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Trouble With MS Genuine Office Validation

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the no-add-ons-for-you dept.

Microsoft 234

Julie188 writes "Here's another little gotcha with Microsoft license validation, discovered by security and PowerShell expert Tyson Kopczynski. The Microsoft Office 2007 add-on site refuses to download legitimate add-ons for Office 2007 when a legitimate — but not yet activated — additional Microsoft product is installed on the computer. In Kopczynski's case, the product was Visio. He writes: 'Let's back this license train up and look at why this picture is wrong: 1. I have a valid copy of Office 2007. 2. The Visio installation only failed the validation because I haven't activated it. 3. Microsoft has presented me with a page to buy Office, which I have a valid copy of... Dear Microsoft, When used incorrectly and in direct conflict of something that you are promoting, DRM sucks! By making the usage of your software a hassle, you risk further pushing more users of your applications to other solutions."

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What's the issue exactly? (2, Insightful)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783363)

Forgive my ignorance but I don't really understand the problem here. Why not just activate Office? You can do it over the internet or by a toll free phone call. You can only open Office apps so many times before you must activate it, so why delay?

Re:What's the issue exactly? (5, Informative)

dartboard (23261) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783391)

Office is activated, it's Visio that's not activated. Visio's non-activation is taking down the entire system.

Re:What's the issue exactly? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20783611)

it's not the entire system. it's a software package on a system. get over your little ms bashing hype. the bottom line is that the user is wrong in this case and is pointing the blame elsewhere. but like most ms bashes on digg, errr i mean slashdot, it's going to get instant praises from the goofs who think that they're on top of tech from a business standpoint but who have never had to work with it.

same story, different day.

Re:What's the issue exactly? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20783669)

Your paycheck is in the mail.

Thanks,

Bill G.

Re:What's the issue exactly? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20783663)

Office is activated, it's Visio that's not activated

So? Activate Visio, get over it, and STFU already. I still don't see the issue.

Re:What's the issue exactly? (5, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783763)

NO. Don't get over it.

Office validation should be concerned about office & not anything else. It shouldn't
be SPYING on anything else. That sort of stupidity leads directly to these sorts of
unintended consequences.

I should not need to "activate" one program to get support for another.

Re:What's the issue exactly? (3, Informative)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 7 years ago | (#20784029)

Office validation should be concerned about office & not anything else.

I actually agree with you, but note that Visio is actually considered part of the MS Office Suite. It comes default as part of one of the more expensive "editions", but most people buy it as an add-on to a cheaper package. So, I can see why the validation routine might gack when one component of office is not activated, but that definitely doesn't make it right. And it definitely shouldn't take him to an offer to buy Office.

Re:What's the issue exactly? (2, Informative)

infinihertz (1136909) | more than 7 years ago | (#20784337)

It's "part of Office," but as far as I've been told in getting a license at work, it's not even part of Office 2007 Professional or Ultimate. The 2007 version is allegedly sold only stand-alone. If that's not true I'd appreciate being corrected.

Re:What's the issue exactly? (0)

toleraen (831634) | more than 7 years ago | (#20784037)

Holy crap, someone found a bug in a Microsoft product! Stop the presses!

Does anyone actually believe this is anything really intentional? I know it's Microsoft we're talking about, but it seriously just sounds like a bug in their activation/authentication system (Microsoft products have bugs sometimes, right?). If it was actually working as intended, it'd at least prompt him to purchase Visio instead of Office. This guy can't be the only guy who's tried to do this. File a bug report and try back tomorrow.

Re:What's the issue exactly? (0)

geeknado (1117395) | more than 7 years ago | (#20784083)

Visio == part of the Office suite [microsoft.com] . It's tied to other parts of office both from a conceptual and technical standpoint(insert office integration marketing bullet points that I don't care about here). How does this translate to 'spying on anything else'? Activation is lame in general, but it's not like I installed Mechwarrior 4 and Office started screaming that it needed to be reactivated. Rather, I installed an additional, optional Office component.

Re:What's the issue exactly? (1)

tshak (173364) | more than 7 years ago | (#20784125)

Office validation should be concerned about office & not anything else. It shouldn't
be SPYING on anything else.


I'm not defending this bad user experience, however, it IS a part of Office: Microsoft Office Visio [microsoft.com] . It's not spying, rather, it's recognizing an unactivated component. This is just a bug in the Office updater that'll hopefully be fixed soon.

Re:What's the issue exactly? (2, Insightful)

Qzukk (229616) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783821)

, get over it, and STFU already. I still don't see the issue.

Why is visio's non-activation trying to get the user to buy a second copy of Office? How is the average user supposed to figure out that when they try to update office and Microsoft tells them they can't update office until they buy office, that the problem is actually somewhere else?

