Subscriber Bill DePierri wrote recently to ask about the new Windows Live ID. He ran into it after installing Microsoft Office 2003 recently.
I enjoy your newsletter! Keep it coming.
When I read your newsletter this afternoon, I thought of a topic that I
would like to read about. Yesterday, I installed a copy of MS Office 2003
on a new computer that I recently purchased for Ellen. After the
installation was complete, I did the “Product Activation” bit. Then, a
pop-up asked whether I wanted to “Register” the product.
The “Registration” required that one have a “Windows Live ID”. I have never
acquired a Windows Live ID as I have always been concerned about the
possible ramifications of having this ID. I read the Wikipedia item about
Windows Live ID, but still have questions about whether or not it is a “Good
What is your take on the “Windows Live ID”? Are my concerns justified?
What are the advantages of registering this copy of MS Office? And the
drawbacks of not registering?
If you think this an appropriate item for discussion in your newsletter, I
would like to read your opinions on the matter.
I had never heard of it before Bill’s email, but I immediately guessed the answer.
The Live ID sounds like it’s probably a new name for the Windows Passport, just as MSN is now renamed Microsoft Live.
I never had a Windows Passport and never wanted one. I’m not interested — until it’s mandatory for something I really want — and that certainly isn’t getting one so I can register my software.
I never register Microsoft products. But, I always activate them if required, since it is necessary to work, e.g. Windows XP requires activation but not registration.
My practice with all software is that I do not "register" it a piece of unless that is required to make the software work. All you’re doing is handing them an email address for marketing.
Originally, the claimed purpose of software registration was so that companies could notify you of updates.
I guess you know how often that’s ever happened…