Originally posted on December 17th, 2003
No Soup For You!
If you are a user of PowerQuest's Partition Magic, now owned by Symantec you'll be surprised to find that you only get 2 uses of the product now. I discovered this while working on a customers PC in our store. I always like to be up-to-date with all our software and when Power(greedy)Quest offered an upgrade, I thought cool, maybe they fixed some things in the new version (like doing NTFS partitions right) and I upgraded. My happiness factor was lowered to zero when I soon discovered after attempting to activate Partition Magic 8 on a clients PC. It said that I have exceeded my allowed number of activations and that's that!
I called PowerQuest / Symantec on 12.16.03 and it was confirmed that indeed I can't activate it anymore. That's it, the software nazis have spoken...
Your NEW user agreement says that (in so many words) when you install the product now, you can only activate it 2 times. After that, you need to purchase a new license. Remember kids, you don't own anything in this world... you rent it. This is the new wave of business in a cold slow economy. You get cold treatment, bad one-eyed parrot speaking tech support and now you gotta pay dearly for it.
You may say, hey Mike, you can't just give away Partition Magic... well... I didn't. I used it like a tool. I installed it on a clients PC, performing the task I need and then I removed it. Being in the computer industry, I am very sensitive to the plight of software makers and I make ALL my clients pay for their software. In fact, last year, I did a inventory of all my clients PCs to make sure they were legal on everything. It took about 3 months. My clients did complain at first, but now everyone is happy that they did.
Can you imagine whats next? How about paying 25 cents for every letter you type, and how about 5 bucks for every virus your anti-virus software catches! Believe me, these greedy guys have talked about this... and if users don't complain and post webpages like this they'll get away with it.
Fred Langa of the Langa List newsletter (June 23rd, 2003) says - DO NOT buy the new Drive Image and Partition Magic, as they currently exist. What disappointments! It really looks like PowerQuest peaked some time ago; the new versions are a real letdown: PM8 is a weak upgrade at best, and DI7 feels to me more like a late beta than a shippable product. My experience with their tech support also was less than stellar, taking a week to resolve what should have been a simple problem.
On the other hand, this might be the best thing for us really. Before you say I'm nuts, remember this. Users like myself will spread the word and before you know it, Symantec sales of products like this will fall and the competition will take their place. Intuit did the same thing with TurboTax where they limited the number of PCs you could install the software on. Users rebelled and Intuit retracted the policy and apologizes to its users. Meanwhile millions of user switched to their competitors and not only did Intuit loose millions and get a lot of bad press, it will take years for them to (if their lucky) regain the place they had.
Take note Symantec; there are other companies out there that will eat your lunch. Mark my words.
This new policy by Symantec for Partition Magic and other software products like this must have come from the ashes of all those laid off smart ass dot com'ers that thought they new business and sold a bridge to Symantec. You know the ones... they're the ones with the Pets.com tshirts.