Re:What's the issue exactly? (5, Insightful)

RonnyJ (651856) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783701)

It's not as if this is something that can't be easily fixed though. There are certainly many legitimate complaints about activation, but I'm sure he knew he still needed to activate Visio at some point (he has Office activated, after all).

Well, the Visio license is valid, I just haven't activated it. I'm just too lazy to complete the wizard, I guess.
Not too lazy to write an article about it though.

Re:What's the issue exactly? (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783879)

Isn't visio part of the office extremely /ultimately /enterprise version? I'm sure the activation of the product considers it a part of office. So from that perspective, You can't download any updates until the entire office family is activated. Sort of stupid, but most likely not that big of an issue to legitimate users.

Re:What's the issue exactly? (1)

john_is_war (310751) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783409)

RTFA- office is activated. A different program is not, yet it's restricting an add-on to a fully legit and activated version of Office.

Re:What's the issue exactly? (1)

deftcoder (1090261) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783413)

Exactly!

According to his screenshot, Visio is a component of Office (I don't use Windows, so I had no clue). If a component isn't properly activated, I can understand refusing to allow add-ons to be download.

Prompting him to BUY Office is obviously incorrect. He should be prompted to activate the non-activated components.

Re:What's the issue exactly? (0)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783423)

Forgive my ignorance but I don't really understand the problem here. Why not just activate Office? You can do it over the internet or by a toll free phone call. You can only open Office apps so many times before you must activate it, so why delay?

I found myself asking the same thing. Technically your Office license is not valid until activated. Even if the phone call gets redirected to deepest India, they will still help you out - as I found out when I had to revalidate my Windows install for the fourth time, due to hardware issues.

Re:What's the issue exactly? (2, Insightful)

Deagol (323173) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783849)

Even if the phone call gets redirected to deepest India, they will still help you out - as I found out when I had to revalidate my Windows install for the fourth time, due to hardware issues.

Don't you see something inherently wrong with that? Not to be snide, but why would you continue to put up with such problems?

Re:What's the issue exactly? (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 7 years ago | (#20784317)

I put up with them because RSLogix 5000 doesn't run on OSX (or BSD, or Linux, etc etc).

I imagine there are plenty of other bits of software that put people in the same position.

Re:What's the issue exactly? (1)

Deagol (323173) | more than 7 years ago | (#20784473)

I guess when you rely on something so specialized, you take what the vendor offers or you don't. So you can't get support under a less sucky MS product? Like Windows 2000? Machine automation is a domain I'm very unfamiliar with. Not saying it's feasible to switch, but are there competitors?

Re:What's the issue exactly? (5, Informative)

robbarrett (84479) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783437)

Forgive my ignorance but I don't really understand the problem here. Why not just activate Office? You can do it over the internet or by a toll free phone call. You can only open Office apps so many times before you must activate it, so why delay?
The issue is that "activate" means "buy" -- i.e. to convert a trial/downloaded/whatever copy to a validated, purchased copy.

This exact same thing happened to me just yesterday. My laptop came with a full trial copy of Office. I purchased a copy of Office Standard (only a few of the apps) and tried to use my key to validate my pre-installed copy (thinking it would only validate the apps I had purchased). But it didn't work so I installed my Office Standard and validated it with my key.

Then I tried to get the export-to-PDF add-in from the Microsoft site but it proclaimed that only one copy of Office on my computer was validated so I couldn't update the other. Net result -- un-install one; un-install the other; re-install Office Standard; back in business.

What a stupid pain.

Re:What's the issue exactly? (3, Insightful)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783485)

Then I tried to get the export-to-PDF add-in from the Microsoft site but it proclaimed that only one copy of Office on my computer was validated so I couldn't update the other. Net result -- un-install one; un-install the other; re-install Office Standard; back in business.

What a stupid pain.


You need to realise that Microsoft is trained in the school of 'being so smart that its stupid'. Basically they have some good developers with great ideas, but they fail to think them through and ends up making something that so complicated, that a Linux kernel recompile ends up being simpler.

Re:What's the issue exactly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20784253)

But a linux recompile IS simpler than more windows tasks:

make bzImage modules modules_install

TADA!

Re:What's the issue exactly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20783453)

I see you couldn't even read the summary. He has Office activated. He also has Visio which is NOT activated. Validation fails for Office, which is already activated, because Visio is not activated. It then prompts him to buy Office, which he already owns legitimately. The problem is that validation is failing for the wrong product and reporting the wrong product as the problem.

Re:What's the issue exactly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20783557)

This happened to me the other day. This is what I did. I activated Project and Visio. Then I got the updates. No problem.

Re:What's the issue exactly? (5, Funny)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783873)

You can do it over the internet or by a toll free phone call. You can only open Office apps so many times before you must activate it, so why delay?

