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Corporations Suffer Microsoft Activation Bug

michael posted about 11 years ago | from the under-the-yoke dept.

Microsoft 744

Uncle Bob writes "Trustworthy Computing, eat your heart out! As of the 2003-04-14 update, people are reporting that Office 2000 SR1a is now asking to be "registered" again. And again, and again. Very little information has been posted on the traditional news sites (the only link I could find was The Register. Note - The Register's story is not quite accurate, but the registration bug is real. Our company with approx 80,000 PCs has been hit...."

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744 comments

Again?!?! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5750874)

Mother I have not failed you!

Sweet. (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | about 11 years ago | (#5750876)


"You have successfully activated Microsoft Office 2000.
Your computer will resume crashing.

Re:Sweet. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5750952)

Shutup.

Re:Sweet. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5750960)

you mods are h0m0s, dat was funny. i hate you MS shills.

Re:Sweet. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5751052)

when I read this post I think of the cartoon Inspector Gadget, "Go Go Microsoft Basher"

What is true, then? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5750885)

If the Reg is false, then what's the true story?

Re:What is true, then? (2, Informative)

xanadu-xtroot.com (450073) | about 11 years ago | (#5750935)

If the Reg is false, then what's the true story?

The dude didn't say "false", he said "The Register's story is not quite accurate, but the registration bug is real.". What part of that did you not get? The article referenced doesn't get *EVERY TINY LITTLE DETAIL* right, but the fact still remains that this is something that I get to look forward to getting calls and e-mails about in the VERY near future (I'm the Admin...).

Re:What is true, then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5750988)

The dude didn't say "false", he said "The Register's story is not quite accurate, but the registration bug is real.". What part of that did you not get? The article referenced doesn't get *EVERY TINY LITTLE DETAIL* right

"Not quite accurate" means exactly that. Parts of it are false and other parts are questionable. For all we know this whole story could be bullshit. I just looked on Microsoft's home page and saw no mention of this "bug". If it was really that bad they'd replace their front page with a clear and concise instructions on how businesses can fix the problem. Pffft, yea right. ;-)

Re:What is true, then? (1)

uberdave (526529) | about 11 years ago | (#5751030)

If it was really that bad they'd replace their front page with a clear and concise instructions on how businesses can fix the problem.

Assuming Microsoft knows how to fix it.

Re:What is true, then? (1)

fubar1971 (641721) | about 11 years ago | (#5751016)

doesn't get *EVERY TINY LITTLE DETAIL*

That's why I don't read The Register. It's kind of like saying Entertainment Tonight is the News

office? hah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5750887)

shouldnt someone be praising some LUNIX alternative?

damn kids and their LUNIX. fp maybe.

Its not a "bug", its a "feature" (1)

amichalo (132545) | about 11 years ago | (#5750889)

This is actually a feature of Microsoft's "Office 2000 CFO" an internal product used only at Microsoft.

Half empty or half full - depends how drunk you are

80,000 (-1, Insightful)

Carbon Unit 549 (325547) | about 11 years ago | (#5750894)

80,000 PC's. Good lawd! Imagine the savings this company could reap by switching to Linux and some kind of OpenOffice product.

Re:80,000 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5750941)

The savings of having to retrain everybody to use an inferior spreadsheet and presentation manager and learn some other way than Access to manage data?

There's more to an office suite than a word processor.

Re:80,000 (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5751010)

If they're using Access to manage any important data, then they're already five years too late on learning a new way of doing it. Really, havn't we all learnt yet? Using Access for anything important is a bad idea. Especially if you have more than one person using it at any one time.

Re:80,000 (3, Interesting)

npietraniec (519210) | about 11 years ago | (#5750950)

Yes, and imagine the hell (and cost) when all 80,000 users are confused about how to use their computer and half of their complex .doc and powerpoint documents don't work right.

Re:80,000 (0)

xanadu-xtroot.com (450073) | about 11 years ago | (#5750974)

Imagine the savings this company could reap by switching to [snip OS to make this more a real issue (yes, I love Linux but that obviously doesn't apply in this topic)] and some kind of OpenOffice product.

I thought the exact same thing, brother. I'm *really* trying like hell not to forward this story to my Upper-Aboves and include a link to OpenOffice [openoffice.org] in the message body...

