Microsoft's Ugly Little Registration Bug
Joe "Zonker" Brockmeier -- April 30, 2003
If you patch your systems to rid yourself of one bug, you wind up with
an entirely new bug. This seems to be a common theme with Microsoft --
a company that can't seem to understand why its customers don't rush
to install every patch.
It's almost comical. When Microsoft .. announced its stepped-up and
intrusive registration procedures for its products, a lot of people
posed the question, "What happens if there's a bug with the
registration process, and I have to fuss with re-registering Windows
or Office over and over again?"
Once again, Microsoft's customers were bitten -- not by the original
product, but by a patch shipped to fix the product. In this case,
Office 2000 users are being prompted to register Office again and
again and again.
If you're saddled with this glitch, which only affects Office 2000
non- academic volume licensing customers, you'll be prompted to
register Office repeatedly -- until you've gone through the process 50
times, when another known bug in Microsoft's registration code causes
the entire application to exit.
Microsoft has been bragging lately about its total cost of ownership ,
claiming that its OS is actually cheaper in the long run than Linux.
This is despite the fact that Linux carries no licensing fees and
Microsoft's products carry very steep licensing fees.
".. the extra administrative cost of a notoriously insecure, buggy and
unstable operating system.
Let's not forget why users are being put through all this pain in the
first place -- because Microsoft is worried that it might lose a few
bucks here and there to illegal copying of its software. .."
Instead of treating its customers like criminals, perhaps the
company could consider dropping the inflated prices of its software
The profit margin for Microsoft Office is something like 80 percent.
There's little wonder that people are looking to avoid paying full
price for MS Office when the suite runs something like US$450 for the
full version and $230 for the upgrade. .."
It can't produce bug-free software, even with a 78 percent profit
margin. It treats its customers like criminals by requiring complex
registration processes. It overcharges its customers and provides
little to no support. When paying customers go to Microsoft asking for
help, all they find is a hulking giant with its hand out, waiting to
charge for an upgrade.
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