I have purchased every consumer version of Windows, except Windows Me, since Windows 3.1. I have also purchased dozens of Office licenses, Server licenses and CALs. I will not buy another copy of Windows until the activation system is removed. Not another moment of my time will be wasted entering excessively long 100-digit activation keys into my telephone, only to have the key automatically rejected, then manually accepted after a few more minutes of inconvenience by someone on the phone. I have had enough.
I know how to pirate Windows. It is easy to find, and easy to do. A simple search on The Pirate Bay yields a torrent with 1,265 seeders for an activated Windows 7 Ultimate iso. It takes less time than to buy it, I don't have to deal with the broken Live login system, and the BitTorrent downloads are faster. I only know this because I had to download an ISO after one of my discs became unreadable, and Microsoft refused to replace it. Why can't I just enter my product key and download an updated ISO with slipstreamed service packs? Why do pirates have a better experience than customers? If I want to reinstall my system, or upgrade my hardware, or switch between bootcamp and virtual machines, I will. I am not calling to beg for permission any longer.
I put up with this broken activation system on Windows XP, where it was virtually impossible to not be forced to reinstall every couple of years, at the minimum. I've had to deal with this broken system too many times, and I will not any more. I will pirate the next version of Windows, and if I have to go through the hassle of pirating it to get a working copy, I will not be paying for it.
Why does Microsoft insist on making it harder for paying customers to use the product, than for pirates? Why alienate the people that actually pay for the software? Until this consumer hostile tomfoolery comes to an end, I am pirating Windows. Take the advice of Gabe Newell, and address the service problem that is causing piracy. Until that is done, I am not buying any more software.
Please do everyone a favor, and stop this. Piracy is not being prevented. No amount of legislation will remove piracy from the internet. Even if The Pirate Bay is shut down, there will be other ways. Pirates will just borrow the corporate edition from work, or download at link speed from Usenet. The only thing these activation schemes are doing, is inconveniencing those of us that pay for the product.
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