How Many Hours On The Phone Does It Take For Microsoft To Fix A Simple Problem?

Meet Tim. Tim has a simple request. He’d like to run Windows XP on his new laptop and Windows Vista on his old laptop. This requires him to switch the operating systems. Sounds easy. It’s not. Tim writes:

So, I’m running XP on the new laptop and Home Premium on the old laptop. I have the Dell OEM Home Premium disk and the Windows Anytime Upgrade disk with a CD key.

Now, the Home Premium on the old laptop says it is not a genuine copy. It has locked me out and it won’t let me upgrade to Ultimate until I validate the Home Premium. I called Dell about this, and they said this is probably because when I upgraded to Ultimate on the new laptop, it invalidated the key for Home Premium and I need to call Microsoft.

I called Microsoft today, and they told me that I cannot switch OS’s (at least with Vista). The Vista that I purchased with the new laptop can only be run on the new laptop.

Not only can Tim not get his laptop running, he can’t even get a straight answer about which company he should be talking to… Microsoft or Dell? Read his email inside… if you have a punching bag nearby.

Tim writes:

Hi,

I am hoping you or some of your readers can answer this question. Back in March, I ordered a new Dell laptop with Vista Home Premium. I really wanted XP, but they were not selling it at the time. I decided to give Vista a try, and actually ordered and installed the Ultimate upgrade (ordered direct from Microsoft for $179).

Soon after that, I decided I wanted to go back to XP, so I swapped OS’s with an older Dell laptop that was running XP Pro. So, I’m running XP on the new laptop and Home Premium on the old laptop. I have the Dell OEM Home Premium disk and the Windows Anytime Upgrade disk with a CD key.

Now, the Home Premium on the old laptop says it is not a genuine copy. It has locked me out and it won’t let me upgrade to Ultimate until I validate the Home Premium. I called Dell about this, and they said this is probably because when I upgraded to Ultimate on the new laptop, it invalidated the key for Home Premium and I need to call Microsoft.

I called Microsoft today, and they told me that I cannot switch OS’s (at least with Vista). The Vista that I purchased with the new laptop can only be run on the new laptop.

I have always thought that the rule is you may run one copy of an OS at a time, but it doesn’t matter where you run it. Microsoft says this changed “6 – 8 months ago”.

Is this true? If so, I cannot even put Home Premium back on the new laptop because it has been invalidated. Help!

Tim

We wrote Tim back, thanking him for his email. He responded:

Thank you for following up. An update since my last email:

* Found Vista Eula online, which says I can transfer Home Premium to another
“device”, and I can transfer my Ultimate upgrade to another device only
once.

http://tinyurl.com/y9h6js

* Called MS Tech support again, they say I can move Vista to another computer
(I didn’t mention what I found in the EULA). They ask for my Ultimate CD
Key and I gave it to them.

MS: “OK, we can fix this now, are you at the computer?”
Me: “No, the computer is at home, I’m at work.”
MS: “No problem, call back this afternoon and we will take care of it.”

* Microsoft gives me a Case Id.

* Called MS tech support back after I arrive home. I give them the Case Id.
They say I cannot move Vista to another laptop. I ask to speak to
supervisor. Supervisor says I can move Vista to another laptop. He transfers
me to Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) dept.

* WGA says they cannot give me the key, tech support must do it. They transfer
me back to tech support.

* Tech support transfers me to “Vista” tech support (I thought I was already
talking to Vista tech support).

* Judy, the latest and most helpful MS support person, says I need to talk to a
group that generates the key, but will stay on the phone with me. (It takes
45 min. to reach the next group.)

* Person from product key group asks for Home Premium product key on bottom of
new laptop. He says it is an invalid product key. I said yes, Dell told me
it would be invalidated after I upgraded to Ultimate. Person from product
key group says I must contact Dell to resolve this issue (Dell already told
me I must contact MS).

* Judy from MS calls Dell while staying online with me.

* Dells says their product key office is closed.

* Judy and Dell person both say they will follow-up with me tomorrow.

The last call lasted 1 hr., 50 min. I’ll try again tomorrow.

Tim

You know, we get a lot of these “Sorry, call Dell.” and “Sorry, call Microsoft.” complaints. Something to work on, guys? —MEGHANN MARCO

(Photo:Sailor Coruscant)

Comments

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  1. Karmakin says:

    OEM copies are licensed to ONLY be installed on the computer that the OS comes with.

