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Windows Operating Systems Software Bug

Vista Family Discount Keys Found Not Compatible 394

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the fits-a-different-lock dept.
acousticiris writes "Many (if not all) users who took advantage of Microsoft's Vista Family Discount have been issued invalid installation keys and cannot install Windows Vista Home Premium. Microsoft says, 'There is no expected time period for a fix at this time.' According to the article, the keys are valid for something, just not Windows Vista. Perhaps it's just too simple to issue these folks new keys and send them on their way."
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Vista Family Discount Keys Found Not Compatible

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  • by wesley96 (934306) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @08:57PM (#17853094) Homepage
    Ah, whodathunkit? :P Anyway, I have an itchy feeling some cracker might be able to put out a valid serial generator before MS could fix this problem.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Who are you calling a cracker, nigger?
    • by Nutty_Irishman (729030) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:06PM (#17853206)

      Ah, whodathunkit? :P Anyway, I have an itchy feeling some cracker might be able to put out a valid serial generator before MS could fix this problem.
      Personally I believe in equal opportunity piracy. But, whatever floats your boat...
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Hrodvitnir (101283)
        Ok, I laughed, but come on... That's kind of a step back for those of us trying to get everyone to stop using 'hacker' incorrectly.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by numbski (515011) *
        Cracker what?!? [comedycentral.com]
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:08PM (#17853230)
      I have to ask myself what sort of people would subject themselves to this sort of abuse. It has just been getting worse since the days of Windows 95. Every new release of Windows comes with some new anti-piracy hassle, and every time it seems to cause major problems.

      I'd image such people at least somewhat competent when using a computer. Many non-technical computer users don't even know what Vista is, let alone that it has been released, and thus wouldn't be updating their systems so quickly. I'd expect such people would also be aware of how this sort of bullshit gets worse and worse with each release of Windows. Why do they accept being treated like criminals? Why do they accept being treated like nothing more than shit?

      • by fyngyrz (762201) * on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:42PM (#17853558) Homepage Journal

        Also...

        Why would they accept an OS that gets slower with every release? Why would they accept an OS that requires more and more from their hardware investment, eventually requiring replacement (as may be very likely the case with Vista) instead of getting sleeker and slimmer and more efficient? Why would they accept an OS that carries with it the highest threat of adware, viruses, worms, trojans - for whatever reason? When terrible mistakes are made - like activex - why don't they expect the company to fix those mistakes?

        Just wondering. I mean clearly, they do not hold Microsoft to a very high standard. I left the OS a couple of years ago, having had all I was willing to take. But most people around me stick with MS, regardless of what trouble they have.

        Personally, I think part of the answer is application lock-in; people who use some app that they can't get away from, and where the developers force them to upgrade to the next OS because otherwise, the next version or revision of the locked-in app won't work.

        • by Martin Blank (154261) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @10:29PM (#17853926) Journal

          Why would they accept an OS that gets slower with every release?
          RH9 pretty much screamed on one of my home systems. FC1 was pretty snappy, too. FC3, not so much. FC5 was even a little slower. FC6 seemed to stabilize. In all cases, I was running a pretty basic desktop environment without anything flashy, not much in the way of extraneous services running (HTTP and FTP only), and only me accessing them.

          All major OSes get some bloat as they grow. Vista's sheer size is inexcusable, but it's not terribly slower than XP, at least on a 1.6GHz P4 notebook.
          • by fyngyrz (762201) * on Thursday February 01, 2007 @11:15PM (#17854380) Homepage Journal
            All major OSes get some bloat as they grow.

            <RAMBLE>

            Well, maybe that's a signal we're looking at things incorrectly, then. Why not build a stable core - multitasking, networking, application sandboxing, list management, basic graphics with user-settable bitmaps and/or polygonal models -- the rest of the usual suspects like disk io and USB -- and then let the user decide if they want, for instance, to add a 3d desktop with voice and haptic features, widgets, zooming, 400 language compatibility (OSX carries a crapload of language stuff to your drive it doesn't really need to, for instance) and drivers for every printer ever known to man?

