Microsoft Fixes Validation Issue that Withheld Vista Features
Some 12,000 Windows Vista customers across the globe were denied access to a range of features in the new operating system as a result of a shut-down in Microsofts ability to validate their systems under its Windows Genuine Advantage program. The Redmond, Wash. software maker confirmed August 27 that the problems with processing validations had started at about 3:30 p.m. PST Friday August 24, but that it only discovered the issue that evening as a result of calls to its customer service lines and posts to its forum."Our data shows that fewer than 12,000 systems were affected worldwide and that many of those have already revalidated and are fixed," he said. Click here to read more about the Vista update Microsoft released to stop its product activation technology from being bypassed. While this was "encouraging news," Kochis noted that "one bad customer experience is one too many and that were committed to learning from this experience and working to prevent this type of event from occurring again." But the company does not seem to know exactly what the problem was as yet. When asked what the exact cause of the outage was, a Microsoft spokesperson told eWEEK that it was "still investigating the root cause." However, the consequence of the lack of validation to customers was that they could not access a number of Vistas features that are only available to validated systems. These include the new Aero user interface; ReadyBoost, which expands virtual memory; Windows Defender, which still scanned and identified all threats but cleaned only the severe ones; and the optional updates via Windows Update, which still made security and other critical updates available. Whats the matter with Vista? Here are 12 reasons why its struggling, and five ways to get it back on its feet. Unfortunately for Microsoft, the bad customer experiences were not limited to the lack of access to some of Vistas core features, but included unhelpful customer support agents who also gave out incorrect information. "Were looking into the reports of comments made about the expected length of the issue and how support inquiries were handled overall during this time. I heard a report that one of our support folks indicated that the issues would not be fixed until Tuesday, that was incorrect. Well be looking closely at how and why that statement was made," Kochis said. Page 2: Microsoft Fixes Validation Issue that Withheld Vista Features
"By about 11:15 a.m. Pacific on Saturday morning the issue affecting the validation service had been analyzed and resolved such that validations were again being processed properly," Alex Kochis, the senior product manager for Microsofts Windows Genuine Advantage team, said in a blog post on August 27.