Software Activation vs. Virtualization (and multiple PC ownership)

Just as Virtualization is finally becoming a useful technology, everybody and their uncle has decided that software activation is the new hot way to stop theft. Of course, like all anti-piracy tools, the paying customers get screwed, because the pirates have already patched their copies to not require activation. Bravo! You know i'd prefer friggin USB dongles to this big brother activation business.

I've talked about these problems before, but I've got more fun with the VM vs. bootcamp image activation troubles. I just got Adobe CS3 and for a programmer with occasional Photoshop/Illustrator needs, that's a pretty serious expense. I mean it costs me more than MSDN and gets used a fraction of the time. But I need it. And forget that I have three different computers I use at different times and I really ought to be able to install my purchased software on all of these machines, since I, the owner of the license, will never be using two computers at once. But that's a whole other story.

Back to the re-activation on hardware change business... I've been running Windows under VMware for the last couple of weeks, but for the Illustrator work I need to do right now, it was a bit sluggish. No problem, reboot into Bootcamp! Mind you, this isn't a differnt install of Windows. This is the same physical disk partition, but booted natively vs. via VMware. What happens? Illustrator bitches about activation, as does office, because it saw the hardware change. Let me guess, when i reboot in the virtual machine it'll bitch yet again. Sooner or later it'll just shut me down as a serial offender. Thanks! Way to reward my purchase.