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It's 2013, and Windows Activation Is Still Frustrating

timothy posted about a year ago | from the is-that-nostalgia? dept.

Windows 435

Deathspawner writes "There's little that's more frustrating than being a legal customer and getting screwed over by the company you're supporting. If there's a perfect example of this, it's with Microsoft's OS and its millions of customers that have had to ring its tech support lines for activation help. Recently, a Techgage writer got bit by an issue with Windows 8 — caused by Microsoft itself — and wasn't even able to call to fix it. Microsoft has two problems to solve here: it needs online chat support (like most large companies in 2013) and it definitely needs an activation system that doesn't make things difficult for its legal customers on a too-regular basis."

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435 comments

Linux on the Desktop (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652159)

This is probably finally the year for it.

Now, let me go off and spend the next two hours installing the java plugin for Firefox on my Ubuntu box.

Re:Linux on the Desktop (5, Insightful)

synapse7 (1075571) | about a year ago | (#43652207)

Probably faster than installing the java plugin in the metro ie.

Re:Linux on the Desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652525)

Not really, I installed it while responding to you from a metro browser.

Re:Linux on the Desktop (0, Troll)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#43652597)

I only care about uninstall speed. I remove it from every system that comes into my shop unless someone uses it. So far, nobody uses it.

Re:Linux on the Desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652215)

I can sense PC-BSD will be the dying desktop OS according to Netcraft this year.

Re:Linux on the Desktop (1)

laffer1 (701823) | about a year ago | (#43652277)

Oh come on.. they have more developers than I have. Can't I have the dying BSD desktop project this year?

Thank me later. (3, Informative)

tuppe666 (904118) | about a year ago | (#43652369)

Install the icedtea-7-plugin package using any installation method. more detailed instructions here https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Java [ubuntu.com].

To be fair installing the the whole of Ubuntu is now a few basic dialog boxes and leave for 20 minutes

I know your trolling but Linux Desktop market share has been steadily rising for sometime, and that is without the onslaught of Chrome (and soon Android Boxies).

Re:Linux on the Desktop (1)

Parker Lewis (999165) | about a year ago | (#43652373)

Just, using your package manager, install icedtea-7-plugin. Or, if you preffer, at the command line: sudo apt-get install icedtea-7-plugin. Now try do the same using the new win8 store.

Re:Linux on the Desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652773)

Now go to another PC, logon and have your applications install. MS have followed the route of making this work, Linux follows a per PC model. Apples and Oranges.

Re:Linux on the Desktop (2)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#43652591)

Amen to that. A long time ago I tried to set up a Runescape box for a friend. It was a P4 with 1GB of RAM but it screamed on Ubuntu. It took around 2-3 hours to install Java though. All those command line file paths I had to type manually because they didn't implement a root login or UI options to "run as root." Ugh, I'd rather talk to Microsoft tech support.

Re:Linux on the Desktop (1, Funny)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about a year ago | (#43652663)

What the hell is wrong with you? The Java plugin is the last thing you'd want to install anywhere...

Its like trying to find a way to run visual basic scripts on Linux.

Not for pirates! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652171)

Seriously, activation codes are all over YouTube depending on your motherboard manufacturer.

Dreamspark etc. (2)

matthiasvegh (1800634) | about a year ago | (#43652175)

As a university student, my uni grants access to MS products like Windows, Visual Studio etc. It really was a matter of entering a serial and that was all that had to be done. I take it off the shelf windows activates more obtusely?

Re:Dreamspark etc. (5, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43652201)

As a university student, my uni grants access to MS products like Windows, Visual Studio etc. It really was a matter of entering a serial and that was all that had to be done. I take it off the shelf windows activates more obtusely?

If memory serves, Windows phones home some data about the platform it finds itself on when it is activated(I don't know if it is particularly identifiable, or just a hash of whatever seems likely to be system specific, or somewhere in between), and some versions can be very unhappy if they come to the conclusion that they've previously been activated on different hardware. Enough time on the phone will get you a nice guy in India who will probably be able to fix it for you; but it definitely can happen.

