Counterfeit software

I’m no fan of Windows. But, because some software I have to use (to control laboratory instruments) can only run under Windows, I’m forced to use and maintain machines running Windows 7. It’s not so bad. Seems relatively stable. Doesn’t need too much work. Terrible at many things, ugly, lacking features, yes. But tolerable.

But that’s until you have to prove to Microsoft that you have a genuine copy of Windows. It’s normally quite easy to tell because you have the sticker. I bought 5 copies of Windows 7 and got 5 stickers. I also got 5 DVDs. I stuck the sticker on the computer. sticker

That’s how I know that my copy of Windows is genuine.

How else can I know? Well, I know because I get a stupid warning that I could be a victim of software counterfeiting and a black desktop background, and some links to follow that don’t work and some downloads to make that I have to run and then I can download browser plugins to check my status but the link doesn’t work and a red warning to read the troubleshooting tips and I have to change browser and the instructions are not correct and I have to change my internet options under advanced and security and privacy to allow scripting and to allow active X controls (Not safe, I am warned) and to allow cookies and to allow images and I can’t read the contents of the window behind because I can’t move the browser window when the settings dialog is open and to restart my computer and to reinstall updates and to try again and in the end nothing works and I give up with no consequences after wasting about 45 minutes.

Then I restart the computer and it has 46 updates to make.

That’s how I know I’m using Windows.


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