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Consumer Vista Upgrades Moving at Snail's Pace

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the playing-the-waiting-game dept.

Windows 269

Chester Freeze writes "During the holiday season, many shoppers bought PCs with the promise of quick, free Vista upgrades. The reality has been something else entirely: many Dell and HP customers are being told that they won't receive their copies of Vista before April. 'One source at a major OEM who spoke on condition of anonymity said that the real issue is that OEMs are still not sure which PCs are really ready to support Vista, and which PCs aren't... Customers who qualify for an Express Upgrade also qualify for OEM support for Windows Vista, even if their machines came with Windows XP. The last thing a Dell, Gateway, or HP wants to do is start sending out upgrades to customers who might have video cards that do not have particularly stable drivers yet (or sound cards, or RAID controllers, etc.). This could be a support disaster.'"

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really? (4, Funny)

President_Camacho (1063384) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042806)

The last thing a Dell, Gateway, or HP wants to do is start sending out upgrades to customers who might have video cards that do not have particularly stable drivers yet

They haven't had qualms about that in the past. What's stopping them now?

Re:really? (2, Interesting)

Valdez (125966) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042998)

Maybe they learned from their mistakes? Give them a small bit of credit, at least.

Re:really? (4, Interesting)

Kelbear (870538) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043010)

Dell actually recommends the exact upgrades "for an optimal Vista experience". So if you're using the exact configuration that they recommended for Vista(they even set aside a page listing out which upgrade areas where you lack the recommended parts), how is it that they still can't be sure that my laptop is ready for Vista?

They also keep a support sticker on the bottom so they know exactly what hardware is inside when they look up the support sticker. They also require that support sticker when registering for the vista upgrade.

I don't think Dell's problem is that they don't know who would be ready to get the upgrade. I just think they had no plan at all for processing all the discs they promised to send out.

Re:really? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18043842)

Dell probably isn't confused about what hardware is on which computer they sell.
That's what they DO know.

They don't know which piece of hardware Vista is going to cause to smoke and explode.
Remember linux drivers in 1998? This is worse... it's proprietary. And delayed.

Even if hardware is supposedly "supported" by vista doesn't mean it will work.
It just means it's supposed to. (Eventually)

Meanwhile, on planet Dell, the phones begin to ring nonstop for 5 years.
And 100,000 new customers choke on their tongues swollen from screaming.

Re:really? (2, Insightful)

lukas84 (912874) | more than 7 years ago | (#18044016)

Lenovo is doing these things A LOT better.

I had Vista running on my old R51, which died a few weeks ago. I got a new T60 - that was around 3.2.07, and Lenovo already had all the drivers out. Ultranav, Rescue and Recovery, Mobile Center Extensions, Fingerprint Reader, Wireless, Bluetooth, Hard Disk Protection.

All working flawlessly. I still haven't got my Lenovo Vista CD with Express Upgrade, so i've got this machine running with a normal VLP License.

Quite nice of Lenovo to support all the hardware at release time. The PC's are less of a problem - they don't have as much fancy stuff as a notebook.

Re:really? (5, Interesting)

baggins2001 (697667) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043144)

No kiddiing, especially with Dell, we needed computers with XP because our Apps are supported on XP and our users are trained on Office 2003. We expressly told them we wanted XP and not Vista and not Office 2007.
The quote even specified it.
The computers show up and they have Vista and Office 2007. We have to spend > 3 hours getting it arranged for them to come pick up the computers.

Re:really? (1)

atari2600 (545988) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043936)

Because we all know that consumers in general buy sound cards (and not just rely on on-board) and pretty sure every consumer out there gets a RAID card or two on their box. Yay for summaries?

I can't possibly understand why... (0, Offtopic)

zdc (1064870) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042816)

... you give up an OS riddled with security holes, poor interface design, and ridiculous resource requirements for another OS riddled with security holes, poor interface design, and even more ridiculous resource requirements... except it costs a few hundred (potentially) more.

Re:I can't possibly understand why... (1)

Ramble (940291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042834)

Ok Mr. Human Interface Designer give us a better example. And why not show me some of these huge security holes while you're at it.

I can't possibly understand why...nose in the way. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18043048)

And once he's through with that. He can address those ridiculous resource requirements [] . I suspect most geek computers exceed those by a mile since they're the only ones [] who will be buying the OS.

Re:I can't possibly understand why... (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043834)

. . .show me some of these huge security holes while you're at it. ista/buyorupgrade/genuine/default.mspx []


Re:I can't possibly understand why... (1)

allscan (1030606) | more than 7 years ago | (#18044024)

"If you do not to activate Windows Vista within the 30-day grace period, your system will switch to a reduced functionality mode. In this mode, only the default Internet browser will be available to use and you will automatically be logged-out every hour. While operating in a reduced functionality mode, you will be able to access personal files, but many functions will be restricted." Holy crap Batman. Exactly why XP will live on forever, at least you can still use an unactivated version.