Re:Dreamspark etc. (3, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#43652303)

I've never had to talk to a guy in India, I've always gotten an automated phone system. You read the key, it processes for a second then gives you a long-ass number to put in. It's a nuisance but less horrible than issues we've had with Adobe software activation.

Re:Dreamspark etc. (5, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43652441)

Let's not even talk about Adobe. Everything about their customer interaction process, whether it be downloads, activations, even getting them to take your damn money, appears to be cobbled together from a mixture of coldfusion from the mid 90's and a bitter, gnawing, hatred of all that exists, older than the primordial Void itself. All wrapped up in a ghastly AIR UI, naturally.

Re:Dreamspark etc. (1)

Gerafin (1408009) | about a year ago | (#43652211)

It's generally just 'enter a serial number' for off-the-shelf versions as well. Microsoft will run all the checks in the background, and as long as everything goes smoothly you won't notice a thing. The problem is, the system they use for validating serials is a convoluted mess that quite often fails at some point during activation. It can also revoke your activation if you swap out a bunch of hardware at once, to name just one example.

Re:Dreamspark etc. (1)

firex726 (1188453) | about a year ago | (#43652781)

I remember they revoked my W7 serial one day out of the blue.

Had been using it for like two years with no prob, then one day it tells me I need to activate it. Kinda odd seeing as I bought it direct from MS via their online store. After a phone call they issued me a new serial.

Re:Dreamspark etc. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652213)

Its obtuse only if you have paid for it. For the pirates, the activation is included in the ISO

Re:Dreamspark etc. (1)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about a year ago | (#43652605)

Its obtuse only if you have paid for it. For the pirates, the activation is included in the ISO

...along with a root kit.

Re:Dreamspark etc. (1)

Stolpskott (2422670) | about a year ago | (#43652287)

As a university student, my uni grants access to MS products like Windows, Visual Studio etc. It really was a matter of entering a serial and that was all that had to be done. I take it off the shelf windows activates more obtusely?

Basically, yes. For Enterprise/Volume/Educational institution licences, there is a fairly basic serial number activation process to allow the mass-rollout of desktops from a central publishing server like SCCM. That means your IT department will not mutiny over having activation problems on 15% of your workstations after rolling out a new installation to 10,000 desks.
For the one-off retail items, either in terms of OEM or boxed product, the activation hassles lie with the end user (i.e. one individual... not much direct revenue to M$) even though the OEMs probably roll out the same installation image to a similar number of workstations as the mass-rollout IT crowd. Of course, the end user can call the OEM's support line to bitch about it, but unless the OEM's support line is a premium rate number that is generating revenue just by having know-nothing users being guided through activation by know-almost-nothing Tier 1 support, then the OEM will say "Activation problems... sorry, go talk to Microsoft. Our contract states that we provide hardware support only..."

It shouldn't use activation at all. (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652181)

There's no benefit WHATSOEVER for the customer, and it's not even made the product cheaper. All it's managed to do is piss of just about everyone, probably including the poor bastards in tech support in Microsoft.

Re:It shouldn't use activation at all. (3, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#43652325)

There's no benefit WHATSOEVER for the customer, and it's not even made the product cheaper. All it's managed to do is piss of just about everyone, probably including the poor bastards in tech support in Microsoft.

It certainly doesn't do the customer any good(and it's extra annoying on the IT side: "C'mon Microsoft, we practically have to use a truck line to transport all the money we send you every year, we keep our licensing data squeaky clean, and we still have to dick around with activation every time we push a system image to a thousand workstations? Fuck you."); but I assume that MS didn't like the good old days when everybody who ran windows and gave a damn had a nice copy of Win2k Enterprise, VLK, sometimes with 'do not make illegal copies of this disk' scrawled in sharpie on the illegal disk copy for amusement's sake....

Piracy? Lets look at that. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652589)

If this activation has reduced that piracy then either one of two things has happened:

1) The price of Windows has come down.

