Will deaf people in Israel and other countries without relay services be able to use MS-Windows XP?

The Slashdot article http://it.slashdot.org/it/05/02/25/0350219.shtml?tid=201&tid=109&tid=164 mentions that as of February 28, Windows users who purchased their PC will no longer be able to reinstall without calling Microsoft and answering a series of questions. See also http://www.betanews.com/article/Microsoft_Closes_Activation_Loophole/1109293194
Deaf customers of Microsoft in USA will be able to reinstall MS-Windows XP, because USA has a well-developed infrastructure of relay services. Those services allow the deaf to use alternative communication technologies (such as TTY) and mediate between them and hearing people, who use regular voice phone.

However, several other countries have no well-developed relay services. And, if those services operate at all, they operate at limited hours.

This new development means that deaf persons may be unable to reactivate their MS-Windows XP installations at all, or have to wait until the next day to reactivate their installations, and if this is for their home computers – they may have to take few hours off their work. (Microsoft probably won’t pay for the time of the friendly hearing neighbor, whom the pressed-for-time deaf repeatedly summons to call Microsoft in his behalf.)

Author: Omer Zak

I am deaf since birth. I played with big computers which eat punched cards and spew out printouts since age 12. Ever since they became available, I work and play with desktop size computers which eat keyboard keypresses and spew out display pixels. Among other things, I developed software which helped the deaf in Israel use the telephone network, by means of home computers equipped with modems. Several years later, I developed Hebrew localizations for some cellular phones, which helped the deaf in Israel utilize the cellular phone networks. I am interested in entrepreneurship, Science Fiction and making the world more accessible to people with disabilities.