Re:I can't possibly understand why... (5, Interesting)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043244)

I know why people will give it up... DRM, or more specifically the hoops you have to jump through to install Vista. Many people are trying to not pay the license fee now, and Vista will only push them farther toward trying Linux. Hey, the price is right, and it does all that they want to do anyway, so now is the time to drop MS products.

Sure, businesses will still find the money and time to upgrade, but most of them will do a forklift upgrade with a business maintenance plan on the desktop machines. This is a luxury that home pc owners do not have. The only real choice is to switch or suffer the pains of upgrades, license fees, support issues, software headaches, and the continued use of an OS that is the malware hackers preferred target.

This isn't trolling or Linux fanboi-ism, just an observation of what I'm seeing in the general populace.

Slowly but sure (1, Interesting)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042818)

I have upgraded my whole department at the university (50 computers) and will update 2 labs (2x35 computers). Yes we have a VERY good academic price. And Vista IS good no matter what you say....;-)

Re:Slowly but sure (5, Informative)

jackharrer (972403) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042952)

I upgraded 1 computer in my company (my friend's one, didn't work with XP, hardware problems). After everybody saw it, nobody wants it anymore. Especially after problems with installation of few crucial programs (ie. Acrobat Reader 8, but 7 was fine). And those people use IE and think that Windows is the only operating system.
Plus windows didn't detect 3 different USB memory sticks. They simply didn't work. But USB mouse and keyboard are fine...

I've seen enough. Bells and whistles are not enough for operating system to be successful.

Re:Slowly but sure (1)

Scyth3 (988321) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043192)

The slight irony to what you said is that it already had hardware problems. Who's to say if that had an affect on your install of Vista?

Oh, and I don't intend to upgrade till SP1. Guaranteed.

Re:Slowly but sure (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18043506)

"Bells and whistles are not enough for operating system to be successful."

Apparently Apple would beg to differ >.>;

Accrobat Reader 8 Problems (1)

rvw14 (733613) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043508)

What were your acrobat 8 problems? I am going to be running Vista Business on a work computer (At least I will be as soon as dell sends the disk.) to test all our software and many of our internal docs are in .pdf format (don't ask, not my choice).

Re:Accrobat Reader 8 Problems (1)

AArmadillo (660847) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043714)

I have three machines running Acrobat Reader 8 on Vista without problems. There's a lot of FUD and people talking out of their ass about application and hardware compatibility on Vista. Considering Acroread 8 is explicitly supported by Adobe on Vista, I would imagine the grandparent is one of them.

Re:Accrobat Reader 8 Problems (1)

OfNoAccount (906368) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043870)

Why does anyone still use Acrobat Reader anyway? Try downloading Foxit Reader [] instead - it's faster, smaller, and works just fine under Vista. I didn't have any driver issues with this Shuttle box, but then it's only a 3.6GHz toaster (sorry P4) anyway ;)

COULD BE a support disaster? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18042828)

On the other hand, it could be easy to mitigate for Dell..

Refund the money. Now. Be the first to say Vista is crap
and you won't support it until SP1, just like the rest of us.

Or, dive into the steaming shithole. Your choice.

Re:COULD BE a support disaster? (1)

bobcat7677 (561727) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043374)

EXCELLENT idea! If they were pro-active and started giving refunds to people for the "vista upgrade option" they purchases, it would make Dell the hero instead of them being caught in the huge nasty class action suit I see looming on the horizon if things continue in the vein they are...

Re:COULD BE a support disaster? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18043644)

Not only does it make them the hero, it makes a LOT of business sense.
How much did the upgrade cost? Refunding that cost per user is cheaper.

Consider what they will spend on call centers, refunds, lawyers, engineers...
this is only going to get WORSE for the next 2-3 years, depending on how fast
MS gets their act together, and we all know what that means.

In the end it's Dell's image that suffers... their main product is noob support.
If they can't even manage to get a working OS on their new boxes, who wants it?
Corporate clients? Nope. Home users? Nope. Gamers? Nope.

I just hope XP support and patches don't fall by the wayside because of this idiocy.
It's the only version that's even REMOTELY a viable option right now, flaws and all.

Refunds for what? Express Upgrade to Vista is free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18043820)

There's nothing to refund.

Re:COULD BE a support disaster? (1)

Thomas Charron (1485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043906)


They didn't charge anything for it. It was a free coupon, no charges attached.

