I've been reminded today why I don't want to rely on Microsoft Windows. I tried to install the latest "critical" security update today, and the update took a very long time to download, and when it started to install, Windows Update locked up. I was presented with a message saying: "You may be a victim of software counterfeiting. To use all Microsoft Windows features, such as all updates from Windows Update; get the latest updates; and receive product support, your copy of Microsoft Windows must be validated as genuine. Go online and resolve now." When I clicked on the link to "go online", it brought up Microsoft Internet Explorer, which displayed a popup saying "Speed up browsing by disabling add-ons" and promptly locked up (Windows Internet Explorer Not Responding). Then I got another message saying that my validation period had expired, and that I needed to re-register my copy of Windows 7. Now it wants to "Download Required Windows Validation Components", and I'm looking at a warning message from Microsoft saying that there's a risk involved with agreeing to this download and installation. Okay, so I select Download and then Allow for Internet Explorer to run the add-on "Windows Activation Technologies from Microsoft Corporation." No response. Fsck this thing! Back to Mac OS X for me! Update: After a long wait, Activation spit back this warning: "Windows running on this PC has not yet been properly activated. To resolve, contact your system administrator for assistance." I am the system administrator, and I did that stupid Activation thing when I installed this copy of Windows! Even more insulting, below the warning is an "opportunity" to "Buy genuine Windows" for $149.00. So, now I have to prove to Microsoft that I really own (or is it called rent?) my copy of Windows? What a waste of my time! I'm glad that I don't have anything critical running on this system, because I could be totally screwed over by Windows Activation.