Re:80,000 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5750996)

Umm... I may acidently spam a load of companies.
Hit by the office registration bug, try OpenOffice, free and NO REGISTRATION REQUIRED.

Re:80,000 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5750975)

Oh yeah. It will save tons of money by installing 80,000 copies of linux and hiring an army of linux admins.

Re:80,000 (2, Insightful)

bigpat (158134) | about 11 years ago | (#5751001)

I'd say between 4 to 8 million dollars(probably over a 4 to 5 year year period given the lifetime of PCs in corporate environments), but only if Dell would only offer workstations with Linux preinstalled for less than those with windows.

Dell is the next windows gatekeeper.

Not cost effective (5, Insightful)

Phelan (30485) | about 11 years ago | (#5751012)

With a company that large support costs would be substancial. We both know they are not shelling out a per computer licensing fee, but probably have site licenses that are actually rumored to be cost efficent. [we use SuSE on all our servers, and some of our desktops but we are also significantly smaller and did not change systems mid stride]

The main cost here would not be the licensing, but rather the training until the same level expertise is reached with the new system for the workstation user (lost man hours, actual cost of training etc.) and support costs.

I don't know what the acceptable standard is of system administrators to users, but lets say 100 users need a support staff of 3-5 people (depending on the field of expertise, shifts, back up personel, crisis management etc.) to gurantee uptime somewhere near 99.9% of the time. The avg. college kid can probably work as an intern in a lot of these when it comes to M$ based solutions, but when you go off into the world of Unices, where people actually need to have a basic understanding of what is happening support costs (and the avg. wage of the staff) would skyrocket. So grudgingly, I have to say that Open source would probably not be the answer for them, unless they phase it in through usual upgrade cycles and develop an efficent system for training (and that is very much an 'if')

Re:80,000 (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5751021)

this comment should never have been modded up. Rather than to Moderate it "overrated" as I believe it is, I chose to forgo my moderation privileges in this story to express my disgust.

This comment is not even close to being "insightful" its simply a whore's ploy to suck up to the slashdot mentality by offering a canned statement. For this opinion to be insightful, some sort of evidence would have had to be expressed.

Furtthermore, if this was in fact a satire of the slashdot community, as I must wonder if it is, then that should have been made far more apparent. /Grumble

CollegeBlows.com [collegeblows.com]: Because College Blows.

Re:80,000 (0, Insightful)

nmg196 (184961) | about 11 years ago | (#5751068)

Anyone that thinks OpenOffice is good enough to deploy on that scale hasn't used OpenOffice.

Anyone that mods this down probably also hasn't used OpenOffice.

Remember: OpenSource is only free if your time has no value...

Re:80,000 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5751131)

Imagine a beowolf made out of those...

This hit us. (5, Informative)

sakailind (663992) | about 11 years ago | (#5750895)

This hit my company yesterday. We've got about 500 Windows 2000 workstations with Office 2000 and a site license. At the time we were negotiating I was arguing that we should be looking at free software and Linux, but was laughed at. While I'll agree it wasn't the best time for Linux on the desktop, this does have me pulling a 'I told you so' as hundreds of our employees are bugged each time they try to start office.

The solutions microsoft has suggested to us thus far:

  • Set the clock back two years. Means all our files have bad datestamps, and interferes with our content management system, so this is not an option.
  • Go through a four page process to clean the registry. This leaves you at a point where Office starts again, but it is still complaining upon startup. IE you still only have 50 times before you need to do this again.
  • Install new site license key. They've promised we'll get the opportunity to try that RSN. No idea if/when they'll get us a key - they've been stalling on this one. It could be that it's impossible without another patch first.
Are we happy? Oh noo....

Re:This hit us. (5, Interesting)

TopShelf (92521) | about 11 years ago | (#5750964)

If you have a Help Desk application that tracks hours related to working on this mess, you (and other customers) should ask for a reduction in your support costs to compensate for all the non-value added work your internal staff is having to do. Ideally, this sort of clause should be built into a purchase up front, and it would have to start with large customers, but MS (and other vendors) need to face some serious financial consequences for blunders like this...

Re:This hit us. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5750976)

OH my freakin god. they recommended you turn the clock back 2 years. Dude, some one should sue the pants off microsoft for lost of productivity for each hour an employee is totally unproductive because of this bug. That could add up to billions.