It hasn't.

2) The profits for Windows has gone up.

I can't say it has or hasn't, but the revenues didn't show a sharp rise, so I suggest not either.

So we now have either piracy hasn't been reduced, or it was never a revenue-reducing problem in the first place.

Which rather suggests that this hasn't done Microsoft any good either.

Re:Piracy? Lets look at that. (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about a year ago | (#43652751)

I don't know, I bought a legal OEM version of windows 8 Home Pro for under a hundred. That's cheaper than I could have found for windows 98 ( which was the last version I bought before activation). I think I got windows XP PRO OEM for just over a hundred from a shady website.

I think the price decrease ( if there has been one) is more of a sign of increased competition from Macs ( and linux to a certain extent), than the activation reducing piracy.

What do you mean, frustrating? (5, Funny)

Nbrevu (2848029) | about a year ago | (#43652187)

I mean, surely megaupload was closed, but there are hundreds of different file hosting services where you can download RemoveWAT from.

Mac OS X (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652195)

Try Mac OS X, just don't go for gnu/linux (this is not the gnu/linux desktop year)... Maybe someday we will have a Android for desktop that will be safer for us in the industry.

Re:Mac OS X (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#43652323)

Ok, explain to my grandmother how to get her beloved accept-no-substitutes ten year old greeting card software to work on OS X.

"needs chat support (like most large companies)" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652199)

Where's Google's chat support? I'm still looking for it.

And no a message board of users is not "chat support"

Re:"needs chat support (like most large companies) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652231)

Where's Google's chat support? I'm still looking for it.

And no a message board of users is not "chat support"

Or Apple chat support?

Re:"needs chat support (like most large companies) (1)

jamesh (87723) | about a year ago | (#43652301)

Where's Google's chat support? I'm still looking for it.

And no a message board of users is not "chat support"

I do pretty much all my HP warranty/service calls via online chat. Much easier than trying to deal with accents and delays. Ditto for a lot of other providers.

I don't know about google... i've never needed their support on anything

Re:"needs chat support (like most large companies) (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#43652341)

Where's your receipt or invoice for what you purchased from Google? That's the difference. If you pay for one of their products, you get pretty decent support.

Re:"needs chat support (like most large companies) (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | about a year ago | (#43652433)

That is the similarity.

There, fixed that for you. Or do you get a receipt from Microsoft when you buy a PC from the shop around the corner?. No home user does any business with Microsoft, but Microsoft likes to say so whenever that is convenient for them. And deny it when it is not convenient (like, if you refuse the license and want your money back).

Re:"needs chat support (like most large companies) (1)

pinkushun (1467193) | about a year ago | (#43652535)

Wrong. They need *community support* like so many Linux distros have. I have never had better help from the community than I ever, ever got through paid support.

This will never happen though! These people bought, along with their licensed "rentals" of Windows, a sense of indignation that stops them from entering and contributing to a community support structure. It requires a certain level of humbleness.

Dump Microsoft (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652225)

When will people move away from Microsoft? Open Source provides more than enough great products for almost everybody! If I were to compare Microsoft and OS to living conditions, I would say Microsoft is like the old USSR - outdated, blundering, and tacky while OS is a bustling, exciting, Gold Rush boom town.

Fact - people HAVE been fired for implementing Microsoft products -- contrary to marketing hype.

Re:Dump Microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652267)

Given what you predict hasn't come to pass, perhaps you should go back and revisit your assumptions.

Re:Dump Microsoft (3, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#43652417)

Open Source is more like a house full of IKEA furniture. You need some basic skills and sometimes a bit of improvising to get what you want, but the end result is pretty useable and very versatile, even if some of the edges are still a little rough.

Windows is a furnished apartment. It looks better and the stuff that you need is all there and works great. You need absolutely no skills because the landlord will take care of it, but you can't do a lot of renovations. Fortunately, your landlord has gone around to all the furniture stores in town and made sure that most furniture you can buy will fit in your apartment.

