Microsoft Office 2007’s “Switch o’ Death!”

So, obviously you should pay for a legitimate copy of anything that you install on your PC, but how many of you have had bogus “errors” of improperly authorized Microsoft products? That is, it it is a real, purchased package, but it fails authentication anyway. Well, if that happens with Office 2007… you are hosed, dewd!

Office 2007’s “secret kill switch”

“Microsoft’s battle with pirates, which started as early as 1975 with Bill Gates’ infamous ‘Open Letter to Hobbyists,’ continues on in 2007, as the company has built a feature into Office 2007: Reduced Functionality Mode. While Microsoft has been fairly coy about whether or not this feature exists in the latest Office release, a new Knowledge Base article on their site confirms that it will apply to all Office 2007 products. Reduced Functionality mode is triggered whenever Office 2k7 fails activation. This can happen when the program is initially run after installation, or if it fails a subsequent check following an Office update. Once the switch is thrown, Office continues to run, but with the following restrictions:

  • You cannot create new documents.
  • You can view existing documents. However, you cannot edit them.
  • You can print documents. However, you cannot save them.
  • Despite what some media outlets are reporting, the Reduced Functionality Mode is not new. It already applies to Office 2003 and even Office XP versions. While the approach undoubtedly has at least some impact on piracy, the process is not 100 percent foolproof: some legitimate users have reported problems with the activation process.”

    So, remember, “just say, ‘NO!'” to Office 2007! Use! Free, excellent, and no “kill switch” to contend with!

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