Re:This hit us. (1)

TheMidget (512188) | about 11 years ago | (#5751078)

OH my freakin god. they recommended you turn the clock back 2 years. Dude, some one should sue the pants off microsoft for lost of productivity for each hour ...

... of these two years, multiplied by number of employees!

Re:This hit us. (1)

Havokmon (89874) | about 11 years ago | (#5750985)

Set the clock back two years. Means all our files have bad datestamps, and interferes with our content management system, so this is not an option.

Do you have a central fileserver? Granted I'm a Novell guy, but doesn't the SERVER time stamp the files?

The time-stamp shouldn't be an issue, but then again, I'm a Netware guy and that's how Netware works..

Re:This hit us. (2, Informative)

jsupreston (626100) | about 11 years ago | (#5751053)

Dear God, please don't set the server clock back. If you do, NDS will be barking, yelling, crying, whining for a very long time. I know. I had a guy helping me when I ran a large NetWare shop, and he did this once. Took a while to clean up his mess.

Re:This hit us. (2, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | about 11 years ago | (#5751087)

You assume everything is kept on the fileservers, not in most environments. Yes you want to save thing off to the fileservers for distribution and backup but most people work on their files on their local pc's. This is the situation at almost every shop I have been to.

sra1a? (1)

Cheapoboy (634792) | about 11 years ago | (#5750896)

SRA1a? My company is running SR1 and we have not had any trouble, is it SR1a only or just SR1 in general? any word from the MS folks on a fix? everyone should email microsoft and ask them to go to http:\\www.doyouwant2cds.com

Re:sra1a? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5750938)

Got SR1 here, too. No trouble.

.. and again. (5, Funny)

deego (587575) | about 11 years ago | (#5750902)

> again. And again, and again.

It's all about creating trust. Interaction increases trust.

Re:.. and again. (0)

deadfishhotmail.com (548162) | about 11 years ago | (#5751026)

It's all about creating trust. Interaction increases trust.

I've been studying juvenile crime and when I first read that I saw "Incaceration builds trust". The scary thing was that it didn't sound to out of place (Is anyone else getting used to the gross consitutional violations of IP & DMCA...bleh).

That's not a bug.... (2, Funny)

levik (52444) | about 11 years ago | (#5750903)

That's not a bug... Remember, in the Microsoft business plan, there was a step before "Profit" which was kinda ambiguous? It was "????????".

Well, now we know that it really should have said: "Make corporate clients pay for Office an infinite number of times."

Profit indeed.

Re:That's not a bug.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5751054)

It isn't a bug, they actually intend to increase profit using click through-Ads at their registration site!

desperate attempt.. (1)

itallushrt (148885) | about 11 years ago | (#5750906)

Sounds like a desperate attempt to make you unknowing consumers and IT managers to purchase another license.

Watch out for the BSA on this one; well maybe not.

Yay for not upgrading (3, Insightful)

Bobulusman (467474) | about 11 years ago | (#5750909)

I'm using Office 2000 SR1 (not SR1a), so I'm just fine. I never really felt a reason to upgrade, since I haven't had a problem with it since I installed more than a year ago.

Re:Yay for not upgrading (2, Funny)

NineNine (235196) | about 11 years ago | (#5750944)

I'm using Office 2000 SR1 (not SR1a), so I'm just fine. I never really felt a reason to upgrade, since I haven't had a problem with it since I installed more than a year ago.

Well, I'm using Office 97. Nothing wrong with it. So there.

Re:Yay for not upgrading (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5751008)

I'm still using pencil and paper, BITCH.

Re:Yay for not upgrading (2, Informative)

afidel (530433) | about 11 years ago | (#5751126)

SR1 has a lot of problems including the fact that it won't work with Visio 2000. Most corp environments run SR1a because it fixed a bunch of issues with the origional SR1. In fact if people are having a problem with Office and they had recently installed another app the first thing I do is check the SR version, if it is SR1 then I install the SR1a update off a network share and reboot, about 70-80% of the time this fixes the problem. I'm glad I'm not at my last position anymore I can just imagine the fun with this bug and an office of 250 pissed off engineers.

Volume keys? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5750910)

Does this affect Volume License Keys? If so, I will be sure NOT to update. For legal purposes, I work in the IT department at a Fortune 500 company running Office 2000 on a bazillion PCs.