No Good Solution (5, Insightful)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#43652241)

The most complex solution that most paying users will be happy with will be something like what we haven't had since Windows 2000 (and all versions before that). Which was a simple key that you enter to install the software. The same key could be used on every system, and it didn't really do anything for protecting against piracy. Pirates are going to pirate, regardless of what kind of system gets put in place to stop them. Any system that is good enough to stop even a few people from pirating is inevitably going to annoy quite a few paying users. The only thing that's really going to stop people from pirating is lowering prices for home users. It's the exact reason I got Windows 8. At only $40 I finally felt they were asking a fair price. Asking home users to spend 50%-100% of the cost of the hardware on the operating system for their computer seems to be more than most people are willing to pay. People who buy computers from large manufacturers already pay a license. Most of the individuals who are pirating are those who have built their own systems. Give them the operating system for a price comparable to what they large computer builders would pay, and you'll see piracy drop a lot.

Just ditch the activation. (4, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#43652283)

It doesn't do a thing to stop pirates anyway, so what's the point of it?

Re:Just ditch the activation. (4, Funny)

Jawnn (445279) | about a year ago | (#43652361)

It doesn't do a thing to stop pirates anyway, so what's the point of it?

Whatever do you mean? Windows 8 has been Microsoft's most effective anti-piracy scheme ever. Not that they meant it to be, but still...

Re:Just ditch the activation. (1, Interesting)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#43652641)

That's funny because every illegal copy I've seen come into my shop is virus infested because it's missing basically all updates and at least 1 major service pack. No crack has a long useable life and never touching Windows Update is beyond stupid from a security standpoint. Then people like me refuse to work on it so you can never get your illegal PC serviced anywhere. So good luck with your half-working crack disaster.

There's little that's more frustrating... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652299)

"There's little that's more frustrating than being a legal customer and getting screwed over by the company you're supporting."

Try watching the FBI warning for 10 seconds when you LEGALLY buy DVDs.

Re: There's little that's more frustrating... (1, Offtopic)

Brucelet (1857158) | about a year ago | (#43652689)

When I stick a dvd in my computer and hit "play with vlc" I never seem to have this problem

What about getting drivers from Windows Update ? (1)

darkz0r (2779267) | about a year ago | (#43652311)

Personally I am still waiting for the day when Windows Update will be able to recognize drivers and install & update them. Its 2013 and as a IT Support am still googling for hardware ID's! Most of the times driveridentifier.com gets me a hint of what that unknown HW is, and drivermagician is NOT up to par any longer!

Re:What about getting drivers from Windows Update (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about a year ago | (#43652481)

Windows 7 downloads drivers for all of my hardware, excepting only the really old stuff, the really new stuff and the really oddball stuff I order on eBay from Hong Kong. The only real issue I've had is with Dell and HP boxes, but I have a feeling that's more about Dell/HP not releasing the drivers to MS.

Re:What about getting drivers from Windows Update (1)

NJRoadfan (1254248) | about a year ago | (#43652491)

Whats sad is that this really isn't that hard to do! PCI and USB vendor IDs are issued by their respective SIG and are readily available. Even if there is no central database of device specific IDs (aside from the wiki/user contributed ones), having the vendor's name is a good start.

Re:What about getting drivers from Windows Update (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652527)

Windows does install "most" drivers. You can't expect to install drivers for your 10 year old pci modem can you?

Re:What about getting drivers from Windows Update (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#43652635)

Personally I am still waiting for the day when Windows Update will be able to recognize drivers and install & update them.

Huh? It is able to do that just fine. Another thing is whether they have the most cutting-edge driver available. As part of their quality assurance I think they tend to be a bit on the conservative side.

