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Microsoft Office v.X may feature “product activation”

The good folks over at Macs Only! are reporting that Microsoft Office v.X, the highly anticipated Mac OS X version of the suite slated to ship November 19, may feature a product activation scheme similar to Windows XP. “We received an email from a reader who has tested Office v.X in final or near final version. After installing it on his second Mac it would not fully launch on his first Mac if connected to the internet. He gets the message: ‘This installation of Microsoft Office X exceeds the number of installations permitted by the license agreement. (So and so) is already using this installation of Microsoft Office X. The program will now quit.’ Of course, he has not registered his copy of Office v.X since it is not out yet so it must have secretly registered while connected to the internet for one or both computers.” Microsoft’s product activation, designed to curtail piracy, has come under fire from privacy advocates and users in general who argue the system is intrusive, cumbersome, and prevents a user from installing software on multiple computers they own, even if they only plan on using one copy at a time (which is within their rights as an end user).

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