Seriously, Microsoft, WTF!?
I could rant about how you're swarming my market and my very young children with your personal sort of infectious insincere generosity which will, ultimately, increase our foreign debt and darw this rotten shamble of a country further down its doom-laden path o mediocrity. Instead, I'll address a more personal issue.
So over a year ago, I took you (dubiously) generous offer and applied for a free, valid Windows XP key from MSDN Academic Alliance. All went sparklingly well, and I had my little computer that could up and running for well over a year. Recentely, however, it all went to mush, and after a penous period of backups, I was comfortable with the idea of formatting and re-installing. So I whipped out my Windows XP Professional SP2, burned from an ISO image provided by MSDN Academic Alliance (it might sound as though I'm singing praise to this entity. Well, only partially), and went on to throw the irrevokable reset switch. Only this time, my key was no good.
As I would find out, the key MSDNAA assigned me is good for a single installation. After that, I'm just hoping it might be renewed. So I had to make do with an expired VLK licence key, and, just as expected, today the WGA thing started wreaking havok in my PC.
Seriously, Microsoft, what were you thinking? You know how your system is likely to need the occasional extreme solution. You know how useres are likely to upgrade their core components. For peanut butter and jam's sake, your system will even cry out bloody murder if it's transfered to another, exactly alike disk drive just because the serial number doesn't match, and you had to make disposable keys? Is it sadism or just the sort of misguided idiocy the world has come to expect from the self-proclaimed leader of the alledgedly free world for the last eight years? And what is it with that WGA tool? I've had viruses that were less harmful and annoying that that.
And dont get me started on your client support. You would have charged me €60,00 (not a typo! Sixty sodding Euro!) for a call, had I resorted to that service of yours twice before, and the gent who ansewred was even more clueless than I was. Would you have charged me €60,00 for "I'm sorry, there's nothing I can do"? I don't doubt it, you profiteering gluttons!
Well, then, Shark, old bean, why don't you just stick wholeheartedly, full-time to some other operating system, one which won't pester you for CD Keys and $149,90 for something you're already entitled to and isntead is mantained and supported by entire communities of keen programmers for free?
You mean Linux?
Oh, well, now... yes.
Thank you for that lovely intervention, Nagging Doubt In The Back Of My Head.
Please, just call me Gaz!
Gaz. Of course you're more than just some measure of right. I just wish software developers (a free beheading coupon for anyone chanting "Developers, developers, developers, developers", à lá Steve Ballmer) would realise this and think of the little ones who wish to free themselves of the tyranny of this oppressive monopolist, but don't want to relinquish the use of their magnificent products (for which, incidentally, we're willing to pay... ONCE, Electronic Arts!). Sure, there's OpenOffice and Gimp and whatnot to offset all your work needs for free, but I need not tell you all work and no play makes ArabianShark a dull, sour and very irritable member of the elasmobrachiae family of water-dewlling animals.
Pax vobiscum atque vale.
ArabianShark ponders the issue of weaseling his way out of the current predicament with a crack. On one hand, piracy isn't something this sea treader encourages or enjoys; on the other, I have a legal right to what I would seem to be acquiring through dubious ways. Oh, and how hard can it be to secure a legitimate copy of Command & Conquer Red Alert 3 Premier Edition? In this land of NO opportunity, quite hard indeed...