "Take great pains to distinguish a criticism vs. an attack. A person reading a post should never be able to confuse the two." #### SkyFlyer • D.Net Beta Tester • Commander • Posts: 4240 • Gender: ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #14 on: October 08, 2005, 02:28:16 am » i to am against activation. I was just playing the devils advocate. However its not too bad when youre only limited once every three months. Life is short... running makes it seem longer. "A god who let us prove his existence would be an idol" - Dietrich Bonhoeffer #### prometheus • Hot and Spicy • Commander • Posts: 3610 ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #15 on: October 08, 2005, 04:14:15 am » i to am against activation. I was just playing the devils advocate. However its not too bad when youre only limited once every three months. It's not just activation, if I own three computers and one copy of windows, I don't see why there should be a problem... Having a copy of windows for every PC in the world is an absurd waste and a gross misuse of resources... And yet if I can take my Linux distro and install it on every PC in sight if I want to with no breach of law... To make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the Universe! #### Nemesis • Captain Kayn • Global Moderator • Commodore • Posts: 12504 ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #16 on: October 08, 2005, 06:42:44 am » i to am against activation. I was just playing the devils advocate. However its not too bad when youre only limited once every three months. If Microsoft had been using activation all along you could no longer activate your old Windows 98 machine. I know several people who still use it. We use it at work and would have to replace an expensive piece of machinery that the Windows 98 machine controls as the manufacturer did not create drivers for any version of Windows after 98. Once Microsoft turns off the activation servers for XP you will no longer be able to legally reactivate XP. Many people will find that they have the choice of using an illegal hack to continue using the product that they OWN or buying a whole new system that can handle Windows Vista. Why should they have to pay for a new Windows and a new computer merely because Microsoft has dropped support? Expect a class action lawsuit at that point. In fact expect many of them. People have complained about planned obsolescence in the auto industry but Microsoft beats that by a long margin. They can obsolete your system by disabling a single program that they run and which no one else can run legally. At least with your old car with care you can keep it running long after the industry wants it to be replaced. Do unto others as Frey has done unto you. Seti Team Free Software I believe truth and principle do matter. If you have to sacrifice them to get the results you want, then the results aren't worth it. FoaS_XC : "Take great pains to distinguish a criticism vs. an attack. A person reading a post should never be able to confuse the two." #### Nemesis • Captain Kayn • Global Moderator • Commodore • Posts: 12504 ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #17 on: October 08, 2005, 07:06:28 am » It's not just activation, if I own three computers and one copy of windows, I don't see why there should be a problem... Having a copy of windows for every PC in the world is an absurd waste and a gross misuse of resources... And yet if I can take my Linux distro and install it on every PC in sight if I want to with no breach of law... So if you ran a company with 10,000 PCs you should be able to buy one copy of Windows and run it on all of them? Where do you draw the line? One copy for your personal systems? Do you share that one copy with family and friends? What real difference is there from saying your one copy should be able to run on all your personal systems and saying it should run on all your corporate systems? If you use Microsofts system to supply you with updates on all 3 systems you are directly stealing from Microsoft. They priced your copy of Windows for 1 system yet you are making them support 3 systems. I think that their prices are excessive but they do have the right to do that and you have the right to not buy from them. Windows is not a necessity that you must have to live so stealing it because you don't like the rules under which they sell it is not (in my opinion) justifiable. It is especially unjustifiable because Linux is there as a more affordable alternative. Linux is of course different and even there you have to check your distribution. Those that contain proprietary software (and some do) can legally limit your rights to install that proprietary software. Linux companies because of the distributed nature of Linux development don't have all the same costs as Microsoft. They also don't have the same level of control (which is mostly good in my view). They also know of the differences and factor it into their pricing and support models. So when you do the multiple installs of Linux you are not costing them money that they did not plan to spend like you are with Microsoft. If you don't like Microsoft don't steal from them use Linux or Mac. Using Linux or Mac actually hurts them more than piracy does so if you really dislike them and want to hurt them that is the better way to do it. It is not only being more effective, it is also morally, ethically and legally superiour. Do unto others as Frey has done unto you. Seti Team Free Software I believe truth and principle do matter. If you have to sacrifice them to get the results you want, then the results aren't worth it. FoaS_XC : "Take great pains to distinguish a criticism vs. an attack. A person reading a post should never be able to confuse the two." #### prometheus • Hot and Spicy • Commander • Posts: 3610 ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #18 on: October 08, 2005, 09:21:27 am » It's not just activation, if I own three computers and one copy of windows, I don't see why there should be a problem... Having a copy of windows for every PC in the world is an absurd waste and a gross misuse of resources... And yet if I can take my Linux distro and install it on every PC in sight if I want to with no breach of law... So if you ran a company with 10,000 PCs you should be able to buy one copy of Windows and run it on all of them? Where do you draw the line? One copy for your personal systems? Do you share that one copy with family and friends? What real difference is there from saying your one copy should be able to run on all your personal systems and saying it should run on all