Re:What about getting drivers from Windows Update (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#43652667)

What planet are you using Windows Update on? A huge amount of drivers are held in the optional section under hardware in Windows Update. The older a system is and the more common the parts, the more likely it is to be carried in Windows Update's driver database. I think basically all Realtek sound drivers are there. I know virtually everything Intel ever made is there. A lot of Nvidia drivers are there. Even chipset and a TON of monitor drivers are there.

its 2013 (2, Insightful)

nimbius (983462) | about a year ago | (#43652329)

...and Windows Activation Is Still Relevant?
seriously, its your own damn fault. If you're too lazy to use over 50 different flavours of BSD or Linux then i dont know how else to make personal computing work for you other than pay the mac store to make the bad time go away, or put up with steve as he pedals microsoft into the ground.

im sorry that sounded angry but its just frustrating to see these posts on slashdot when we all know about the alternatives. BSD, Linux, this is shit that has a core of dedicated developers who actually give a damn about your security and user experience. BSD has some of the best documentation around, and Linux has entire festivals and conferences that seriously want to help you do this. the game argument is practically irrelevant too; we have portal halflife and minecraft to name a few.
just, please, help us help you.

Re:its 2013 (0)

CastrTroy (595695) | about a year ago | (#43652389)

What's more frustrating than Windows activation is finding the right hardware mix that will work well with you Linux/BSD distribution of choice. I using Linux in VirtualBox for a lot of things and thought it was great. Tried to install it as the bare OS on my laptop and it was an exercise in frustration. There are certain configurations that will work flawlessly, but finding the exact hardware you need to get everything working smoothly can be very time consuming, and it doesn't help when you already have hardware and want to switch after the fact.

Re:its 2013 (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652461)

Maybe a decade ago...
Today, I can't think of a single piece of hardware that doesn't work very well under Linux.

Re:its 2013 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652577)

Ten years ago it was common to have installation problems with Linux. I know, I was determined to become familiar with it and had a lot of headaches. But in the last five years especially, every version of Linux I tried - OpenSUSE, Fedora, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, Aptosid - installed correctly on the first try. I'm sorry if you've had worse luck.

This is how I recommend trying it:

1. Back up your data to something external to the computer so that no matter what happens, you can't ruin your personal files.

2. If you want to run both Linux and Windows on the bare hardware, you have to install Windows first.

3. Put a Linux image on a burnable DVD or on a USB thumb drive, boot from that, and make sure all of your hardware works correctly (display, keyboard, mouse, speakers, networking, etc...) If it doesn't work, you can either search the web for help or skip that Linux distribution entirely and try another one.

4. Once you find something that works, install it. If you want to keep a Windows partition, make sure you read your documentation on the installer to make sure you understand how to partition properly, so you don't overwrite your Windows partition.

I have three different Linux distributions installed plus Windows 8 (I have to support Windows 8 at work). I did installation the easy way: put one hard drive in the computer, install Windows. Take that drive out, put other drives in, and install Linux on them. Then put the Windows 8 drive back, and the next time I ran a software update on Linux the boot loader configuration process automatically detected Windows and added it to the options available when I start the computer.

Again, I'm sorry you've had bad luck. I hope it goes better in the future, if you want to try again. Or alternately, you can just run Linux entirely from a USB thumb drive. I imagine with USB 3 and a decent drive it would be pretty quick, too.

Re:its 2013 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652587)

What's more frustrating than Windows activation is finding the right hardware mix that will work well with you Linux/BSD distribution of choice. I using Linux in VirtualBox for a lot of things and thought it was great. Tried to install it as the bare OS on my laptop and it was an exercise in frustration. There are certain configurations that will work flawlessly, but finding the exact hardware you need to get everything working smoothly can be very time consuming, and it doesn't help when you already have hardware and want to switch after the fact.

Here's a hint, if the device has the letters w-i-n in it, it won't work on anything but a Windows box. E.g., WinMouse. But that's only a guideline. If your hardware is too old, then it won't work anywhere.

What I find incredibly frustrating is that even with the "right" hardware, Windows can't install the correct driver unless it tries three times. Are people always willing to spend six hours configuring their Windows machine? Then there's the 30 minutes to find out where they put the switch to allow you to display file extensions because heaven forbid I tell the difference between myapp.ini and myapp.exe without looking at pictures. Another 30 minutes to discover how to set up Explorer to display file the way you want.