Dammit! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18042848)

I used up all my good Vista jokes on the last article! :-(

they sold it. (3, Insightful)

colinbg (757240) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042854)

well, they sold it. Sort of comes with the territory. I know if I sold a promise to upgrade and received payment for it, I am pretty sure I am obligated to provide it! Sort by law I believe, although IANAL, so I could be wrong.

Re:they sold it. (1)

porkThreeWays (895269) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043368)

While I'm not defending any of these OEM's or Microsoft (this is a typical big screw up for them), if you buy a computer and believe any claims that come out of Dell, HP, whomever, you are dumb. Companies lie. Plain and simple. If you don't think so then I've got some tobacco to sell you. Anyone who actually believed they were going to get a quick seamless upgrade is out of their mind. If you buy an off the shelf PC today at the store with Vista you are crazy to believe it's going to work all that great. Marketing drones like to create a huge hype for the launch of a product but in reality most products with big launches aren't what was promised and the promises come months or years later (if those promises are fufilled). Don't hold out on your 200 dollar mail in rebate coming back soon either.

Re:they sold it. (4, Funny)

timeOday (582209) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043524)

I know if I sold a promise to upgrade and received payment for it, I am pretty sure I am obligated to provide it!
Lawyer: calm down, we have granted you an OEM upgrade licence to Vista, just as we promised.
You: So where is it?
Lawyer: It doesn't have a location, it's a license.
You: So what does that mean?
Lawer: It means we fulfilled our legal obligation. Good day.

See two articles down (0, Redundant)

pembo13 (770295) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042864)

See two articles down:


Re:See two articles down (1)

CrackedButter (646746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042958)

This doesn't apply as a dupe anymore, they changed the story icon from a Billy Borg to Broken Windows.

Re:See two articles down (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18043172)

Two articles down: Silicon Valley - Still Important To Tech Advances [] So Silicon Valley is the reason Dell, HP, et al are slow getting their promised upgrades shipped?

But isn't this what they planned for? (4, Interesting)

gelfling (6534) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042866)

Didn't MS say openly that every $1 of Vista represents $18 of NEW hardware? I think they did. So it's no surprise that there would be a lag. I'm sure that in by the end of the year, all PC's will be moved to Vista and once MS abandons XP the upgrades will fly off the shelf. I was in Staples today and the price for XP Home upgrades and basic Vista was the same. So if you're smart enough to read the box, why would you buy Vista for an upgrade on a machine that's more than a year old and can't run it?

Re:But isn't this what they planned for? (2, Informative)

stubear (130454) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043040)

Vista will run just fine on older hardware. I have a 4-5 year old 2.8GHz P4 with a 256MB nVidia 5700 video card and it runs Aero and Vista Business just fine. You can repeat lines like this "...Vista for an upgrade on a machine that's more than a year old and can't run it?" all you want but is no more truer than the first time you said it. Sure, there are some video cards that are a year old that can't run Aero but not running Aero is a vastly different thing than not running Vista.

Re:But isn't this what they planned for? (4, Insightful)

Danse (1026) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043270)

Sure, there are some video cards that are a year old that can't run Aero but not running Aero is a vastly different thing than not running Vista.

Aero is the feature that most regular users associate with Vista. If they don't get that, then why do they even want Vista now? It's not like there are a whole lot of compelling reasons to switch to it at this point. And there are definitely a number of drawbacks. So if their PC can't run Aero, most people probably couldn't care less about getting Vista.

Re:But isn't this what they planned for? (4, Informative)

bradkittenbrink (608877) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043970)

I was all ready to mod you up solely for the fact that you used the phrase "couldn't care less" correctly, but sadly, you were already at +5 insightful.

Re:But isn't this what they planned for? (2, Funny)

rvw (755107) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043576)

Vista will run just fine on older hardware. I have a 4-5 year old 2.8GHz P4 with a 256MB nVidia 5700 video card and it runs Aero and Vista Business just fine.
I wouldn't consider that old, just premature.

This is silly (4, Insightful)

gelfling (6534) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043596)

The people with a 4 year old machine with those specs are in the upper 1% of PC owners. I know of no one with a one+ year old machine who isn't a high end gamer or code developer who already has 1GB or more on their machine. And you answered your own point vis a vis the video card. If that's the target for Vista upgrades then it's going to be a cold cold winter in Redmond this year. You'd be amazed I think at how few people will chuck $180 for a new video adapter just to run an OS for no other clear reason. You have got be subsidized by someone else if that's how you think.

Re:But isn't this what they planned for? (1)

Beer_Smurf (700116) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043774)

OSX, Tiger, runs on a G3-400, I do it every day.
What do you get out of all the extra work the computer is doing to run Vista?
Can someone who understands better than me explain what all is churning in the background?

