Here's a little story.
Yesterday i wanted to download the Tablet PC SDK from the Microsoft Website. If you follow the link you may notice the "Genuine Advantage Validation" stuff on the page. Now my XP is not running any of these WGA homecalling microsoft spyware. I like to have control over my computer and my operating system. I like to decide what i can and what i can't do, whom my machine is talking to in idle time and to whom not.
So till this moment this genuine advantage was to keep unlegitimate users of XP out of updates for new features. You want the new IE7? Prove you have a legitimate copy. You want this nice power toy? Show me your license. There seems to be at least some logic behind this. It gives me at least a way to opt out (that is, the XP i bought has all the features i need and no WGA stuff).
Back to the Tablet PC SDK. An SDK (or Software Development Kit) is solely there to help write and develop applications. It is no program in itself, no utility and no application, it does not give you as a user more features in your Microsoft Product (in this case XP). It is there to enable writing applications for an operating system.
So I want to make ComicRack a good program. I want to support proprietary things on the XP platform. I create a program that helps people come to the conclusion that Windows XP is a cool platform. That it has better programs than the other platforms. That those Linux guys can go home with their little featureless viewer programs. The programs make the system. People don't use Windows because it is good, but because most of the good programs are running there. So I help Microsoft earn money. I HELP Microsoft. And for this "Advantage" i have to fall to their "total control over my machine" scheme.
Nice thinking Microsoft. Only problem is, you kinda keep people losing on the way.
As an alternative, i tried to download the SDK from my Linux machine. But of course there is no way to download a Windows SDK from a non windows platform...
Finally i bit the bullet, downloaded this GenuineAdvantage Tool, "validated" my machine and downloaded the SDK.
Now lets look at the grander things to come...Vista.
Take a closer look at that future. Is this the way you want it to be?
I know i don't. And i know i don't want it to be that way with an upgrade cost for my 5 machines in my home network of roughly 1000 €,when the none monopoly guys can do it with more technical finesse and no homecalling, crippling, "don't upgrade your machines ", "we decide what content you're allowed to view" Orwellian software for this amount. And i'm not even mentioning this or this.
In the last 15 years i was supportive of Microsoft. I liked what they did. I still like SOME things they are doing (.NET comes to mind). But slowly the bad things begin to outweigh the good things.
And as a last note: Don't give me the "i don't buy it anyways, i wait for the russian release" line.
With this attitude you're just enabling Microsoft to go on doing what they are doing: Screwing over all the legitimate users...