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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Another Reason I Want to Stop Using Microsoft

I have made the Linux move recently for two reasons: 1. Because I like new stuff to tweak and learn about 2. Because I do not agree with Microsoft's invasive practices.

A year ago I was looking for a good personal finacial management application. The two top competitors were Quicken and Microsoft Money. I liked both, but I especially liked the layout and feel of Money. As I used it, I liked it more and more; it imported my information well, and the ease of tracking spending and income was a definite plus. HOWEVER, there was a nagging problem that I had with it. Money requires you to login to your PASSPORT account. What tha?

If you do not know the implications of that, read this first: Does Issuing Passports Make Microsoft a Country? The whole concept for Passport accounts, is to make it easier for the Internet Consumer to have a "secure" place to store all their personal and financial information. So, when you log into a Passport supported site such as Expedia.com, you can easily order your tickets and the Passport account will tell Expedia.com your info and viola, tickets!

So back to Microsoft Money... It's one thing for me to volunteer my info to Passport, it's completely another thing for Passport to be integrated into my BANK ACCOUNT. Now say what you want, "Microsoft would never..." etc, but I do not care, my MOM doesn't know when I Bank I do, and Microsoft shouldn't either. That is not to mention the possible security problems...

Moreover, Passport will supposedly only draw "Anonymous" info from my Internet habits. However, if I wanted Microsoft to know even my Anonymous surfing habits I would tell them. I use Firefox and I block Cookies and scripts (Thank you NoScript!) except for what I need. I also block referrers with Outpost Firewall, but I have not researched how to do that in Linux yet. I actually do not even mind Cookies ('specially my aunt's chocolate chip). If a site wants to know what I came in and did there, good, maybe it will cause them to make the site better. That's great for everyone! But I don't want them to know what else I've been doing, that's NUNYA.

So to the latest story just continues to cure the cement around of Microsoft's feet for me.Check out this eWeek.com article:
Microsoft to Tighten the Genuine Advantage Screws (Digg it here)
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not into pirating Windows personally, nor do I condone it for others. (Though, I will not personally condemn someone either...) I already don't like Windows Genuine Advantage and keep it tied down with my firewall. To hear that they will be "Tightening the Screws" on WGA just makes me like it less. To me it's a piece of spyware, telling Microsoft something about my computer. I was afraid Vista would be more invasive that way, and my fear just continue to be proven true.

I paid for the damn software, I shouldn't be subjected to you nosing around my computer.
But the 1337 h4><0|2's!!
You have billions, figure out a different way! *smack*
I am going to continue to rid myself of MS and it's products. I gave my hotmail account the boot, but kept it for MSN Messanger via Kopete or Trillian. Maybe I can get rid of my friends using it?? The black clouds seem to keep getting darker and darker. The wind is picking up a bit. I can smell the storm coming... Just a few more things and I will be ready to head out. I think I hear the air raid sirens. It's gonna be a bad one! Linux here we come... now where did I put that map?

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