Re:But isn't this what they planned for? (1)

Valdez (125966) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043102)

I'm pretty sure that you can run Vista Ultimate ($399) on something less than a brand new $7,182 machine.

The statistic might be right on for a student buying Home standard... $10 from the campus book store will require a new $180 graphics card (given they already have a gig of ram). ;)

Incidentally, my new box was bolted together shortly after the New Day... and it's running XP64. ;)

Re:But isn't this what they planned for? (1)

revlayle (964221) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043788)

SO... if I get a FREE copy, i don't have to upgrade ANYTHING!!? WINNAR :)

Not true. (0, Offtopic)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042894)

GF ordered a Gateway laptop a few weeks ago. Wanted XP, but she ordered on Vista's release date, and they said they would only sell Vista. If she decides to keep it, it ships at the end of February.

Re:Not true. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18043420)

She ordered a laptop with Vista?! You must dump her. :)

Vista is the Final Frontier (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18042904)

At least for my computer

The good news is (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18042930)

There are now more Vista users than there are Linsux/Open Sores users. Of course that wouldn'ttake much as there are only a few thousand linsux users out there and they all frequent shitdot and have no life outside of their parents' basement.

Re:The good news is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18043080)

You should know...

Re:The good news is (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18043262)

parents basement is such a cliche

God I remember this hell. WinModem! (4, Interesting)

WarlockD (623872) | more than 7 years ago | (#18042936)

I was working at an "experimental" call center. Place was called Stream and the client was Dell. The objective was to figure out if the customer had a simple problem or if one that required level 2 support. (Bit more complicated than that, but that's the jest) I was working there between the great Windows 95 to Windows 98 upgrade. It was miserable for ANYONE with one of those damn USR Robotics modems. It got to the point where we would NOT send out a replacement modem unless the customer did a complete reinstall, from scrach, not with the rebuild image. It also didn't help that most of our techs had a 75% turnaround in three months, couldn't speak English well, and that we told the customer we would call them in 48 hours to "help" them though the reinstall. Gezz. Thank god I work on Dell Servers now. Dell afford to piss off their consumer customers, but not their enterprise. PS - I remember the trainer telling me that Dell is for "quality" and would never sell a computer under $1,000. Even when he said that, I laughed. (1998-1999 was when he told us)

Re:God I remember this hell. WinModem! (4, Informative)

operagost (62405) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043066)

You guys really sucked for forcing people to totally wipe their computers when all you needed to do was uninstall the Winmodem software (I assume that's what these junkers were), delete the USR infs from %systemroot%\inf, reinstall the software, and reboot. Clearly, those INFS were still hanging around.

Re:God I remember this hell. WinModem! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18043522)

Welcome to the world of big name pc manufacturer technical support.

Justification for the lag (1)

sterno (16320) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043930)

I think you point out why Dell, etc, are being pretty smart in rolling this out more slowly. In addition to the obvious driver instability, etc, this really comes down to having enough support resources. If you sent it all out at once you're call centers would collapse under the weight of it. If you send it out piece meal then you can spread the increased demand out over a longer period and thus end up providing a better experience.

Basically the question is: what pisses off a customer more, having to wait a couple months to get their upgrade or getting their upgrade and then spending days trying to wrestle with tech support because they are overwhelmed.

sound card crashes vista w/ blue screen (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18042938)

I upgraded to vista, but I have to disable my sound card in the device manager before rebooting or Vista will not start up. The sound card driver is provided by MS from Windows Update. Why would they provide a driver that crashes the system, and even alerts you that it is not made for vista?

I wrote about it here [] , if anyone cares.

Winders Veesta (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18042982)

Yes using Windows is a support disaster

Real Question (1)

okinawa_hdr (1062664) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043004)

What is the major draw of upgrading to Vista?

Re:Real Question (2, Insightful)

Thomas Charron (1485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043096)

Mostly? Finally a Microsoft OS that can run 64 bit reliably, WITH 32 bit support.

Re:Real Question (1)

jcgam69 (994690) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043666)

IF you can find 64 bit drivers for your hardware. Good luck with that.

Re:Real Question (1)

Thomas Charron (1485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043818)

True enough. I'm hoping blindly that with the release of Vista 64, that drivers will become available. Here's hoping.

Re:Real Question (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18044044)

It was pretty easy to find 64 bit drivers for all my hardware. nVidia video card, RAID controller, nForce 4, SB Audigy 2, Gigabit ethernet, etc.

Re:Real Question (3, Funny)

MadMidnightBomber (894759) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043852)

I was compiling and running 64-bit apps in 1998. That's like listing "doesn't decapitate driver in the event of crash" in the list of safety features in a modern car.

Re:Real Question (1)

Thomas Charron (1485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043988)


The point is, it's a major release of an OS which supports it NOT as an afterthought, as Windows XP x64 was.