your corporate systems? If you use Microsofts system to supply you with updates on all 3 systems you are directly stealing from Microsoft. They priced your copy of Windows for 1 system yet you are making them support 3 systems. I think that their prices are excessive but they do have the right to do that and you have the right to not buy from them. Windows is not a necessity that you must have to live so stealing it because you don't like the rules under which they sell it is not (in my opinion) justifiable. It is especially unjustifiable because Linux is there as a more affordable alternative. Linux is of course different and even there you have to check your distribution. Those that contain proprietary software (and some do) can legally limit your rights to install that proprietary software. Linux companies because of the distributed nature of Linux development don't have all the same costs as Microsoft. They also don't have the same level of control (which is mostly good in my view). They also know of the differences and factor it into their pricing and support models. So when you do the multiple installs of Linux you are not costing them money that they did not plan to spend like you are with Microsoft. If you don't like Microsoft don't steal from them use Linux or Mac. Using Linux or Mac actually hurts them more than piracy does so if you really dislike them and want to hurt them that is the better way to do it. It is not only being more effective, it is also morally, ethically and legally superiour. That is exactly what I do, I don't steal from microsoft... I use alternatives, of which there are now several reasonably good ones to choose from. I need one computer running windows, and I have a copy of XP that I bought legally and above board for it, and I have a legal copy of 9x for one of my other systems... Any more computers I build I put Linux on them... Interestingly enough, it is because of the open source philosophy behind linux that thousands of companies who do have 10,000 PC's are becoming increasingly attracted to Linux... I know this might be the rabid left winger in me, but I personally believe that shipping a computer without a working OS and installation disks should be illegal, since a computer with no OS is an inert lump of metal and plastic... To make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the Universe! #### Dash Jones • Sub-Commander of the Dark Side • Captain • Posts: 6477 • Gender: ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #19 on: October 08, 2005, 09:38:23 am » i to am against activation. I was just playing the devils advocate. However its not too bad when youre only limited once every three months. If Microsoft had been using activation all along you could no longer activate your old Windows 98 machine. I know several people who still use it. We use it at work and would have to replace an expensive piece of machinery that the Windows 98 machine controls as the manufacturer did not create drivers for any version of Windows after 98. Once Microsoft turns off the activation servers for XP you will no longer be able to legally reactivate XP. Many people will find that they have the choice of using an illegal hack to continue using the product that they OWN or buying a whole new system that can handle Windows Vista. Why should they have to pay for a new Windows and a new computer merely because Microsoft has dropped support? Expect a class action lawsuit at that point. In fact expect many of them. People have complained about planned obsolescence in the auto industry but Microsoft beats that by a long margin. They can obsolete your system by disabling a single program that they run and which no one else can run legally. At least with your old car with care you can keep it running long after the industry wants it to be replaced. Now I know my cousin doesn't believe this, BUT officially, Microsoft has stated that if they ever stop suppoting XP and the activation, then they will provide a workaround. The question would be if you believe they will do that or not. "All hominins are hominids, but not all hominids are hominins." "Is this a Christian perspective? Now where in the Bible does it say if someone does something stupid you should shoot them in the face?" ------- We have whale farms in Jersey. They're called McDonald's. There is no "I" in team. There are two "I"s in Vin Diesel. screw you, team. #### Nemesis • Captain Kayn • Global Moderator • Commodore • Posts: 12504 ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #20 on: October 08, 2005, 09:48:06 am » Now I know my cousin doesn't believe this, BUT officially, Microsoft has stated that if they ever stop suppoting XP and the activation, then they will provide a workaround. The question would be if you believe they will do that or not. I have never heard that. If they do make a legally binding commitment to do so it will remove one of the valid complaints about activation. Do unto others as Frey has done unto you. Seti Team Free Software I believe truth and principle do matter. If you have to sacrifice them to get the results you want, then the results aren't worth it. FoaS_XC : "Take great pains to distinguish a criticism vs. an attack. A person reading a post should never be able to confuse the two." #### Nemesis • Captain Kayn • Global Moderator • Commodore • Posts: 12504 ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #21 on: October 08, 2005, 09:54:53 am » I know this might be the rabid left winger in me, but I personally believe that shipping a computer without a working OS and installation disks should be illegal, since a computer with no OS is an inert lump of metal and plastic... Why should I be forced to pay someone else to do a generic install of Linux when I have my own (legal) install disks and will just have to redo it to my custom setup as soon as it arrives? Even my Windows system is custom setup in ways that a Dell or HP would never be shipped in. Ways that Microsoft would do well to emulate as they enhance stability and the ability to recover data after a reinstall. Dell is currently shipping (officially anyhow) a machine with no OS installed but a FreeDOS cd included. There are reports that it a/ costs more than a Windows machine b/ is hard to find on the website c/ can't actually be bought. So it may be more of a publicity ploy or a negotiating ploy for dealings with Microsoft. Do unto others as Frey has done unto you. Seti Team Free Software I believe truth and principle do matter. If you have to sacrifice them to get the results you want, then the results aren't worth it. FoaS_XC : "Take great