I told you so

Microsoft May Have Mistakenly Pegged Half A Million As Pirates (InformationWeek)

I have made no secret of the fact that there is no place for Windows XP on any of my machines. I do not like the idea of software “activation”, and will not do it if I have an alternative.

Once activated I have a big problem with the manufacturer checking if my copy was “legit”. If activation worked properly, surely this would not be necessary. I don’t want anyone sniffing around in there – it’s MY computer, dammit!

My biggest beef, however, is with DRM – Digital Rights Management – the idea that content publishers have any right to tell their customers me what to do with the content after purchase. As long as I do not infringe on your rights to profit from your content, leave me alone.

In this story, over half a million users have been mistakenly labelled as pirates by Microsoft’s overly-zealous “Genuine Advantage” program. That’s over half a million cases too many. Over half a million cases of slander or libel. And we, the People, just sit there and take it. Looks like Microsoft is taking “Genuine Advantage” of its users. And Windows Vista looks like it will be even worse.

I have commented again and again and again on why I don’t do XP at home. Besides, Windows 2000 is virtually identical under the hood – in spite of all of the claimed innovations, the version number went from 5.0 (2000) to 5.1 (XP). Turn off all of XP’s “dancing baloney” and it is hard to tell them apart.

Would you buy a car that breathalyzed you before it would start? Or one that sensed the speed limit and prevented you from exceeding it? Then why do we put up with this?

The first duty of an operating system is to enable and empower users – not to command and control them.

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