• Activation


    It seems to me that the antagonism generated by the Activation idea is a simple PR failure in Microsoft’s behalf.

    • It’s free, easy and painless and can be done on-line.
    • it’s anonymous (so the process informs me).
    • it is not closely connected to Registration. You may choose the former, and yet not register the package.
    • as far as I can see there is nothing at all to worry about (unless it be that Win 2kP could well be discontinued.)
    Viewing 3 reply threads
    • #542372

      It isn’t free. Someone had to code it, Microsoft had to pay them to do it, that cost is included in the price. It also is not free in that it takes time every time you boot and you have to wait longer to use your computer. If you install a product that uses this monstrosity, you will pay that cost every time you start the product. You will also pay a hugh cost when the code decides that it is not running on the same machine and denies you access to your computer or data. It is not “anonymous, the code can be used to identify your computer by comparing it to a newly calculated code. How can you say there is nothing to worry about? Do you think that Microsoft writes bug free code? Do you think that this code is compatible with all future new hardware?

      Anyone who installs a product that includes this monstrosity deserves what they get.

      • #542377


        it takes time every time you boot and you have to wait longer to use your computer

        [/indent] not true – booting with xp is much faster to begin with, but even so, the checks that are used take a split second. any number of apps loading at start can slow booting more than activation.

        the code can’t be reverse engineered and can’t be used to identify the hardware in your system.

        • #542386

          If it is not true, then please explain how the code runs. The last time I checked, code took time to run, and since this happens at startup, it delays when you can use your system or program. XP may boot faster, but it must be slower that it would be without this monstrosity. Waiting for an explaination on how this code can run in zero time.

          • #542424

            it takes a split second for the hardware hash to be compared with the current hardware – with the current state of processing power, it’s nothing.

            if you hate winxp and activation so much, why not avoid this forum? you don’t appear to have an interest in learning about it, only knocking it down with false information.

            others come here to learn – you come to spread lies.

            • #542448

              And exactly how many seconds is that split second times the number of times XP is booted each day? And how did you come by that “split second”? Is that any more accurate than if I pulled 30 seconds out of the air? Don’t forget that this code has to interrogate the adapter cards in the bus, and that is not normally something that is done in a “split second”.

            • #542465

              before you start throwing around your theories, i think you need to run xp for a few weeks – and run some benchmarks.

              1) i rarely need to reboot xp – and on those rare occassions that i need to reboot weekly, it’s because of things i’m testing, not xp. rebooting multiple times a day is not needed – this is not the unstable win9x you are used to. Even so, it wouldn’t add up to more than a second or two total if you rebooted every few hours, especially at the higher clock speeds of newer processors. (I’m using relatively old and slow PIII500- PIII800’s)

              2) split second is a heck of a lot more accurate than 30 seconds – it doesn’t even take 30 seconds to boot my machine to xp pro – with most of the delay attribuated to POST (which happens no matter the os)

              you really need to use the program before you start complaining about it – as it is, you have no clue as to what you’re talking about and are only spreading fear and falsehoods. If you’d do some benchmarks like many of us have and you’ll see you are wrong.

            • #542472


              If you’d do some benchmarks like many of us have and you’ll see you are wrong.

              I agree, if you have NOT run it, you have NO knowledge of how it runs. What you read in a lot of the anti-MS news is NOT what is happening.

              DaveA I am so far behind, I think I am First
              Genealogy....confusing the dead and annoying the living

            • #542507

              My RC1 boots faster (than W98 and W2k), all apps load faster, and there have been no errors of any sort. I definitely will buy the commercial release when the beta expires.

            • #542527

              Hi LC
              Somewhat raw nerves exposed here, I feel.
              I am a little disappointed in your disingenuous interpretation of my use of ‘free’.
              I think you know very well what I meant : it’s free in the sense that once you’ve bought the product, you are not then made to pay a further fee to use it. The fact that it has been budgeted for in the development program is neither here nor there.
              I used to argue (and just as vehemently) against activation, XP and the licensing thing, having read ‘all’ about it in the computer press. I would put most of what I read down to MS bashing. Why the change of heart LC? I’ll tell you : I got hold of an RC1 test copy (runs for 362 days or something) and installed it. My opinion now is, no matter what crass marketing ploys MS have instigated, this OS is the best yet. It actually looks like a professional product, feels good and is stable and smooth in operation. My big beef is that new application versions are going to be needed, and I’ve just upped to the Win 2kP platform. There ain’t that many cheap upgrades!
              I really can’t see any mileage in arguing about a few milliseconds on boot times – that, I would say, just isn’t the point. You might want to complain about needing to activate every time you change hardware – except that this isn’t true either. It’s only major changes for which it is necessary, and then it’s a few minutes of one’s time (less for cable modem systems).

