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John Ingram Oct 05, 2006, 07:17am EDT Report Abuse
This is part of a trend that technology is allowing. From I-Pods designed not to work with any other types of files to Sony and it's protection chip scam and, of course, the protection put on games disks that make them unreadable by the drive after a very short time. (Why do I have grief re-installing a one year old PC game (with regard reading the disk), and no problem at all with CD's that are 5 or even 10 years old?)

Given that many PC's are sold with an OEM OS, I wonder what happens when you have a crash after 6 months ownership and have to reinstall. Did you get a license number? Is it a valid number? Is it recognised by Microsoft when you send it in? Will you get another 30 days or will it require it straight away, with Microsoft having investigated your PC?

Given that currently I switch off the Microsoft Security (or should I say currently I am allowed to switch it off?!) and use third party software for firewall and spyware protection, I wonder what those 3rd party companies will think of it. Given that Microsoft has implied if you use these 3rd party products they will have to 'switch off' Vista security making the PC at risk!

Between technology, climate change and terrorism, there is more and more opportunity to take our freedoms away. This is just another one. It is a drip drip situation, or the death by a thousand cuts syndrome. t is very worrying.

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Pete Crane Oct 05, 2006, 08:30am EDT Report Abuse

ITGL72 Oct 05, 2006, 08:43am EDT Report Abuse
I'm a gamer, DX10 is coming, I will need vista.

Beavis Khan Oct 05, 2006, 08:58am EDT Report Abuse
I guess you're advocating the free use of the Vista CD's as we, myself included, had with our Windows 95, 98 and ME's?

You know, some people respect license agreements because it's the right thing to do. Just because you're not willing to play nice unless Microsoft brings out the WGA stick doesn't mean that's true for everyone.

Personally, I'm sick of paying good money for my software, following the terms of the license, and still being treated like I'm doing something wrong.

"For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong."

- H.L. Mencken
Dave Kelsen Oct 05, 2006, 09:16am EDT Report Abuse
Microsoft is going to find a way to cut their own throats. This heavy-handed operation is one example of how they are going about it.

Their most egregious problem in my opinion, is this: If I buy an operating system from Microsoft, I agree to only install it on one computer. I don't have any problem with that. If I take it off that computer, or take that computer out of operation, I should be able to use the operating system I bought on another - 1 - computer.

In the real world, we can come up with myriad examples of when this does happen, and when it doesn't happen; these metaphors are not really germane. The simple fact is: it's reasonable for Microsoft to want to prevent me from using my purchase on more than one machine at a time. It's not reasonable for Microsoft to want to prevent me from ever using my purchase on any but one computer in one configuration.

Vista will make this sort of desire on the part of Microsoft more visible. The only real solution is to avoid the product, but some of us can not avoid it, and most of us will not avoid it.

What happens if you have Vista on a machine that does not access the internet ever, or one that does so only rarely? At what point does your validated, activated copy of the operating system decide it shouldn't work anymore? In the litigious society of America, that would seem to me to be perpetrating a fraud on the consumer.

Dave Kelsen

Beavis Khan Oct 05, 2006, 09:19am EDT Report Abuse
If I take it off that computer, or take that computer out of operation, I should be able to use the operating system I bought on another - 1 - computer.

You can - if you bought a retail license. An OEM copy, on the other hand, is licensed only to the hardware with which it was originally purchased.

"For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong."

- H.L. Mencken
Amer T Oct 05, 2006, 09:31am EDT Report Abuse
How 'bout we all switch to FreeBSD and get some work done instead of wasting time in dicussions about how 'Windows' sucks.

Alex Calvo Oct 05, 2006, 10:23am EDT Report Abuse
I f you cannot register the product in the time allowed for you to register the product then whatever happens is whatvever happens tuffs**t basically. Now to prevent problems that occur after six months od use etc. I would like to see them remove the problems that occur after they supposedly update a new piece of sodtware a la "Internet Exploreer 7.0" half the time it takes over three minutes to load a page that instaniously pops up with MSN or the old "IE6.0." Know if they want to take some silly sontrol over your PC they is a load of crap if you buy the software you should be able to install it when ever you need to install it six months after you bought it etc. minus multiple concurrent installs across other peoples computers as well. They should install a piece oh hardware verifacation to counter pirates each piece of hardware would be registerd at purchase. Besides why woulkd you keep yout credit card or other personal information "SS#s, bank accounts etc." in software that has the capability of exporting the data over an internet connection. It should be devised to be entered at each use an only that use. This is aenough rambling of this kind of near pointless crap (you should also be aware of what you need to do to protect yourself if you subscribe to this newsletter you probablly are.) Have a glorious day, today and tomorrow.

CrAsHnBuRnXp Oct 05, 2006, 11:16am EDT Report Abuse
ITGL72 said:
I'm a gamer, DX10 is coming, I will need vista.