First 3,000 customers get a free tote bag. (void where prohibited by law) Operators are standing by. Call now!

Damn! Do you write infomercials for the Thigh-Master or something?

okay (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20783385)

So freakin Activate the damn thing. Nice MS bashing though.
Need help turning on your computer too, or is logging in too restrictive?

Re:okay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20783597)

So freakin Activate the damn thing. Nice MS bashing though. Need help turning on your computer too, or is logging in too restrictive?

How is that flamebait? The guy has an office-related program that isn't activated, and now it's not downloading stuff because part of it isn't activated. Someone hit this guy in the balls with a clue-stick! Ok, maybe that was flamebait... but that doesn't mean this guy isn't retarded.

Re:okay (0, Flamebait)

jedidiah (1196) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783953)

Are you a MORON? You must be.

So everyone has to stop downloading different office components or demos of new versions just because Microsoft can't program it's way out of a wet paper bag and can't seem to grasp the notion of "side effects"?

Disabling parts of the applications that people PAY YOU MONEY FOR need to be better thought out than this.

Wrong mantra. (4, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783449)

"When used incorrectly and in direct conflict of something that you are promoting, DRM sucks!"

That's too long. DRM sucks period.

Re:Wrong mantra. (3, Insightful)

xeus4200 (918440) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783741)

You know, that's rather ignorant. There are people out there that work hard to create content that will enrich other people's lives. Sometimes those people do it so much (aka job) they have to rely on income in order to eat and live. Why shouldn't those people have the right not to have that content stolen? Why is it that so many people think that because something is in a digital format that it cannot be "real" property? Information is still something to be protected. So I think saying "DRM sucks" is a popular catchphrase but it is unreasonable to think everything in this life should be free.

Re:Wrong mantra. (1)

xeus4200 (918440) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783857)

someone tagged this as TROLL? good god, what is happening to slashdot? offtopic, yes, but still a valid response.

Re:Wrong mantra. (1)

pipatron (966506) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783989)

Because DRM has nothing to do with making money on culture. They *think* it has, that's why they add it, but in practice, people who wants to copy music for free does it for free, and people who wants to pay for it, pays for it. DRM or not.

Re:Wrong mantra. (1)

toleraen (831634) | more than 7 years ago | (#20784267)

I take it you don't bother locking your doors or windows either? Don't use a firewall on your home network? Simple passwords on your bank account? I mean afterall, if someone really wants to break in/hack your pc/take all your $ they will, and those that don't want to won't, right?

Re:Wrong mantra. (1)

webmaster404 (1148909) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783901)

Yes people have hard work creating content and yes I think that it should be protected. However, when that "protection" comes in conflict with MY privacy or is a huge hassle for me, what incentive does it give me to not download a "pirated" copy of it or just switch to a free alternitive (I use Open Office because M$ doesn't have Word on Linux, not that I would want to use that anyways) The reason it can't be "real" property is because how they "protect" it, when I walk out of a mall, and the security thing dings, (because of an accident, I don't steal) they don't put me in handcuffs, take me out to a waiting police car and then go through everything I bought trying to find what they think I stole, they usually admit that it was their mistake when I show them the receipt. Proprietary companies on the other hand think that whenever their "detectors" go off, they should call me a thief and put me in handcuffs. The main reason I switched to an all Linux computer was because I wouldn't have to waste CPU cycles of Vista (or any other proprietary software) trying to make sure I'm not doing something I shouldn't. DRM is unethical, broken by design and should be boycotted.

Re:Wrong mantra. (1)

xeus4200 (918440) | more than 7 years ago | (#20784053)

I see your point. If some company gets the police to come to your house and incorrectly arrest and prosecute you, then yes we have a problem. Also, if, by activating the product, your privacy is invaded, then yes we may have another problem. (I know my license is scanned even when I go buy a 6 pack, but I think even that's fair). DRM is only as ethical as its implementation- there are a myriad of different ways to achieve the result of preventing theft. I don't consider the lock on my door unethical, but a shotgun pointed at the door with a string attached to the trigger might be.

Re:Wrong mantra. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20783943)

You know, that's rather ignorant. There are people out there that work hard to create content that will enrich other people's lives. Sometimes those people do it so much (aka job) they have to rely on income in order to eat and live. Why shouldn't those people have the right not to have that content stolen? Why is it that so many people think that because something is in a digital format that it cannot be "real" property? Information is still something to be protected. So I think saying "DRM sucks" is a popular catchphrase but it is unreasonable to think everything in this life should be free.
Bullshit. For-profit software does not require DRM. Even not counting the many free software projects that have people on the payroll, there is plenty of proprietary software without DRM.

Re:Wrong mantra. (3, Insightful)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783945)

I understand, but I didn't say everything should be free. I didn't say that copyright infringement is good. I'm sorry to say that DRM is not a good solution. When it works, it's a nuisance even to legit users, when it doesn't work people that paid for the right to use a work can't use it.