pains to distinguish a criticism vs. an attack. A person reading a post should never be able to confuse the two." #### Dash Jones • Sub-Commander of the Dark Side • Captain • Posts: 6477 • Gender: ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #22 on: October 08, 2005, 10:46:29 am » Quote Will Microsoft use activation to force me to upgrade? In other words, will Microsoft ever stop giving out activation codes for any of the products that require activation? No, Microsoft will not use activation as a tool to force people to upgrade. Activation is merely an anti-piracy tool, nothing else. Microsoft will also support the activation of Windows XP throughout its life and will likely provide an update that turns activation off at the end of the product's lifecycle so users would no longer be required to activate the product. http://www.microsoft.com/piracy/activation_faq.mspx "All hominins are hominids, but not all hominids are hominins." "Is this a Christian perspective? Now where in the Bible does it say if someone does something stupid you should shoot them in the face?" ------- We have whale farms in Jersey. They're called McDonald's. There is no "I" in team. There are two "I"s in Vin Diesel. screw you, team. #### Commander Maxillius • You did NOT just shoot that green sh-t at me?!? • Lt. Commander • Posts: 2299 • Gender: ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #23 on: October 08, 2005, 11:35:15 am » When Vista comes out and people notice that Windows machines cost (base) over$1000 compared to under $500 now with XP, they'll see that even the Macintosh has become more cost-effective. I don't see component capabilities increasing that far without a hefty pricetag. Thus explains why I've switched to Mac. I was never here, you were never here, this conversation never took place, and you most certainly did not see me. #### prometheus • Hot and Spicy • Commander • Posts: 3610 ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #24 on: October 08, 2005, 11:46:09 am » I know this might be the rabid left winger in me, but I personally believe that shipping a computer without a working OS and installation disks should be illegal, since a computer with no OS is an inert lump of metal and plastic... Why should I be forced to pay someone else to do a generic install of Linux when I have my own (legal) install disks and will just have to redo it to my custom setup as soon as it arrives? Even my Windows system is custom setup in ways that a Dell or HP would never be shipped in. Ways that Microsoft would do well to emulate as they enhance stability and the ability to recover data after a reinstall. Dell is currently shipping (officially anyhow) a machine with no OS installed but a FreeDOS cd included. There are reports that it a/ costs more than a Windows machine b/ is hard to find on the website c/ can't actually be bought. So it may be more of a publicity ploy or a negotiating ploy for dealings with Microsoft. You would not be foreced to pay someone else to do a generic install of Linux, because if you build your own custom computers as I do and you do, then you would not be buying a generic ready made PC... This would mean that the advanced user would not be throwing money at someone for installing an OS, and that the less advanced user would have a free OS provided to them... To cut a long story short, I think that Closed Source Operating Systems should be forbidden, and that the windows code should be open sourced forthwith. Hell, most of it is just butchered unix code anyway... To make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the Universe! #### Nemesis • Captain Kayn • Global Moderator • Commodore • Posts: 12504 ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #25 on: October 08, 2005, 01:53:18 pm » Quote Microsoft will also support the activation of Windows XP throughout its life and will likely provide an update that turns activation off at the end of the product's lifecycle so users would no longer be required to activate the product. Likely provide. Not exactly a binding commitment. What is the Microsoft life span for Windows? 10 years? I don't think that is good enough. Do unto others as Frey has done unto you. Seti Team Free Software I believe truth and principle do matter. If you have to sacrifice them to get the results you want, then the results aren't worth it. FoaS_XC : "Take great pains to distinguish a criticism vs. an attack. A person reading a post should never be able to confuse the two." #### Nemesis • Captain Kayn • Global Moderator • Commodore • Posts: 12504 ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #26 on: October 08, 2005, 02:08:07 pm » You would not be foreced to pay someone else to do a generic install of Linux, because if you build your own custom computers as I do and you do, then you would not be buying a generic ready made PC... This would mean that the advanced user would not be throwing money at someone for installing an OS, and that the less advanced user would have a free OS provided to them... Businesses use Linux too and they are also better off with custom installs. Why should they be forced to pay for a generic install of a version of Linux that does not neccesarilly in any way match their desires. Why should they have to pay the computer manufacturer for an OS when they may already have a licensing/support agreement with a Linux company? I see no benefit to the customer or the computer manufacturer from requiring a mandatory installed OS. It is a cost for both and not alwasys needed. To cut a long story short, I think that Closed Source Operating Systems should be forbidden, and that the windows code should be open sourced forthwith. Can't agree. They created it and have the right to keep what they created. Just as I have the right to tell them "no sale Bill". Hell, most of it is just butchered unix code anyway... Proof? Or just rhetoric? If this was true then when substantial quantities of Windows source were leaked out I think it would have been front page news. Too many people would have a field day with this if it cold be shown to be true so I find it very difficult to believe. They do use (or did use) some BSD/Unix code for the TCP/IP stack - totally legitimately and honestly. I believe they may also be shipping PERL (or was it Python?) with some Windows editions, also legitmately and honestly. Do unto others as Frey has done unto you. Seti Team Free Software I believe truth and principle do matter. If you have to sacrifice them to get the results you want, then the results aren't worth it. FoaS_XC : "Take great pains to distinguish a criticism