Is that your only reason?

In my opinion, both DX10 and Vista is going to suck right off the bat.

Mark McCardell Oct 05, 2006, 11:17am EDT Report Abuse
Pete Crane said:

The scenario you described is one of a "babe in the woods" total novice non-geek PC user who wouldn't know Microsoft from Maytag would do or a MS basher who should stick to hardware advice and reviews which you so excellently do..
I guess you're advocating the free use of the Vista CD's as we, myself included, had with our Windows 95, 98 and ME's?
Knowing full well that each CD was licensed for only one PC by the owner or purchaser of said CD?


I've been in the industry for over 18yrs, the 'babe in the woods' you just described sounds like a majority of users I have worked with over the years. My elderly mother is a good example. After the purchase of her computer from Best Buy she did the right thing and bought 3rd party firewall and anti-virus software. When it came time to activate, the firewall blocked the activation. She had been instructed (by me) to not override the firewall. Eventually she ignored it until her OS would no longer work and she called me for assistance. The average computer user IS a novice non-geek.

Its one thing to protect a product you are selling from piracy, but to disable the security features with the sole purpose of exposing a person to security threats is absurd.
Why not just disable the product entirely like they currently do?

Stan Miranda Oct 05, 2006, 11:25am EDT Report Abuse

Darren Reynolds Oct 05, 2006, 11:32am EDT Report Abuse
I am with Mark on this one.

I'll upgrade when it is worth it ... nothing I have seen so far is enticing me..

Remember Millenium??

I think we are all a bit more cautious now after thats**t OS we all wanted to forget.

Sorry Bill !!

Stan Miranda Oct 05, 2006, 11:34am EDT Report Abuse
This crap has to stop & stop now. We the people have the real power over Microsoft.Were the ones who buy their products.It is up to us to stop this before it happens. If people would just stand up for thier rights this wouldn't happen. I own a legal copy of XP Pro bought right from MS and I am sick & tired of them tellimng me that its bootleg.I sent them a copy of thier own reciept and was still told that it was bootleg.Why do you think Bill Gates stepped down before thes**t hit the fan? He new that this was not right and did not want to be associated with the mess that was sure to follow. When Vista comes out,If people would stick together and not buy for say 6 months.It just might send the message that where not going to take it anymore.!!!~~~~~~~~~~~Stan

ITGL72 Oct 05, 2006, 12:10pm EDT Report Abuse
Amer T said:
How 'bout we all switch to FreeBSD and get some work done instead of wasting time in dicussions about how 'Windows' sucks.

Never happen...

ITGL72 Oct 05, 2006, 12:12pm EDT Report Abuse
CrAsHnBuRnXp said:
ITGL72 said:
I'm a gamer, DX10 is coming, I will need vista.

Is that your only reason?

In my opinion, both DX10 and Vista is going to suck right off the bat.

I don't see any real other option for PC gaming. Ofcourse you will say it sucks, first its new, second look at your name. Obviously some hatred there.

John Ingram Oct 05, 2006, 12:22pm EDT Report Abuse

dark41 Oct 05, 2006, 12:24pm EDT Report Abuse
Being a system builder, I guess I have a slightly different view than most on this subject. I can also add a little to the facts.

"You can - if you bought a retail license. An OEM copy, on the other hand, is licensed only to the hardware with which it was originally purchased."

Total hogwash. An OEM OS is designed to be sold as a bundle with other hardware and be pre-installed. Nowhere does an OEM license state that hardware components can't change at a later date. In fact, I use nothing but OEM versions of XP, even on our own systems. We constantly upgrade components that cause the OS to be reinstalled (hard drive, motherboard), call MS on the number provided, explain the reason for reactivation, and are provided another key to type in. The only question asked is if this specific license is on more than one system.

Now we've also gotten our share of systems in for repairs that have pirated versions of the OS installed. Our hands are tied. If the customer wants the computer running again, they'll have to pay for a legal license or go elsewhere for their repairs. Bottom line is pay me now or pay me later, your choice.

We've also had a "couple" times where the legitimate OEM license was stuck on the side of the box, but the online activation claimed it was invalid (pirated). In both cases the situation was easily resolved with a phone call to MS.

Many people state that they have no problem with the license requiring them to use it on just one system. I don't see the big deal with also requiring the OS to be activated within 30 days from 1st use, just as it is now. Its the first screen that pops up when starting your computer for the first time. Ignore it, and take a chance that you'll have a more complicated issue to deal with later. Oh well.