The ignorance is on the side of the perpetrators of DRM because it generally only annoys legitimate users. People that are going to get something "free" will be getting cracked versions that don't have DRM, in short, the people that DRM affects are generally the customers, and the effect is usually one of annoyance.

I don't pretend to have a solution, but poorly implemented DRM only serves to make the point. A person that stays legal shouldn't have to lose a day's productivty because the WGA server is down or the internet service is down so software can't be validated.

Re:Wrong mantra. (1)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 7 years ago | (#20784063)

Oh, right, because Microsoft had a lot of trouble making money before they started using validation! Seems to me they were pretty much at the height of their evil empire right around when they started validation and then this genuine advantage crap.

The problem with DRM is that it always degrades the user experience, so you are left with a situation where the product that a pirate gets is actually superior to the genuine article. In some cases, you can mitigate this by making your product more convenient (like iTunes vs. LimeWire) - but that doesn't mean that DRM sucks any less.

In the case of MS validation, it can be easier to just have some pirated copies of XP and Office around to do reinstalls instead of going through the whole validation routine when your hard drive crashes.

Re:Wrong mantra. (2, Interesting)

Zonk (troll) (1026140) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783939)

"When used incorrectly and in direct conflict of something that you are promoting, DRM sucks!"

That's too long. DRM sucks period.
Very true, however:

By making the usage of your software a hassle, you risk further pushing more users of your applications to other solutions."
I think Microsoft should actually be encouraged to add more DRM to their products. If people can't get Windows and Office for "free" all the time as they do now people actually have to pay those high prices for it. Or go with the better alternatives that exist. Why use Ubuntu with Windows is "free" [articles.tlug.jp] . Why use OpenOffice with MS Office is "free"?

Re:Wrong mantra. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20784179)

Dude! Did you even read it?

It said "Julie188 writes..."

I mean! Come on guys. It is a girl. Of course she cannot activate or do shit. DRM or otherwise. Nerd women are a myth, duh [xkcd.com] .

Screw it. It's a woman. Of course she has problems.

~m

I'm Shocked. (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783465)

Here's another little gotcha with Microsoft license validation, discovered by security and PowerShell expert Tyson Kopczynski. The Microsoft Office 2007 add-on site refuses to download legitimate add-ons for Office 2007 when a legitimate -- but not yet activated -- additional Microsoft product is installed on the computer.

Only at Slashdot would this be considered a problem. Obviously, Microsoft does not consider unactivated software "legit" for the purposes of downloading add-ons. To me, this makes sense within the product activation concepts. Why would a company want to provide additional functionality to products that had not been activated? Within their scheme of DRM, products that have not been activated are probably not legit.

Re:I'm Shocked. (5, Insightful)

Distan (122159) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783545)

Read the article again.

He has an activated copy of Office 2007.

He has an unactivated copy of Visio. He doesn't say why, maybe he is evaluating it.

Because he has an unactivated copy of Visio, he is unable to upgrade his activated copy of Office 2007.

I would say he has a problem. His unactivated copy of Visio shouldn't screw up the functionality of his activated software, but it is.

Re:I'm Shocked. (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783689)


>I would say he has a problem.

He danced with the devil but now he doesn't want to pay the fiddler?

Re:I'm Shocked. (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#20784035)

Very well put! That is the statement that should put an end to the whole discussion right there.

Re:I'm Shocked. (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 7 years ago | (#20784093)

He paid.

Now the devil wants to see the receipt [slashdot.org] .

Look how well that worked out in the end...

Re:I'm Shocked. (1)

mdielmann (514750) | more than 7 years ago | (#20784069)

If you look at MS's site [microsoft.com] , you'll find that Visio is considered an Office product. So, to clarify, he activated Office, installed (but did not activate) a new part of Office, and now it won't let him install Office add-ons. This is entirely an Office issue. You may not like what they're doing, but this has no bearing on whether it will have problems with an unactivated non-Office product. If it did, I would be mightily pissed.

Re:I'm Shocked. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20784417)

Read the article again.

I would say something more like RTFA in the first place.

Re:I'm Shocked. (1)

physicsnick (1031656) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783551)

If you RTFS (read the fine summary), you would find that Office IS activated. But because Visio is not activated, Microsoft is refusing to provide add-ons for Office, and instead presenting him with a page to buy Office, which he has already purchased and activated!

Re:I'm Shocked. (2, Insightful)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783609)

Presuming you HAVE RTFA (it's obvious you haven't)

What about temporary installations? MSDN users are advised NOT to activate if they plan to reinstall the system within a couple of months. How does one download the latest updates to set up a proper test environment on a non-activated system?

