i also change my machine hardware alot -
* quickbooks just went through a whole big customer backlash over activation.. food for thought
Product Activation is a pain. I agree. Some security is always more onerous than no security; it's all about striking a balance. For me, product activation is just a modern form of dongle; if software companies want to protect their product from theft, I have
no problem with that. Does product activation cause me some pain? Yes, sure, just like logging on does ...
You spoke about your privacy concerns. Now, the last time I looked, Microsoft probably has more attention on it than any other company in the world. How many people do you think regularly packet-sniff the data interchanges that happen during Microsoft product
updates? Then interpret the data? Hundreds? More?
How likely do you think it is that not one of them has picked up the transfer of identifying data during these updates? I think it can't be very likely at all. I like product updates. When I sell my own software I like the idea of protecting it from theft and
unauthorised usage. There's only one time I ever felt nervous about getting online updates and that's when I didn't own the license to the software in question.