Windows is the perfect example of a Harrison Bergeron world. Bring everything down to the lowest denominator. The sad part is that there are windows "administrators" who thrive in this world.

Re:its 2013 (4, Insightful)

MasterOfGoingFaster (922862) | about a year ago | (#43652507)

seriously, its your own damn fault.

Yeah - I guess it's my fault for needing Photoshop, Solidworks, AutoCAD, Excel, Word, etc. to share files with my customers.

Which version of Word? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652739)

Because unless you're already demanding they use one specific version, your support of the various formats "your customers" use will be better with LibreOffice/GoogleDocs than it will be with the latest version of Word.

Re:its 2013 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652595)

If you're too lazy to use over 50 different flavours of BSD or Linux then i dont know how else to make personal computing work for you other than pay the mac store to make the bad time go away, or put up with steve as he pedals microsoft into the ground.

Why is this ignorant geek drivel modded up. Not everyone who uses a computer in 2013 should be a geek, or should even care what a computer does. This isn't 1983 anymore, get over it.

Re:its 2013 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652629)

I see you like doing things so I got you some drivers for some hardware you don't have.

Re:its 2013 (1)

sjwt (161428) | about a year ago | (#43652683)

Its 2013 and there is still over 50 different flavours of BSD/Linux.. Each with its own complications.. No wonder we still aren't at the year of Linux.

Re:its 2013 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652779)

youve no idea what you're on about. fuck off.

Re:its 2013 (0, Flamebait)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#43652693)

Please, come back to reality. You're making open source software users look like idiots again. Here we need to run an app that only runs on Windows. That is not uncommon. The end. Calling me lazy just proves how ignorant you are.

Re:its 2013 (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about a year ago | (#43652729)

My main hurt about not using Linux as a main OS is that the stupid Flash is not hardware-accelerated. Even YouTube often is still unable to deliver some video in HTML5.

Chat support? Oh, please no. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652339)

As bad as phone menu systems are, you know exactly when you're being delayed and blown off, and it's far easier to read the competence level of both the support technician and the caller. I have never had a positive experience with chat-based support.

Re:Chat support? Oh, please no. (1)

Stickybombs (1805046) | about a year ago | (#43652515)

Not to mention that for the majority of people, if their PC and/or internet aren't working correctly, chat support would be completely useless.

It's 2013, why are you still using Windows ? (5, Insightful)

alexhs (877055) | about a year ago | (#43652345)

It's 2013, and Windows Activation Is Still Frustrating

It's 2013, why are you still using Windows ?

Re:It's 2013, why are you still using Windows ? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652529)

Because modern and open gaming still isn't viable and stable on another platform.

And if you say consoles I will laugh in your face.

Re:It's 2013, why are you still using Windows ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652647)

I'm also using lubuntu. While one of them lets me reconfigure every aspect of the GUI style, the other actually lets me change how the inputs behave.
Unless there is some secret command-line key, only known to those who know what to Google for, which allows me to change the 'single-click-on-border' to 'select' rather than 'start-dragging.'

Get over yourselves, just because all three of your friends use Hurd does not make your life a statistically meaningful sample.

Re:It's 2013, why are you still using Windows ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652701)

It's 2013, and Windows Activation Is Still Frustrating

It's 2013, why are you still using Windows ?

Because it's fast, stable, runs all games and programs I've ever needed. All printers, scanners, webcams, dj equipment, breakout boxes for audio recording just work. I also activated 3 copies with a click of a button. Seriously, why aren't you using Windows in 2013?

Re:It's 2013, why are you still using Windows ? (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#43652703)

Because we have applications that only run on Windows. I hear that's not uncommon.

Re:It's 2013, why are you still using Windows ? (1, Interesting)

readingaccount (2909349) | about a year ago | (#43652777)

It's not uncommon at all. Just that some people on Slashdot live in their own reality and cannot believe this can possibly be a reason.

