Microsoft, Why Do You Treat Me Like A Pirate?

Windows XP: Legitimate F**king Copy Edition

Do you see that picture on the right? I bought Windows XP when it came out. An actual legitimate copy of Windows XP Home Edition. It promised a lot of things that it eventually pretty much delivered after a couple of service packs. It’s moved from machine to machine as I’ve updated hardware. I’ve gotten rid of basically all of my old PC hardware and now it lives on my Macbook Pro. I’ve been reasonably happy with it. Except…

With such a long history, I’ve long-since passed the time when Microsoft accepted my key without question through internet activation. Do you know what happens when you pass that time? Painful crushing phone activation.

Observe:

Windows XP Phone Activation

First, you have to call a number, and enter 9 sets of 6 digits (they’re kind enough to let you use the touch-tone phone to do it, instead of braving their voice recognition system). Then, on the 9th set, it always complains that it didn’t understand the last set of digits, until you’re forced to tell it to forward you to a human without finishing the automated input.

Then, since it didn’t actually record all of those numbers you put in, you get to read them again to the call-center person.

Then, they read a string of numbers back to you, that you have to type in, and finally, in true Microsoft fashion, you hit “Next”, followed by “Finish”, because it wouldn’t be Windows without a wizard with a few extra unnecessary clicks. 😉

Have you seen what you have to do to activate a pirated version of of Windows XP? I did a quick Google search out of curiosity. You use a pre-made serial number, and then run a command that will do the activation for you, and one more command to trick Windows Genuine Advantage(TM). Voila!

It’s sad that I find it so tempting to pirate something I legally own just because it’s so frustrating to activate the damn thing.

The best part is, the only reason I had to re-activate at all was because the logic board went bad in my MacBook Pro, and Windows no longer recognized it as the hardware it was installed on.

Even better, now that it’s done, I have to re-activate every time I switch from booting in VMware to booting natively through Boot Camp, or vice-versa.

Alternatively, you know what I had to do to register my copy of Mac OS X when I installed it? Nothing. Imagine that.

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