Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Vista - Going Once... Going Twice... You're Fucked!

Microsoft gets a lot of bad press and generally I don't think it is deserved. They do make some immense screw ups though - don't mention DRM to Gareth for instance!

Anyway, the latest Gatesism that has crossed my path has left me bewildered!

Each copy of Windows Vista will only install twice! Full Stop, No More! So if you bugger your system up more than once or decide to switch a few key components (mainly your motherboard) then you are in deep do-do! (And we ain't talking extinct flightless birds.)

Now Serena and I have been good citizens for quite a while now, owning three fully licenced copies of Windows XP. The laptop copies aren't an issue, as you aren't going to switch your hardware around much in there, so restoring from the original back-up disks is the way to go every time (followed by a 6 hour session of patching Windows).
Let me look at our desktop though:
So far that copy of Windows has been reinstalled 3 times. Once following a motherboard death, once just to clean up a slowing system and once following hard disk failure.
OK, assuming I was a really organised good boy then I would have taken a Ghost Image straight after the core install and patch and could have reverted to that image for two of the three reinstalls listed above without needing to "reinstall" windows. However if we suffer another motherboard death, then we would absolutely have to reinstall from the base disk, and if we were running Vista then Microsoft would not allow us to verify the install and download future updates as our number of installs had been exceeded.

Unlike Norton, who just reset the clock (so to speak) if you phone them up stating that you have been forced into a reinstall, I don't see Microsoft bending on this and it will make Vista a bloody nightmare to maintain in the long term. Surely in this modern day and age we don't need to start locking software down to a fixed number of installs in an attempt to stamp out piracy. If you read my rant on one of Gareth's DRM posts you will see that I am all in favour of games platforms like Steam and surely Microsoft are more than capable of setting up something similar for your Operating System and other applications.

Actually - how cool would that be... You install a really basic OS and connect to a website. It checks some details and then during a nice overnight session all your applications, drivers and whatever extra bits of OS you need would be downloaded onto the machine. No disk swapping, no 300 character licence keys and no incessant patching!

I don't like piracy. If I do use something "dodgy" and I like it then I will buy it and dump the dodgy copy. I consider that my right as a consumer to try before I buy!

Buying something that is critical to allow me to use everything else I have bought and to find that I can only use it twice is just plain wrong. Come on Microsoft - play nice!

OK - rant over and time for some humour!

Since I got up this morning, I have had the niggling feeling that something wasn't quite right.
I couldn't put my finger on it, but I have felt kind of distracted all day.
Anyway, I just discovered that I have had my pants on back to front since getting dressed in the dark!!!! At least the mystery is solved!


Jase said...

LOL - as soon as I post and surf a bit more, I find this:

Revision to Windows Vista retail licensing terms

You may uninstall the software and install it on another device for your use.

Our intention behind the original terms was genuinely geared toward combating piracy; however, it’s become clear to us that those original terms were perceived as adversely affecting an important group of customers: PC and hardware enthusiasts. You who comprise the enthusiast market are vital to us for several reasons, not least of all because of the support you’ve provided us throughout the development of Windows Vista. We respect the time and expense you go to in customizing, building and rebuilding your hardware and we heard you that the previous terms were seen as an impediment to that -- it’s for that reason we’ve made this change. I hope that this change provides the flexibility you need, and gives you more reason to be excited about the upcoming retail release of our new operating system.

GF said...

Having just spent a week in the US, I couldn't work out how you didn't notice your trousers were on back to front - then it clicked....