            That almost sounds like a linux release, but the key thing missing in all linux versions is a stable and always-there set of GUI tools so applications can run on the OS itself. linux (IMO) is crippled by that lack of a standard GUI layer. It has almost everything else, I'm perfectly ready to concede. Be nice if it had a little bit smarter permissions - like being able to say that "this dir is read/write, but nothing can execute here" without having to set the dir up on its own partition, etc., but at least there is a workaround.

            In fact, that's how I ended up with Apple's OSX. It's almost linux from my user / developer point of view, but it has a solid GUI I am under the impression I can count on, and I don't have to pay fees to use or get the user to try to download.

            I'd like to see something more basic, though. I know these marvelous machines we have today would run like raped apes if we actually tried to make them do so, instead of trying to make them do "everything for everybody." Vista's gone and collected 10% or so of a modern CPU for itself, if the rumors I hear are correct; is that really where we want to be? Damn, 10% of a modern CPU is what, 100% of one five years ago?

            Sometimes I write software to run in a shell in OSX or linux and just enjoy the zappiness of it all. I am heavily involved in AI experimentation, particularly in the multiply-associative memory area, and I always write that stuff for a text shell. A real linux text shell actually runnning in text mode... man that's fast. :)

            </RAMBLE>

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by adolf (21054)
              Where have you seen it reported that Vista eats 10% of the CPU? I'd been somewhat considering looking at Vista for my XP laptop, to get some advance exposure to it so that I might be a bit clued when I need to operate on it for customers, and because its flash-RAM disk caching promised to make things a bit faster while increasing runtime on battery (which I expect to pair nicely with my SD card slot).

              However, if it consumes 10% of the CPU, then some of those advantages are for naught.

              As an aside:

              I'd been n
              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by dr00g911 (531736)
                Bare metal install of Win Vista Home Premium:

                9% baseline cpu utilization at idle on an Athlon X2 4200+ dual core, 663 mb used by kernel out of 2 gb. This is 2 days after the initial install (indexing isn't running), with no 3rd party drivers loaded as nVidia doesn't have RTM drivers for their "vista ready" nForce 4 chipsets yet. So no sound or gigabit lan for me just yet, and no the RC1/RC2/XP drivers won't load.

                Windows desktop manager (dwm.exe) is responsible for 5-6% of the load by itself, explorer.exe ge
            • by drsmithy (35869) <drsmithyNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Friday February 02, 2007 @01:20AM (#17855190)

              Well, maybe that's a signal we're looking at things incorrectly, then. Why not build a stable core - multitasking, networking, application sandboxing, list management, basic graphics with user-settable bitmaps and/or polygonal models -- the rest of the usual suspects like disk io and USB -- and then let the user decide if they want, for instance, to add a 3d desktop with voice and haptic features, widgets, zooming, 400 language compatibility (OSX carries a crapload of language stuff to your drive it doesn't really need to, for instance) and drivers for every printer ever known to man?

              Primarily because the vast, vast majority of consumers lack the knowledge and, more importantly, the will, to do so.

              Heck, *I* have zero interest in doing that sort of thing these days, and it wasn't that long ago I did the whole Linux-from-scratch thing, just for the hell of it. I'm more than happy to sacrifice some (dirt cheap) disk space and processor time, to save myself the effort of putting the whole thing together myself and subsequently having to keep it maintained. This is precisely the same reason I don't use Linux on my desktop - because it's more work to get everything going and keep it that way.

              That almost sounds like a linux release, but the key thing missing in all linux versions is a stable and always-there set of GUI tools so applications can run on the OS itself.

              Close. More important than the "set of GUI tools" is a standard, stable, "set of libraries" (I use the term "libraries", but I basically mean a stable, defined set of basic functionalities that will _always_ be present in a known form). This is a _huge_ feature than OS X (and Windows) has over Linux.

              Hardware resources are _cheap_. My time - and developers' time - is _expensive_. Sacrificing hardware resources to get better software, quicker, is a more than reasonable tradeoff and, ultimately, the whole point of computers in the first place.