Shit, I prefer Windows 7 over any Linux distro I've tried so far. Some people can't even COMPREHEND a preference for Windows over Linux. Which is why I hate this place sometimes and it's clearly against what I read on many other sites.

Re:It's 2013, why are you still using Windows ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652771)

Why not? Windows 7 is excellent OS.

Activate it by... Firefox (1)

Parker Lewis (999165) | about a year ago | (#43652347)

Last time I tried validate a Windows install, I think it was Win7, the WGA check was not working under IE. I opened it using Firefox, and it worked. Seriously.

I have an idea (-1, Offtopic)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#43652379)

I've activated over 150 PCs I built, XP through 7, so if this guy has had nonstop issues activating all the OSes there were, he doesn't know what he's doing. Don't activate THEN install 10 device drivers. That will cause a hardware lock morph that unactivates it. Everyone knows that. Don't download a fucking crack for any OS. They all fall apart eventually. What a complete idiot. Buy a real copy of Windows 7, put it on, activate it, the end. I have never, ever, ever had a problem with a non-big company OEM license ever and I rarely have problems with them either.

Re:I have an idea (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652697)

Don't activate THEN install 10 device drivers.

I haven't used Windows in a long, long time, so I'm ignorant here.
A valid install of Windows can suddenly think it's pirated after you install more device drivers?
Stay classy, Microsoft.

Try reading the article (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652755)

"What I didn’t realize is that installing Media Center essentially changed my edition information. Instead of “Windows 8 Pro”, my OS became “Windows 8 Pro with Media Center”. As such, this rendered my original product key entirely invalid for that install."

" What a complete idiot. Buy a real copy of Windows 7, put it on, activate it, the end."

Well someones an idiot, but it isn't him. He bought and activated his Windows, they gave him a free media player key, he used it as directed and it messed up his OS.

" I have never, ever, ever had a problem with a non-big company OEM license ever and I rarely have problems with them either."

Man am I sick of that "Well that bug never happened to me answer", well whoopy-doo for you! F*ing moron.

Not So Bad (1)

jasper160 (2642717) | about a year ago | (#43652393)

My company uses MS KMS and we never have a problem. And the few that are not on our network have never been a problem as far as activation. The real PITA are the crap engineering software companies we deal with. Try licensing products from Trimble, AutoDESK, ESRI, ETAP, or Helios3D to name a few. None of these companies know what an enterprise network is much less anything else that has occurred in IT in the past ten years. If they were all as “bad” as MS or ESX it could save days of man hours.

Already has the best antipiracy (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652397)

They don't need any other antipiracy measures. With Windows 8, they have created the best anti-piracy every; they created software nobody wants.

Acitivation Complications (1)

gary_johnson_53 (962158) | about a year ago | (#43652449)

I have a lot of success using online forums, even Microsoft's. When I tired to use the forums for an activation issue with Vista a few years back, the vendor I bought Vista from and Microsoft wanted me to call for help. Wait on a telephone line for ..... The response in the forums was I had an illegal version of Vista. The response on the phone was that it was legal. I returned it to Microsoft and got my money back

who was he even talking to? (-1, Flamebait)

slashmydots (2189826) | about a year ago | (#43652453)

There are very few reasons why a key won't work the first time and they all tie back to the user (this author) being a moron. First, use the correct disc. Second, use the correct CD key for the disc. Third, don't activate until all the devices are installed instead of marked as "unknown device." Fourth, actually activate Windows in the stated time period instead of ignoring it. Fifth, don't activate it more than once per year. And if all else fails just activate it via the Microsoft robot on the phone. It takes approx 4 mins 32 seconds to do.

I have never, ever had to talk to a rep in India ever in 10 years in business building and refurbishing computers. So who was he even talking to on the phone and why? Probably a license vs disc-used discrepancy. Definitely, without a doubt, USER ERROR!

Re:who was he even talking to? (2)

cyber-vandal (148830) | about a year ago | (#43652571)

You forgot 'don't install media centre add on as it invalidates your key without warning you this will happen' which, if you'd read the article, you'd know.

