Here's when mechanisms such as Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) and Office Genuine Advantage (OGA) really get on my nerves ... when they get in the way of me doing what I want!
Here's an example. Yesterday I needed to fire off a quick fax, so I launched Word 2007 (installed as part of Office 2007 Ultimate) and went looking for a quick fax template by searching Microsoft Office Online. I found a template that would work and clicked on it ... only to be faced by this:
Since clicking on Resolve Later just prevented me from downloading the template, I had to deal with the problem so I clicked Get Genuine. Here's what that told me ...
OK, because everything checked out I tried downloading the template again. Uh-oh ... back to that prompt telling me that I'm a victim of counterfeit software ... Let's try Get Genuine again ... same thing again. I'm told everything checks out, but when I tried grabbing the template, I'm told there's a problem.
I then decided to fire up the two apps listed in the prompt - SharePoint Designer 2007 and Project Professional 2007 and I then discovered what the problem was - both of these apps (apps which had previously been activated) had mysteriously decided they needed reactivating. This is odd since both had been working fine a few weeks ago. With this done I could get the fax template I was after ... problem was by this time I'd forgotten what I wanted it for!
This OGA problem highlights some serious issues with the whole Genuine Advantage mechanism. Specifically:
- Lack of consistency between prompts displayed and online validation. Why didn't the Get Genuine link just tell me I had a couple of apps needing reactivation?
- Why is a problem with SharePoint Designer 2007 or Project Professional 2007 preventing me from using features in Office 2007 Ultimate? SharePoint Designer 2007 and Project Professional 2007 are separate apps to my Office 2007 suite.
Multiply this sort of annoyance by the number of Office installs out there and I can see why people are upset by these Genuine Advantage mechanisms.
I'll let Bender from Futurama sum up how I feel: "This is the worst kind of discrimination. The kind against me!"