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Ed Bott's Microsoft Challenge--3/8/01

By ebott ·
TechRepublic members have made it clear that Microsoft is risking a public relations nightmare with its insistence on requiring "product activation" for Windows XP and Office XP. But the company responds that it has to do something to prevent piracy, especially in the home market. Some users are getting ripped off by crooked resellers who preload bootleg copies of Windows and Office, they say, and others are turning into criminals by using CD burners to press illegal copies of Windows disks forfamily and friends. OK, if product activation isn't the answer, then what is? Imagine you're running the Windows or Office business at Microsoft -- how do you keep your product from being stolen without inconveniencing your customers or holding their PCs hostage? I'll take the best suggestions and pass them along to Microsoft. I'll print the best responses in my next column.

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Ed Bott's Microsoft Challenge--3/8/01

by mgonzales In reply to Ed Bott's Microsoft Chall ...

Being a Microsoft fan and believe in their product line, I have truely believe that the method of requiring activation is essential to protect the product and the investement Microsoft has placed in these products.

It is my opinion this method isthe only protecting that compaines like Microsoft can protect what they have.

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Ed Bott's Microsoft Challenge--3/8/01

by ebott In reply to Ed Bott's Microsoft Chall ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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Ed Bott's Microsoft Challenge--3/8/01

by rkelly In reply to Ed Bott's Microsoft Chall ...

Microsoft are the largest software house in the world. Surely they can come up with some form of copy protection that actually works.

There must be any number of ways of makeing a CD uncopyable (I'm just a humble systems engineer and don't know many).

There could be other ways of providing Unique information that could be provided upon purchase of the software - this could be used to customise a legitimate copy of the software.

Biometrics may need to be given to register the softwareat the point of sale - the CD could be created at the POS with this unique fingerprint already included. Obviously this would be expensive to do, but the savings made by reducing piracy would be huge.

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Ed Bott's Microsoft Challenge--3/8/01

by ebott In reply to Ed Bott's Microsoft Chall ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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Ed Bott's Microsoft Challenge--3/8/01

by tbradley In reply to Ed Bott's Microsoft Chall ...

Revert back to the old "dissolving floppy" trick.

Make the CD's low cost, or even free. Use them as many times as you want. But put the
license information on a floppy disk, sold at the point of sale store, wether it be an office depot, OEM, mail order etc.

The user would install the software, use the floppy disk to input the license code.

The disks could be written for 2 uses, 3 uses, or a single 50 user for a network install.

Once the code is embedded in the program, the floppy "self destructs" via software.

Users would have to register with microsoft, y'know, those little cards everyone throws away because MS's tech support is so horrid.

Calling a 1-800 number would get users who
trashed their systems and needed to reload a new copy of the license via e-mail or snail mail - their preference.

While this wouldn't reduce piracy, microsoft would be able to cut way back on duplications, but still make the licensing more user friendly than planned.

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Ed Bott's Microsoft Challenge--3/8/01

by ebott In reply to Ed Bott's Microsoft Chall ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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Ed Bott's Microsoft Challenge--3/8/01

by cornerpost In reply to Ed Bott's Microsoft Chall ...

My office and Windows "SE" supplied with "brand X" won't install on any other brand as it is. Why not just narrow the "group" by using batches of "brand X" computers and reducing the size of the batch as required. It really looks like Microsoft "has us where they wants us" and now can multiply the arrogance factor.

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Ed Bott's Microsoft Challenge--3/8/01

by ebott In reply to Ed Bott's Microsoft Chall ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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Ed Bott's Microsoft Challenge--3/8/01

by rawright In reply to Ed Bott's Microsoft Chall ...

While the "product activation" concept isn't a bad idea (except for those who still don't have an Internet connection), I've read reports that Microsoft intends to limit us to two activations. That part really rankles, as Windows tends to self-destruct periodically, viruses strike, and hardware failures happen, often resulting in the need to re-install software. If I'm going to have to repurchase their grossly overpriced applications every couple of years, I'm going to stop buying Microsoft products and switch to a reliable OS - Linux, perhaps.

I'm sure their reponse will be something to the effect that a phone call will fix everything if I run out of activation opportunities, but I have never received any response from a call to Microsoft; they promise to have someone call, but no one ever has in the past seven years. Nor do they ever respond to an email, so that's not an option either. The best bet is to leave the number of activations unlimited; if they want to know why I'minstalling Access2000 for the eighth time, they can call me to ask, or send me an email - I'll be happy to explain, just don't get in my way!

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Ed Bott's Microsoft Challenge--3/8/01

by ebott In reply to Ed Bott's Microsoft Chall ...

The question was auto-closed by TechRepublic

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