  2. What a mess.

    I know the legalese says I only own the license to use Windows, but fer chrissakes, I bought the damned disc and I want to use it on a different computer – only one computer at a time – and I can’t even do that?

    At least with the Mac OS and Linux there’s none of this Windows Authentication and Genuine advantage bullcrap. I use Mac OS X day-to-day, but recently found, just as with Tim, that I can’t use my Windows XP Home disc on my Mac Pro without calling Microsoft to do a bunch of mumbo-jumbo behind the scenes to allow me to use my own copy of Windows on my Mac Pro for when I want to play the occasional game.

    Microsoft bites it.

  3. Buran says:

    Of course they say call someone else. They’re too damn lazy to fix THEIR OWN PRODUCT.

    I, for one, only use Windows to run two apps. The rest of the time, I use my Powerbook. Which doesn’t have any of this stupid activation crap on it.

  4. Buran says:

    @Karmakin: You missed the point. The complaint is about how neither of them can actually conclusively come up with an answer and fingerpoint at the other guy and just transfer and transfer and transfer. That’s a valid complaint.

  5. Tush says:

    That’s ridiculous, regardless of it coming with the computer, he paid for the software which means he should have the right to install it on any of his machines as long as it’s not more than one.

  6. Trai_Dep says:

    Try: 1-800-MY-APPLE

    Fix that problem lightning fast.

  7. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Ah yes, fingerpointing….the great American pastime! It’s every tech support person’s dream..if only there were somebody else I could point the finger at so I can get this person out of my hair.

    @Karmakin: At least in the days prior to Vista, it was my understanding that the OEM copy of an OS has to stay with the original hard drive. If it’s on a laptop hard drive and you move that drive to a desktop…no problem, but you can’t reinstall it on a totally different drive. This applies to OEM copies only. If I had an OEM version of an OS, I’d make sure I made a backup disk image so I could restore the OS if the HD croaked. Otherwise..as they say…SOL.

    Is the old “it dies with the drive” thing still true for OEM Microsoft products?

  8. Trai_Dep says:

    When you buy a PC installed w/ Windows, is it a license for the OS on one machine, or only the one purchased? Seems sort of skeevy, especially if you HAVE to buy the bundle…

  9. y2julio says:

    @Tush: You are incorrect. Seems like you guys never bother to read the EULA everytime you install software.

  10. timmus says:

    What Microsoft is doing is like Amazon shipping you a book that can only be read in the dining room, and requiring a big fuss to relicense it for use in the bedroom. No wonder illegal copies of the software are so attractive.

  11. timmus says:

    Seems like you guys never bother to read the EULA everytime you install software.

    Uh yeah, like you can return it, since by that time you’ve opened the software.

  12. CiQuat says:

    Karmakin is correct. It isn’t widely known, but OEM licenses cannot be transferred – they (for the most part) live and die on the first computer they’re installed on.

  13. y2julio says:

    @timmus: Most software disks come with a sticker on the lid of the paper CD case saying if you open it, you agree to the terms set by the company.

  14. Jozef says:

    I have three desktops at home, and two of them are running Ubuntu. That’s the first Linux distribution that’s customer friendly enough to allow me to work on it. The only non-Ubuntu machine still has Windows 98 – I use it only for gaming, though. And having been exposed both to WinXP and WinVista at work, I see no reason to go back to an operating system that’s as restricting (both technologically and legally) as either of them.

  15. dhenryrmu says:

    OEM licenses are only for the system it is sold with. They cannot be transferred from PC to PC. They are born with and die with the purchased system.

  16. eldergias says:

    Sorry Tim, that sucks. Your not supposed to use OEM software with any other computer than the one it comes with, but I think that is a dumb policy, however that is the way it is. But, even if you could move it, I would suggest not doing so. OEM disks come with so many junk programs and spyware ( Dell Sucks) that is much better and safer to just buy the OS from Microsoft (through a retailer of course). Sure, MS OSs still come with malware programs, but there are fewer of them than in OEM disks.

  17. eldergias says:

    @timmus: The EULA contains a clause that says if you do not agree to the terms and conditions you are allowed to bring the product back to the retailer (even after it has been open) and get your full purchase price back.

  18. Jozef says:

    @dhenryrmu: Here’s a question: how do you define a computer system? Is the definition given in EULA? If my hard drive dies and I install a new one, is it still the same computer system? How about the motherboard? Or graphic card? At which point does a constantly upgraded computer become a new system?

