Microsoft’s “Genuine Advantage” is that I get the privilege of chatting with their Indian call centre staff every few months. How lovely.
Having just upgraded my computer I was admittedly surprised when my years-old copy of Windows XP validated online without a hitch, but it was to be no more than a delayed double-take as the mandatory re-validation failed after installing my new video card a few days later. “Your product key has been used on too many computers. Please enter a new product key.” Snort. This wasn’t the first time.
I rung up the 1-800 number and spoke with India. They’re doing well. It’s hot out. Yes, I really do own this copy of XP. No, it’s only on one computer. 10 minutes of cell phone time later my XP was working again.
My “Genuine Advantage” was that I got to speak with Ripu and Omvati consecutively!
What better way to humble my new machine than with Microsoft Flight Simulator X? I installed it, updated it to the long awaited Service Pack 1, and fired it up. WGA. Really. I was exasperated.
I looked for a Flight Simulator X activation crack (if you’ll pardon my SEO) but couldn’t find any that worked with SP1. Rather than uninstall, reinstall, crack, and then install SP1, I bit the bullet and called India again. How’s the wife? Eat any good tikka masala lately? Oh, and if you’re not too busy do you mind if I use the product I purchased from your fine company?
“You know, I’m getting awfully tired of your company calling me a thief. I know people who pirate your software whom Microsoft treat with more respect.”
“The activation procedure is sensitive and reacts this way when you change your hardware, sir.”
“Isn’t that what I just said to you?”
I want to keep my copies of XP and Office in pristine working order but I’ve had it with WGA. I’ll be cracking all my other Microsoft software from now on. It’s just plain insulting. It’s none of your damn business whether and when I upgrade my computer, Microsoft. No other software company demands that information of me.