              XP is not perfect (I have a couple of problems, though this could be down to me, rather than the program) but I reckon it’s what Windows should have been several years ago.

              The problem with antipathy such as that to which you are (rightly) entitled is going to arise when MS discontinues support for all other OSs. (At least for the home user – I can’t see a wholesale corporate relinquishing of NT or 2000 in either professional or server flavours). My fervent hope is that ME will die the death it deserves : I get more queries about the way this snarls up things than any other three OSs. (And no, I already triple boot, so another one I don’t want).
              As for deserving what I get, I think I can live with that. What you are saying is equivalent to asserting that someone who, for instance, has a Rembrandt on his wall, deserves what he gets : true, but the point not quite thrusting in the direction you meant it to.
              I can only surmise you’re heavily into Linux – or you soon will be.


            • #542544

              Well, the interpretation that once you have paid for something it is free certainly is a unique interpretation.

              No change of heart here (and actually no MS bashing). I have had this opinion of “copy protected” software since it was first tried by Lotus and Ashton Tate. Having lived through that debacle, I really don’t want it again. Also, being a fan of Microsoft software, I really don’t want to see them suffer the same fate at the companies that tried this the first time.

            • #542586

              The author of ANY software, be it MSFT or anybody else, has every right to include any protection mechanism it sees fit. If you don’t like that, then do not buy the product.

            • #542594

              I don’t believe I said in any post that I thought that Microsoft or any other vendor did not have the right to put protection code in their software. I definitely do not think that the government should be telling them what they can and can’t put in their software. I think that putting that code in their products is incredibly dumb and will allow other companies to clean thier clock just like they were able to clean Lotus and Ashton Tate’s clock when they had protection and MS didn’t.

              I have not and will never buy any software that inclues copy protection. I don’t have and will not have any of the current XP products that include this code. If MS insists on continuing down this road, and my current Win 2000 and Office 2000 no longer meet my needs, then I will probably move to Linux and some office product that works on it.

            • #542617


              I have not and will never buy any software that inclues copy protection. I don’t have and will not have any of the current XP products that include this code. If MS insists on continuing down this road, and my current Win 2000 and Office 2000 no longer meet my needs, then I will probably move to Linux and some office product that works on it.

              Why do you keep ragging on this, if you are NOT going to use it?

              DaveA I am so far behind, I think I am First
              Genealogy....confusing the dead and annoying the living

            • #542624

              In the hopes that enough other people will also realize what this is and pressure MS into abandoning it.

              The same reason I keep “ragging” when the government wants to take more of my freedom or property.

            • #542626

              ms won’t remove it because of ranting – they might if it can be proven to be a problem. As beta testers, Dave and I both know several people are trying to prove sudden unprovoked (no hardware changes)deactivations are causing problems. So far, no luck though – which proves it is stable.

              What also could cause it to be removed is poor sales, if PA could be proven to be the cause. I don’t think that will ever happen. Sales will be strong, considering the ecomony.

              Finally, do you really think MS is reading this forum or care about your opinion? No – they probably see you as a fanatic, like so many of the fanatics in the public newsgroups who rant against activation constantly. Most of those people are offended that they are being prevented from installing mutliple copies on their computers – which is the reason PA exists.

              However, time and time again they have shown they are willing to listen to reason. I watched during the beta and a couple of level headed testers made suggestions over the course of testing and every suggestion was either implemented already or is expected to be added in SR1. (A reactivation grace period after hardware changes is now in the server builds, should be in XP with SR1. The testers convinced MS of the need too late in the process to get it added before RTM.)

              Moral of the story… Ranting is a turn off – reasonable discussions can make a difference.

            • #542641

              If MS won’t listen to the “ranting” of its customers, then they deserve the fate they have started for themselves. Lotus and Ashton Tate didn’t listen either, at least until it was too late.

            • #542648

              Hi LC

              It was my change of heart I referred to, not yours. I don’t think my use of the word free is in any way idiosyncratic. It seems to fit in well with how other people use the term.

              Apart from any other consideration, one reason that MS may not appear to listen to you (in that they don’t implement your suggestions) is that there just maybe a faint chance of someone putting to them the diametrically opposite view.

              If you haven’t bought or used XP, I don’t see that your opinion can be considered to carry the same weight as someone who has tried it. In a sense you are not a customer, no matter what legacy products you may have bought.

