Microsoft and partner Digital River are working to solve the problem of users experiencing download and install errors with the Windows 7 student edition. Recent messages on the Microsoft Answers forum seem to indicate that many of those users attempted to download and install a 64-bit version of Windows 7 onto machines running 32-bit versions of Windows operating systems.
For some of those who ordered Microsoft
Windows 7 student edition for $29.99, the low price is coming with a heap of
A number of customers have experienced installation failure with the
upgrade, which comes through e-commerce company Digital
. As the installation reaches the "Unloading the Box" phase,
various error messages pop up, including "We are unable to create or save
new files in the folder in which this application was downloaded" and
"This version of the file is not compatible with the version of Windows
According to a message posted by Microsoft on the Microsoft
, that particular error message hits users attempting to
download and install the 64-bit version of Windows 7 onto a machine running a
32-bit version of Windows such as XP or Vista 32-bit.
Microsoft and Digital River
are continuing to explore why some customers are experiencing messages that
say, "An error has occurred. Unspecified answer," or else stalled
has also offered a help link to a Digital River site here
A Microsoft spokesperson suggested in an e-mail to eWEEK that only "a
small number of customers" were experiencing what the company termed
"challenges" with the download.
"We are working with Digital River
to provide an ISO file option for future
purchases, which will allow customers to install more easily for this scenario.
Customers that contacted Digital River
with this issue will be proactively contacted with the details on how to
download the ISO," the Microsoft
spokesperson added. "We hope to have this available as part of the
download process within the next few days."
Despite the reported issues with Windows 7 student edition, reviews of
Microsoft's new operating system have generally been positive. In order to help
avoid the problems that initially plagued Vista,
Microsoft enlisted some 8 million beta testers for Windows 7, eventually
producing a platform generally agreed to be stable on a wide variety of
desktops and laptops. Despite later service packs that fixed many user issues, Vista
never managed to shake its reputation as a memory-intensive and
application-incompatible system, a situation that Microsoft seemed particularly
anxious to avoid this time around.
A backup DVD with a custom install is also
being made available to customers for a $13 fee.
On Microsoft's Answers forum, the messages posted were understandably irate.
"Has anyone [spoken] to a customer service rep? I've had -zero- luck
getting hold of an actual person from Digital
River or Microsoft," wrote one
In its attempt to disseminate its new operating system as widely as
possible, Microsoft has been giving users the option of downloading Windows 7
onto their computers. Timed to Windows 7's Oct. 22 launch, Microsoft
also offered owners of the ever-popular netbooks the ability to download a
version of Windows 7 from Microsoft's revamped online store onto a bootable USB
Microsoft needs Windows 7 to be a substantial hit. According to analyst
Katherine Egbert from research firm Jefferies & Co., Microsoft likely hit
its financial bottom in June and could rebound in 2010 thanks to a combination
of cost controls and revenue from its Client and Xbox divisions.
On Oct. 23, Microsoft reported a 14 percent decline in year-over-year
revenue for the first quarter of fiscal 2010. However, those earnings of $12.92
billion were not as bad as executives originally feared, leading to a burst of
optimism both on Wall Street and within Redmond.
Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell indicated that he expects the Windows
division revenue to be in line with future growth in PC sales.