Name One Reason Why Product Activation Is Good For The Consumer

from the not-so-easy dept

A general rule of thumb if you’re selling something: you don’t want to add any “features” that aren’t of any value to those who are buying the product. I’m sure we can all think of examples where this happens – and it always backfires. The latest example: software product activation. As the article says, this is basically “forced registration”. You can’t use the software unless you’ve got it registered. Software companies love it, because they think it means less piracy. They’re wrong. Cracked versions of the software show up usually before the software is even released. All product activation really does is aggravate the customer. They make it more difficult for the end-user to install the product – and often necessitate (costly) phone calls to tech support. Worse, in the event that the computer dies (which happens way too often), you often are left in a bind until you can prove that it’s really the same computer. This is a “feature” which makes the buyer’s life worse while doing nothing to help the seller. Yet, short-sighted software companies keep looking to add this “feature”. The latest (and, perhaps most bizarre) example is Norton’s anti-virus program. This makes no sense whatsoever – since for the anti-virus program to actually work you need to pay money and have a subscription. That alone should be all the “activation” needed. Already (and I know this from personal experience) if your computer dies and you have to reinstall Norton, you need to go through a lengthly process to prove to them that you really did pay and that the new version of the software you installed should work through the life of your subscription. Now they want to add on top of that annoying “product activation”? They’re actively driving their customers to look into other options. I know I am.

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Comments on “Name One Reason Why Product Activation Is Good For The Consumer”

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Anonymous Coward says:

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Ok, one good reason. It marks you as the Legal Owner of Said product. Given the RIAA’s recent lawsuit binge, I wouldn’t mind Adobe, Intuit, etc knowing that I bought their product and am ‘legal’.

That’s the only good reason. Otherwise it’s pretty much all to the providers benefit. Please note however, that companies who are employing this are typically market leaders with little or no competition; ergo you have little choice.

And I sympathisize with them. I’ve seen way to many ‘borrowed’ copies of software wind up on users machines.

Beats the doogles that some of the higher end products employ.


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