  19. jbohanon says:

    This is almost exactly how I came to know and love Ubuntu. The hard drive failed on an old laptop and apparently my copy of XP was bound to the original hard drive.

    Oh, by the way, in the introduction it says: “Read his email inside… if you have a punching bag nearby.”

    (insert joke about the punching bag the family found filled with dirty underwear, here)

  20. eldergias says:

    @y2julio: Unless the terms are printed somewhere accessible prior to opening the CD case this “contract” would not be legally binding.

    Also, a lot of people have gotten out of EULA clauses because courts have deemed it unreasonable to expect an average user to read through 50 pages of conditions. If I wrote a 10,000 page EULA with just tons of filler and then on page 9,342 I put in a line saying that by using the software you agree that we are allowed to capture your online banking information when you use your computer to bank online, and then drain your accounts of funds, no court would even say, “Yup, you pulled one over on them, they should have read the whole document.” It is unreasonable for companies to expect people to read these things and so courts are ruling in user’s favors. However, other companies are still bound by EULAs as it is reasonable to expect that a company would evaluate a contract, even of great length, prior to agreeing to its terms.

  21. dugn says:

    The people that have already stated that the OEM version of a Microsoft OS is non-transferrable to another machine are absolutely correct. This has been the case forever (not just with Vista).

    Once the user moved the OEM version to another machine, it no longer became Dell’s problem; the machine they sold with the OS they sold it with is no longer in question.

    It’s also not a Microsoft problem. The OEM version is one MS doesn’t own (Dell does), but it cannot be used elsewhere – which is what the customer is doing.

    Either one can step up to solve the problem – but it’s honestly a case of the customer putting themselves into an unsupported state for each of the two vendors (Microsoft and Dell). And the fix is likely paying someone for a non OEM copy of Windows (which Dell doesn’t even sell) – which neither Dell nor MS are going to be inclined to do.

    The book from Amazon analogy is silly. A possibly more accurate one may be moving a high performance Acura part to a new Honda it was never meant for and wondering why neither Acura nor Honda will provide warranty repairs on the part and the car with the new part.

    The real fix at this point is to purchase the cheapest version of Windows Vista possible (NON OEM version!), install it on the old laptop – then use the Anytime upgrade to update to Ultimate.

    The anytime upgrade is for either a non-OEM version (bought off the shelf, boxed copy) installed to any machine of your choosing or to upgrade an OEM version still present on the original OEM machine it was installed to. That’s it.

    I don’t see how Dell or MS are at fault here – or that either owns the solution.

  22. schmosef says:

    OEM licenses for Windows operating systems have ALWAYS been tied to the specific PC that they were sold with. This has been true since Windows 95 OEM (anyone remember the OSR editions?).

    Retail licenses for Windows operating systems have always allowed you to transfer the license to other PCs. I believe I read something a few months ago that said that Vista was going to add a new restriction to limit the number of times it could be transfered (that’s probably what the Microsoft rep was thinking about when they said the rules changed 6-8 months ago).

  23. Fuzz says:

    I once spent 3 days, 4 hours on the phone, several online chat sessions and 38 emails to get a hotfix when a Windows update broke emf files. The worst part was when I finally got the hotfix for XP, I asked for the one for Windows 2000, and they told me I would have to go through it all over again with the Windows 2000 support. I almost reached through the phone and started breaking necks.

    Oh, here is a little tip. When you go to online support, you have to enter your product ID. If you have an OEM copy you won’t get anywhere and they will tell you to contact your hardware manufacturer for support. This often is worthless, since they won’t have the hotfix. Instead of entering your real product ID, enter it as is, but change the part of the code that says OEM to 112(or 122, don’t remember which). This will let you into the support system. I even cracked that nut myself!

  24. CaptainRoin says:

    @dugn: “I don’t see how Dell or MS are at fault here – or that either owns the solution.”

    I think they the blame is shared somewhat, not in how they tried (or didn’t) try to help Tim but in how the software and EULAs were written. It seems like this would be a common problem for people that don’t understand how these things work (not saying Tim does or doesn’t). Computrons have a little more mystery to them than someone putting an Acura part in a Honda. This is more along the lines of putting an Acura air cleaner in your Honda and all of a sudden the doors don’t unlock.

  25. Tush says:

    @y2julio: Sorry if I wasn’t clear, but I was talking about morality not the darn EULA. You SHOULD be able to do what you want with the software as long as you’re not pirating it. Using it on his personal machine should not be an offense.

  26. Bix says:

    IIRC, Microsoft specifies which parts make it a “new computer.”

