WGA feedback... RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Well, I reinstalled three machines during the night, I guessed one (my main workstation had a hardware upgrade) would get hit by WGA. The other two activated over the internet but the workstation raised some questions so I thought I'd add some comments here. I should mention I use retail pro & am on broadband so my experience reflects that. I also have plenty to get off my chest....

    First off, the pop-up notification is way to persistant - I've just installed this machine, I know it's not been activated! If I'm a first  time user, all this 'Is it Genuine' stuff creates a  poor first impression (and the logon screen looks real crappy  with that notification on it). If I'm an XPerienced user, I'm going to be installing software and setting the machine up. I have a workgroup here, I'm logging on and off on three machines with four user accounts.  Normally I would never activate before testing everything - Today I have - I couldn't take it anymore! (I lost count of the number of times I closed that pop-up - then I lost the will to live - then wondered if a mac might be nice instead of vista...)

    I should mention one machine is a media center, given the number of times I've reinstalled that due to ms cock-ups (RU2, dotnet,  media player et al),  I'll move on...

    Second  Point - when I tried to activate over the internet, I was informed I had exceeded the number of times I could activate my copy. If someone could provide the paragraph number in the EULA that states numerically how many times I can activate, I would be gratefull. This sounds like criminalisation  - Ask me nicely to verify over the phone due to a large number of previous activations - Don't make like I've exceeded a limit that does not exist in the EULA. One licence one machine, unlimited activations.

    So, moving on to three... Having been made aware by the kindly  ms folks I'm now a  suspected criminal, I pick up the phone (now for some reason I genuine-ly expected a human at the other end) "p-l-e-a-s-e  e-n-t-e-r   y-o-u-r" - WTF! I enter the numbers and suprise-surprise! they don't validate. (we knew that didn't we children - the interwebby computer just told us that - it's not like the phone droid is going to check the same information and come back with a different answer, (I even rang again to check I hadn't mis-pressed). More time wasted.  More Music. More time. (I think I need a pee!)

     Finally a human-bean,  intellect & grace combined;

    "Hello, I need to activate a copy  of windows.."

    "Hello, and why are you wishing to activate today?"

    "err, I've just reinstalled it"

    "and how many computers is it installed on?"

    "two" - see, I was getting peed off by now (nice customer XPerience bill) 

    "ok, if you tel me your numbers, I'll tell  you mine..." (more time - I wondered where it all went)

    Now I know ms want to stop pirates and casual copying (safe software - use a licence!) but I don't see the Advantage. The process at the moment is way to frustrating, no-one wants constant pop-ups & nags on their screen, I feel like I've been bullied today and prevented from getting on with the things I want to do - like USE my computer. Other OS developers don't need to offer a 'Defender' as a carrot, they build  it right in, I hear it's called *nix.

    I don't think WGA should  begin to pester you until day 15 or so, and then gently to begin with. If people have reinstalled they deserve time to configure & test. A fresh windows should be a pleasant XPerience.

    For those already running windows I guess it comes down wether you had your PC repaired at any tme. It may to sloppy of a repair shop to use a VL key, but its hardly fair of ms to penalise the novice pc user.  Most PC's I've fixed have had software problems & issues, especially sypware slowdowns & virus infections.

    Microsoft's policy on OEM software is largely to blame here, by having restore discs that quickly get out of date it's not surprising repair shops use an up to date image.

     I could have 'restored' xp home 'gold' to my laptop, then spent an age removing all the OEM bloat-ware, oh yes, and then going online to download SP2 & all those post SP2 updates, hang on , what are these pop-ups (messenger service is on - seems familier now..) and oh yeah! I forgot the firewall is off by default, so now I'm infected, and I haven't finished downloading SP2 yet.

     If ms want to educate users about genuine software & licence agreements, why not put big stickers on all PC's? & have the EULA printed up & available before sale?. Make it a condition on resellers to inform users about the 'software stays on the machine' policy.  It's all rather 'after the fact' at present, and a painfull & expensive lesson for those who have been duped.

    Fact is, a few people over at MSFN can manage to maintain up-to-date driver packs &  updated windows slipstreaming packages whilst ms offers OEM bloatware & security holes. - Which feels Genuine & provides an Advantage? 

    I've no intention of using pirate software & I'm not against activation. But ms are making it a crappy XPerience - They have had years to work this method out & as a customer (& Vista beta tester) my enthusiasm for all things ms is greatly diminshed today - & I'm sure it will be again when the next version of WGA is released.

    I now have to go and repeat this pleasure with Office Genuine Advantage.

    Oh God Again!


    nb: Yes I can have XP on two machines and comply with the licence,

    ms  EULA;

    "4. TRANSFER-Internal.  You may move the Product to a different
        Workstation Computer.  After the transfer, you must
        completely remove the Product from the former Workstation

    The ms person who gave me the numbers didn't bat an eye when I said ''two'' - see what I mean about intellect & grace combined.


    Monday, May 29, 2006 8:10 AM

All replies

  • tbg,

    you are so totally right! Luckily I only had to reinstall once (after a lightning strike that totalled my machine) and that was before the so called WGA was pushed on the users. Activation made sense and so did the 30 days grace time. This much time is needed to get the system up to speed and naturally Windows Update should be usable during this time. I did all my patching via dialup so you know how many hours I have spent getting this machine up to a secure level. I pushed off installing SP2 for about a year and half, then got the SP2 from the office, dreading what would happen if it crapped up my machine (I would have had to re download every single bit of close to 100 patches via my dialup line)

    And I bet MS will come up with more genuine advantage tests which will piggy back on the Windows UPdate mechanism - You want to update your Windows hold on have you got word installed, you must activate it! Have you got a copy of Nero / McAfee / Diskeeper / Word / whatever installed you must activate them so you can keep using windows update. We will just keep bombarding you with messages...

    greets, realraven
    Tuesday, May 30, 2006 10:24 PM
  • realraven
    Dial up can be a real pain when installing updates!

    Unfortunatly I reinstall window on a regular basis, due to beta testing etc so WGA is going to be a pain. My biggest concern is how popular this will become with other software producers.

    As you rightly point out, others will piggy-back one way or another.  Many software titles now require activation, following MS's lead, and I'm sure they will be looking closely at some form of Genuine Advantage program for themselves. Imagine how that is going to be when you clean install 20 odd software titles. (popup Heaven!) Sadly I recon it will also be missused as a way to 'encourage' customers to update to latest versions. It will become too easy to pull the plug on 'old' versions.

    I've yet to see spam/virus's exploiting WGA yet but I bet it won't be long before emails start to arrive in peoples inbox's with dire threats about 'non-genuine' windows - please follow this link etc.

    We may buy the hardware, but our computers are no longer our own...

    regards tbs.

    Wednesday, May 31, 2006 10:53 AM