              The point of software [like this] is not to use as little hardware resources as possible. The point of software is to make my life as easy as it possibly can and the hardware resources be damned.

              • by jlarocco (851450) on Friday February 02, 2007 @04:49AM (#17856224) Homepage

                Heck, *I* have zero interest in doing that sort of thing these days, and it wasn't that long ago I did the whole Linux-from-scratch thing, just for the hell of it. I'm more than happy to sacrifice some (dirt cheap) disk space and processor time, to save myself the effort of putting the whole thing together myself and subsequently having to keep it maintained. This is precisely the same reason I don't use Linux on my desktop - because it's more work to get everything going and keep it that way.

                No shit? Linux From Scratch is hard to maintain? I'm shocked! Shocked! Did you really just say that Linux From Scatch was hard to maintain, so you stopped using Linux? Linux From Scratch is meant to teach the deep inner workings of Linux, it's not supposed to be easy to maintain. There are dozens of Linux distros meant to be "easy to use", but you went ahead and picked the one that's purposely difficult? I don't think Linux From Scratch is your problem here.

                Debian's testing branch is more stable than your LFS, it's current within a week of new software releases, and you can get daily automatic updates with a click of a button. I'm sure you'll point out some reason the average user is too stupid to do that, but it's a hell of a lot easier than LFS.

                Close. More important than the "set of GUI tools" is a standard, stable, "set of libraries" (I use the term "libraries", but I basically mean a stable, defined set of basic functionalities that will _always_ be present in a known form). This is a _huge_ feature than OS X (and Windows) has over Linux.

                Why should I, as a user, have to worry about libraries? I shouldn't. And with a distro like Debian or SuSe, I don't. I open Synaptic, click on the application I want, click "Apply", and the application is installed along with any necessary libraries. Oh, and it'll automatically get updated along with the rest of the system. Try doing that on Mac or Windows.

                As a developer, I still don't see your point. It makes very little difference to me if I'm using the API built into the OS, or a third party library. In one case I'll have to add a line to the build scripts. Big fuckin' deal.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by DrSkwid (118965)

              Building a kernel with just the drivers you want to use was one of the first post-installation jobs of FreeBSD.

              You can't even boot Linux from a floppy no more :(

              The main OSes are big balls of cruft bloated horribly by the 80/20 rule for general purpose computing but only the OSS ones allow you to do something about it.

              Even then you still face the possible time penalty of recompiling userland. That's why I'm glad plan9 only takes 15 mins to make world.

              • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

                by Chatterton (228704)
                You can't even boot Linux from a floppy no more :(

                Hum, I can boot linux on a single floppy and make it my firewall with all the needed utilities. For exemple with Coyote Linux [coyotelinux.com]...
            • by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Friday February 02, 2007 @06:33AM (#17856670) Homepage Journal
              ``That almost sounds like a linux release, but the key thing missing in all linux versions is a stable and always-there set of GUI tools so applications can run on the OS itself. linux (IMO) is crippled by that lack of a standard GUI layer.''

              I still fail to see how this makes sense. I think you have fallen into the trap of thinking that Linux is an operating system. It's not. Linux is the kernel. From there, you mix and match. Most distros use a GNU userland, but there are other options. Many distros use X.org, but there are other options. Some distros use GNOME. Others use KDE. Others use neither. If you think of Linux as an operating system, it's a big mess. But how can you think of something embedded in your WLAN router and something that runs your desktop with OpenGL and bells and whistles as the same OS?

              Once you accept that there isn't a single Linux OS, but that there are multiple operating systems, each built on top of the Linux kernel, things will start to look very different. Now, for example, you have FREESCO, which doesn't have a GUI (I think), and Ubuntu, which uses GNOME for its GUI.

              Now, back to your comment. You say:

              ``the key thing missing in all linux versions is a stable and always-there set of GUI tools''

              Ubuntu has these, and so do many other distros.

              ``linux (IMO) is crippled by that lack of a standard GUI layer.''

