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The Net Takeaway: More Protection from SPSS?


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More Protection from SPSS? · 12/14/2004 06:56 PM, Analysis

Hmm… I saw a note on the discussion list with concerns about getting SPSS to install with errors of “hardware key not found”, here

I usually ignore such things as misfires (“SPSS doesn’t use a dongle… others do, but not SPSS! You must be confused”), but then an SPSS employee replied on the list (thank you!) with a suggestion here

So, that user’s problem was solved… But then I realized: Yes, SPSS is using hardware dongles! My installs do not currently, so I guess I am just lucky. And, if they will be requiring registration and hardware dongles, then forget it. Its just not worth it. There are other options out there which aren’t trying to control me and ask for my money (Thank you sir, may I have another?)

But before I jump to conclusions, lets see what the SPSS web site says. A google search reveals the SPSS 13 licensing page, which is a masterful attempt to spin something with no consumer benefit into a “win-win”…

“This new technology will allow us to add flexible new licensing options in the future, while helping you maintain the terms of your license agreement.”

Right, sure. But at least no mention of a hardware dongle. But a search for “hardware key” in the support section reveals a few recent articles:

1 SPSS 38897 No hardware key was found on Toshiba laptop running Windows XP
2 SPSS 32109 Error 2051. No hardware key was found.
3 SPSS 32111 Error 2063. The hardware key device driver was not found.
4 AMOS 32111 Error 2063. The hardware key device driver was not found.

Some of these are from April 7, 2003. So, this has been going on for a while…

Why haven’t I been dongled? Perhaps because I am a good customer? Or perhaps in university situation where they want to control usage? I don’t know, but I don’t like it.

Its just one more straw which is pushing users like me to look to other solutions. Besides the testing we have in place to use more of R, we are also talking again to SAS and Statistica by Statsoft. Why not? After all, there is nothing SPSS can do that SAS or Statsoft can’t duplicate, and though SAS is onerous in their renewal fees, at least I don’t feel like they are trying to control every action I take.

SPSS will do what they think they need to to survive as a business and I respect that. And I like most of what SPSS is doing. But sometimes, letting customers sing your praises by loosening the reins becomes much more powerful than forcing them in line with sticks.

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