Hopefully, enough people will port their drivers to it, and we'll all be happy.

Re:Real Question (4, Funny)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043142)

Believe it or not, some people are just brainwashed.

We had someone (not a techie, but a user with a silent L) verbally call Vista the "latest and greatest." (Personal aside, I want to find whoever coined that term and just beat them to a bloody pulp.)

Never mind we're having nothing but problems getting it working for them; they seem oblivious to this. (And no AV support until May...)

MS should just cut to the chase and call the next Windows what it is... "Windows Shiny Car Keys" *dingle, dangle* You like the new shiny, don't ya? Shiny shiny!

Re:Real Question (1)

Valdez (125966) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043196)

No AV support until May? []

Who did you trick into paying you to do IT work? I have some ocean front property over in Arizona...

Re:Real Question (4, Informative)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043346)

What is the major draw of upgrading to Vista?

The features include:

  • UI prettiness, like translucent window borders
  • indexed searching, so you can search for terms within some file types, relatively quickly and globally
  • an attempt at proper admin and user account separation to try and gain some of the security benefits
  • quick access mini-apps
  • more included applications like a DVD burning app, picture viewer/organizer, backup utility, chat/video client, etc.
  • parental controls
  • speech recognition
  • better encryption integration/ease of use

A lot of these features have been on other OS's for quite a while, but they are welcome additions to Windows for people who are used to them on other platforms, but need to use Windows occasionally. In a year or so once it is stabilized and third parties have things together, it will probably be an improvement on XP

Re:Real Question (1)

Rycross (836649) | more than 7 years ago | (#18044004)

Additionally, better 64 bit support. This is rather subjective too, but it seems to have better multi-proc support as well.

And accelerating your desktop using the video card actually does help with responsiveness.

Re:Real Question (1)

coren2000 (788204) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043402)

Better pr0n of course!

Re:Real Question (1)

seven of five (578993) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043844)

nipple clamps, pointy hooks in the skin & hot wax on the balls just ain't doing it like it used to.
time to upgrade to vista.

Support disaster? (3, Interesting)

PingXao (153057) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043108)

How about a lawsuit disaster? IIRC it's fraud if you make a material statement that convinces someone to make a purchase ("this machine will run Vista") and that statement is false. Hell, that's not only a lawsuit disaster, it's a criminal activity disaster too!

Re:Support disaster? (2, Interesting)

IANAAC (692242) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043692)

As long as they're not specifying which version of Vista it will run, they'll easily find a way around that one. The lowest version of Vista should have no trouble on current hardware.

Could be a support disaster? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18043178)

I am not going to say who I work for, but I will say I am a tier 2 support tech. for one of the largest PC vendors.

Support for Vista is already a disaster. Customer complaints are rampant, mostly with video problems that are directly a result of bad drivers. In the past, at least we had enough knowledge to get our job done. We could have confidence in newer drivers and we could be relatively sure the machines could support Windows XP. Today, Microsoft has changed the game so much that we are fucked. Troubleshooting this system is almost an entirely different game, so we are forced to play wack-a-mole all day. On the bright side, our product lines are getting a decent overhaul with more standardization. In the mean time, you guys are playing a crapshoot, the result of slapping the Vista logo on anything we can to meet our marketing promises.

When Vista becomes dominant in the mainstream, all of you can expect loads of problems unless Microsoft and the hardware vendors straighten things out. Sure, we should have platform standards. We all know Windows sucks largely because of how badly drivers are written, but they are doing it by screwing with us, the hardware vendors. My group knows what the hell we're doing. We would not be as big as we are if we didn't, but Microsoft are making our lives nearly impossible because they do not consider in the least what we need to support our products.

My advice: do not think you can buy either Dell or HP or from any of the other big vendors soon and expect Vista to work entirely as advertised. Wait a year. Stick with XP or buy a Mac.

Re:Could be a support disaster? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18043866)

Gateway, huh...

This could be a support disaster (0, Troll)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043214)

No, a migration from red hat to solaris would be a support disaster.

This is IT people using a little forethought and pacing while rolling out an upgrade.


Re:This could be a support disaster (1)

sulfur_lad (964486) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043590)

Couldn't agree more. In commerce, it definitely falls on the vendors to provide the products they promised, especially if they've already sold them. Here though, "free" upgrade implies you didn't actually pay for it, so really they can say "sorry, it's going to take a little while." This is the same reason your mail-in rebates on RAM take an aeon to process.