              I don't see how the fact that FREESCO does not incorporate GNOME cripples Ubuntu in any way.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              That almost sounds like a linux release, but the key thing missing in all linux versions is a stable and always-there set of GUI tools so applications can run on the OS itself. linux (IMO) is crippled by that lack of a standard GUI layer.

              It does have a standard GUI - three of them in fact. Don't think of them as "not a standard", think of them as options. In Windows, you get just one option - Microsoft's. In Linux, you get more than one. If you don't like GNOME, switch to KDE. If those are too heavyweight, switch to XFCE. It's still the same operating system with the same applications and tools, just a different front end. Plus, have you looked at all the extra add-on crap with Windows now? WindowBlinds and ObjectDesktop changes th

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by drsmithy (35869)

          Why would they accept an OS that gets slower with every release?

          Because a) in many cases it isn't true (the higher end your hardware, the less true it is) and b) in the cases where it isn't, it's quite normal behaviour (eg: more recent versions of Linux are slower on low-end machines than older ones).

          The only OS in recent memory that has improved in performance on low end machines with new releases is OS X, which has far, far more to do with how dismally slow it was at initial release and compiler improv

      • by whoever57 (658626) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @10:08PM (#17853764) Journal

        I have to ask myself what sort of people would subject themselves to this sort of abuse. It has just been getting worse since the days of Windows 95. Every new release of Windows comes with some new anti-piracy hassle, and every time it seems to cause major problems.
        They just don't think there is an alternative. They are so used to Windows that they think a Mac would be difficult to use, and as for Linux: "it's just for hackers and geeks isn't it?"

        To use an old truism: "the devil you know ...."
      • by dutin (890499) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @10:13PM (#17853792)
        "Why do they accept being treated like criminals? Why do they accept being treated like nothing more than shit?"

        Don't know if you're in the US, but it's commonplace here now. For example, if you have a head cold and want some plain old Sudafed, you are treated as a possible criminal and have your license scanned or number tracked on paper and you have to sign for it.

        Actually, I tend to feel like I'm being treated like a criminal unless I've been robbed.
      • by TropicalCoder (898500) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @10:48PM (#17854148) Homepage Journal

        I just posted this in the topic about Window's new DRM patents, and realized after that that discussion is already dead. Seems everyone jumped into the discussion about the guy who gave up on Linux after 10 years, and now there has been almost a dozen discussions since then. I just want to make a point I feel really strongly about. I don't think there is anything really wrong with this if you are up front about it. At the risk of being marked off topic, here I go with my little rant...

        While many of you Linux user don't seem to be too worried about this, I think you should be. As pointed out by others, it will have a detrimental effect right across the board. No more dual boot with Windows and Linux. No Wine, no more popular drivers for Linux because of the DRM, no virtual machines that run Linux without paying a Windows tax, and in the end, it will get harder every day to find a computer that will even run Linux.

        As a Window's programmer since 3.1, I am seeing a nightmare scenario staring me in the face. I can see the day coming when a person can no longer develop software on their own computer, because it will only run in some kind of sandbox, if at all, unless you buy a special developer's license. Of course I too will finally defect to Linux long before that happens, if that is still an option.

        I'm am seriously disturbed by the vision I am seeing in all I have read tonight - but I am too tired to articulate it all - it's late at night where I am at the moment and it's been a long day. It's like someone said - the frog in the pot thing - the public has to wake up to this DRM business before it's too late.

        Before I go - there is one more thing I want to get off my chest here. One might hope and pray that it will be stopped by anti-trust laws before it goes too far, but I wouldn't get my hopes up. Why did the courts not press for a breakup of Microsoft? I think they were leaned on by the US government - for a reason I have not seen articulated before. The fact is that Microsoft is a US corporation, one of America's finest. It brings in big bucks to the good ol' US of A. So from a local perspective, among fellow Americans, Microsoft's monopolistic practices are scandalous, but if an American - especially a Congressman - looks at it from a nationalistic perspective, it's good for America. In fact, the worse it becomes (the monopolistic practices) the better it is for USA. Bill Gates' age old dream of world domination happens to coincide with America's dream of world domination. That's why we can't count on the US courts to put a stop to this.

