Problems with Macromedia's Activation Policy

I just learned that Macromedia's product licenses are only valid for a single operating system. What this means is that if you want to transfer Macromedia software from a Windows machine to a Mac (because, say, you "finally saw the light"), you can't. Even though the disc comes with both Windows and Mac versions on it.

I discovered this the other day when trying to do the reverse and go from a Mac to Windows. Yes, I did uninstall it from the Mac first. And when it's an expensive piece of software like Macromedia Studio this suddenly becomes a very big deal.

I just don't understand if the disc has the capability of being installed on either system, why the customer can't have the option of moving from one to the other. It doesn't seem to make sense to me and leads to a very frustrating customer experience, especially when there's no mention of this on Macromedia's product activation help page.

Perhaps someone can enlighten me?

Posted on: December 10, 2004 | 4 Comments

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4 Comments Posted

Sorry, you're right, a license is for a single set of code, rather than both PC and Mac codebases. Although it seems like a single application which works the same on both operating systems, they're actually two distinct development and testing efforts which end up looking the same.
http://www.macromedia.com/software/activation/faq/#itemL-4

I can appreciate how it'd be nice to have it otherwise, for sure, but keeping the finances separate helps prove that there's a market for Macintosh applications.

Regards,
John Dowdell
Macromedia Support

John,

Thanks for your feedback and for pointing me in the direction of the correct FAQ. Of course, the problem is that someone will likely only read the FAQ when they have a problem and by then, it is too late.

I don't recall anything on the disk or packaging saying words to this effect. As a user, I can easily see the potential for others who have both Macs and Windows machines to install on one with the expectation of being able to re-install on the other.

Perhaps there is a way to update the packaging or installation information so that people know they can't swap? I know this is unlikely, but I thought I'd ask anyway.

Christian,

I have the opposite problem. I purchase Studio MX Ed Version and installed it on Windows. Now I would like to run it on a Mac.

I was thinking that you could just look for someone running the 'other' OS and just transfer the licenses.

I was also wondering if the transfer of ownership also restricts OS usage. That would be inportant to know for anyone purchasing the software second hand. The person selling it to you may not know it is restricted to one OS or the other.

Richard, that's a good point. I've often bought software second hand, and this could really screw you up. I would imagine that it would be all too easy for the seller not to know about this issue and give misleading information.

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