vs. an attack. A person reading a post should never be able to confuse the two." #### prometheus • Hot and Spicy • Commander • Posts: 3610 ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #27 on: October 08, 2005, 06:54:38 pm » You would not be foreced to pay someone else to do a generic install of Linux, because if you build your own custom computers as I do and you do, then you would not be buying a generic ready made PC... This would mean that the advanced user would not be throwing money at someone for installing an OS, and that the less advanced user would have a free OS provided to them... Businesses use Linux too and they are also better off with custom installs. Why should they be forced to pay for a generic install of a version of Linux that does not neccesarilly in any way match their desires. Why should they have to pay the computer manufacturer for an OS when they may already have a licensing/support agreement with a Linux company? I see no benefit to the customer or the computer manufacturer from requiring a mandatory installed OS. It is a cost for both and not alwasys needed. To cut a long story short, I think that Closed Source Operating Systems should be forbidden, and that the windows code should be open sourced forthwith. Can't agree. They created it and have the right to keep what they created. Just as I have the right to tell them "no sale Bill". Hell, most of it is just butchered unix code anyway... Proof? Or just rhetoric? If this was true then when substantial quantities of Windows source were leaked out I think it would have been front page news. Too many people would have a field day with this if it cold be shown to be true so I find it very difficult to believe. They do use (or did use) some BSD/Unix code for the TCP/IP stack - totally legitimately and honestly. I believe they may also be shipping PERL (or was it Python?) with some Windows editions, also legitmately and honestly. Rhetoric, I must admit... I was assuming that because the internet protocols are all UNIX based that it will be so across the board in the OS, which could be untue... But I think that all computer OS should be Open Sourced and government owned... To my mind, there has never been a better case for eminent domain... To make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the Universe! #### Mr_Tricorder • 3D modeler /animator • Hot and Spicy • Lt. Commander • Posts: 1040 • Gender: • Trekkie at Large ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #28 on: October 08, 2005, 09:43:15 pm » ... But I think that all computer OS should be Open Sourced and government owned... To my mind, there has never been a better case for eminent domain... That's a very socialistic point of view. I consider myself to be a very patriotic person, but I don't trust the government to provide me with a good quality OS. Besides, that's not the government's job. Our capitalistic system in the US is currently in the process of balancing itself out right now. Microsoft has spent many years abusing the capitalistic system by gaining a virtual monopoly through strong-arm tactics instead of providing quality products that were superior to their competitors' products. This unethical practice is now catching up with them. More and more people have become discontent with Microsoft and are swithing from their products to their competitors' products, like Macintosh, Linux, and Open Source applications like OpenOffice and Firefox. These alternatives are keeping Microsoft in check because they are taking away enough of Microsoft's market share to cause them to realize that they really need to do something about their software. Do you think the government would offer a variety of OSes to choose from, or would they make things much easier on themselves by only offering one standardized OS? How good would the tech support be? How often would a new version with new innovations be released? If someone came up with a better, non government-owned OS would it be illegal? #### Sarek • Commander • Posts: 2553 ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #29 on: October 09, 2005, 02:52:35 am » Rhetoric, I must admit... I was assuming that because the internet protocols are all UNIX based that it will be so across the board in the OS, which could be untue... But I think that all computer OS should be Open Sourced and government owned... To my mind, there has never been a better case for eminent domain... Government owed! Just what I need, the government telling me what OS I can use and no doubt reporting what I do with my computer. Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide. – John Adams (1814) www.lp.org #### prometheus • Hot and Spicy • Commander • Posts: 3610 ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #30 on: October 09, 2005, 04:16:04 am » Actually, I was blind drunk when I wrote that last night, and I've no idea what the hell I was thinking of... At the moment in the clear light of morning, the thought of Tony Blair providing my operating system is frankly appalling... To make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the Universe! #### Commander Maxillius • You did NOT just shoot that green sh-t at me?!? • Lt. Commander • Posts: 2299 • Gender: ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #31 on: October 09, 2005, 10:57:18 pm » although I find the idea equally revolting, IF it were to come to that, Apple should start lobbying congress now I was never here, you were never here, this conversation never took place, and you most certainly did not see me. #### FA Frey XC • Site Owner • Administrator • Captain • Posts: 5688 • Gender: ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #32 on: October 11, 2005, 12:19:28 pm » I have reinstalled my version of WinXP probably 100 times on my gaming machine over the last 3 years..... I now even have a copy of Windows XP SP2 that works just fine with my Pre SP1 CD key. Yes, there have been numerous time I've had to call and get a install ID to re-activate....and it took me all of 10 minutes. Of course, if this discussion were actually on topic, then it'd be about honesty and personal integrity, not being mad because you can't install Windows onto as many PC's as you'd like with one key. That's just silly. Vice President of Technology, Dynaverse Gaming Association Owner, CEO XenoCorp Inc. #### Elvis • Lt. Junior Grade • Posts: 322 ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #33 on: October 11, 2005, 01:06:58 pm » Quote Well, I've paid £93.00 ($160.00) for a copy of XP that they refused to reactiviate and I swear that it is the last penny they will get from me..