              Sorry, but whether or not I consider your stand in this to be justified, I find your arguments specious. If you really are the proselytizing type, you’re going to have to produce something a little more cogent to convert people of normal intelligence and wide experience.

              I wish you luck.

            • #542652

              I don’t wish to belabor the point, but if you consider something to be free after you have paid for it, then everything is free. I don’t know anyone who understands capitalism who has your interpretation.

              If Microsoft won’t listen to people who don’t buy their products, then they are certainly doomed. If they don’t know why people are not buying their product, then they have no opportunity to ever sell anything to them. They have in fact already shown that they are listening. They have already modified the Registration/Activation wizard to try to make it less onerous (not successfully in my opinion).

              Once they figure out that the software pirates can get around this monstrosity and the only ones they are hurting are their honest customers and their own sales, I think that they will listen.

            • #542653

              You and DaveA are right. One of the most “annoying” things about this forum is receiving daily notifications of this man’s idiotic pronouncements. He’s like the Everready Bunny – he just keeps talking. If I don’t like WinXP, I won’t buy it. Not he case with LC, though. If I don’t like his repetitive, boring statements, but want to hear what other people think, I still have to be notified about what he says. Which brings me to a question. Is there anyway in Outlook 2002/WOPR to filter this guy out.? Some sort of rule that will send only his words to the trash barrel but not those of the people I want to read?

            • #542654

              You do not need to read his, or any other selected poster’s, postings.

              It is common in all unmoderated newsgroups/forums to find posters that yo umay wish would go away.

              1. Look for their names and ignore the postings. Nobody is forcing you to read their postings.

              2. Do NOT respond to their postings. If the postings do not get acknowledged, such postings tend to decline. Too many (and I am guilty too!) feel that they have to respond. Why? Do you respond to junk snail mail? This is no different.

            • #542656

              Hi Jim

              Yes, there is. This is not an unmoderated Forum. Persuade the Forum Moderator not to display his postings. But you’re unlikely to succeeed.

              In a democracy everyone has the right to voice an opinion without being prosecuted (obscenity, incitement, and libel apart). It doesn’t matter how wrong-headed, wilful, uninformed or controversial such opinion may be. I understand the US Constitution guarantee any adult should be able to read (though not necessarily to view) anything they want. I would suggest you turn off the automatic notification of messages and visit your forums daily.

              The danger with ignoring whomsoever you consider to hold opinions in the above categories, is that a relative newcomer seeing such go unchallenged may well take them as carrying weight. Since the avowed purpose of BBs such as the Lounge is to spread a little light (preferably without heat), I personally feel it necessary in such circumstances to put forward a possible refutation – should I feel there is one. I am sure there are better equipped Loungers than me that may well feel the same. There’s little I like better than a good old-fashioned argument (provided it does not degenerate into the “My dad’s bigger than your dad. Anyway, it’s my ball so I’m taking it home'” type of slanging match). There’s no room for flaming, either.

              If I am urged to take out a credit card (typical junk mail) and I file it under B, it has failed in its task. Junk mail in your letter-box is seen by you only. It is not in a public place. If someone posts inaccurate information which could cause a problem to someone in a publicly accessible place, I would expect that to be dealt with differently.

              Should Microsoft choose to withdraw XP owing to public antagonism stirred up by journalists with an axe to grind and a wide circulation, the world would be a poorer place. Whether I decide to buy XP or not will be decided on what I have found out, not what the yellow press has to say about it.

              In the final analysis, I should like to think contributors here may have contributed not a little towards counteracting that antipathy.


            • #542669

              I believe that you are incorrect. The Constitution does not gurantee anyone the right to express their opinion or to be heard. All it does is to prevent Congress from making any laws that prevent anyone from speaking. Since this forum is not run by the government, and no laws are involved, the Constitution has nothing to say.

              If the people who own and run this forum wish, they can ask me to leave any time they want to.

              If others wish not to have these conversations, then all they have to do is not reply to my messages. I am not replying to myself.

            • #542673

              I’m sorry LC, but I’m one of those who is going to give up debating with you. When it seems impossible for you to read accurately what has been written, then use it to make out someone is wrong, then I’m afraid it is hopeless. I nowhere stated that the US Constitution had anything to say about opinions – I made a general point that a democratic form of regime is noted for its tolerance of diverse opinion. The US Constitution, I went on to say, guaranteed that people are able read what they like : i.e. there is freedom of the Press. The two are not necessarily related.

            • #542717

              Will you guys quit going on about “the constitution”. This is the internet, not the USA, where your constitution doesnt count. Its an international forum.