Re:who was he even talking to? (2)

Rob the Bold (788862) | about a year ago | (#43652657)

There are very few reasons why a key won't work the first time and they all tie back to the user (this author) being a moron. First, use the correct disc. Second, use the correct CD key for the disc. Third, don't activate until all the devices are installed instead of marked as "unknown device." Fourth, actually activate Windows in the stated time period instead of ignoring it. Fifth, don't activate it more than once per year. And if all else fails just activate it via the Microsoft robot on the phone. It takes approx 4 mins 32 seconds to do. I have never, ever had to talk to a rep in India ever in 10 years in business building and refurbishing computers. So who was he even talking to on the phone and why? Probably a license vs disc-used discrepancy. Definitely, without a doubt, USER ERROR!

Phrased another way, "We've provided you with a wide variety of possible ways to screw up installation and activation, many of which we could even catch for you and prevent, but choose not to. It's just so much more fun to be able to smile smugly at moron users, who even cares if we make any money?"

Re:who was he even talking to? (1)

nextekcarl (1402899) | about a year ago | (#43652669)

My wife ran into an issue with a key for another company years ago for an expansion for a game. Fresh from the store it said it was invalid because it had already been used. Returned it for another copy, same thing, returned for refund and bought it online from the company instead. Definitely not reasonable to consider cracked key gen systems to be user error. I have no idea if that's what is going on here, but at least half of the conditions you listed aren't reasonable user error either. Unless you mean using a Microsoft product in 2013; in that case you've been proven right apparently.

If you think that's bad (1)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | about a year ago | (#43652455)

Try upgrading from Server 2012 Evaluation Edition to Server 2012 Fully licensed. It's not just jumping through hoops its a whole damn Gimcana.

Proprietary crap (1)

argoff (142580) | about a year ago | (#43652489)

Everything abut Microsoft is frustrating. Constant popupups, talking nagging paper-clips, can only log in one user account at a time unless you pay out the nose, a window8 GUI trying to shove apps down out throats even if we're a desktop, all versions of word are more incomparable with each other than open office is, how they try to force me into bing, how they try to obsolete older versions like XP - even though it works perfectly fine on older PC's, even worse, how they try to obsolete older versions of office. Don't even get me started with VB VBscript, and their basterdized versions of html and javascript.

However, all of these annoyances are not problems, they are symptoms of a company who can't compete on service, so instead they try to compete by shoving proprietary crap down our throats. Then they wonder why companies that 'get it' like google, waltz in and rip them a new asshole, while linux effectively kicked their ass in the dataceter market. I know being able to gouge the fuck out of people with proprietary licensing is like a security blanket to them, but really, in order to compete they just need to give it up. It's dulling them.

s/Activation// (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652559)

Bought a brandnew HP laptop for my gf. Windows 8 is a pain to use without touch screen. I don't dare to move the mouse near any corner of the screen again ...

Timewarp (0)

Luthair (847766) | about a year ago | (#43652567)

Did this complaint fall through a timewarp from 2001? The consumer Windows activation is something Microsoft has actually done well. I've probably performed at least 20 installs over the years and never had a single issue, nor have I ever heard any complaint from anyone else I know.

not for me (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#43652637)

I've never had a problem with the activation. I just run this DAZ script and viola! Activated! Who's having trouble? MS support should just mail people the 5kb file and be done with it.

Never had a problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652645)

I've never had a problem with activating any version of windows since windows 95

Getting anally penetrated (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652747)

apparently you like it since you pay for it

stop whining (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652761)

and use an os that doesnt need "activation" and a company that doesnt force you perform gymnastics every time you want to scratch your arse.

KMS isn't very good either (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43652797)

KMS, what Microsoft uses for a business hosting a bunch of Microsoft licenses isn't very good either. There are about 9 billion steps to get the thing setup. And if you don't have AD, getting the computers to actually connect to the server and activate becomes a problem. Fixable with a script, but still a problem. Why it isn't just one or two registry keys, I will never know.

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