Microsoft is abusing their monopoly position and actually INCREASING value of "pirated" copies of their software.

Re:I'm Shocked. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20783925)

MSDN users are advised NOT to activate if they plan to reinstall the system within a couple of months.

I reinstall everything every 3 months anyway. Windows slows down after its been used a while and the more bloat (Office) you have on there just increases the amount of slowdown exponentially.

Re:I'm Shocked. (1)

Sierpinski (266120) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783687)

Only at Slashdot would this be considered a problem. Obviously, Microsoft does not consider unactivated software "legit" for the purposes of downloading add-ons. To me, this makes sense within the product activation concepts. Why would a company want to provide additional functionality to products that had not been activated? Within their scheme of DRM, products that have not been activated are probably not legit.

RTFA. He said it was Visio that was not net activated, but that prevented him from downloading OFFICE add-ons, which WAS fully activated. Yes they're both from the same company, but one not-yet-activated program shouldn't cause everything on the system to get hosed. Oh, wait, that's right, Microsoft was ordered to separate their browser from their OS, they got out of it, but the point still remains. They don't care how they cripple you from doing what you want, as long as they can cripple you.

http://www.openoffice.org/ [openoffice.org]

The REAL Issue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20783477)

Trouble With MS Genuine Office Validation
I didn't RTFA but would it happen to be the fact that it does absolutely nothing for the end user and is merely out there to cause troubles for the user while ensuring that MS feels like it is protecting itself more?

I'm guessing within the next ten minutes the ole' defectivebydesign tag will make its appearance.

DRM (2, Insightful)

franksands (938435) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783481)

Dear Microsoft, When used incorrectly and in direct conflict of something that you are promoting, DRM sucks! By making the usage of your software a hassle, you risk further pushing more users of your applications to other solutions.

I would say that DRM sucks always. But this is beyond DRM, this is the blue monster [microsoft-watch.com] taking over your computer. I am always amazed at how MS knows what's best for you.

Yeah that doesn't seem right (4, Insightful)

Sciros (986030) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783483)

So updates to Office fail because a newly added product (Visio) isn't yet activated... seems to me that in this case the only update failure that would be understandable is one related to the added product (Visio). Other activated pieces of software should be able to receive updates without problems. Furthermore, if Visio fails validation and the response from Microsoft is to send the user to a page that suggest he purchase Office then that is just plain incorrect. It should send him to a page that says "activate Visio, dude!"

So, yeah, this isn't really Microsoft bashing. Though it maybe should be worded a bit more clearly so the problem is made apparent.

I know I'll get ripped (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20783489)

I know this is Slashdot so I should be ripping MS, but this seems like a non-story to me. Just activate the software and it will work. End of problem. I'm know it's a huge hassle with all the steps of having to LAUNCH the software to activate it. What's next, Microsoft making you have to turn on your computer to actually use the software too!?

Re:I know I'll get ripped (0)

xeus4200 (918440) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783607)

I really couldn't agree more. Shame on the mods for lowering the score on this one. This story is absolutely ridiculous. Save your energy for an issue more worthwhile.

Re:I know I'll get ripped (1)

david_thornley (598059) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783789)

I know this is Slashdot, but could you at least RTFS? This isn't a matter of Visio not being activated and therefore Visio doesn't work fully. This is a matter of Visio not being activated and Office not working.

You might want to reserve the sarcasm for when you aren't demonstrating a complete lack of knowledge of the situation. It works better that way.

Re:I know I'll get ripped (1)

kimvette (919543) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783829)

RTFA - you do not understand the issue is here. Hell even the SUMMARY makes the issue clear in this case, so it's obvious you didn't even RTFS.

Watch out Mickeysoft (1)

packetmon (977047) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783491)

Someone [lotus.com] ... Just released something for free

Lucky number 13 (1, Interesting)

TheFlu (213162) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783583)

Fairly recently I had to battle with Microsoft to use my purchased copy of Office on a single computer. I had to call Microsoft thirteen times over the course of 2 weeks to get it working again. It's sad when a version you can download online offers you less hassles than the legally purchased version:
http://www.thelinuxpimp.com/main/index.php?name=News&file=article&sid=743 [thelinuxpimp.com]

Ah yes.... (5, Insightful)

bwd234 (806660) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783585)

...one of the main reasons I still use use Windows 2000! No DRM, no activation headaches, no secret file updates, no useless eye-candy, most stable MS OS ever... oh, the list just goes on....

Comedy Gold (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20783593)

The actual add-in that he was looking for was "save as PDF".

Now let me think - what other office suite has that function built in?

Simple answer. (3, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783627)

1. Ask for you money back for Office and Viso.
2. Stop using software that pulls this crap.
Yes office compatibility is extremely useful but that usefulness is what gives Microsoft the power to pull crap like this.
Just doing number one will probably solve the problem. Chew up the support lines and they will eventually fix the problem for you.