            • #542666

              I am identified as the author of every message I write. All you have to do is not read any of my messages.

            • #542716

              Hear Hear MerC.
              I have 2 systems running build 2505 (RC1), the ‘weakest’ of which is a 233 with 64M RAM. Its perfectly adequate for most office tasks. I too used to think activation was not on, but having used the product, I would do almost anything to have it instead of 98/ME/NT/2000. Come on Legare, try it out, you can always go back to 2000 if you have a bad experience, but I doubt you will.

            • #542736

              It’s not slower on the 233 than the other OSs?

            • #542748

              But it is slower than it would be without the Registration/Activation wizard. Apples are not as orange as Oranges, but some apples are more red than others.

            • #542764

              Prove it – all i (and probably everyone else here) ask is that you back up your statements with PROOF.

              Run a benchmark on the various versions of windows and report your findings. Test XP using a retail copy and a volume copy. Tell us how many seconds slower activation makes it. You can’t… because you refuse to use it. Microsoft will never listen to your rants because you aren’t a customer – you have no practical experience with the program you are ranting against.

              The programs you used many, many years ago that contained PA don’t count – technology has changed since then. Quickbooks and Delphi both contain activation – many others will follow. Those two not only have activation, they also have mandatory registration. I paid megabucks for delphi – more than Winxp will cost for several machines. Did i whine? No – i activated and registered and got on with my life. I need both programs and no suitable replacement exists.

              Your rantings on a subject you know nothing about make you look like a nut case – and call into question your level of expertise in ALL areas. Would anyone in their right mind trust your opinion on any matter when you are so unreasonable about a subject you have never tried or tested?

              Come back when you’ve run tests on WinXP and can discuss the subject with some real experience. Many of the visitors here have legitimate questions and concerns – you are just adding noise and confusion and lack any data to back up your assertions.

              Unfortunately, not reading your messages is hard when there is no killfile feature – but you know everyone here is a captive audience and that’s why you keep ranting.

            • #542765

              Well stated, you have said what I wanted to but could NOT put it in polite words.

              DaveA I am so far behind, I think I am First
              Genealogy....confusing the dead and annoying the living

            • #542768

              Since when were ad hominim attacks polite?

            • #542767

              You don’t need benchmarks. Unless you can show me that either this has been activated without using any code, or that code can execute in zero time, then all that it takes to prove it is to show that it takes at least one instruction and that instruction requires some amount of time to execute. Even one instruction requiring some amount of time will make it slower by that amount of time.

              I don’t use Delphi or QuickBooks and if they contain copy protection I never will. I currently use Quicken, but will either stop upgrading or switch to something else if it ever does.

              I could get nasty and get into an ad hominim attack like: “Would anyone in their right mind trust your opinion on anything else when you keep ranting about code that runs but does not require any time to run? Come back when you understand how computers work.” However, I won’t because I understand that this is the technique used by people that do not have any other valid arguments.

            • #542774

              A split second is not noticable by the end user – only a benchmark program can even pick it up. Your only purpose in mentioning it is to argue and ‘split hairs’.

              i have repeatedly said it takes a split second. My benchmark results varied between .01 and .005 sec delay on PIII500s. the delays increased as i installed more programs and hardware – drivers are a bigger cause of slow loading than PA is or ever will be. Loading from different partitions of the same disk caused bigger delays (by a whopping .1-.5 sec – yes, 1/10 – 1/2 a second slower using a partition at the outside of the platter). loading from a 30 gig, 5400 drive was slower than a 30 gig 7200 by as much as 2 sec.

              so much other stuff goes on at the same time -drivers load etc – that the time required for checking activation state is not affecting the load time, even on the slowest processors.

              other programs loading cause longer delays than activation does. Of all the programs and hardware i’ve benchmarked, NAV2002 causes the longest delays – upwards of 10 sec on average, longer if there several programs loading at startup.

              Compared to win2k, the machines all boot to xp in under 30 sec, unless NAV is installed. Under win2k, boot times average 60 seconds. It’s been years since i benchmarked win9x versions, but they seemed about as fast as win2k.

              Programmers love to argue about how to speed up routines – but there are times it doesn’t matter because the routine doesn’t run long enough to be noticable. It doesn’t matter if the fast routine takes .05 sec and the slow version takes .1, the routine appears to end immediately in both cases.

            • #542792

              How did you benchmark this? First, you would have to have a copy of XP without the Registration/Activation wizard to compare to. Second, you would have to have code that was running before the boot started and was still running after the boot completed. That code would have to know when the activation code started running and when it completed. Unless you are a MS employee with access to their source code, I do not see how it is possible do a benchmark.