It's not a bug, it's a feature... (4, Funny)

xchino (591175) | about 11 years ago | (#5750911)

..of MS Licensing 7.0. Your software decides when you've used the program enough, and decides that you should probably be paying more for this great program.

QC? (5, Insightful)

say (191220) | about 11 years ago | (#5750913)

This seems like quite a nasty failure in Microsoft's QC department. Heads will probably roll.

My company is not affected, though. We have a few Office 2000s installed, but they work without trouble. My school, on the other hand, changed to OpenOffice a year ago. Guess that's the safer choice for now ;)

But seriously: If Microsoft keeps making mistakes like this one (which effectively costs a LOT to large companies), they're pretty much giving away a huge market share to open source. Thank God they are (still) so incompetent!

Re:QC? (4, Insightful)

MECC (8478) | about 11 years ago | (#5751125)

HoHoHo! Like they've lost market share as a result of any other problems. Sadly, there will always be a healthy supply of muffin-headed consumers only capable of buying msoft. They're the MS-Kateers. Free from the burden of thought, they shell out for 'software' that is just like what the Jones' have. If the Jones' use it, it must be good. Never mind it spreads viruses faster than a whore on a submarine.

That is NOT a bug. (2, Funny)

Chemisor (97276) | about 11 years ago | (#5750914)

First you bought Office 95.
Then you bought Office 97.
Then you bought Office 2000.
And you'll keep buying (excuse me: "registering") again, and again, and again...

Microsoft looking for beta-testers (1, Funny)

blitzrage (185758) | about 11 years ago | (#5750917)

"Microsoft Corporation is currently looking for beta testers. No experience needed. Work from home in your spare time and make up to $10,000 a week finding bugs in our software!"

Since no one is doing it at Microsoft... they might as well.

would you like to register microsoft office? (0)

m1chael (636773) | about 11 years ago | (#5750920)

would you like to register microsoft office?
would you like to register microsoft office?
would you like to register microsoft office?
would you like to register microsoft office?

another episode of friendly insane avatars.

Re:would you like to register microsoft office? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5750958)

Hahahahahaha. That's actually quite funny. Along with that Verizon guy ("Can you hear me now? Good!"), I would like to fuck Clippy up the ass, slit his throat, and toss his body in the river. Unfortunately, Clippy is a computer animation and has no physical manifestation. Damn.

Set your clock back as an interim fix! (3, Funny)

mrfiddlehead (129279) | about 11 years ago | (#5750921)

A reported fix is to set one's clock back 2 years. Perhaps they can set their clocks back 4 years to see if they can survive y2k this time round.

Why do corporates put up with this shit??!!??

upgrade (4, Informative)

asv108 (141455) | about 11 years ago | (#5750929)

To OpenOffice.org [openoffice.org](No Reg Required). Openoffice is now to the point where it is more than adequate for 90% of MS Office users, especially those who just use word and powerpoint. For the other 10%, just keep using MS Office.

Re:upgrade (4, Insightful)

dmccarty (152630) | about 11 years ago | (#5750995)

[...] those who just use word and powerpoint.

Is OpenOffice really there yet? During our final presentation last week in a CS class, a fellow was trying to explain to the teacher why his entire presentation featured scrunched up, barely legible text. "I created it in OpenOffice and brought it into PowerPoint," he explained, as the class laughed at at him.

I'm not saying that it's not a good product, but is it ready for prime time?

Re:upgrade (3, Insightful)

Planesdragon (210349) | about 11 years ago | (#5751083)

Is OpenOffice really there yet? During our final presentation last week in a CS class, a fellow was trying to explain to the teacher why his entire presentation featured scrunched up, barely legible text. "I created it in OpenOffice and brought it into PowerPoint," he explained, as the class laughed at at him.

The student deserved it. He should AT LEAST have ran through it once on the presentation setup, to catch any bugs like that. (We do that here at work, and we all have the exact same system.)

OoO isn't quite ready for prime time yet (see last 2 journal entries). It's getting better and better, but it's still behind Office in too many areas to perform a coup.

Re:upgrade (4, Insightful)

johnnyb (4816) | about 11 years ago | (#5751094)

That's true any time you transport documents - INCLUDING UPGRADING BETWEEN VERSIONS OF THE SAME PRODUCT. If you have different fonts, if you have different software versions, etc., etc. My guess is that he actually created it on _Linux_ using OpenOffice (Linux has completely different fonts) and then moved it to Office. Font issues (at least from my experience) do not exist on Windows OfficeWindows StarOffice conversions.

