We own two copies of Mac Office 2011 for our business, both of which have to be licensed (inflexibly) to specific machines. Basically Microsoft licensing works like this: it takes a little snapshot profile of what your machine looks like, what the processor is, how much memory you have, what hard drives etc., and then uses that do identify your machine. Change your machine, the profile changes and the software fails to start.
I added a hard drive over the weekend, an external drive that I just plugged into my Mac with a cable to do a backup. I was going to remove it again but I accidentally started Word and it freaked out, reset my product activation, and now I can’t run any Office applications, which I need for some client work that’s due tommorrow. However the product keys are on the original software disks, and they’re currrently in storage because we’re about to move premises. I have no idea where the box they’re in would be, it was all shipped out by removalists, and it would take several days just to go through everything.
Yet again, Microsoft’s stupid licensing system only hurts real paying customers, when those who pirated it are simply running their no-activation products fine on any machine they wish, completely unhindered by Microsoft’s pathetic attempt to lock them down. Next time I upgrade Office, I’ll be seriously considering cracking it, because it’s obviously pretty easy to do, and I’m certainly not the only one.
Fuck you Microsoft. Fuck you.