Windows XP -- digital camera/photo features

Started Apr 23, 2001 | Discussions thread
Daniel Lauring
Daniel Lauring Veteran Member • Posts: 9,305
The unspoken truth about software registration.

First let me welcome you to dpreview, Rick. I know it can get dicey at times trying to walk that fine line between interaction and support. I wish you the best.

I'd like to make a comment regarding the registration. There is a truth out there that Microsoft and pretty much anyone who builds and tinkers with computers knows. That is, one copy of Windows is often used multiple times by home users. We can debate back and forth the morality and legality of this, but we all know it happens.

From a user standpoint, many people purchase multiple computers and end up with more than one copy of Windows. I would estimate that I've paid for 20 copies of Windows in the process of buying machines and probably another half a dozen copies outright as upgrades. Microsoft is definitely making money off me and others.

People, justify using one copy of Windows on multiple machines by knowing they won't be using more than one machine at once. It is perfectly legal to move the single copy of Windows from machine to machine but incredibly inconvenient to be uninstalling and reinstalling it so they leave the copy on the other machines when they aren't using them.

Combine that with the fact that tinkerers are often moving video, sound and network cards around and the complexity of the situation becomes even greater.

Now enter Microsoft's new registration scheme. Will it stop the big pirating companies or will it punish "power" users.

I believe, and I'm not alone here, that piraters will quickly find ways to hack WindowsXP so that they don't have to register it. Meanwhile, power users will, have to buy multiple copies of Windows (Microsoft would like this), constantly be registering their copies of Windows, or be forced to side with the piraters and hackers.

Additionally, Microsoft is greatly underestimating the populace's fear and paranoia of "Big Brother" and the huge backlash that will ensue.

As an aside (this can lead to a whole huge debate like I mentioned in the beginning) there is a legal/moral reasoning on both sides of the multiple installation debate. Microsoft will argue that every machine should have it's own licensed copy of Windows installed on it. On the customer's side people have been forced to buy multiple copies of Window's that were not needed because Microsoft created licensing agreements with companies that required them to package individual copies of Windows with all their machines (For example if I'm buying a new machine to replace an older, outdated machine that fried its hard drive why should I have to buy a second copy of Windows for it? Why can't I take the copy from the trashed machine and install it on my new machine.)

In conclusion this new registration policy will punish and alienate Microsoft's longstanding customers while only acting as a temporary diversion for hackers. Perhaps Microsoft thinks it can recoupe the massive losses from the millions of pirated copies of Windows floating around foreign countries by milking more money from it's well founded user base.

I hope this helps you understand a bit of the customer's perspective.


Rick Turner wrote:
I can (and do) understand the want for simplicity and ease of use.
Also, yes, you're right, the interaction of a product and also of
the sale of that product have great influence on customer
purchases. No doubt about that.

I guess I am trying to communicate two primary points about the new
registration requirement in Windows XP:

First and foremost, we spend a lot of money, time and effort (not
to mention blood, sweat & tears!) working on our products. As in
EVERY other profession, if a person uses our products, we deserve
compensation for those products. Every person has a right to use
or not use our products. They can choose competing products, etc.
But if they choose to use our products, we should be compensated.
Right now, we are only compensated for about half of the instances
where our product is used. The fact that piracy of our products is
so rampant dictates things like required registration. If you
don't like the registration, by all means, vote with your wallet.
But even more so -- you should become a champion against software
(or any kind) of piracy.

Secondly, the registration process is literally a one-click
operation. You don't need to fill out ANYTHING if you don't want
to. Also, you don't have to register right away. I think there's
a 14-day period once the OS is installed. (Don't quote me on the
14 days, though). The overriding point is -- this is not a long,
laborous process. It's quick. It's simple.

To clarify -- when I said "vote with your wallet" above, I am not
meaning to imply that I don't want you to use Windows XP. I do!
But I recognize your right as a consumer to vote for or
against products by how (or if!) you spend your money on them.
That being said -- Windows XP is BY FAR the best OS Microsoft has
made (by just about any metric you can measure an OS by). I use it
every single day, and it rocks! We've endevoured to make the
registration process as simple and non-instrusive as possible. It
would be a shame (in my opinion) to miss out on all the great
features of this OS because you don't like the idea of
registration. However, that is, and will always be, your choice as
the consumer.

Sorry for the long winded response. But I thought the comments
were warranted.


P.S. I guess it's time to say that these are my opinions and do not
always necessarily reflect the opinions of my employer.

P.P.S. If people want to keep talking about this, perhaps we
should start a new thread on software piracy issues in general.

PatiO wrote:

Painless, or pain in the rear? I guess it's in the eye of the

I guess I have to agree with some of these posters, Rick. I think
us PC users and web site purchasers are getting spoiled by the
sites that do it right (In our minds.) If we go on a site to
purchase something and the site turns out to be even a little bit
difficult to get around in, we go somewhere else to spend our
money. If an eStore asks us for our card number too soon in the
transaction, we balk and exit. If they charge our card before
shipping, forget it! We post hate mail about them all over the
net. And MicroSoft should (and I am sure they do) pay attention
and not start making things MORE difficult all of a sudden. Not
when we sense the trend is in the opposite direction, toward making
things easier for us. Asking for all this registering; etc. is
just going against the tide. (Boy, I do go on about this, don't
I?) PatiO.

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