The only way to _really_ be sure that something looks exactly right in two places is to use PDF.

THe same thing would have likely happened in many other cases not involving StarOffice at all.

I'm not saying StarOffice is perfect, but people seem to be blaming StarOffice for every little problem they have, completely ignoring the times when they happen on their current system, or even when it might not be StarOffice that's at fault.

One thing I love about the latest StarOffice beta is that it allows you to convert PPT files to Flash for web usage - that's a cool feature!

Re:upgrade (1)

asv108 (141455) | about 11 years ago | (#5751095)

I've exported from OO to ppt several times without a problem. I think this kid was just using it as a creative excuse. I actually like OO Impress a lot better than PPT. The ability to export your presentation to flash in 1.1 beta is real cool. I also like the html export better too. The best part about impress is you can import any PPT template so your not stuck using templates only designed for OO.

Re:upgrade (1)

Gareman (618650) | about 11 years ago | (#5751062)

90% compatible is a lot like 90% up time. Sounds good to management but it's unworkable in practice. I recently switched back to Office XP after using and touting OpenOffice with my tech buddies for the last six months. It's not quite there yet, but I'll be back.

Re:upgrade (1)

kris (824) | about 11 years ago | (#5751066)

Yes, it is. I have been lecturing using OpenOffice Impress last year and this year, using Suse Linux 8.1 and OpenOffice 1.0.x on a Dell Inspiron 8100, and it just works fine, thank you.

The difference between me and that student you describe is that I do not try to bring my presentations to another format, but I am using sxi, sxw and sxc natively. OpenOffice is free after all, so if students want to use the slides they might as well install a copy. For those who don't want to, I do PDF exports.

Kristian

Re:upgrade (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5751067)

Upgrade to 90% of the functionality ?

Isn't that exactly the same as a downgrade ?

Ahem... (3, Insightful)

Ace Rimmer (179561) | about 11 years ago | (#5750937)

Nice bug. They really encourage people to pirate so-called corporate versions (no activation needed).

I'm looking forward to a day when BSA (and other above-law organisations) will enforce all win users to buy ms licences for everything they use. That'd be a happy day for Linux.

Re:Ahem... (-1, Flamebait)

zenyu (248067) | about 11 years ago | (#5751003)

I'm looking forward to a day when BSA (and other above-law organisations) will enforce all win users to buy ms licences for everything they use. That'd be a happy day for Linux.

Nah, the wierdo Linux zelots will be complaining, "We don't use MS Windows, Word, or Powerpoint, we shouldn't have to pay the $1500 pc software pirating tax."

Piracy on the rise (1)

zmcgrew (265718) | about 11 years ago | (#5750943)

Do you think Microsoft wonders why there's been a sudden surge of people registering too many times per liscence with the same key? =)

I didn't want to register more than once... The software made me do it!

sue? (4, Interesting)

adamruck (638131) | about 11 years ago | (#5750948)

how long before someone sues microsoft for lost time/effort , 80000 pc's for a single company.. how many pc's total? Could it be in the millions?
The only thing I can think of protecting mircrosoft would be the EULA, but im no expert in that area.

Re:sue? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5751108)

Hell yes. Who does the EULA apply to? The End User! Is the Company or the Operator the End User? Hard, but if you argue that it's the Operator, and the Company is losing money due to that situation created by Microsoft, well, it's up to Microsoft to cover the costs because the silly EULA "contract" is between Operator and MS, not Damaged Party / Company and MS.

Cracking down on Piracy? (5, Funny)

jamesjw (213986) | about 11 years ago | (#5750956)


I think Microsoft have gone a little overboard this time.. maybe they got the licence code crossed with the auto save..

"It has been fifteen minutes since you last entered your licence number, would you like to enter it again now? [Yes] [Yes] or [YES!]" :)

-- Jim.

My 1st XP BSOD - data saved by Linux (-1, Offtopic)

ch-chuck (9622) | about 11 years ago | (#5750965)

Last Friday I started up my home XP box for the usual morning rounds, and when it was up the mouse and keyboard didn't work. This happens ocassionally and I just turned it off as usual. When it came back up it started to boot then got a big blue STOP screen claiming Unmountable Disk! I took it into work and tried recovery, reinstall, everything on the XP install CD said it was just an inaccessible disk and would have to be reformatted. Before taking that extreme measure (there was some stuff I didn't want to lost and hadn't backed up) I thought what the heck, lets boot the Linux disk in there - so I did, built the NTFS module, mounted the disk and was able to read it just fine! Recovered all my movies and sounds w/ no problem.

