By Harry McCracken | Thursday, May 7, 2009 at 8:34 am
Back, in March, I wrote an article for PC World on the worst Microsoft product names of all time. One of my nominees was Windows Genuine Advantage, the anti-piracy technology that’s suffered at least a couple of major breakdowns that caused woes for paying customers. I wondered what exactly was advantageous about it for anyone but Microsoft, and groused that it was a patronizing moniker. And I suggested that Microsoft change the name to “Windows Anti-Piracy Technology.”
Over at Cnet, Ina Fried is reporting that Microsoft is dumping “Windows Genuine Advantage” for a name that’s close to my recommendation: Windows Activation Technologies. And it’s making activation slightly less annoying:
In Windows Vista, if a user does not activate their software immediately, they get a warning that they still need to do so. The dialog box offers two options, to activate immediately or to do so later. However, the activate later box cannot be checked for 15 seconds.
Microsoft decided this was a bit too annoying. With Windows 7, users can click activate later immediately, but then get a dialog box touting the benefits of activation.
I suspect I haven’t squawked about Windows’ copy protection for the last time. But to be fair to Microsoft, most of the changes it’s made to activation in the last couple of years have been to make it less annoying, and it’s suffered no recent meltdowns. And at least I won’t feel like my intelligence is being insulted every time I hear its name.