        Wow - I didn't think I was going to say all these things. It's like suddenly I see where all this is going now, and it's real scary.

        • by Kadin2048 (468275) <slashdot.kadinNO@SPAMxoxy.net> on Friday February 02, 2007 @04:49AM (#17856228) Homepage Journal
          Before I go - there is one more thing I want to get off my chest here. One might hope and pray that it will be stopped by anti-trust laws before it goes too far, but I wouldn't get my hopes up. Why did the courts not press for a breakup of Microsoft? I think they were leaned on by the US government - for a reason I have not seen articulated before. The fact is that Microsoft is a US corporation, one of America's finest. It brings in big bucks to the good ol' US of A. So from a local perspective, among fellow Americans, Microsoft's monopolistic practices are scandalous, but if an American - especially a Congressman - looks at it from a nationalistic perspective, it's good for America. In fact, the worse it becomes (the monopolistic practices) the better it is for USA. Bill Gates' age old dream of world domination happens to coincide with America's dream of world domination. That's why we can't count on the US courts to put a stop to this.

          I think you hit the nail on the head. But you need to look beyond Microsoft. The U.S. Government is -- or fancies itself, anyway -- much bigger than even the largest corporations. They're going to protect Microsoft, because they see MS as a modern U.S. Steel or General Motors; it's a huge part of the national industry.

          Moreover, DRM in general is going to be pushed heavily by the USG, for the "national interest." Even though it will punish consumers here, it's a way of protecting one of the only things that the U.S. exports anymore: "intellectual property." We don't make stuff anymore; we "manufacture" IP. DRM is a way, in the minds of some folks in DC, of protecting that whole category of exports, and maintaining our dominance in one area, at least. Without DRM, the whole idea of commoditizing and selling "IP" on a retail-like market doesn't work; if you can't tie down information to physical artifacts, or make it behave conservatively (even though information is naturally nonconservative), then it's devilishly hard to sell multiple times. And if you can't take one Hollywood blockbuster and sell it 100 million times over, like it's some sort of aspirin tablet that you're turning out, how do you keep the economy going, when nobody wants to buy anything else we make here anymore?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 01, 2007 @10:08PM (#17853760)
      'Kay, this is from MacSlash [macslash.org], so obviously it has a bit of Mac slant to it. However, the story seems to check out and what's worse is the account how Microsoft handles the problem. What a horrible company.

      MS has a Family Program, where if you buy a copy of Windows Vista Ultimate (the high end version), you can then also purchase up two two licenses of Windows Vista Home Premium at $50 each for additional machines in your home using a special web site. This is only offered for those who purchase their copy of Vista Ultimate through a retail channel.

      I purchased the Ultimate copy via Amazon for my Macbook Pro at work ($400) and then when I got home, I purchased one additional license ($50) for Home Premium through the Microsoft web site for my iMac at home. That's $450 that I gave Microsoft.

      The online sale went fine and I was issued a license key for my second machine. The problem was that the key didn't work. I re-entered and double-checked it at length with no luck. Time to go to support. In the email I received it had a web link to follow if you need help, so I clicked. It goes to a non-existant page at microsoft.com, and still does today.

      So, next I called the toll-free number in the email. It turns out that this is a Microsoft number, but for a different project. The person who answered my call was unusually candid with me. The poor people working at that number were not equipped for the deluge of calls they were receiving. They were not even supposed to be getting these calls. They had not been trained themselves on how to use Vista yet and had no idea what to do to remedy the problem. He told me that they've been getting "thousands" of calls all day long for this very same issue and that he can confirm for me that the keys being generated by the web site are not working for anyone.

      He said all he could do was to take my name and number, which he wrote down on physical paper to deliver to his supervisor (I thought Microsoft had email, silly me). He said they were trying to get the attention of someone "higher in the food chain" to do something about it - or at least shut down the offending web page that's issuing the invalid keys. He told me he hoped that someone would get back to me "within a few days" and that he's very sorry but has nothing more to offer.

