Quest Updated: Microsoft And Eyepatches
Microsoft makes piracy a more attractive option than actually being a law-abiding citizen.
After my recent computer woes I have finally got a replacement laptop, and have begun the slow process of shaping it to my needs, and trying to adjust to the moronic layout of Windows 8, including wiggling the mouse round the right hand side of the screen to get a toolbar to occasionally pop up to click three times to shut down.
- You’ll Be Able To Play (Expensive) PS2 Games On Your PS4 Now | 2 months ago
- Jessica Jones Disempowers Its Male Characters And The Effect Is Refreshing | 2 months ago
- Hell Is 30 000 Deathclaws Tearing Through Boston And It’s Glorious | 2 months ago
- Sony Santa Monica Is Teasing Something Truly Strange | 2 months ago
One of the things that was quite crucial (just slightly after copying in all my backed-up saved games!) was setting up my laptop for actual productive work by installing Microsoft Office. Now, as the poverty-stricken student I have been, my old laptop ran the highly inferior but free Libre Office. With a thesis due in under a month, I decided at least to opt in for the 30 day trial of the latest Office suite, if for nothing else than a marginally functional spell check, because proof reading 15 000 words is no party.
However, I quickly realised that the thesis would need to be put on hold. The process of actually securing a bloody anything from Microsoft was beyond ridiculous. I needed to open the launcher, confirm that I did not have a serial number but wanted the 30 day trial, which opened Internet Explorer. Needless to say, I closed it immediately and opened the link in Chrome. That was Microsoft’s first offense.
Then, after a rather ridiculous load time (granted, that may have been the Rhodes internet servers…), I was promptly told I had to have a Microsoft account to use a product I never intend to store online, connect to a blasted cloud, or synch up with anything except possibly a flash disk. Nonetheless, I was obliged to sign up and memorise another sodding password in case someone decides to hack the cloud and steal my thesis, which I still had not been able to start. I then found out I already had a Microsoft account due to being forced through this process before thanks to having OneNote on my tablet for
playing Plants vs Zombies 2
taking notes in lectures. I then had to prove I wasn’t a robot, get my password reset, and then sign up again. At least I know I can’t access my own account.
I then had to sit for about an hour waiting for the world’s slowest download of… what? I already had the blasted software installed on my laptop, or so I thought. Instead, I guess they decided only to suggest I had Office, and force me through this Tartarus of waiting. I turned to fighting dustbunnies with my +2 Vacuum Cleaner of Domestication out of sheer boredom.
I feel that, had I got hold of an illegal copy that could be instantly activated, I would have not only saved myself the pricetag of the software, but it may well have been faster anyway. What is the point of anti-piracy measures making piracy the easier option? I mean, apart from criminality, the hassle of trying to avoid DRM and other anti-piracy measures is an important part of the attempt to curtail piracy. If someone is a pirate, they’ll stick on their eyepatch and pirate regardless of hassle. But the average computer user is not generally tech savvy enough to plunder on the oceans of the internet, and so increased hassle means piracy becomes just too much damn work, above and beyond anything else. Microsoft Office, however, decided that I should be treated as a pirate in the making anyway, authenticating me, forcing me to download directly only after signing away my 30 day trial period. Hell, they even limit the number of times I can install the software if I do purchase it. Heaven forbid my hard-drive ever die, or I reformat my computer at any later date.
I know I’m not alone in my sentiments. One of my favourite bloggers, the Oatmeal, has raised the same complaint about trying to legally watch Game of Thrones, which was the most pirated show of all time according to Time Magazine.
Thankfully, I think the gaming industry here is leading the charge in terms of actually making the legal thing the easier thing. I’ve already lauded the numerous digital sales, especially the Indie Bundle and such things, for actually trying to be an attractive option to the consumer.
Because, otherwise, we’d need to see more Humble Pirate Hat Bundles.