Tuesday, June 27, 2006


I have been somewhat tolerant of Microsoft's flaws and missteps, especially compared to many in the Lisp community. It seemed to me in the last couple of years that MS dialed down their aggressive/monopolistic tendencies somewhat and revisited their attitudes/strategies towards open-source, standards organizations, communication with the outside world, etc. For instance, the reality of Windows Activation for XP turned out to be pretty reasonable -- certainly a lot less draconian than some thought back when XP was approaching its ship date.

Lately, Microsoft has been getting some bad press about Windows Genuine Advantage, e.g., here and here. Not a very good track record so far! I myself have not encountered any severe problems, so I was willing to believe that this stuff would eventually get sorted out and all would be well.

But I just read this, which is speculation that in the future MS may require legally-licensed Windows users to install WGA or risk having their system disabled. The reply Ed Bott received from MS when he asked for official confirmation is a red flag. It would be very hard for me to rationalize continuing onward as a Windows developer if this speculation becomes reality. WGA is more intrusive than Activation was, it has a poor track record, and I'm not as inclined to give MS the benefit of the doubt as I might have been in the past. So as I continue work on Graphic-Forms, I'm keeping an eye on this situation, as should all Windows users.

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