Just curious did they give you reason when you talked to them on the phone?

I've never had a problem with getting an activation code over the phone.

#### prometheus

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##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA)
« Reply #34 on: October 11, 2005, 01:46:33 pm »
I have reinstalled my version of WinXP probably 100 times on my gaming machine over the last 3 years.....

I now even have a copy of Windows XP SP2 that works just fine with my Pre SP1 CD key.

Yes, there have been numerous time I've had to call and get a install ID to re-activate....and it took me all of 10 minutes.

Of course, if this discussion were actually on topic, then it'd be about honesty and personal integrity, not being mad because you can't install Windows onto as many PC's as you'd like with one key.

That's just silly.

It just happens to be a personal belief of mine that all operating systems should be open sourced...  By having the windows, the most populist and commonly used OS around, source closed, inovation has been held back years...  I don't have anything against Bill Gates making a profit, but not at the expense of human progress...

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#### Nemesis

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##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA)
« Reply #35 on: October 11, 2005, 04:11:29 pm »
Of course, if this discussion were actually on topic, then it'd be about honesty and personal integrity, not being mad because you can't install Windows onto as many PC's as you'd like with one key.

That's just silly.

For some of us it is an issue with allowing Microsoft control of our systems.  Micrososft decides whether I am entitled to install the software on my system after a given upgrade.  Microsoft decides if I can continue using it after they stop supporting it.  I have even had Windows tell me that I couldn't copy a disk that I had legal rights to copy.  Microsoft is a convicted abusive monopolist, I don't trust them to control my system.  They have yet to demonstrate honesty and corporate integrity.

It is my system, provided I stay within the law I am the one who is entitled to control what I do with it.  Microsoft is not the legal authorities and should not be acting as if they are.

A EULA should not be allowed to take away rights that I have under the law.  A company should not be able to effectively rewrite the law to give them power and take it away from their customers.

Software is covered by copyright law and the companies that make software should not be able to add unilateral extensions to their rights under the copyright laws at the cost of removing my rights without my willing consent.  Activation does exactly that.
Do unto others as Frey has done unto you.
Seti Team    Free Software
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#### prometheus

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##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA)
« Reply #36 on: October 11, 2005, 05:21:07 pm »
Of course, if this discussion were actually on topic, then it'd be about honesty and personal integrity, not being mad because you can't install Windows onto as many PC's as you'd like with one key.

That's just silly.

For some of us it is an issue with allowing Microsoft control of our systems.  Micrososft decides whether I am entitled to install the software on my system after a given upgrade.  Microsoft decides if I can continue using it after they stop supporting it.  I have even had Windows tell me that I couldn't copy a disk that I had legal rights to copy.  Microsoft is a convicted abusive monopolist, I don't trust them to control my system.  They have yet to demonstrate honesty and corporate integrity.

It is my system, provided I stay within the law I am the one who is entitled to control what I do with it.  Microsoft is not the legal authorities and should not be acting as if they are.

A EULA should not be allowed to take away rights that I have under the law.  A company should not be able to effectively rewrite the law to give them power and take it away from their customers.

Software is covered by copyright law and the companies that make software should not be able to add unilateral extensions to their rights under the copyright laws at the cost of removing my rights without my willing consent.  Activation does exactly that.

I copy that loud and clear and concur 110%

If microsoft do not want to open source their OS as I feel they should, that is absolutely well within their rights, but surely for an unelected body to invent draconian extensions to legislation should be treated as an infringement of the consumers legal rights?

It seems to me that if Microsoft wish to force a lot of people to upgrade from XP to whatever the next iteration is, all they have to do is stop supporting XP and stop activating it...

Windows: A 64-bit revamping of a 32-bit extension and graphical shell for a 16-bit patch to an 8-bit operating system originally coded for a 4-bit microprocessor written by a 2-bit company that can't stand 1 bit of competition.