If your system is legitimate, but you fail to activate it within the required time frame, then you'll have to reformat to insure that its not corrupted with viruses. A wise person would do this before activating it for 1st time (and save yourself the phone call), if the PC has been running without security. Your negligence caused the problem, and you'll have to spend the time (if you know how) to reformat it (takes a whole 60 mins tops to reformat and reinstall your software), or pay someone like me to do it for you. That's the price you pay for not taking the 2 minutes to activate it in the first place. Its called taking responsibility for your actions. Backup your data before you reformat. ;-)

Now don't misunderstand me. I'm not a MS fanboy. I have RC1 installed on one of the hard drives on my own system (which ranks 4 of 5 on their own test) and it slows my state of the art system to a crawl. Its laggy, buggy, I had to turn off the silly security popups to keep my sanity, and IMO it has a ton of stuff that I don't want or need, all at the expense of the speed that I crave and a pretty desktop. I think Vista is the worst OS since ME because its basically an overloaded version of XP.

However, I have had no issues with the activation procedures in the past (although they can be a pain when you upgrade a motherboard or CPU every month). I don't see how any of this changes with Vista.

As for 3rd party security companies, both Symantec and McAfee are considering lawsuits because they weren't given necessary code to configure their products to work correctly with Vista. So not many 3rd party companies are fans of Vista either.

I agree that MS is going to cut their own throats eventually, but doubt the activation process will have anything to do with it. I believe they have a right to require activation within 30 days, and only allow the OS licence on 1 machine. More likely, their mistake is the fact that the entire system needs to be upgraded just to run Vista properly, (and by "properly" I don't mean fast). I don't think most people will pay that price. The small percentage of gamers and enthusiasts that will pay for top end graphics card, RAM, and CPU aren't going to offset the losses to MS for developing Vista. The other big problem (as I see it) is the fact that MS assumes all computer users are informed enough to know how to setup their internet accounts, activate, etc.. Wrong!! I've had customers already say that they've bought their last computer because its all too complicated anymore. MS's loss.

However, people don't take advantage of the leverage they have with MS or other big companies. If you don't like their product or stipulations, don't buy it. Think about the delays with this release. Think about how much $ MS has invested in this project. If it bombs in sales, they'll have no choice but to listen to the end users with their next OS. I'm betting that 99% of the complainers pay for Vista anyway. MS is betting on that too. So far, MS has been making a ton of $ from their bets. Why should they change what they're doing until it becomes unprofittable? It costs them nothing to read how people who agreed to their terms aren't happy about it. Me thinks they're laughing all the way to the bank. ;-)

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John Ingram Oct 05, 2006, 12:31pm EDT Report Abuse
If there's money to be made, people are always calmer about anything. Even a slide toward total freedom loss. Hence corporation leaders destroying the planet as we speak to make the quarterly profit to add another million dollars to their hundred million dollar fortune - and they probably have kids and grandkids - but making money dulls the senses. Hence the above message. It's the way of a dysfunctional world that's on it's last legs.

Mark McCardell Oct 05, 2006, 12:32pm EDT Report Abuse
Somebody had mentioned switching to FreeBSD or Linux.
I'm quite surprised the gaming industry hasn't taken the lead on this. I remember the old days when people would explicitly run games under DOS instead of Windows to gain a performance advantage. With the clear performance advantage given by Linux, I really surprised that more games are not ported to the Linux OS.
Hell, if some enterprising individual built a gaming centric distro (one that would ease the installation of those ATI linux drivers) I have a feeling it would be very successful.
All it would take is one game review where a user gained an additional 20 FPS on Halo 2 under Linux and every kid would download that distro the following day. :D

Dale Bucyk Oct 05, 2006, 12:35pm EDT Report Abuse
I know that publishing software in any kind is a form of business. While I do agree with the way Microsoft has disabled certain security features from it's operating system, there should still be a way to register the software if you lose your key.

I did find a software on the internet to help extract the key out of the operating system so you can register it with Microsoft.

While that may be unethical, it's not illegal. I do understand people, and I have worked temporarily for Staples, and found that about 1/4 of the people who come in have had a pirated copy of Windows installed.

I know that people don't want to pay the money, but if everybody in the world didn't do this sort of thing (wishful thinking), then the cost of the software would go down over time.

I know that XP professional only costs wholesale around 120 dollars for the full version, but because people are pirating software, Microsoft wanted to gain back lost revenue.

I think that what they are doing now is okay, but what about the people who lost their key, don't have any software extraction key software, and they are running a business. They are extremely vulnerable.

There must be a better way.

John Ingram Oct 05, 2006, 12:38pm EDT Report Abuse
Mark: The gaming media and publishers have always been in the underpants of the hardware companies. Hence the talk of graphics quality all the time and reviews of the latest cards and processors, etc in gaming magazines. Never been a demand from the media for gaming companies to write games for the masses rather than the hardcore gamers at the top of the tree, even though it would expand the market. It is a sick system that will be gone in 12-24 months, current PC gaming is dying in front of our eyes and emulation and retro gaming is growing expotentially is the proof of that.

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