              If we accept your “benchmark” of .1 seconds, that times the number of times that XP will be booted over its lifetime plus the time people will have to spend registering/activating it, is a significant cost.

            • #542797

              i’m a personal beta tester (technical beta tester in MS terms) and the corporation I work for has had volume code running on a limited number of corporate systems for weeks in the corporate program. As part of the IT department, i have access to the corp builds and equipment to do the timing.

              It only needs activated once – that takes between 15 sec for the internet method and 5 min or so by phone. That is the only cost in time that matters – the split second during boot is only to check for activation and other programs “cost” more boot time. With some, a stopwatch is all you need to determine how much they slow down boot.

            • #542819

              Again, what are you measuring in the “benchmark?” Again, I do not see any way to measure the time taken by the registration/activation code without having access to Microsoft source code so that you could insert measure points in the code, no matter what you have access to at your company.

              It needs activating every time you make enough changes in your configuration (which is about once every week or two for me). 15 seconds time the millions of copies sold is a lot of wasted time and internet bandwidth. Just think how much that is slowing down those of us trying to do something usefull. Yet another cost!

            • #542820

              You have spent more time ragging on this than any of us will use in the booting up of our systems in any version of Windows for a year.

              DaveA I am so far behind, I think I am First
              Genealogy....confusing the dead and annoying the living

            • #542844

              do you change 4-6 pieces of hardware every week or two?

              if the nic is changed, you can change 4 additional pieces (is it 3 or 4, Dave?)

              if nic is not changed, then you have 6 items you can change.

              USB and other removable hardware does not count towards the 4 or 6 pieces.

              why don’t you get a trial copy of XP and test it for yourself? I’ve been trying to bring up the reactivation screen by changing pieces that typical users would change and can’t. Reports are even changing the processor and mobo are ok. (Typical users change very little hardware – most will never hit the 4-6 limit.)

              We use an external timer wired into the switch and turned off by an application that loads last.

            • #542858

              Yes, I do change four to six hardware adapters every week or two.

            • #542870

              what ones?

              if 4-6 of the same, only the first change counts. you need to 4-6 *different* pieces.

              Changing the nic for another, then another, then another = 1 change.
              changing the nic, video card and sound card = 3 changing those same items a few days later = the same 3 changes, not 6.

              Is that how you understand the cumulative changes Dave?

              This i know is totally correct:
              if you have 2 hard drives and change the second one, it counts as 0 changes.

            • #542879

              I test and evaluate hardware adapters. Yes, I do change four to 6 completely new adapters every week or two. Which also results in a complete reload of windows once or twice a month to clean out all of the drivers.

            • #542862


              (is it 3 or 4, Dave?)

              I beleive that it is 4

              DaveA I am so far behind, I think I am First
              Genealogy....confusing the dead and annoying the living

            • #542747

              I went through the disaster of copy protected software the first time it was tried, and I will never again have a copy protected software on a PC that I own. I will never again go through having to restore a system backup at a critical time only to find out that some copy protected software will then not allow me to boot or get to my data. I also will not reward a company that punishes their honest users for NO benificial reason (this will NOT stop the pirates).

            • #542538

              You don’t have to run anything to know that code does not run in zero time. You may think it is small, but it is a cost and multiplied my the number of times XP will be booted, it is a large cost.

              How many times do you start an Office app?

    • #543219

      But that is not a valid comparison. The cost is what it takes XP to boot with the code vs what it takes without.

      • #543270

        All of these ‘costs’ are irrelevant since there isn’t a person in the world able to take advantage of the possibility of an OS booting a millisecond or 2 faster than another.

        Sorry, I just blinked, there go another 376ms.

    • #543382

      No, The cost is the time that the code adds to the XP boot. XP may boot faster than NT, and that is a saving over NT. However, the extra time that the Registration/Activation code takes reduces that savings, and that is the cost of that code. If it was a cost that achieved a useful purpose, then it might be valid. However, this code performs NO useful purpose, and is therefore pure cost.

    • #543388

      Stating that my argument does not hold water is great, but it is nothing more than an opinion without any valid argument. I stated the reasons from what I said, you stated an opinion.

      • #543661

        This thread, as everyone can see, is taking over this forum, generating lots of heat but no new light at all. Still, it’s tremendously entertaining, in a perverse way, sort of like watching Jerry Springer, so I wouldn’t want to do without it. Here’s a suggestion. Why not start a new forum at Woody’s Lounge and call it Product Activation? It doesn’t make sense to restrict this topic to Windows XP, because it will inevitably be applicable to other software as well.


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