My disks are: hda1 - linux boot, small; hda2 8Gb FAT32 to share files; hdb CD/DVD writer; hdc Windows XP; hdd1 Linux root. My Asus A7V has an option on boot up you can select which drive to boot, so it can start either XP or RH Linux 7.

Could be worse... (1)

Bush_man10 (461952) | about 11 years ago | (#5750967)

Thanks be to god that MS hasn't started storing registration information in "bad blocks" on the bootsector of your hard drive. No amount of registry cleaning would be able to work around that solution. It would be a lot worse if MS attempted to do that. 80,000 low level format's....yeah...and then you would have 80,000 Linux installations i'm sure :)

Crack (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5750979)

There is a crack for SR1a that gets rid of the registration, but you can't update to any service packs or anything because the file it modifies gets overwritten. The crack can ONLY modify the SR1a file. Oh well.

Y2K bug? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5750984)

Sounds like a retroactive Y2K bug. Once again, Microsoft is at least 3 years behind in their technology..

Where is this in the TCO? (5, Interesting)

haystor (102186) | about 11 years ago | (#5750990)

Every time I hear that software price is only a small consideration in TCO, I wonder where licensing administration goes in that TCO. Be sure to file this one in there too.

I've also never seen acquisition costs for free software, "well I've got a meeting with the vendor this afternoon. we're gonna haggle over the price of 20 seats."

Piracy (4, Interesting)

wiggys (621350) | about 11 years ago | (#5750993)

Yet another example of how ordinary consumers can be hurt by anti-piracy measures.

So far we've seen:

products which won't work after 30 days until you "activate them" (Win XP, Office XP, Autocad, etc),
games which install fully to your hard-drive but require the CD in to be played,
games which require a CD key to be played online (try playing a second-hand game online!),
games which won't work with certain CD drives thanks to the way the Safedisk copy protection system works,
programs which require you to enter a particular word or phrase from the manual every time you want to use it,
CDs which stop you from making a legal backup copy,
DVDs which only work if you are in a particular region, or use a particular OS, not to mention Macrovision problems
etc etc. Yet the people who pirate products rarely have any of the above mentioned problems. OK, so they have to keep up-to-date with keygens and no-CD patches, but my point is that ordinary consumers are penalised for the crimes of others.

Re:Piracy (1)

daveodukeo (260037) | about 11 years ago | (#5751070)

It just goes to show that as long as the companies make having a legit product MORE difficult to maintain and use than a stolen one, people will continue to steal!

Re:Piracy (1)

rusty0101 (565565) | about 11 years ago | (#5751075)

You missed:

Programs that write authentication keys to boot sectors of the hard disk, breaking boot loaders other than the Microsoft mbr.

Re:Piracy (1)

Andrewkov (140579) | about 11 years ago | (#5751115)

And programs that require a USB or parallel port dongle to function ... kinda leaves you screwed if you have a slightly older PC with no USB support (Cubase comes to mind).

Re:Piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5751127)

Where do companies like VMWare, Curious Labs, Microsoft and Alias fit in? They cancel ebay auctions for their products on sight, claiming you first need to send proof to them AND ebay that you have a real copy. Some don't even allow you to resell at all, claiming it's an anti-piracy measure!

I've been bitten by all four companies, and it eventually took a $290 action from my attorney to be able to sell $2500 worth of software!

Re:Piracy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5751130)

Also lets not forget

  1. Tax software that writes to undocumented sections of the harddisk, possibly corrupting your data.
  2. CD-R drives that cannot be used to burn CD's because some brain dead DRM software found its way onto your computer.
  3. Phones that restrict what you can and can't send.

Boy am I glad I got into IT! Gee, its such a fun, fast paced, yet relaxed enviroment to work in!

Draconian verification (1)

Platinum Dragon (34829) | about 11 years ago | (#5751002)

Microsoft just wants to be absolutely sure you really purchased a licence for that copy of Office you're running, and you're not a communist pirate pig-dog who hasn't coughed up tribute to the God of your computer, He Who Controls Windows.

