imho \im-hö\ abbr In My Humble Opinion

Are You Activated?

Well, I've been waiting for it to happen, and today it finally did. What pray tell, was all my anticipation about? Why the Microsoft Office Activation "feature," of course.

For those who don't remember, when you install Office XP on a system, you must activate it. Office forms a "snapshot" of what your computer hardware looks like during the activation. Make too many changes to your hardware and the Office Activation dialog pops up to inform you that you can't use Office again until you've reactivated.

Here's what Microsoft didn't tell you about activation (well, some of it they did, in fine print), which I learned the hard way today:

So what triggered the re-activation, you ask? Installing a new network card and pulling out my SCSI card. I've also added external USB drives, but if that was figured in the trigger, Microsoft's algorithm is decidedly touchy. Note that the memory and CPU hasn't changed. For the most part the only changes that occurred after installing Office were additions or removals of peripherals.

Now the interesting thing is that Microsoft clearly hasn't thought through this activation business. Why, for example, wouldn't you simply do a re-activation when a major update to Office is installed (they had their chance at SP-1 and SP-2)?