  27. gundark says:

    Welcome to the world of Microsoft. Microsoft supporters would point out that it is the users fault for wanting his computers to work a certain way. I would point out that the user owns the computers, owns the Windows licenses, and should be able to do what ever the heck he wants to with them. This sounds a bit cumbersome like, um, DRM!

  28. dugn says:

    @CaptainRoin: And I agree. But whenever someone is stuck between two company policies, it’s a sign of good customer service for one of those companys to ‘break’ policy and step up to service the customer (something that happens often in the U.S. and very rarely in Europe).

    I still don’t agree with the ‘change an air filter and the car won’t start’ analogy, but I can agree this person is in the same ‘in between zone’ so many customers on Comsumerist find themselves in. And it takes someone breaking ‘policy’ or standard convention to do the right thing – whether it means a minor financial loss or a CSR who just decides to go above and beyond expectations…

  29. Mike says:

    You bought both copies of the software. Neither company cares enough about you to help you do what you want the “right way.” Screw ‘em! Bittorrent is you friend!

  30. lowlight69 says:

    he is SOL. that’s just how the EULAs are. honestly i think right now is a great time to look into Ubuntu. i am using it right now to write this.

    you might try talking to your IT guys and see if they have an MSDN subscription and will let you install the OS using one of their keys. while this is in violation of the MSDN license, you can only use these licenses for testing and/or development, not production or personal use. it may be a way to get a usable copy of vista on the cheap, then upgrade to ultimate.

    not to beat a dead horse, bot Ubuntu if you are cheap, Mac if you can afford a new system….

  31. tvh2k says:

    I agree with the other posters. OEM = license tied to a device. If you purchase an OEM OS with some other hardware (e.g. a keyboard on newegg.com) the it becomes tied to the hardware when you install it.

  32. louiedog says:

    This is one reason people pirate software. The people who make this stuff available to download remove the activation. These policies which are meant to stop piracy only serve to hurt paying customers.

  33. anatak says:

    Your issue is with the MS ELUA. Dell is merely a bystander here. This is why you will find the COA (Certificate Of Authenticity) label on the chassis of your Dell (or HP or any WinBox), because it is tied to it.

    Its old news as MS updated this policy prior to Vista’s release. There was a big to-do on Gizmodo about this (I think), but you knew this was bound to come up.

  34. FLConsumer says:

    I agree with the others who say this is why people pirate software. I’ll be totally up-front and state I’m running volume license versions of XP on all of my computers, despite having valid XP Pro keys for those same systems. I don’t want to deal with activation, especially if I happen to be out in the middle of nowhere (out of cell/internet range) and need to get the job done.

    I dunno…just played with Office 2007 last night… and having played with Vista last month, Microsoft needs to focus on what consumers WANT and stop worrying about DRM, licensing, various “flavors” of products. If Vista and Office 2007 are any indication, MS won’t have to worry about those issues as no one will be using their products. The interface on Office 2007 goes against every Windows (and common sense) convention out there. Word feels like it’s totally crippled. I do have Ubuntu/OpenOffice running on a laptop and it does feel more & more appealing every day.

  35. Juncti says:

    @dugn: Great analogy with the car parts. This is using software in a way it wasn’t designed for. OEM software is limited, that’s one of the reasons why retailers get it cheaper.

    I think there is a solution to this however, depending on how that upgrade key is set.

    There is a pretty widely reported workaround to the upgrade limitations in Vista. Put your Vista disc in and do a clean install, but don’t put your product key in when asked. Vista will install itself in trial mode which gives you 30 days to fully use the Vista install. Once that install is complete (you don’t need to wait 30 days, you can do it immediately), run the upgrade from the trial and it should complete the install for you viewing the trial as a legitimate install of Vista. If you need more specifics there are many articles online, just google “install upgrade vista from trial”.

    The only catch could be that you already installed, and likely activated your Ultimate on the other PC, so it may look like a reactivation. But fixing that is a lot easier than all the OEM battles you’re currently facing. If it won’t let you activate, just call the activation department and ask for a reset, tell them your old computer died and you installed on another machine, they should let you reset it.

  36. Buran says:

    @eldergias: I tried that once for some actually-defective software and the store absolutely would not take it back even though I had researched the problem and found it was a legitimate glitch.

    That was before I was more informed, and before I started charging everything so that I would be protected in the event of shady dealings like that.

