Fun with Microsoft’s Genuine Office Validation…

I ran into a very interesting scenario with Microsoft's Genuine Office Validation the other day. Basically, I have Office 2007 Professional Plus installed and activated on my notebook. And, I wanted to install the Save as PDF or XPS Add-in (Link). No problem, I located the Add-in download page on the Microsoft site, and started to step through the validation process and was then presented with the following message: "This computer has failed validation."

Err... What? Internet Explorer was then redirected to the following page:

 

Fun with Microsoft’s Genuine Office Validation…

Hmmmm... Per the page validation summary I have a valid copy of Office 2007 Profession Plus. But, it states that my Office Visio Professional 2007 installation didn't pass validation. Oh how nice, on the page that Microsoft is giving me there is an option to purchase Office 2007. Ok, let's back this license train up and look at why this picture is wrong:

  1. I have a valid copy of Office 2007.
  2. The Visio installation only failed the validation because I haven't activated it.
  3. Microsoft has presented me with a page to buy Office, which I have a valid copy of.

Why is this picture wrong in so many ways? Well, the Visio license is valid, I just haven't activated it. I'm just too lazy to complete the wizard, I guess. In addition, I have a valid copy of Office 2007. Granted, I know that the Add-in works with Visio, but why couldn't I just get the Add-in for my "valid" Office installation. Furthermore, why the heck does Microsoft even require you to activate software in the first place in order to download the Add-in? Haven't they been pushing the whole download, install, and try scenario for the past couple of years?

I can download Office 2007 or other products and try them out. But, if I want to also try out Add-ins, tools, or other enhanced content (hmmmm... to maybe see if those enhancements meet my business requirements) I then need to deal with a schizophrenic DRM system.

Dear Microsoft,

When used incorrectly and in direct conflict of something that you are promoting. DRM sucks! By making the usage of your software a hassle, you risk further pushing more users of your applications to other solutions.

On another note, I have a new Media Center PC coming next week that has a cable card tuner. I can't wait to see what DRM fun will be in store for me: http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/software/soa/Ex-MS-security-guru-to-dump-Media-Center-for-Linux-/0,130061733,339282399,00.htm

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