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#### Mr_Tricorder

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##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA)
« Reply #37 on: October 11, 2005, 06:56:52 pm »
I don't have any problem with closed-source commercial software.  There are benefits to commercial software and there are benefits to open-source software, and both have a place in our capitalist society.  However, I do have a problem when a company abuses the system and becomes untrustworthy, like Microsoft has.  Once they realize that they should try to compete fairly through creating superior products instead of trying to crush the competition through lawsuits, propaganda, and bribery, then I might begin to respect them as a company and once again be willing to run their software as my primary choice.  However, unless something changes soon, it looks like that day is a long way off.

#### Nemesis

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##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA)
« Reply #38 on: October 11, 2005, 07:22:27 pm »
Once they realize that they should try to compete fairly through creating superior products instead of trying to crush the competition through lawsuits, propaganda, and bribery, then I might begin to respect them as a company and once again be willing to run their software as my primary choice.

Are you saying that the Microsoft "Get the facts" campaign is propaganda?  Nooo!!.

Google search link to Microsoft get the facts.  Just to get the other sides view on "get the facts".

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#### Mr_Tricorder

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##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA)
« Reply #39 on: October 11, 2005, 09:49:37 pm »
Once they realize that they should try to compete fairly through creating superior products instead of trying to crush the competition through lawsuits, propaganda, and bribery, then I might begin to respect them as a company and once again be willing to run their software as my primary choice.

Are you saying that the Microsoft "Get the facts" campaign is propaganda?  Nooo!!.

Google search link to Microsoft get the facts.  Just to get the other sides view on "get the facts".

Not only is Microsoft's "Get the Facts" campaign blatant propaganda filled with slanted hypothetical situations, half-truths, and bald-faced lies (spouted out by a bald-headed lier), it's a totally pointless and self-defeating campaign for two reasons.

1.   Most Windows users live in total ignorance of alternate OSes (except maybe Macintosh) and use Windows simply because it's what their factory-built, brand name PoS computer came with, and the thought of using another OS is so alien to them that the thought has never even come close tho entering their minds.  These people are good little mindless M$drones and are not in any danger of switching to open source software and therefore do not need to understand or care about the "Get the Facts" campaign. (My apologies to any mindless M$ drones who might be reading this, but to clarify, you are only a mindless M$drone if you have never even considered looking into Macintosh, Linux (or other alternate OS like FreeBSD), Firefox, OpenOffice, or other products that compete with Microsoft products and consider security issues, crashes, freezes, constant restarts, and product activation a normal part of computer operation. If you are a Microsoft user and/or supporter but do not fit the criteria for M$ drone, then you are an informed Microsoft user, which is something I can respect.)

2.  Those who are not mindless M$drones are either informed Microsoft users or alternate OS users. I am assuming that this campaign is primarily focused toward the informed Microsoft users because they are the most likely to switch from Microsoft's products to competing products. This shows that Microsoft knows that it's products are inferior when objectively compared to its competitors' products. A good product sells itself, while an inferior product needs to give a reason why you should not use the better product. Informed users are usually smart enough to see this. Also, informed users will also usually think about and research a claim to see if it is reasonable and matches up with reality. The only way you can believe the crap that is in the "Get the Facts" campaign is if you accept it wholeheartedly as soon as you read it without giving it a second thought. Alternate OS users will definitely not be swayed by the campaign because their own personal experience should contradict it. No one is going to believe what someone says over that they have actually experienced for themselves. All this does is give informed users one more reason to be disenchanted with Microsoft and aternate OS users one more reason why they don't use M$ products.

I just switched from "the dark side" to Linux a little over a month ago and only boot into Windows whenever I have to use a particular Windows program (usually 3ds max), I screwed up something in Linux and am trying to learn how to fix it (I still have a lot to learn), or want to play one of my games that I can't run in Linux.  How many other M$refugees are here? #### Commander Maxillius • You did NOT just shoot that green sh-t at me?!? • Lt. Commander • Posts: 2299 • Gender: ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #40 on: October 11, 2005, 10:31:35 pm » <raises hand> I ran back to Macintosh. I tried Linux though, and found it to be more trouble that it's worth just to surf the web, talk to people, and watch movies and listen to music. I remember using 5- and 6-year old Macs in middle school and later thought how good they were once I saw the PCs of the same age the high school had. Since Apple started making the Mini, the first$500 Mac, they really are a viable option in direct competition with Windows PCs.  Besides, the typical Windows drone will never open their case, so the fact that most Apples (except the PowerMac series) are sealed shouldn't bother them.
I was never here, you were never here, this conversation never took place, and you most certainly did not see me.