      Microsoft does not offer refunds for purchases made through their web site and they are sticking to that policy, leaving users like me who already paid them hundreds of dollars with no recourse and unable to affect the remedy to this horrible situation.

      On the very day that an OS is released that's been in development for half a decade, the least I expect is that their ordering systems are working correctly and their staff is properly prepared.

      This has one again reinforced my impression of Microsoft as being an unresponsive company that makes crap software.

      and a follow up from another poster:

      Last night, I received an email from MS Support. The person sending it was telling me that she is taking "ownership" of my case and provided me her direct email address. Finally, I thought, I'm getting somewhere.

      Having heard nothing more, this morning I sent her an email asking for the status of my case. No response yet. I sent another around lunchtime, still no response. So, this afternoon, I phoned them back at the number given to me in the email last night.

      I was horrifed to find out that MS claims my case is closed and resolved! They transferred me to someone who could open my case back up for me, and then back to Customer Service. Being unable to help me, Customer Service transferred me to Tech Support.

      After explaining the whole story from scratch again, t

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jrumney (197329)

        Microsoft does not offer refunds for purchases made through their web site and they are sticking to that policy, leaving users like me who already paid them hundreds of dollars with no recourse and unable to affect the remedy to this horrible situation.

        Does the US really have no laws protecting consumers from this sort of crap? You were sold a product that is defective, and the supplier has no acceptable substitute to replace it with. If you paid with a credit card, the credit card company should at lea

    • by gcnaddict (841664) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @10:11PM (#17853784)
      I tried this out as a test. The family plan activated Ultimate Edition just fine, though I think Microsoft might invalidate it (ew, WGA) once they read this post.
  • by rigelstar (243170) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @08:57PM (#17853100)
    Microsoft has begun its war against the american family. Grab your pitchforks and join the final battle!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by SEWilco (27983)
      Not to worry. Your Microsoft Vista-compatible Family will arrive tomorrow. All will be well. Just ask them.
    • Re:family values (Score:5, Insightful)

      by vought (160908) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:34PM (#17853492)
      Thankfully for those of us with several Macs, Apple doesn't require activation or serialization of the Mac OS X family pack.

      Just sayin'.
      • Re:family values (Score:5, Insightful)

        by clontzman (325677) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @10:36PM (#17853992) Homepage
        They do, however, require that your hardware have a shiny Apple logo on the outside, so let's not get too excited.
        • by Mr2001 (90979) on Friday February 02, 2007 @12:07AM (#17854712) Homepage Journal
          Well, since you're spending an extra $500 for that logo, it'd better be shiny!
  • Well... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Overzeetop (214511) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @08:59PM (#17853114) Journal
    that should keep the number of Vista zombie machines in check for a while.
  • Wait.... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Senes (928228)
    This was in beta and development for HOW long before it spawned a whirlwind of chaos on release? Looks like the MS priority of "Avoiding bad publicity" isn't working out for them.
    • Re:Wait.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by vought (160908) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:32PM (#17853464)
      It's plain to us non-apologists that Microsoft is in need of new, more focussed management. By trying to address so many different markets at once, they're letting their core businesses suffer - and I predict that we will see the same with Apple within five years for the same reasons - although not to the same degree. It happened to HP and IBM.

      "Stick to what you're good at" - something companies know they must do, but can't, because of growth pressure.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by am 2k (217885)

        I predict that we will see the same with Apple within five years for the same reasons - although not to the same degree.

        Well, Apple has been heavily focusing lately. They pretty much dropped off the professional market (ever noticed how the switcher ads presents the PC as the "boring machine for business" and the Mac as the "fashionable machine for having fun"?). They're focusing on home user media applications with the iPod, iPhone and Apple TV, with the Mac as the hub between them -- that metaphor is a few years old already, actually.