You definitely feel for the vendors here though. They're dealing with a lot of lay-people, and upgrading them to Vista remotely is a whole lot more tedious than just doing it in the lab before you ship the computer.

thanks for the all-caps, that's great. :)

Re:This could be a support disaster (2, Insightful)

DLG (14172) | more than 7 years ago | (#18044012)

Again, as it has been pointed out clearly, if you promise something free upon purchase of something else that is not the same thing as simply offering to give something away for free, with a buyer beware, you get what you pay for.

Dell specifically offered to provide free upgrades to Vista for people who were buying Vista ready machines before the release, to get holiday sales.

We can assume that the reason really is the fact that they are shipping upgrades as fast as they can and the only folks who are going to be loud are the ones waiting. To suggest that they are really trying to hold off shipment until they can produce a disk with drivers that work for hardware they already certified as ready would be fraudulent (selling hardware they promise meets Microsofts criteria for whichever level of compatibility without it being true is a class action lawsuit, or a recall)

In any case the likeliest answer is that the release is less than 2 weeks old, we have had terrible winter weather over that time, and the number of people who idiotically were unable to wait to get a computer preloaded with their OS, probably is greater than expected, mostly because they have no idea what it really means to upgrade an OS, since its been some 5 years since there has been a major release.

The HaHa Tag? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18043228)

If HaHa is a tag for every story on Microsoft, then what is the tag for a story on Linux?

Perhaps jealousy?

Can't even get through the online form (3, Insightful)

Barbarian (9467) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043242)

I bought a Toshiba A100-TA9 laptop, with the promise of a free upgrade. When I go to the upgrade site, after I select the country (Canada), I am presented with blank drop-down boxes to select the current version I have. I assume this is due to multiple language versions (English and French) in Canada. Email to support is entirely unhelpful.

At the beginning of January, the form was working, but the server would time out at the very end.

not running on an apple (4, Interesting)

Ace905 (163071) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043276)

I'm not running an apple ; mostly because I have a pc right here in front of me so why pay more money. But is there any reason now NOT to run an apple? Microsoft would have done better to not release vista ; they're ensuring people hate them and try the competition.

If I were a shareholder, i would sell sell sell.

I think it's a safe bet to say every shareholder should short-sell before every major release of windows. They do this every single time. Hype it up, stock goes up, release it, disappointing everyone, stock goes down, holding pattern, start all over again.

SELL SELL SELL! [] | Sometimes I'm bored []

Re:not running on an apple (2, Interesting)

Shawn is an Asshole (845769) | more than 7 years ago | (#18044094)


I heavily use a 12" PowerBook which dual boots with OS X Tiger and Ubuntu Edgy Eft. It's great, often I use OS X heavily and am very happy with it. But the thing cost me $1500 when I bought it a year and a half ago.

I've been wanting to buy a new desktop, but the options are limited. I could get a Mini, but you can't expand it. I don't want to have to clutter up my desk with multiple external drives and audio interfaces (I do audio editing in my spare time, so I need lots of storage and good audio interfaces). The only option for something expandable is a Mac Pro, which is ~$2000.

Instead I built a Core 2 Duo E6600 based machine with a ASUS P5B Deluxe, two 320GB sata drives, 2GB DDR2 800 ram, M-Audio Delta 1010LT sound, etc for $1100. It's now running Ubuntu Edgy Eft and works perfectly.

If Apple would sell some midrange machines that were expandable I would of bought a Mac for that instead.

Bandwagon Users... (3, Insightful)

Beefslaya (832030) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043302)

It comes down to marketshare. Microsoft KNOWS they have the market share, and are FORCING users to seek their new Windows ME 2007 (aka Vista)...I'm not biting this time. And I will use my last professional dying breath to tell everyone to stay away.

I keep telling customers and clients to stay away from Microsoft. Their response is "What else is there?"

I spout off about 4 or 5 good, stable, and secure systems, including Apple. They tell me they are not graphic designers. I then tell them that I can't help them unless they think outside the MS box.

I am treating Vista like a plague. And everyone that has a lick of technological expertise should be on that bandwagon.

Brainwashed is EXACTLY what they are.

Time for Linux to step up to the plate. There is such a NEED for a "Super Wine" project to take a big bite out of Microsoft's ass.

Re:Bandwagon Users... (1)

sottitron (923868) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043434)

Brainwashed is EXACTLY what they are.

...and what does that make you?? I am not here to sing Vista's praises, but Microsoft's philosophy is no different than that of the company who made the car you are driving... Lets say you need a new front seat for you Ford. You can't exactly call up Chevrolet and say, 'Hey can you beat this price Ford is quoting me for a front seat?' I think the reason we have OS X is that Microsoft put out good enough software for Apple to see the writing on the wall and realize that OS 8 wasn't going to keep up. Same goes for Linux. Do you think Ubuntu came about in a vacuum? No, its compared to XP's ease of use every day by just about anybody trying to get a Windows user to switch.