What the hell is wrong with everybody? (2, Interesting)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783645)

Seriously, I was working at a medical imaging company in 1995 and testing a number of systems (QNX, Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, Windows 95, Windows NT, and Windows 3.11) to create a turn-key medical imaging system. Not one of the MS offerings were stable enough to call a product. Every morning, EVERY MORNING, the NT box was blue screened.

Linux was good at the time, but NetBSD, FreeBSD, and QNX were all great. NetBSD was smaller, but since we were going to use x86 design, we focused on FreeBSD and Linux. FreeBSD was better, but Linux had more active development and seemed like a better bet.

Because of that experience, I dropped Windows at home. In my house, we run Linux or OS/X on our computers.

Since that day, I become more and more bewildered that people continue to put up with that crap. Seriously, who needs it. Of late, OpenOffice.org does what you need.

It's easy to say... (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783957)

It's easy to say when your needs are simple and straightforward. I use Linux wherever I can, and I advocate its use (especially) on failure-critical applications, because it's stable, lightweight, and it doesn't "just break" the way Windows occasionally does.

There are needs, however, that are not met by commonly available OSS software. My usual example is GIMP. I use GIMP, I like GIMP, but it's not a professional product. For the average user, retouching family photos, no problems. It works great. For a professional user, designing images that will need to be printed at some big printing house, it's lack of CMYK support is a deal breaker.

That crap shows up over and over again, that one little niggling little crappy feature that you've never even heard of, or that you thought no one wanted or used, will become this giant sticking point when you're trying to convert someone to an all linux/bsd system. OS/X has a lot less of that sort of problem...Mac, for all it's commercials to the contrary, has very friendly relationships with most of the big business software providers...Still though, there are issues (goddamn internet explorer) which can crop up and cause problems.

In a nutshell, we've come a long way toward being able to toss windows completely, but if you have complex needs, or you need certain applications, you can still be forced into using it.

Re:It's easy to say... change isn't easy (0, Flamebait)

mlwmohawk (801821) | more than 7 years ago | (#20784171)

Another whiner, "I need Windows bla bla bla"

I'm sorry, while I understand a lack of control over corporate policy (That's why I only mentioned home use.) Your home is where you have control.

As far as I'm concerned, if, at home, you run one piece of Microsoft software, licensed or otherwise, you are part of the Microsoft problem.

Its like obesity or alcoholism, to change away from Microsoft does take some work. If you are not willing to work for that goal, you are part of the problem. People who whine about Microsoft but don't take a stand are lazy cowards who perpetuate the situation they complain about. Face it, you are in an busive relationship and you need to get out.

Typical Microsoft behavior (2, Insightful)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783647)

Call them when you've bought a few hundred copies, you'll be more important then.

Re:Typical Microsoft behavior (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20783941)

Call them when you've bought a few hundred copies, you'll be more important then.

Not really. They'll figure that you have so much invested in your systems that they can really screw you over.

I wish... (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783649)

... that people would stop telling Microsoft why it's products are sucking. Let them dig their own hole their own way and let them die in it. Don't try to give them a helping hand!

Re:I wish... (1)

walt-sjc (145127) | more than 7 years ago | (#20784095)

I don't understand your comment. People have been saying that activation and WGA sucks ever since they started using it. Now they use it more, and the new problems they cause are even worse! Following this logic, the more we tell them it sucks, the MORE it sucks. In other words, we are helping them die FASTER!

Twit alert (1)

rueger (210566) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783655)

Surely there are significant issues with both Microsoft and product validation in general, but this really isn't it. He bought MS products knowing that they required validation, and now is whining because he can't install a added feature that would work with his unvalidated Visio install.

The author admits that the only obstacle he faces is running the validation wizard for Visio, after which he can happily download and install the add-in. What would that take? two minutes?

Sheesh....

You did not read the f... article, did you? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20783931)

Cfr. subject.

Slownewsday? FUD? Big deal, activate it already... (1)

urbanriot (924981) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783667)

Okay, so, what's the big deal here? Why doesn't this guy just activate Visio? Or uninstall it? Why would you have a piece of software installed on your computer if you're not going to use it? C'mon, I know this is Slashdot, but do you need Microsoft to "fix" minor issues so the truly incompetent don't have issues when going far out of their way to create problems?

Microsoft is looking for more information (1)

Cracked Pottery (947450) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783705)

than it needs to determine if you have a valid Office license. What other information do they collect that they don't have a right to? Did they deliberately plant the Excel multiplication bug to force people to need a patch? M$ is loosing friends fast, and I actually like XP.

A non-issue (1, Redundant)

loftwyr (36717) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783711)

"The Visio installation only failed the validation because I haven't activated it."