#### prometheus

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##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA)
« Reply #41 on: October 12, 2005, 05:10:18 am »
I just switched from "the dark side" to Linux a little over a month ago and only boot into Windows whenever I have to use a particular Windows program (usually 3ds max), I screwed up something in Linux and am trying to learn how to fix it (I still have a lot to learn), or want to play one of my games that I can't run in Linux.  How many other M$refugees are here? Me for one... and even using Windows, I use firefox, Open Office, Audacity, The Sygate Firewall instead of the Windows One, Avast Antivirus scanner insead of Norton, all of which are free programs... Anyone who would pay several hundred dollars for MS Office when Open Office does the same thing, can import and export MS file formats is mad... And Firefox throws up far less bullsh*t than Internet Explorer... The only closed source software I use is stuff I have got free versions of from the front of magazines, or stuff that I really loved so much I just had to buy, like the Eagle 3D Lander Simulator, Thief the Dark Project and Quake, which is still one of the most atmospheric games I've played... I also have a copy of MS 98 flight simulator, which I must admit to having a fondness for... To make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the Universe! #### Mr_Tricorder • 3D modeler /animator • Hot and Spicy • Lt. Commander • Posts: 1040 • Gender: • Trekkie at Large ##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA) « Reply #42 on: October 12, 2005, 08:43:40 am » Even before I started using Linux, I had been using Firefox, Open Office, Zone Alarm, and AVG Antivirus, all of which I have been using for free. Texas A&M University has a special deal with Microsoft which allows students (like me) to purchase the latest version of MS Office for$15, so the price really isn't an issue for me.  Even so, I have found Open Office to be far more stable, less annoying, and generally makes more sense than MS Office.

Two weeks ago, my roommate and I were finishing up papers for a class an hour before they were due.  I was using Open Office and he was using MS Office.  I had no problems, got to class on time, and turned in my paper without any problems.  However, MS Word crashed on my roommates computer and his paper was lost.  He tried to open up Word again to see if he could recover it (the auto-recover feature in Word is one of the few things I like about it), but then Windows XP crashed.  He did not have time to mess with this, so he headed for the computer lab (which was almost completely full) to rewrite his paper.  Because the computer lab was so busy, it took half an hour for his paper to print out, sorted out by the student workers, and made available for him to take to class.  By the time he got to class, it was already over and the classroom was empty.

I have had similar problems with MS Office applications, but I have yet to see Open Office crash or lose a document.

#### prometheus

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##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA)
« Reply #43 on: October 12, 2005, 09:16:02 am »
Even before I started using Linux, I had been using Firefox, Open Office, Zone Alarm, and AVG Antivirus, all of which I have been using for free.  Texas A&M University has a special deal with Microsoft which allows students (like me) to purchase the latest version of MS Office for \$15, so the price really isn't an issue for me.  Even so, I have found Open Office to be far more stable, less annoying, and generally makes more sense than MS Office.

Two weeks ago, my roommate and I were finishing up papers for a class an hour before they were due.  I was using Open Office and he was using MS Office.  I had no problems, got to class on time, and turned in my paper without any problems.  However, MS Word crashed on my roommates computer and his paper was lost.  He tried to open up Word again to see if he could recover it (the auto-recover feature in Word is one of the few things I like about it), but then Windows XP crashed.  He did not have time to mess with this, so he headed for the computer lab (which was almost completely full) to rewrite his paper.  Because the computer lab was so busy, it took half an hour for his paper to print out, sorted out by the student workers, and made available for him to take to class.  By the time he got to class, it was already over and the classroom was empty.

I have had similar problems with MS Office applications, but I have yet to see Open Office crash or lose a document.

Yeah, I concur, although I must say I always found MS Office reasonably stable too...  Avast Anti Virus Scanner (which is free for non commercial use) I found to be better than Norton's, which frankly was letting a lot of malware slip through the net (no pun intended).  The only other closed source software I have which I absolutely swear by and is not for sound engineering work is System Mechanic 4, which is an excellent piece of kit, although I'm sure there are plenty of other OS products that can do the same jobs...

Linux generally seems to be a lot better at cleaning up after itself than windows...

From a historical perspective the OS I've used which I thought was a cut above everything else for being clearly laid out and easy to understand is Amiga OS...

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#### SkyFlyer

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##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA)
« Reply #44 on: October 12, 2005, 10:44:10 am »
Quote
Avast Anti Virus Scanner (which is free for non commercial use) I found to be better than Norton's, which frankly was letting a lot of malware slip through the net (no pun intended).

I will say that is true, but I haven't had good workings with avast. It bogged down my PC and never caught a virus. I ended up having to reformat. I wasn't going out of my way to get a virus, this all happened over a years time or so.
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#### prometheus

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##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA)
« Reply #45 on: October 12, 2005, 11:13:41 am »
Quote
Avast Anti Virus Scanner (which is free for non commercial use) I found to be better than Norton's, which frankly was letting a lot of malware slip through the net (no pun intended).

I will say that is true, but I haven't had good workings with avast. It bogged down my PC and never caught a virus. I ended up having to reformat. I wasn't going out of my way to get a virus, this all happened over a years time or so.

