It is INTENSLY annoying to honest customers when licence enforcement measures
in software interfere with usage which is allowed by the licence terms or
which seems to be "fair use" to a reasonable person.
My Vista Ultimate licence says I can move the software to new machines
provided I am using it on on one machine only, yet after a modest number of
incremental upgrades and rebuilds I am reduced forever to having to exchange
48-digit numbers with Microsoft by telephone. I fail to see what extra
security this gives Microsoft against pirates since I've never been asked any
identifying or searching questions!
MS could very easily make this better both for customers and for themselves.
As well as having an "Activate Windows" transaction as at present also have a
"Deactivate Windows" transaction. This would return that copy of Windows to
the deactivated state and notify MS that the licence was not in use (or
decrement any usage counter). This would allow automated activation again for
that licence. This would help customers who regularly upgrade or reinstall
and would also provide a real guarantee to MS that the licence was not being
used more than once. Of course it does not help with the situation were a
computer or system disk fails unexpectidly and has to be replaced since it
would not then be possible to execute the deactivate transaction. But it
would address the majority of practical cases.
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