Change the system time !!! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5751009)

This service pack is supposed to be Microsoft's answer to software piracy...yet changing the system clock back 2 years will enable people running illegal copies to continue to use it ?

Microsoft products are like some big ghey shareware program you have to re-set your system clock to continue to use their buggy half-assed bs programs.

Am I missing somthing here or did I drink too much beer while watching the Leafs loose to Philly last night :(

Ha ha (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5751017)

Ha, ha, ha. Microshit dumps again!

This is only the beginning. (4, Funny)

Chocolate Teapot (639869) | about 11 years ago | (#5751024)

Within a couple of years you will not even be able to log into windows without standing with your hand on your heart, pledging allegiance to the gilded image of Chairman Gates and singing the anthem. All together now...

"Developers, developers, developers, developers.."

Psycho linux zealot morning news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5751028)

Just wait till MS releases another patch through windows update, problem gone... But i guess this kind of news gives you psycho zealots something to do in the morning doesnt it? Lets talk about all the little annoyances Linux has... oh wait its so perfect. Nothing on linux ever has glitches, security bugs, inconsistencies, misconfigurations... its 100% perfect to the core.

You people make me wanna go outside and kill kittens.

Re:Psycho linux zealot morning news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5751048)

Open office has no problems with activation.

Sure it's absolutely useless, but you dont have to activate it!

Re:Psycho linux zealot morning news. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5751069)

Oh ok! Lets switch to it then! So we can get nothing done but have it activated.

Shocking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5751034)

The Register's story is not quite accurate

Doesn't that go without saying?

Planned obsolecense... (2, Insightful)

alchemist68 (550641) | about 11 years ago | (#5751036)

Micro$oft was looking for a way to force people to upgrade to the new licensing plan. Looks like they've found a way. Bastards.

I, however, am unaffected by this tragic event. I'm a happy Apple Macinotsh owner who uses Mac OS X and OpenOffice.

Really, there is no reason why corporations have to stay with M$; OpenOffice is good enough for the average business user.

ho hum (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5751057)

What do you expect from microsoft? seriously.

Any company still using microsoft products deserves what it gets.

Corporate (1)

LittleLebowskiUrbanA (619114) | about 11 years ago | (#5751059)

I'm not in the corporate world yet so I don't know but what is holding back corporations from adopting OpenOffice or StarOffice? Excel? You can't say corporate support because doesn't Sun offer support for StarOffice?

Did anybody noticed the icon on top of the page? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5751072)

Funny! On main page you see the evil Bill gates on this one you see bill gates with a bug over him!
LOL Slashdot hummor!

good example! (5, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about 11 years ago | (#5751077)

This is one good reason why things like online registration and verification (like Windows XP has), and certain flavours of DRM, are flawed. There's the obvious privacy concerns as well, but this is a good example to show your friends, family and bosses why this stuff is bad. They might care less about privacy and rights, but they will care that, when a registration or DRM scheme will screw up, you will not get the benefit of the doubt!. Instead you will be locked out of your system and/or data.

This is a problem that PHBs, legislators and your dear old granny can understand, so spread the word.

Why is it (5, Insightful)

stratjakt (596332) | about 11 years ago | (#5751119)

That outside of the register and slashdot there's no mention of this bug? Google turns up empty, nothing in the MSDN.

Apparently it's affecting few systems, and not every install of SR1a, else it would be major news and be covered by mainstream media, and there'd be a downloadable patch or something.

Could it be some sort of user error? Installing as an unprivelidged user, or using some automated registry cleaner? Or Gator? Gator wrecks a lot of stuff, ya know.

It isnt affecting anything in our office, or any of our clients.

Is it possible that linux zealots are making a mountain out of a molehill? Nah, that's unpossible.

M$ pursuing the fix (0)

CmdrFaco (593442) | about 11 years ago | (#5751122)

This is an excellent opportunity to remind companies not to go Microsoft route. I know many of you choose the safe route and pay the M$ tax again until a next problem arises. There are now so many mature office environments to choose from and believe me they do work for you. In large company I work for 95% of people use only the basics features, except some M$ drones who want to impress everybody and put a big VB button in front of the document. If you are an decision making person make an assessment what you really need or hire one of so many linux consulting companies to blend it effortlessly into your IT structure.

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