Windows Genuine Disadvantage

While I was preparing to write this, I found an old post I wrote almost exactly 5 years ago.
bq.I have been thinking a lot about Windows XP lately and my own thoughts on Product Activation. I was reading an article in the latest PC Gamer about how quick and easy it was, and I decided they just missed the point. Years from now, I can put together a new computer and load 95 or 98 or Linux or whatever I choose on it. But what happens when Microsoft decides to stop giving out the matching code numbers for XP. You are totally at their mercy and they can stop whenever they choose. And that is why XP is not for me. – “Me(Activating Windows XP)”:http://www.libraryplanet.com/2001/10/26/xp Of course, like a lot of people, I eventually gave in. I have a couple of notebooks and several desktops running XP at home these days. Dealing with product activation has always been a tremendous hassle, though. I had been leaning toward buying enough full retail copies of Windows Vista in January to cover all my needs. I am no longer considerating that now, though.
bq.The computer enthusiasts who are most apt to run into problems with the Vista EULA are the people who funnel the most money into the PC industry — the ones who buy expensive gaming PCs and regularly upgrade their systems. These enthusiasts are most likely to gravitate toward the most expensive Vista version, Vista Ultimate. In short, one might argue that Microsoft’s new EULA will harm these people quite a bit, especially if their reactivation attempts are thwarted because of licensing problems. Koroush Ghazi, the owner of TweakGuides.com, argues that if even 5 percent of PC users are affected by this change, we’re talking about 50 to 65 million consumers. And again, these are the people spending money on the most expensive PCs and accessories they can get their hands on. – “Paul Thurrott(Vista Licensing Changes Alienate Tech Enthusiasts)”:http://www.windowsitpro.com/windowspaulthurrott/Article/ArticleID/93896/windowspaulthurrott_93896.html And it very well could get worse.
bq.The difference is that Microsoft wants to put yet another layer into the mix, and this layer-Windows Genuine Advantage-could become a problem if the layer itself is ever targeted by a virus or Trojan horse. In other words, what happens if Windows Genuine Advantage is itself corrupted? Windows Genuine Advantage is the layer we really do not need. There is no reason, as far as I can tell, to add a watchdog program to Windows to make sure users are not running bootleg versions of the OS. There has to be a better way. – “John Dvorak(Onerous Vista Activation-A Time Bomb?)”:http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,2031647,00.asp?kc=PCRSS03079TX1K0000584 And there is another way.
bq.I’m a nanometer away from switching my family over to OS X when Apple releases Leopard in Q1 of 2007. It looks clean and elegant. It comes with all the software and services the average user could ever want. It runs on the same hardware. A system will be able to dual-boot between OS X and Windows, and pricing is no longer astronomical. But most importantly? With its UI inconsistencies, Vista feels completely schizophrenic, and that’s enough of a reason for anybody to leave Windows in the dust-just like they left MSN Search and IE. – “Chris Pirillo(Vista Will Double Apple’s Market Share)”:http://www.computerpoweruser.com/editorial/article.asp?article=articles/archive/c0611/44c11/44c11.asp&guid=8CF5E5CB35CB42E1857F6F42970E2A2C I think all of three of them are exactly right. My expectation is that if Vista ships with this feature in place, a decade from now people will point to January of 2007 (assuming Vista actually ships on time) as the beginning of the end for Microsoft.