A trip to the PC Advisor forums sheds light on our visitors' reluctance to upgrade to Office XP.

Topping the whinge list are the following gripes: Microsoft's anti-piracy measures, fears of compatibility problems, 'yet-another-upgrade' syndrome, and cost.

What follows are choice cuts of quotes from the forums, but to experience the real thing click

Anti-piracy tools
The anti-piracy tools have provoked considerable controversy among our visitors. Microsoft has built in a Product Activation wizard to its latest bloated offspring, which takes a 'fingerprint' of your PC configuration and turns it into an ID number that you must submit to the software giant.

This then prevents you from installing Office on more than two PCs.

"The principle that the innocent majority must be greatly inconvenienced to protect against the guilty minority is fundamentally wrong," says regular poster 'flecc'.

He predicts future headaches: "The anti-piracy measures have gone one stage too far, with the likelihood that upgrading a couple of hardware items will necessitate re-registration."

'MrAnderson', has a more sinister interpretation: "As for this new security thing Gates has got going - what a joke! Microsoft is really chewing on life's gristle aren't they? They know the real pirates - leave us the decent paying public alone. What next? Windows 2020 will have a built-in monitor that deactivates the PC if you criticise Microsoft. It's the lrujhsaclkfvlkmdsvslsgf... My god its here already !"£$%^&*(! "

We spoke to Microsoft's Office XP product manager, Mike Pryke-Smith, who assured us that no re-registration would be required unless users changed "four or five components," which he claimed was equivalent to "changing the whole damn PC."

"Changing one or two components won't cause any problems," he guaranteed.

"Casual copying is a huge problem," he added. "Around 80 percent of software products in the home and in small business are pirated."

For PC Advisor's take on Microsoft's Product activation wizard, click here.

Fears about compatibility
'Bandy', meanwhile, reckons incompatibility would be the primary incentive for upgrading.

"I can see the day when I may be forced to upgrade should backwards compatibility become an issue," he laments.

But only if it hits his pocket badly, he adds: "It would take the possible loss of a large customer to make the cost in anyway justifiable."

Microsoft's Pryke-Smith assured us, however, that there will be no compatibility issues this time round as Microsoft hadn't changed file formats with this edition.

Hardware upgrades
'Georgemac' and 'Gongoozler' prefer spending their hard-earned cash on upgrading their PCs.

"If you upgrade every two years you end up spending a fortune - money I would rather spend on hardware upgrades," says Georgemac.

"Upgrading to Office XP would only add even more functions that I don't need, and with even the upgrade version costing the best part of £200 I could spend my money on something more useful like a new hard drive and still have change," 'Gongoozler' points out.

Sick of upgrading
The majority of contributors, however, feel that there just aren't enough extra features to warrant yet another upgrade.

Regular punter 'recap65', sums up a general feeling of resentment: "Microsoft should be governed like the Premiership - that is not to change their strip within a certain period of time."

Bowing to the inevitable
Standing out from the crowd, with an admission that he would almost certainly be making the upgrade, 'Orco' believes it's just a matter of when.

"It is inevitable that somewhere down the line the Office buzzword will change from Office 2000 to XP," he says.

But nothing is inevitable until it happens, he adds. "If - and I should say when - that happens, old faithful here is going to have to shell out some more hard-earned to keep up with the Office Joneses. Until that happens, I will stay where I am!"

To find out more on the pros and cons of upgrading to Office XP, check out our special report here.