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Monday, 25 September, 2006

Genuine Advantage For Office

Office 2007 has many great new features. And one that really sucks: Microsoft Office Genuine Advantage. If you're looking for a good reason to justify not upgrading, this could be it.

I'm using Excel 2007 Beta2TR, and I want to use a template that's available at Microsoft's site. The templates are easy to access using the Excel UI. I click on a template and I get this:

I click Continue, and I get this:

Yes, their bogus software concludes that my copy of Office XP (not Office 2007) is not genuine. When I click the button in order to get genuine, I go to a Web site that tells me Office 2007 isn't activated (which is not true). I eventually find a page that will tell me more details -- but it doesn't work with Firefox, so I have to download a program. Eventually, I find out the reason why I can't download an Office 2007 template:

Microsoft Office XP Professional with FrontPage: Validation Failed.
The product key used to install Office has been blocked by Microsoft.

Apparently, it checks every version of Office on your system. If any of them is suspect, you're locked out with no apparent way to resolve the problem -- short of buying a new copy or uninstalling the product. At no time does it ever suggest that the problem could be with their software.

Don't you just love the new Office 2007 productivity enhancements that make you waste 20 minutes on Microsoft's problem? The irony is that anyone in the world can download these stupid templates just by going to Microsoft's Office templates site. Pirates and counterfeiters are welcome. At least for now. I wouldn't be surprised if they eventually add the Genuine Advantage check to their Office Web sites.

In all fairness, I'm working with a beta product. It's possible that this bogus detection feature will be fixed in the final version - but I doubt it.

Posted in Excel | Comments (14) | View recent posts