Windows XP -- digital camera/photo features

Started Apr 23, 2001 | Discussions thread
OP Rick Turner [MS] Regular Member • Posts: 114
Re: The unspoken truth about software registration.

Daniel --

Thanks for the feedback. And, yes, I think you've correctly identified how things work currently.

A couple of counter-points: if a person is installing one copy of Windows on more than one computer, then they are violating the licensing that they accepted when they installed the computer. Whether it is convienent to do so is a separate debate -- it is a violation of the product license that they have to accept to install the OS. There is no debate about that.

What is strange to me is that the arguement used to support installing one copy of Windows on more than one computer completely falls down if we aren't talking about software. It's seems obvious that hardware vendors wouldn't allow multiple free "copies" of a computer in the house, as long as they aren't used concurrently. I don't mean any disrepect by phrasing my argument this way, but why should software be different than any other thing that you buy in this regard? If you want a TV in the den and in the bedroom, and you don't want to disconnect it and move it, you have to buy two of them, right?

As for alienating and "punishing" power users, I see your point. However, the goal is not to "milk" more money from established users. It is only to get compensation for each unit of Windows that is installed. Every other company who sells any kind of goods tries to do the same thing.

Please note -- none of this is my area of expertise or responsibility in WinXP. However, I will pass along the comments on this site to those who are responsible for this feature of Windows XP.


Daniel Lauring wrote:

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

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.


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