I recently purchased Norton SystemWorks 2005 Premier. I've purchased Norton SystemWorks every year for probably the last 5 years but skipped 2004 and hesitated getting 2005 because of the product activation. I really don't like the idea of purchasing software that needs to be remotely activated on my computer. What happens when I need to reinstall the application on a PC after my wife cancels my broadband? What if my computer goes to crap and I need to reinstall on a new machine. What if I need to use it in a virtual machine without internet connection? What about after the upcoming apocalypse when I need to install NSW on the last available laptop in the world? So I realized that these fears are not very rational (at least the last one) and I had already given in with windows XP so I went out and bought NSW 2005, after all it is practically free. I opened the brand new box, installed the application, and started the product registration. The system then claims that I've used this product key on too many machines. What? It just came out of the box. I then had to call the Symantec tech support, filter through the phone system, give my e-mail, name, and phone number and the product key; SOPD-SBNV… no, no, no… B as in "Boy I hate product activation", N as in "Never again", V as in "Very Pissed"). The person that helped me was very polite and helpful (wish all customer service could be) and simple said: "Try it again it should work now". And it did.

So overall the experience not that painful and it works now but should I really have to make a phone call to use a piece of software that I bought in a store? Did I have to give my name, address, and e-mail? And why did the product registration fail in the first place? I think most likely it was that somebody has used this product key already. So if the Symantec people just reset the product key every time someone calls then what is the use? They had no way to verify who I was or weather or not I actually had purchased the product. What's the point? Doesn't seam like it is going to stop the pirates, is going to cause inconvenience for legitimate customers, and they have to spend money on the support staff to answer the phones. Is it really worth it?