As much as I've hated Microsoft in the past, I was finally warming up to them. Their gaming department was awesome, XP actually had some semblance of stability, and their other products were actually flexible and almost user-friendly. Then, disaster struck. I upgraded my motherboard yesterday, with a brand spankin' new processor and gig of dual channel RAM to boot. Well, this exeeded Microsoft's definition of what constitutes a new computer. This meant that I had to go through product activation again. Ok, this seems a bit excessive, but I'll bite. Anyway, I couldn't hook up to the internet since Windows has to be running to detect my wireless adapter, so I went with phone activation. So I spent 10 minutes rattling off a 54 digit number to a piece of voice recognition software and, what the f***? My number isn't valid? But I payed through the nose for this P.O.S. software. I should at least be able to use it, right? Wrong. After several failed tries, I found out that since Windows considered it a new computer, I needed a new product code before it would let me run the thing at all...and the tech support line was closed for the night, since it's a weekend and those call center guys in India like getting off at 4 a.m. as opposed to 7 on weekends. Well, I vented some frustration at a few objects that could take it (pillows, for example), and eventually went to bed. So I got up this morning right when the tech line opened and got right through...to a bunch of bullsh*t. I spent an hour and a half getting the run around until I finally found a person who could theoretically help me. The problem is, they wouldn't help me unless I supplied the original product code printed on the flashy/bulky packaging the disk came with. I've changed residences about 10 times since I got that thing over 3 years ago and they actually expect me to have it right there on their fingertips?! At that point, I had already missed my window to get to church, and I was right back where I was...computerless after a $550 hardware upgrade. At this point, I've figured that that flashy packaging is long gone, probably trashed on accident by now. Anyhow, it's nowhere to be found. This leaves me with only one option, to buy another copy of XP solely for the product code. That's all that's left, to pay for my own f-ing piece of software TWICE just to get around Microsoft's draconian anti-piracy measures. However, this means that I will never upgrade my copy of Office '97 (or any of it's components, I'll go Corel). I will never buy another Age of Empires, Freelancer, Halo, or Rise of Nations title, or anything else with a Microsoft logo, for that matter. I was also considering getting an Xbox, but not now. Including liscencing fees for the Xbox, I figure this move is costing Microsoft a couple thousand dollars at least. Oh, and as soon as their monopolistic hold on the market is broken, I'm dropping Windows like a bad habit. God, please smite Microsoft. Smite them hard and let me watch.