Yes, I must use Microsoft – but that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

I now have four different Product ID’s for my main Vista machine. Why? Because I have changed motherboards three times (I like new and fast). Each time I had to call MS and get a new key. This is unacceptable. All I did was what I do – change my hardware. I do this 4-6 times a year. If MS wants to spend the money generating new keys every time I make a change then I understand why their stock price is stagnant. This is a HUGE waste of resources. Take those resources and put them on fixing the bugs in the Operating System.

I seriously question if all the money spent on DRM is worth the support problems, or if maybe, just maybe, they could just release software that COULD be copied, but is easier to support. I think the evidence is pretty clear – I NEVER CALLED MICROSOFT for a new XP key – ever. And at one time in the office I had over 65 computers I managed – all running XP. THANKFULLY I do not manage Vista PC’s for anyone other than me right now. I would not do it.

I’ve tried giving MS money for XBOX Live since July – I spent about 11 hours on tech support with them (so far). Guess what? They still can’t/won’t take my money. Why not? They have no clue, and they don’t seem to care.

Me? I have an XBOX and two XBOX 360’s – I freaking care! I want my Gold account back. NOW. Just make it freaking happen – I have the money, they have the service. Figure it out. Please. The fact I can use my credit card to buy things on the Live Marketplace, but NOT to upgrade my account should make it VERY clear that the problem is NOT with my credit card. (XBOX live account name is kr8tr, if anyone from Microsoft is curious).

My tablet PC OS install died after 5 years (Windows XP). I reinstalled the OS but it wouldn’t validate. Fine. Email MS. Their response is that I can “pay for support” to get what I already paid for working again. I have the original damn product ID sticker right on the bottom of my tablet. WTF should I pay for support for (unless it’s a levy for not upgrading to Windows Vista)?

Fine. Great. Really building up some customer loyalty here.

Microsoft, you’ve gone “Brokeback Mountain” on me. I can’t quit you – I have customers to support. But I can learn to hate you for your lack of HUMAN support, your constant twiddling of bits that don’t need twiddled with. For your DRM. For your inept tech support personnel (sorry – I’ve called on the same issue to XBOX Live over 15 times and every time I have to start all over even though every time you give me a “case-ID”.) Why then do you give me a NEW case ID every time – yet the root problem is never addressed? Why should I spend an hour each time I call re-trying everything I have tried ten times already? Free your tech support people from the script! Or hire people that think out of the box (and speaking English would be a huge freaking plus as well). And if you promise me a manager will call me “Saturday” then have them freaking call me on Saturday – not 8 days later on Sunday afternoon.

(And please, nobody tell me to switch to Ubuntu. I’ve tried – as recently as this past weekend. The “Grub error -17” that I get when I try and run Ubuntu/Kubuntu just isn’t very friendly to me. Doesn’t give me a clue what the problem is. But the machine won’t boot. I don’t care how good the OS is, if it won’t boot after an install it is of zero value to me. And I shouldn’t have to cipher through the apparent 5,000+ things that could cause an error -17.)

I never thought I would say this – but I miss the simplicity of DOS.

If it wasn’t for Office 2007 I really wouldn’t have anything good to say about Microsoft today. They’ve seriously pissed me off (again).


  1. Rob, I feel your pain…

    I guess the text in red was aimed at me cause that is what I was going to suggest!

    Have you tried debian? I run both quite a bit and they are very similar so most things that run on ubuntu will run on debian (debian is a lot leaner out of the box).

    I would be curious if you get the same “17” error after installing debian. That would tell us if it is related to the ubuntu kernel or something else in ubuntu…

    At any rate, good luck with Vista. I came, I saw, I went running back to XP!! (where I need Windows that is… getting to be a smaller list everyday…)