You Are Not Microsoft

I wanted to write this back in 2002 but I didn’t have a blog back then so the example in this post is a bit old – but the principle is still valid.

Obviously, if you do work at Microsoft you don’t have to read this post.

Microsoft release Windows XP with an activation mechanism, I think this was the first mass market product in years with a “phone home” anti piracy system – and most of the time it works flawlessly and when it didn’t you can always call a local phone number and get someone that speaks your language who can give you an unlock code.

And obviously, a lot of other software companies released their next software with an activation system, after all if Microsoft did it then why not us?

And less obviously, a lot of those activation systems didn’t work so well (because they didn’t have Microsoft’s budget to invest in testing) and if they malfunctioned on a weekend, during an holiday or for someone that doesn’t speak English there was no one to call (because they didn’t have Microsoft’s 24/7 call centers with people speaking virtually every language in the world).

So, whenever you think you can do something because Microsoft (or any other large company) successfully did it remember – you are not Microsoft, you do not have their budget, you do not have their resources and you do not have their supporting infrastructure.

posted @ Tuesday, December 09, 2008 4:34 PM

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