Re:Bandwagon Users... (2, Insightful)

Moofie (22272) | more than 7 years ago | (#18044002)

Yeah, because there are no such thing as after-market parts in the auto industry.

Congratulations, you win this week's Dumbest Car Analogy Award. Please go outside and stare directly into the sun while you wait for your prize to be delivered.

Re:Bandwagon Users... (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043888)

I dislike Microsoft as much as the next guy and think Wine is a great way to get users to switch, but what are YOU doing to help the Wine project? Are you testing applications, reporting the messages and making Wine better each day? It's one thing to preach that people should switch, but if you tell them to switch and they have a bad taste, they are less likely to switch again in the future. I don't know how many of my friends have tried Linux back in the Redhat 4 days and been completely turned off up until this day thinking that Linux is a mess of dependency problems, interface nightmares and lack of "replacement" software for their everyday tasks. Even the MP3 nightmare today keeps some people away simply because they can't open their song and play it without having to run command lines to edit their yum configuration in Fedora 6. Sure, Ogg Vorbis may be a better format, but go into Best Buy and tell the guy/girl behind the conter that your looking for an Ogg player and (s)he'll stare at you funny unless (s)he truly knows what it is.

It's been a major pain to get the upgrade so far.. (2, Informative)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043360)

I've been trying to get ahold of the upgrade for my copy of XP Pro I got when piecing together a system for myself. Not that I plan on installing it in the next year, I just don't want to have to pay for it if I do have to test or use software with Vista. The upgrade offer ends in March, I believe, so I'd like to get the disk... but it's been a MAJOR pain working through the third party that Microsoft has been using to get the Vista upgrades.

Quick info on sites and phone numbers to use: x []

This is the rather buggy ASP website that is used to request an update.

I had to contact Newegg for a coupon code to use for the upgrade, but had ASP errors on trying to use the page, so I had to call this number several times:


The folks there are nice, but a mixed bag - they're throwing Microsoft/Moduslink employees there at a rapid pace, with little training. When I asked for an upgrade to a higher level of support, they had no one to send me to - but they were rather cool and honest about the situation despite the confusion.

At the end (thus far), I'll have to send a printed copy of my Newegg reciept to an address to get my upgrade. Don't know what kind of recourse I'd have if they just denied my upgrade request... the whole process has really been more painful than I expected, even with Microsoft support, even with fairly friendly folks to help me through it.

Ryan Fenton

Re:It's been a major pain to get the upgrade so fa (1)

Buzz_Litebeer (539463) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043588)

They denied my upgrade request when I sent them an information request via their "contact us" link at the bottom so that I could find out if something wrong happened or when I would be getting the upgrade.

Contacting their support, which says it will reply within 1 business day, took 25 days before my first response.

So Enjoy getting screwed.

Re:It's been a major pain to get the upgrade so fa (1)

Thomas Charron (1485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043758)

Have fun with that. So far fax and email have led to nothing, they still can't confirm they've received the damned receipt.

upgrades might be slow but ... (4, Insightful)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043394)

The upgrades might be going at snails pace but every new pc being shipped is shipping with vista. It wont be long before there are more installations of Vista than Firefox.

Re:upgrades might be slow but ... (0, Troll)

mandelbr0t (1015855) | more than 7 years ago | (#18044088)

Of course the first thing any smart Vista user would do is replace IE7 with Firefox. ;)

Here is my issue. (5, Interesting)

Buzz_Litebeer (539463) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043412)

I submitted for an upgrade waited weeks and weeks, and then sent an e-mail to the support email asking why I had not received it, and if I had somehow mad an error in the documentation and such that I had sent.

I got a reply that said "Thank you for submitting to customer service, your upgrade order has been cancelled per your request so that you can re-submit with the correct information."

So instead of verifying my order, they canceled it, and the page to do submissions are gone, and besides that the documentation said "no copies of this documentation will be accepted," but I had already submitted the documentation via physical snail mail. So I have essentially been SCREWED out of 200 bucks worth of software.

To put it mildly, I will never purchase Windows Vista, and I am sure the Pirate bay can help me get the software I was promised. I have never before had a request for information turn into such a fraudulent cancellation before, and since I already paid for it, I am not feeling under any obligation to purchase it again.

On the flip side, (-1, Flamebait)

night_flyer (453866) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043460)

I hear that Office 2007 is doing well!

Vista's actually pretty good (2, Interesting)

maynard (3337) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043518)

Of course some people are having compatibility problems with their upgrades. This is no major surprise. Speaking as one who works in a large NIX shop (university lab), I must say that we've been evaluating Vista and I kindof like it. I still have a Mac and a Linux box on my desk, but I'm expecting us to support Vista by early '08. Also, I will say there is real pent up demand for upgrading both Windows and Office here in our shop. Windows users here are primarily fiscal admins, and I've had several ask me about supporting the Vista and Office 08. All the Mac users (me included) are looking forward to an Intel build for the next Office.

