I'm just curious... when was the last time a Microsoft analyst/reporter installed Office all by themselves? Apparently, it's been quite a while, because the behavior they keep calling a "kill switch" in Office 2007 is the exact same behavior that has been there for the last 6 years, since Office 2000. BetaNews tells us more:
Microsoft yesterday afternoon rejected the characterization of RFM as a "kill switch," citing that RFM does not completely disable Office. But reporters have counter-argued, if you can't save and you can't edit, that's as good as killing it, isn't it? The ensuing argument is starting to take on the characteristics of Monty Python's classic "Dead Parrot Sketch." Is Office dead, or is it just resting?
One problem, Microsoft's spokesperson told us Monday evening, is that reporters may be confusing product activation with product validation, the latter process taking place through the aid of a feature called Genuine Advantage. While some have pointed out in the past that Microsoft may be working to merge the two features together at some point, potentially endowing Office with the future capability of reducing functionality for Windows if activation is declined, others seem to be under the impression that this has already happened. It hasn't, BetaNews was told, and it might not happen for quite some time, if at all.
"Product Activation technology is not new to Microsoft Office, which has had Product Activation since Microsoft Office 2000 SR1," the spokesperson told us. "It is important to note the distinction between activation and validation. Failure to validate your copy of the 2007 Office system as being genuine does not result in moving to reduced functionality mode (RFM) or de-featuring the product. However, if the product is not activated, it will go to RFM after starting up a Microsoft Office application 25 times."
Beta testers might want to do a little investigating before they start "reporting" their bugs as feature changes. I haven't had a single problem with Office Activation or OGA, and I've used Office 2007 since Beta 1.
This is not news. The sky is not falling, and it's not going to slow the adoption of Office 2007 (I guess I was wrong, Joe). People may not like it, but they're used to Product Activation. The only ones that don't like it are the ones that have problems with using it, legitimate ("my activation file was corrupted") or otherwise.
In closing, Scott Fulton said it best:
The lack of new revelations about activation, however, may not end the argument, though it may yet somehow be prolonged. While significant problems with validation may persist, after seven years, there remains no evidence of a sinister motive behind the activation process. And that's what I call a dead parrot.