“Dear Microsoft….”

Uncle AndrewUncle Andrew
Filed under: @ 8:51 am

With the announcement that as of February 28, Microsoft will no longer permit activation of its products over the Internet but only by phone, I decided to drop them a line via the “Contact” section of their Web site. If this annoys you too, you might want to do the same.


Hey Folks,

You have just cost yourselves four new licenses of Windows XP Professional with the announcement that I will have to call Microsoft to activate the software, rather than activating it over the Internet. The four remaining Windows 2000 Pro workstations in my office are just going to have to stay Windows 2000 Pro workstations. Small change, indeed, but it adds up after a while.

I am a tremendous fan of Internet-based product activation. I have not had good experiences with telephone activation: long hold times, uninformed or duplicitous reps (“Sorry Sir, even though the computer you had Office 2003 OEM installed on fried its motherboard, you cannot install the software on the same computer with a new motherboard.”), and a general feeling that my time was being wasted so that Microsoft could feel more secure about its 95 percent market share.

You people do good work, in general, and I like many aspects of your products. However, your public persona brings to mind that of a surgeon: technically brilliant, but with the bedside manner of a trapdoor spider. I’d work on that.



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