Oh, product activation how much I dislike you! Seriously, when I see activation employed on product for developers I get hives. Monster hives!

It is really attempt to squeeze every single last dime out of developers. When companies start doing that, you can take that as official sign that they are completely, utterly clueless. Resorting to activation shows that company is desperate and out of ideas.

I can understand that activation is required in certain circumstances, but I just can’t see where product activation is required for any product that is aimed at developers. Most developers that I know change between at least 2 machines, desktop and laptop. Many use more machines than that. That’s not counting virtual machines. Activation forces them to buy 1 license for each machine. Ridiculous. Who would want to do that?

Another interesting thing is that when I need the piece of software, I need it now. Right this moment. If I have to activate it and have to contact someone that is just way too long. I can’t wait 1 hour. In one hour I will be on completely different task. What if my internet connection is down? What if activation server is down? How long does it take it to receive response from support regarding activation if I have to re-activate in virtual machine? What if company making the software went out of business? And you can count on one of these cases happening at worst possible time. You can bet your monthly pay on it.

So I’ll always buy something that does not need activation. Always.

Activation does not really stop piracy. Every single activation scheme gets broken sooner or later. Even Microsoft’s product activation gets broken and they have billions of dollars at stake and you can be sure that they are trying their best to prevent that. But it still fails.

And Activation ends up failing in marketplace anyway and costs companies more money. It does not get accepted by developers that companies are trying to sell products to. At the end, companies simply declare failure and say contact us whenever you need to install on new machine and we’ll “allow it” and activate it. What they fail to realize is that they were clueless to begin with and should simply give up on activation and invest their time in actually improving products they sell…

Yep, this post was sparked by certain developer tool for performance analysis that requires activation… Company developing it tried to sell me an upgrade. No way. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, err, you can’t fool me again! 🙂

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