(look at product activation as a really bad example)
It's all about the implementation for me. I use a few games & apps (plus Windows itself) that use activation and I don't mind it at all because it doesn't get in my way and is reasonable (e.g. usually allows re-activation if you don't do it too frequently, so you can reinstall you machine every so often even if you forget or are unable to deactivate things).
I did cause Windows to deactivate once when I was troubleshooting some hardware (added/removed something enough times that it decided something was up), but that was resolved with a 5 minute phone call, even though it was midnight on a weekend, so it didn't bother me.
On the other hand, there are products I want but will not buy because of the DRM. e.g. Some Ubisoft single-player games now require that they can talk to authentication servers constantly; if the server or your net connection has a hiccup (or god forbid you want to playing the game because the net is down and you have nothing else to do!*) then the game exits. That's taking things too far and I won't pay for it.
(*Then again, that problem affects things like Steam -- you need to be online to start it unless you've planned for offline usage in advance -- but I still buy games on that. Steam's DRM does annoy me in some ways but it also provides a lot of convenience on the flip-side so it's sort-of even, I guess.)
For me, it comes down to "does it get in my way or bog my machine down?" If it doesn't then I don't mind it. I know other people feel more strongly, though. Maybe they've run into issues that I haven't.
and MS is dropping upgrade pricing on flagship products such as Office. What's the betting that Windows 8 won't have upgrade pricing.
Wow. I had to look that up to confirm it. I hadn't heard about it and thought surely there was some caveat or something, but you're right.
That seems really wrong to me, unless what they've done is reduce the full-version pricing to what the upgrade pricing used to be, in which case it's to the customer's advantage (or no different for people upgrading) and fine.
(But otherwise, they're effectively asking people to pay full-price again for something that they already own a large part of. That seems especially poor with Office where, aside from the 2007 update, new versions typically don't change that much stuff that people actually use.)
Maybe it was just that home users don't tend to upgrade Office in the first place so why bother with the upgrade SKUs.