Some Behind The Scenes Chaos And A Lesson Learned With Our Business | MyWifeQuitHerJob.com
So finally Monday rolls around, I get a hold of support and they inform me that my software was registered using a different address, email address and phone number than before and that they couldn’t reactivate my software unless I used the original information. But the kicker was that they also couldn’t tell me what info I had used in the past.
After arguing with the sales rep for about 20 minutes, she finally relented and gave me a new activation code. But the damage was already done. This ordeal wasted several days of my valuable time and caused numerous delays with our order fulfillment. The worst part? I paid good money for this software, so why was I getting punished and hassled just because someone else decided to copy it illegally?
This annoying experience is actually pretty common among people who have proprietary software installed on their computers. I recently talked with someone whose hard drive was dying. Being away from his home, he did not have all the license information handy, and wound up having to call the support lines for his software.
It struck me that people who use proprietary software trade present convenience for future pain.
I once had a desktop computer running Windows XP SP2 that decided not to boot up because I had no Internet access for over a year. It demanded that I connect it to the Internet, so that it could check to see whether it was legitimately licensed. As a result, that computer was switched to run Linux instead of Windows.
Now, this isn't a diatribe about switching to an operating system that is based on GNU+Linux. There are a number of other operating systems which respect and / or protect their users' freedoms, such as the BSDs, Syllable, Hurd, HaikuOS, FreeDOS, FD32, Minix, and ReactOS. Some of these are in a usable state and some are not. I would not bother installing the Windows clone ReactOS yet, for example, if I wanted to actually be able to use my computer.
Nor is this about guilt-tripping people into ditching Windows and Mac OS X. The author of the article uses his computer to run a business--including running the stitching machines that embroider his products--and has to use software that does what he needs. Still, if he's at all smart, he has to be wondering (now) whether there is a way to prevent such hassles in the future.
The fact is, when your software is produced by someone who is all about money, it is in the software company's best interest to ensure that users pay for the software as often as possible. If you get a new computer and wish to transfer your license from computer A to computer B, the company would like to get paid. If you want to use the software on more than one computer, the company would like to get paid. And if you've been using the software for five years or more, the company would like to sell you an upgraded version. They would like to get paid.
That is only natural. But your interest is in a stable, useful, usable application that you can use whenever and wherever you wish, including multiple computers and devices, with a single payment (or even zero cost). Your interest includes having a minimum amount of change in the user interface from version to version (and again, reduced-price or even zero-price version upgrades).
The two interests tend to clash over time. However, in the short term, using such software can be the easiest way to satisfy both sides' needs. If you're a short-term thinker, this is enough and acceptable. Just know that it is very likely to cost you some extra money and pain in the future.
If you're the kind of person who will forego some present pleasure in order to avoid a lot of pain and cost later on, you should be looking at ways that you can replace your present computer environment with something like Linux Mint