Confused Customers

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2007-08-29 Print this article Print

Adding to Microsofts woes and those of its customers was the fact that customer support agents incorrectly told people whose Vista systems were not being validated that the servers might be down until Tuesday, Aug. 28, when, in fact, they had already been fixed as of late morning Pacific Time on Aug. 25. "Were reviewing our procedures on that score as well—communicating clearly and accurately are super-important when things like this happen," Kochis said.
Without validated systems, customers are not able to access a number of Vistas features. These include the new Aero user interface; ReadyBoost, which expands virtual memory; Windows Defender, which still scans and identifies all threats but cleans only the severe ones; and optional updates via Windows Update, which still makes security and other critical updates available.
Whats the matter with Vista? Click here to see 12 reasons why its struggling, and five ways to get it back on its feet. Adding insult to injury for customers unable to validate their systems was the message that appeared in the lower right-hand corner of the desktop area, saying "This copy of Windows is not genuine." The message remains until a successful validation is completed. One customer angrily posted to the Windows Genuine Advantage blog, "I paid well in excess of $200 for my copy of Vista Ultimate and getting told that Your copy of Vista appears to be counterfeit and having functionality removed and not being able to install updates from the Microsoft site doesnt make for a very good experience. "I was and still am quite mad at Microsoft. Im pretty sure Im going to switch to a Mac because of it. I certainly dont feel like Ive been rewarded for being a good citizen and actually buying my copy of Windows. All those pirates out there probably had no problems at all," the post said. To read about a lawsuit that labeled Windows Genuine Advantage as spyware, click here. For his part, Kochis once again expressed his regret about the situation. "I also want everyone to know that I am personally very disappointed that this event occurred. As an organization weve come a long way since this program began and its difficult knowing that this event confused, inconvenienced and upset our customers," he said. But one customer lauded Kochis for being open and upfront about the problem in an MSDN blog. "I know that takes a lot of guts to do, even though once its done, it seemed so simple," the customer wrote. "I highly encourage more transparency in both the WGA and Activation efforts at Microsoft. Im pretty sure it will do you guys a lot of good in the long run. There are still many people with grave concerns as Im sure you know!" Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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