Saturday, February 10, 2007

CNET News Article: Some bumps on the road to Vista (a.k.a. "I should've bought a Mac")

'The WOES Start Now' by Mike Cope
"The WOES Start Now" by Mike Cope

There’s an old public relations adage that says, “There’s no such thing as bad press.”

I wish the same were true for bad software.

From CNET Staff Writer, Ina Fried:

Activation trouble

For those who are making the move to Vista, one trouble area has been properly activating the new operating system. Cartoonist Mike Cope spent hours trying to get his Windows 2000-based system to move to Vista. Initially, he tried to upgrade from within Windows 2000, but that didn't work. Next, the Stoney Creek, Ontario, resident tried to do a clean installation of the software on his PC. The software installed fine, but when time came to do the product activation--a mandatory step with Vista--the process failed.

After reinstalling Windows 2000 and trying a few more things, Cope eventually found a loophole that solved his problem--installing Vista without activating it and then installing it a second time and going through the activation process. Because the software assumed he was moving from Vista to Vista, it activated successfully.

Still, Cope wasn't happy with the more than six hours he spent getting to Vista. "I should've bought a Mac," Cope said.

In theory, that method would let almost anyone install Vista using the upgrade disc rather than a full copy of the OS. However, Microsoft is not condoning such efforts.

"Microsoft is aware of that workaround and encourages all customers to follow the official guidelines for upgrading to Windows Vista," a Microsoft representative said in an e-mail. "People without a licensed copy of XP or earlier version of Windows that use this workaround are violating the terms of use agreed to when they purchased the upgrade version of Windows Vista."

While Cope eventually got himself to Vista, Brett Wasserman, a New York-based technology consultant, is still stuck on XP.

Some bumps on the road to Vista
By Ina Fried
Staff Writer, CNET
Published: February 7, 2007, 4:05 AM PST

To read the complete article, click here.

For the record, I'd like to be clear that I have no personal or professional issue with Microsoft, other than the fact that they falsely advertised their Windows Vista Upgrade product (OR, that they commercially released their operating system with a major software bug that prevents users, like myself, from using it as advertised). The six hours I spent trying to install Vista included time spent on the phone speaking with Microsoft Customer Service and Technical Support workers, and I sincerely applaud Microsoft on the quality of the service I received.

However, the software glitch should never have existed.

It was not until several days after the publication of the CNET News article that I received a personal phone call from a "higher ranking" official at Microsoft. Ironically, the solution that they offered me was the same "loophole" that I already discovered -- Note that this is also the same "workaround" that a Microsoft representative is quoted in regarding to. Their only other solution was for me to return the upgrade software (for a full refund) and then purchase a FULL VERSION license. That's right, they wanted me to pay more for their mistake! As mentioned above, the upgrade installation issue is not unique to only my purchased copy -- All upgrade copies (at least, those sold during the initial release) do NOT allow a legally purchased upgrade to be "clean installed."

Yet according to Microsoft's Windows Vista: Upgrade Paths from Previous Version website ...

Windows Vista: Upgrade Paths from Previous Version
SCREENSHOT: Upgrade Paths from Previous Version (highlighted)

Since I legally qualified for the upgrade software (as advertised online and on the software packaging), I decided to keep the upgrade copy, and hope that I never need to re-install Vista again. Needless to say, I have no doubt that my next computer will be a Mac.

Stay TOONed!

- Mike Cope

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