  37. dawime says:

    Bottom line, never buy software from Dell. You are better off getting it from another vendor (of course in this particular situation Tim probably didn’t have an option to purchase the computer without the OS).

  38. Will_USA says:

    Looks like Tim didn’t do his research online before deciding to put Windows Vista on an ‘old’ laptop. Vista may load but will be poor on performance. You need, minimum, a Pentium D processor with 4 GB of RAM and a 256MB video card for any kind of acceptable performance.

  39. AcidReign says:

    …..I in my experience, OEM WindowsXP (or Vista, I think) does not die with the drive. I bought a computer with XP Home preinstalled on the hard drive, and a “recovery partition.” When I buy one like that, my first step after getting it booted, patched, de-crapified, and my standard software installed, is to run Acronis Trueimage and back the whole disk up. The disk (IBM/Hitachi Deskstar) started having SMART problems within a month, and died after three months. Wouldn’t even spin. It was no problem to purchase a much more reliable Seagate Barracuda and load that image back onto the disk via a BartPE CD. It still passes Genuine Advantage. I think you have to make three internal hardware changes before you run into problems.

  40. jbalsle says:

    I’m not a hundred percent sure, but I think you can try this:

    Load in your Windows Vista Home Premium DVD, and when it asks you for your product key, try typing in your Vista Ultimate product key. It may take the Ultimate Key, and actually install Ultimate

    Vista is different than all the previous editions of Windows in this respect. You don’t have a Vista Home, Vista Enterprise, and so on DVD. Instead, the DVD contains all the files for all the editions of Vista, and the key you enter controls what version of Vista is installed. You can see this by using a Vista DVD of any version, and opting not to key in your product key. You should see Vista ask you if you sure you want to install without a product key, then ask you which version of Vista are you installing.

    That’s my thoughts, and good luck on the whole Vista install nightmare. :)

  41. NZDave says:

    dugn has it perfectly correct and the summary and analogy are very good.

    In essence:

    “Either one can step up to solve the problem – but it’s honestly a case of the customer putting themselves into an unsupported state for each of the two vendors (Microsoft and Dell)”

    You can’t blame either Dell or Microsoft for this unfortunate situation and the post (not the comments) should make this clear.

  42. lizzybee says:

    @AcidReign: OEM copies don’t “die with the drive,” but they most likely die with either the motherboard or with the rest of the hardware.

    I feel sorry for Tim, because the morass of available options with Vista is a hard one to navigate. But, still, based on what was written, Tim did not inform Microsoft that the Home Premium copy was OEM, so they can’t reasonably be expected to tell him what was wrong. Dell, however, should have had a clue.

  43. dangman4ever says:

    @ AcidReign

    Actually, each part has a certain amount of points assigned to. When your PC is activated, it send to Microsoft how many points did your PC add up to. You can only make a certain amount changes that add up to a certain amount of points before reactivation is needed or required.

    I had to reinstall XP Pro on my laptop a few months ago. Since the first activation, I had upgraded the RAM and hard drive. When I had to reactivate, I was told that my CD-Key was invalid. It took a one hour phone call with Microsoft to get my XP Pro reactivated.

  44. EastBayAnt says:

    Mmm… Ubuntu. http://www.ubuntu.com/

  45. skrom says:

    Try playing retail game son Ubuntu….

  46. bukkler says:

    This is apparently not only an OEM problem, but I believe this “feature” is built into Vista by default (I wouldn’t know, as I have no intention of ever installing Vista, but have seen many negative reviews). Apparently Vista takes a “snapshot” of your current hardware configuration, and generates a code, which is then “phoned home” to Microsoft.

    My understanding is that if this code representing your hardware changes significantly, Vista will believe that it’s running as a pirated copy on a different machine, and refuse to work. So if you ever want to swap out your motherboard or change more than a couple components (or run it on a different system), Vista will quit. Nice, huh?

  47. IRSistherootofallevil says:

    This is the reason I got a mac….so if I have a problem and call Apple, they can’t tell me to “call Apple” because I’m already calling Apple.

    Anyway back in the days when I had a wintel, the pc company gave me a lemon (I didn’t sue, I just wanted to make the company suffer…they give me a , and guess what, they must have lost like $2500 on the laptop…the combined price of the laptop and the warranty, AND $300. MUHAHAHAHAHA…..piss me off and I’ll make sure you lose money. 9 Hard drive replacements, 12 windows reinstalls (and ms office was reinstalled each time) and 2 screen replacements PLUS shipping (express most of the time) back and forth EACH of the 6-8 times I had it mailed. Of course I slept at night knowing that Acer actually LOST money on the deal…..a LOT of money.