So what you're complaining about is that you didn't want to go through the trivial step of activation and, because of this Microsoft is to blame? In the time it took to submit this, the activation would be done and the updates started.

This is a non-issue. Move along, nothing to see here.

Re:A non-issue (2, Informative)

rnswebx (473058) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783981)

Please read the summary again, and maybe even (gasp!) the story? He has activated his other Office components, save Visio. The problem isn't that he can't update Visio because it's not activated, which would be a non-issue. The problem is that he can't activate all of the other Office components that are activated. You're arguing that should be the case?

He should be able to update his activated Office apps, but he can't because Visio isn't activated. Microsoft is to blame when you can't update your registered and activated applications.

Wrong picture (5, Funny)

TheDarkener (198348) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783755)

'Let's back this license train up and look at why this picture is wrong: 1. I have a valid copy of Office 2007.'

Yep.

Did anyone say... (1)

realdodgeman (1113225) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783773)

... defective by design?

Honestly, DRM sucks. The technology is designed to stop certain people from using the software (or everyone from using it in a certain way), and it will always cause problems.

Technically -- Visio is an Office "component" (4, Interesting)

the_skywise (189793) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783775)

http://office.microsoft.com/en-gb/visio/default.aspx [microsoft.com]

I'm not defending activation here, far from it-

But Visio probably updates through the Office 2007 manager rather than stand alone and that's the reason Office 2007 won't update in general.

Which leads to some proper questions:

If Visio requires separate activation than shouldn't it require a separate update path?

If not, then shouldn't the updater be smart enough to update only the activated components?

And overall, what does this say about the concept of SEPARATE products requiring SEPARATE activation but morphing into a SINGULAR app. Does this not, in fact, affect my future upgradeability? (Oh sorry, you integrated Visio in 2007, for Office 2010 your only upgrade path is Office 2010 Ultimate)

Time for a car analogy (2, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783795)

Is this like not being able to install extra sensors on your car's alarm system because you have not yet activated your OnStar service?

Or maybe it is like not being able to use Vonage VoIP if you have not yet activated your VoIP account with your ISP ???

The original poster is right, this is stupid. There is no excuse for this, and amounts to MS trying to ensure that you use their products and nobody else's products by mopolistic use of your desktop. Personally I feel that if this is found to be widespread issue, it should result in further DOJ investigations.

Sure, you can say that since the OS and office suite are from MS, it is their right to be a little ignorant of customer needs, but I won't. MS has far too many resources to do something stupid like this by accident, so there is more than just programming oversight at work. Whether you think that failed logic or not, it is true.

The argument that "it's no big deal, just activate visio and move on" is a failed logic. If MS had their way, you'd have to activate the Windows OS before your computer would operate, even in stand alone mode with some other OS installed. Monopolies need to be pushed back against at each given instance, no matter how small. The adage, give them an inch and they will take a mile applies here.

Only when MS is seen to be operating in a manner that is both consistent and fair to its competitors will it be okay to cut them some slack.

fmirst (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20783827)

wwil not work. And legitimise doing our ability to today. It's about

Doing my part... (2, Interesting)

Entropius (188861) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783833)

... and refusing to accept work from students submitted in MS Office formats.

If I have to guess how to open it (wtf is a .docx?), then I'm not going to grade it.

Re:Doing my part... (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 7 years ago | (#20784457)

This happened to me recently. A student on my team kept submitting her work as .docx, and none of us could open it. At first she yammered on about how the problem was my Mac (but knew better, having cross platform compatibility with Mac/PC Office for well over 10 years now), then the others couldn't open it either. Seems the culprit was she was the only one using Office 2007.

That's nothing! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20783835)

The other day I took a dump and the toilet wouldn't flush. It said my crap had to be activated first. I couldn't believe it.

Then I noticed a "Designed for Microsoft Windows" sticker on the side of the toilet, and I realized that I would have to do the craptivation.

I agree.. (1)

jessiej (1019654) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783843)

Microsoft could do a better job and just ask him to activate visio. And it wouldn't be much of a hassle for him to just activate it. but would would user's do if Open Office had similar hurdles?

Misuse of acronym "DRM" (3, Insightful)

dekkerdreyer (1007957) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783949)

This is getting out of hand. Microsoft's licensing and copy protection issues are not "DRM" issues. It's licensing issues. Licensing issues are an entirely different class of problems which have been around for decades. Don't start throwing anything you don't like with computers into your definition of "DRM". It's true that, once again, pirating software (on the high seas) eliminates both DRM and licensing issues, but it also eliminates problems like excessive cost. You wouldn't throw excessive cost into the definition of DRM, even though you know that the software went up in price merely because they had to pay to sub-license the copy protection software.