Vista may be having a slow start, but I think that within a year or so it will be a big winner. I like it (and I haven't had much good to say about Win since forever).

Could this be it? (4, Insightful)

OriginalArlen (726444) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043520)

I've been reading about how the next version of Windows will be the one that finally contains so much crap, so many bugs, and so many restrictions on your freedom to actually use your own computer for as long as I've been on Slashdot, which is ... dear god, eight or nine years or so now. After Windows 2000 and (especially) XP failed to be complete turkeys that finally opened users' eyes to the possibilities offered by the alternatives. As as result, I am embittered, prematurely aged, and have an irritatingly adolescent habit of peeling off the "Designed for Windows" stickers from any computer I get my hands on and sticking it to toilet flush or kitchen scraps bin. It's taken me almost as long to move from tentative newbie hopelessly failing to install Debian 2.0 to a seasoned professional well used to the process of decontaminating new servers, desktops and laptops, and usually getting all the hardware to work. (WPA2/AES wifi auth, which we use at work, is still a pig involving kernel compilation, and the latest version of Mandriva has broken my access to the corporate PPTP VPN becuase MPPE has been removed from the kernel, and I never managed to acquire any proficiency in the /usr/src/linux shuffle.) But... even having read the much less breathless and reflective piece on the Reg before seeing this, a wild and audacious hope is leaping up in my breast... it's either political advertising subverting ordinary discourse, or it's the end of the beginning of the end for Microsoft. (The beginning, for me, was the anti-trust case. Even though they walked away laughing thanks to Dubya and a foolish judge, anyone in the industry who followed it who DIDN'T already know how evil MS are, were left with no illusions.)

Please, lord, let it be this time... raise thy noodly appendage and smite they foes!

The devil is in the details... (1)

PHanT0 (148738) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043562)

Trading the devil you know for the devil you don't isn't that great of an "upgrade".
Some people will argue they like the devil they have...

Personally Microsoft hasn't showed me a single reason to upgrade beyond a pretty GUI... and there are projects out there to make the devil I've got look like the devil they want me to buy... besides, the "upgrade" package is 1/2 the price of an e-machine... give me a reason not to save twice as much and buy that, move my license to my good PC and install Linux on the e-machine...

C'mon... XP is the spawn of satan but it's the nicer brother we all know instead of the pretty-boy brother we don't.

No Shit. (3, Interesting)

Luscious868 (679143) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043592)

Joe Sixpack doesn't upgrade his operating system. Joe Sixpack doesn't know what an operating system is. Joe Sixpack will move to Vista when he buys his next PC with Vista preinstalled. This really should come as no surprise.

Windows XP Home Edition offered the stability and other improvements of Windows 2000 rolled into a consumer oriented OS. Compared to Windows 98 and (shudder) ME it was a huge improvement for consumers so it's no wonder more people wanted to upgrade to XP. What does Vista offer? A series of confusing versions to choose from, required hardware upgrades for most, software compatibility issues for many, annoying as all hell UAC prompts, Windows Software Protection Platform that can completely lock down your system if it thinks your running a pirated copy of Vista and the list goes on.

I can't think of one reason I should upgrade to Windows Vista. In fact, XP is the last version of a Microsoft OS that I will run on any PC I own. I've switched to a Mac and I couldn't be happier. I've got Boot Camp installed to play the occasional game but I find I'm spending less and less time gaming so I suspect by the time games appear that are Vista only it will no longer matter.

They got notices? (1)

Thomas Charron (1485) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043626)

Personally, I can't even manage to get the stupid upgrade program to acknowledge they received the copy of my receipt. I even have a fax confirmation sheet I've sent them twice.

    I think more people took advantage of the program then they where expecting.

So? Non-disaster support? (1)

redelm (54142) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043722)

uhm ... err ... when is support other than a disaster?

Slogan Shouldn't Be "Wow!" (3, Funny)

canfirman (697952) | more than 7 years ago | (#18043780)

With all of the logistical/upgrade/support problems in this release, Microsoft should change the Vista's slogran from "Wow!" to "Doh!"

I, for one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18043880)

I, for one, welcome our new Vista-incompatible overlords...

Thats what you get (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18043952)

For thinking about going with another crippled product from Microsoft. I hope people are starting to wake up and realize there is NO advantage to upgrading to Vista. The Windows OS is dead, its going no where but down hill. Nothing but DRM roadblocks and headaches, viruses, spyware, defragging, etc.
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