    Anyways Microsoft is an evil company that lives off the blood of babies.

  48. threedd says:

    I believe that you are allowed to downgrade from Vista to XP (you have to provide your own XP CD and product key), so if you only want to run XP on the new laptop, it’s OK. I don’t quite understand the swapping OS part. Were the hard drives swapped?

  49. erica.blog says:

    When I was considering whether or not to allow the install of the “authentication” thingamajiggy (on WinXP), I called to ask what exactly the hardware profile meant — if I added hard drive, for example, would the “profile” of my machine change and therefore invalidate the “authenticity” of my completely legal copy of Windows? After two hours of phone calls I finally got transferred out of the India call center, and was told that the motherboard is the only thing that really matters in the hardware profile — if that had to be changed (for example, if the motherboard died), then the license would invalidate itself. But, easy solution (and I quote directly from Microsoft told me) — I should call up, explain that my copy was legal but no longer working because I had a hardware problem, and they would give me a new product key.

    Maybe try calling again, playing it a little stupid — you had a hardware issue, after it was fixed your license said it wasn’t working any more, what can you do? Be a little indignant — “I paid for this, it’s surprising to be told now it’s not a legal copy! What happened?” (Alternatively, maybe the callback from Dell and MS will work everything out. Oh yes, and pigs might fly.)

  50. PacerDawn says:

    @Tush: It’s not immoral at all. I think many people feel that it is because they do not understand how software is “owned” (or rather not “owned’).

    You do not “own” software, like you do, say, a toaster. When you purchase a toaster, you own the actual toaster itself, in addition to the right ot use it. When you purchase software, you are only purchasing the right to use it (a license). There are many different types of licenses for Vista, and the price paid for the license dictates what you can do with it.

    The OEM license that is purchased with new machines says that it only applies to a single machine only. These licenses are cheaper than full version licenses (much cheaper when bought in volume), which I think is why PC manufacturers use them (to keep prices down). The reason they are so much cheaper is because they only apply to a single PC.

    It’s just like if you purchased a coach class ticket on an airline. You don’t have the right to transfer your seat to first class just because you own a ticket.

    So it’s not really immoral to prevent someone who paid vastly less for their license to be given the same rights and privileges as someone who paid more.

    Unfortunately, none of this is communicated very well by the computer industry, at least not in plain language, so most end users don’t know anything about this and feel they are being taken advantage of.

  51. Buran says:

    @skrom: In your world, I suppose everyone is a gamer. This is not your world.

  52. tz says:

    The problem is more they could have simply said “Stuff it, go out and pay several hundreds more for retail copies if you want to do it” within the first minute. Instead, they say it can be done, but then WGA (Windows Gremlins Activation) kicks in.

    Also note Dell won’t to my knowledge sell you a legit copy of XP for an upgrade price (a few $ more than their OEM that would avoid these hassles). The only thing harder to get than preinstalled Linux from an OEM is a realy copy of a Microsoft OS (Actually I keep XP but partition it to a minimal size since their tech support will all but demand running something under XP if anything goes wrong with the hardware, and I have a device or two that occasionally need XP to configure).

    So after $8 billion, Microsoft succeeds in getting Vista to not work on many computers it thinks aren’t legit. Really good DRM that will muffle and blur your HD-DVDs and Blu-Ray if it doesn’t like your video or audio driver. The rest is mostly eye-candy badly plagiarized from Apple. And popups that warn you with 100 false positives for every malware problem

  53. Sockatume says:

    I notice that not once did he mention that he was trying to use an old OEM copy of Windows for one machine to validate an update to Vista on a different machine. Saying that, explicitly, would have made it obvious where the problem lay.

  54. CattyMe says:

    Consider yourself lucky if you can’t upgrade to Windows Vista, at least not until the first service pack comes out next July. Vista was included in my new Dell in August (Dell claims they informed me it would get Vista but I read back to them what they quoted me). And Dell won’t replace it with XP. Why would I want XP? Because ALL software I tried up upload, except for Windows Office, (even the 2007 version of Norton Antivirus), needs a downloaded patch to be compatible. Even then, most software freezes my Dell XPS computer, which thanks to Vista is running at 65% memory doing nothing.

    Then, I get the he-said-she-said you mentioned: “Go the Microsoft, check with your browser, Go to your ISP, Go to Dell, go to H… (well, it’s what they probably wish they could say).