It was fun while it lasted. According to at least one report, Microsoft has shut down Office Genuine Advantage (OGA). And I hate to say it, but no one is going to be missing this any time soon. I’m sorry, but there was absolutely NO advantage with Genuine Advantage. It was a horrid thing to subject paying customers to and it is long overdue for a toilet based funeral in my opinion. Glad to see Microsoft stepped up to put it out of our misery.

Today this means doing basic stuff like downloading templates for Office no longer requires jumping through ridiculous MGA hoops just to get to the darned things. And for everyone involved, I see this as a good thing as it means no longer will we need to fight with this authentication system just to keep Office running as we’d like to.

Benefits of Office Genuine Advantage. When I read this I about died laughing. Yes, obviously there is a clear benefit to not using pirated software that may not be legal, up to date, or otherwise safe to use. But did that mean people needed to be nagged every time they wanted to do anything over the Web? Validation is simply not fun for those trying to do stuff like adding templates, etc.

Microsoft Shuts Down Office Genuine Advantage
Photo by bfishadow

The newly updated MGA page for Office reflects what it should. It asks folks to purchase legit copies of the software — because, let’s face it, those who are going to pirate software going to do so regardless of whatever hassles you subject your paying customers to. And I, for one, think it may be time to re-think Microsoft’s entire validation setup. Apple’s is fairly simple — why not follow its lead?

Speaking for myself, I am largely separated from anything requiring me to bother with one suite of office software over another. So for my needs, I have found a balance of OpenOffice and Google Docs have more than met the bill. While I am among the first to admit that OpenOffice’s spreadsheet doesn’t do well with really huge spreadsheets, it is just fine for most needs I think. Well, unless you are big on specific macros, I guess.