We'll ignore the argument that piracy makes the software cost more. Buying someone else's copy protection software is what brings the real cost of the software up. The companies will sell it for what they can sell it for. That's price, and with a complete lack of supply and demand balances, is always grossly overpriced.

But back to the DRM term misuse. This is similar to a story I heard the other day. A co-worker was telling me that her "identity was stolen" because she called a loan company and they couldn't find any record of having a loan with them. A computer glitch at a random company is not "identity theft" and confusing the two makes it seem like a non-issue. She called back a few days later and they found her record. I guess that means her identity was "recovered" and returned to her as property should be.

"My email was hacked!!!"
"Wow, what happened?"
"I sent a private email to a friend and he forwarded it to everyone he know."

Re:Misuse of acronym "DRM" (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#20784081)

Microsoft's licensing and copy protection issues are not "DRM" issues. It's licensing issues.

      And licensing issues have to do with "rights", specifically taking rights away from you and giving them to Microsoft. Since Microsoft is now trying to enforce the conditions of it's license via your computer with a digital, automated system, I think the DRM abbreviation applies.

      What, when "DRM" is used to enforce the licenses on entertainment media, suddenly it's different?

Re:Misuse of acronym "DRM" (1)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 7 years ago | (#20784379)

Digital Rights Management

They're managing your rights to use their software. Therefore the term DRM is a valid use. Thank you for your concern though.

Oh wait I forgot its Digital Consumer Enablement now...

The question is ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#20783959)

Suppose you have Microsoft product A and Microsoft product B installed on your system. Of course they are both legitimate copy, but you have only activated product A so far.
Now, in which case would you agree that it is reasonable for Microsoft to refuse to provide update for product A because product B hasn't been activated?
1. A = MS Office, B = Visio
2. A = MS Office, B = Visual Studio
3. A = MS Windows, B = MS office
4. A = MS Office, B = MS Windows
5. Never

This is strange (3, Informative)

Evets (629327) | more than 7 years ago | (#20783961)

I have a fresh Office 2K7 installation and also a Visio 2K7. Visio is not activated yet. I was still able to validate and install the PDF plugin two days ago without a problem.

Re:This is strange (2, Funny)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#20784031)

I have a fresh Office 2K7 installation and also a Visio 2K7. Visio is not activated yet. I was still able to validate and install the PDF plugin two days ago without a problem.

      That's only because you pirated it.

Re:This is strange (1)

Evets (629327) | more than 7 years ago | (#20784281)

Nope. All legitimate copies, thank you.

Microsoft responds (5, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 7 years ago | (#20784005)

Dear Microsoft, When used incorrectly and in direct conflict of something that you are promoting, DRM sucks! By making the usage of your software a hassle, you risk further pushing more users of your applications to other solutions.
Dear Consumer, You keep complaining about the taste and yet you're still sucking the Microsoft cock. Watch us continue to not give a shit.

Love, Microsoft

PS We had asparagus for lunch. We're not apologizing, just letting you know the taste is about to get worse.

What's wrong again... ? (1)

rehtonAesoohC (954490) | more than 7 years ago | (#20784015)

when a legitimate -- but not yet activated

How does Microsoft know that a product is legitimate if it hasn't yet been activated? It's my understanding that the activation process is the means by which Microsoft determines that a product is in fact legitimate.

How is Windows XP any different? You can't download any Windows updates unless you have activated your copy of Windows... what's the difference?

Alternate upgrade path? (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#20784019)

What happens if the guy uninstalls Visio, gets the desired Office components, and reinstalls Visio? Would those components then work with Visio?

What if he hadn't installed Visio in the first place? He should obviously be able to get the Office components he was interested in then. If he subsequently installed Visio without running the activation, would the components work with the unactivated Visio then?

If the answer is yes, then Microsoft is either being an ass about it, or there's an as-yet unacknowledged bug in their validation process.

1 step needed. (1)

GuyinVA (707456) | more than 7 years ago | (#20784075)

1) Activate Visio.
done.

Next story please

Problems with old Office 2000 SR3 in 98 SE. (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 7 years ago | (#20784109)

thank you sir, may I have another? (1)

Locutus (9039) | more than 7 years ago | (#20784335)

The though bubble over every MS executives head after hearing this would read: "Stop your crying and bend over and take it like a man. You've been doing so for years and years so shut the hell up and suck it up. It's the way it was, the way it is, and the way it will continue to be. It is our way."

Abuse by Microsoft is not a new phenomenon and I doubt most Microsoft fans are going to think anything of having to jump through yet another hoop to get back to clicking buttons and wiggling that mouse around. Heck, the majority of their users don't know the difference between an application and a utility and hardly know what a file is. It's all a bunch of icons right? ;-/

LoB

What's the problem? (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 7 years ago | (#20784393)

I'm no Microsoft fan, but why doesn't this guy just activate Visio. Problem fixed, no?
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