Why I sometimes hate Microsoft
For the most part, I just generally disdain Microsoft. That isn't to say I hate Windows, which as come along fairly well as a product and been generally useful to the world though also often a source of frustration.
Microsoft, however, sometimes does things that make no logical sense. There I was in the middle of the Pacific Ocean working IT on the ship. One of the engine monitoring computers had gone down. I troubleshooted it for a bit and was able to bring it back up, but then it went down again. So, I took it out , brought it back to the lab, and found the culprit: two blown capacitors on the video card. I hunted around and eventually found a spare video card and replaced it.
Thinking myself nearly done with this affair, I put the industrial case back together and booted it up ready to take it back down to the engine room. Lo and behold, this was not to be. Windows demanded that I reactivate XP. Excuse me? Reactivate a piece of software that was bought 2 years prior with direct proof of license. Well, ok, yeah just a nuisance you might say, you can just click to activate via internet, and Microsoft gets to win a battle against software pirates. However, no they are not winning that battle. Furthermore, I am in the middle of the PACIFIC OCEAN. I do not have internet access to reactivate the paid for product. I have to use a Satellite phone which costs A DOLLAR A MINUTE to read off 25 numbers to an automated voice system, and then get 25 numbers read back to me, slowly, and having to pause and tell it to continue each time after every 5 number set. 15 minutes and $15 dollars I can finally pack up the system and return it to its rightful place in the engine room.
(For the real techies out there, apparently Windows does a vote at runtime where each hardware component which is deemed central to functioning gets one vote to indicate if it has been changed. There are ten components and you need at least 7 votes to not get an activation message. As to why changing one component on this system which has all the rest of its original pieces in it caused Windows to fail the system in this vote is beyond me.)
Now, as to why they are using a piece of software that has to run on Microsoft Windows in order to monitor a critical piece of infrastructure is the worst part of it. They could be running a rock solid Linux distribution that would never ask for an activation code. However, Microsoft has advertised and marketed that option out of existence. And, this is why today, I hate Microsoft.