Joe Wilcox from Microsoft Watch interviewed David Lazar, director of Microsoft's Genuine Windows initiative, about "Vista's validation approach". Did you know that Vista has to phone home every 180 days to reassure that you really, really paid your debts to Microsoft? This is what I call paranoia.

Yes, I know, there are many pirated Windows copies out there. But didn't Microsoft earn a lot with Windows, anyway? Microsoft officials say that their customers pay for this in the end. But do you really believe that Vista would be cheaper if there are no pirated Window XP installations? I seriously doubt that. I am sure that there is only one criterion that determines Vista's price and this is how much we are willing to pay for it.

The fact is that Microsoft just hopes to earn even more with the sale of Vista than with the sale of XP and we, the customers, have to live with this genuine activation mess. I certainly don't belong to those Microsoft haters who begrudge them of every dollar they make with Windows and Office. Most of Microsoft's products are simply better that those of their competitors. But this activation nonsense really annoys me.

I just read an interesting article about Vista activation and its consequences for system administration in the German print magazine PC Professionell (3/07, p. 56). This text only summarizes the most important facts and is already four pages long. It is unbelievable how many things you have to take into account. Now we don't just need a deployment strategy, but also an "activation strategy". This is really nuts!

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As things stands now, I have no other choice at the moment but to start studying Microsoft's technical guidence about Windows Vista Volume Activation 2.0. Hopefully, things are not as bad as they seem now. I'll probably blog about it here soon.

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