Strange, I've never had a problem with it...   What do you use now?

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#### Nemesis

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##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA)
« Reply #46 on: October 12, 2005, 05:04:30 pm »
John C. Dvorak gives an interesting view on Microsofts "protection" products.  His title "The Microsoft Protection Racket"

Quote
Microsoft has stayed away from the antivirus, antispyware game for a long time because it knew that there was this inherent conflict of interest unless it gave away such software for free. After all, the exploits utilized by malware are possible because of flaws within the Microsoft code base. There is no incentive to fix the code base if it can make additional money selling "protection."

It was also obvious that Microsoft was so far behind the curve with antivirus software that it would embarrass itself if it entered that game, although it did quietly come up to speed over the years. But that still begs the question: Why protect the users when you can fix the code?

Therein lies the rub. Microsoft cannot fix the code—that's the point. It apparently cannot be done. Get over it. And when the spyware epidemic appeared, the company had to throw in the towel. Spyware exploits the basic architecture of the operating system, and no amount of patches will change that. A barrier has to be erected that changes the way the computer works, by monitoring things more aggressively.

If  Microsoft sells products to protect you from flaws in Windows then do they not have a conflict of interest?  Fix the flaws and lose the revenue stream on the protection from those flaws.  Do you want a company with a vested interest in your system being vulnerable to be in control of your system?
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#### SkyFlyer

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##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA)
« Reply #47 on: October 13, 2005, 01:14:31 pm »
Quote
Avast Anti Virus Scanner (which is free for non commercial use) I found to be better than Norton's, which frankly was letting a lot of malware slip through the net (no pun intended).

I will say that is true, but I haven't had good workings with avast. It bogged down my PC and never caught a virus. I ended up having to reformat. I wasn't going out of my way to get a virus, this all happened over a years time or so.

Strange, I've never had a problem with it... What do you use now?

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#### prometheus

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##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA)
« Reply #48 on: October 13, 2005, 02:30:28 pm »
Interesting stuff...  I've bookmarked the page for further reading later on...

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#### SkyFlyer

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##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA)
« Reply #49 on: October 13, 2005, 02:49:31 pm »
John C. Dvorak gives an interesting view on Microsofts "protection" products. His title "The Microsoft Protection Racket"

Quote
Microsoft has stayed away from the antivirus, antispyware game for a long time because it knew that there was this inherent conflict of interest unless it gave away such software for free. After all, the exploits utilized by malware are possible because of flaws within the Microsoft code base. There is no incentive to fix the code base if it can make additional money selling "protection."

It was also obvious that Microsoft was so far behind the curve with antivirus software that it would embarrass itself if it entered that game, although it did quietly come up to speed over the years. But that still begs the question: Why protect the users when you can fix the code?

Therein lies the rub. Microsoft cannot fix the code—that's the point. It apparently cannot be done. Get over it. And when the spyware epidemic appeared, the company had to throw in the towel. Spyware exploits the basic architecture of the operating system, and no amount of patches will change that. A barrier has to be erected that changes the way the computer works, by monitoring things more aggressively.

If Microsoft sells products to protect you from flaws in Windows then do they not have a conflict of interest? Fix the flaws and lose the revenue stream on the protection from those flaws. Do you want a company with a vested interest in your system being vulnerable to be in control of your system?

As long as they don't sell it or they bundle it with windows products I don't care.
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#### The Bar-Abbas Anomaly

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##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA)
« Reply #50 on: October 14, 2005, 10:30:34 pm »
Two weeks ago, my roommate and I were finishing up papers for a class an hour before they were due.  I was using Open Office and he was using MS Office.  I had no problems, got to class on time, and turned in my paper without any problems.  However, MS Word crashed on my roommates computer and his paper was lost.  He tried to open up Word again to see if he could recover it (the auto-recover feature in Word is one of the few things I like about it), but then Windows XP crashed.  He did not have time to mess with this, so he headed for the computer lab (which was almost completely full) to rewrite his paper.  Because the computer lab was so busy, it took half an hour for his paper to print out, sorted out by the student workers, and made available for him to take to class.  By the time he got to class, it was already over and the classroom was empty.

You're roommate's computer was virused, infested with mal-ware, or otherwise improperly installed or configured.  Easy to fix by someone who knows what they're doing.  That you're computer was operating normally at the time in no way implies that there is anything wrong with MS Office.

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#### prometheus

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##### Re: Windows Product Activation (WPA)
« Reply #51 on: October 15, 2005, 06:37:56 am »
You're roommate's computer was virused, infested with mal-ware, or otherwise improperly installed or configured.  Easy to fix by someone who knows what they're doing.  That you're computer was operating normally at the time in no way implies that there is anything wrong with MS Office.

I can't say I've ever had any problems with MS Office except one.  The price.  Open Office is every bit as good, can import and export in MS formats, and is shipped as part of your SUSE Linux Distro...

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