        Final Cut Pro, Motion, Logic and Shake are pretty much "also rans" right now. They're n

    • by gcnaddict (841664) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @10:13PM (#17853796)
      Take it from me, I came up with the idea (August 22nd in the Windows Anytime Upgrade beta chat. I won Best Suggestion for it). They never beta tested this. It was a surprise to me when it was actually implemented.
  • by codepunk (167897) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:00PM (#17853136)
    The people this has happened to ought to call MS and thank them for saving them from a pointless
    upgrade.
  • Unacceptable (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mfh (56) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:01PM (#17853148) Journal

    'There is no expected time period for a fix at this time.'
    This is an unacceptable response. As someone who sells PCs, I am looking at Apple wondering when they will get off their asses and start selling MacOS for PC machines, so I can simply stop selling Windows crap.
    • This is an unacceptable response.
      Shouldn't that depend on how long MS has known about the problem? What would you have posted as a ./ comment if the story was, "MS just found out about the problem 15 hours ago, and doesn't know why the keys fail, but has promised a solution in two days." ?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by ad0gg (594412)
      I can cancel your order and issue you a refund

      They offered to refund people's money. Is that not an acceptable response for a product that doesn't work?

    • it just has to be their PC.
    • by AusIV (950840)
      You think Apple wouldn't require activation keys? Then it's only a matter of time until some activation key gets stuck in the wrong box and doesn't work for what it's shipped with. The only viable solution is to issue a correct activation key or offer a refund (Microsoft is doing the latter). They're not going to be able to fix the install DVD they've already given you. I'm not a Microsoft fan in the least - I've spent the last year shifting to Linux and have been running it exclusively for a few months - b
  • Oh no... (Score:5, Funny)

    by tktk (540564) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:02PM (#17853172)
    The keys are valid for some other product. The four words I dread to hear:

    Microsoft Bob for Vista.

  • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:08PM (#17853234) Homepage Journal
    for not installing something as critical as an OS as soon as it comes out.

    Your really have to be stupid to do that.

    • by honkycat (249849)
      Better hope not everyone is too smart to upgrade, or we'll be stuck forever. SOMEONE has to go first.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        SOMEONE has to go first.

        No, they don't.

        Not with Vista.

        This is the first release of Windows that actually does less than the previous one. The people in the article didn't need it, I don't need it, and you don't need it.
    • I'm a long time PC user but isn't it funny how Mac users aren't afraid of upgrades but PC users will say what are you stupid upgrading early? If you listen close and read between the lines I think the best Mac salespeople are PC users.
  • No Timeframe? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Lithdren (605362)
    thats sorta depressing. If I pay for something, and it requires a key to activate it, and you fail to give me that key, you're ripping me off.

    Known issue or not, get them working keys!
  • Not Surprised... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by da' WINS pimp (213867) <dart27 @ g m a i l . com> on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:09PM (#17853246) Journal
    This is the same thing that happened with our MSDNAA lics during the release to OEM's and MSDN subscribers. Just more of the same. It only took three weeks for them to provide a new release rather than new keys. YMMV, but I doubt it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by westlake (615356)
      Just more of the same. It only took three weeks for them to provide a new release rather than new keys.
      YMMV, but I doubt it.

      It's just another non-story, another chance for the geek to vent his rage against the universe. Vista has moved into the home market, where its dominance is as certain as the rising of the sun:

      You have to wonder how long the crowd here will continue grasping at straws:

      I just tested this out for myself. If you received a free copy of Vista from your participation in the beta progra

  • by edwardpickman (965122) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:17PM (#17853314)
    Maybe they saw the Mac commercials about upgrading PCs and they're afraid of the upgrade?
  • digest (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Andrei D (965217) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:17PM (#17853316)
    I think there will be many *issues* Vista will have in the next months. Maybe slashdot should compile a monthly digest and publish that instead. Am I the only one who got bored of Vista already? I'm a romanian, and I don't even consider getting a torrent of vista. Imagine how bored Vista makes me feel!
  • by jpardey (569633) <j_pardey.hotmail@com> on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:19PM (#17853330)
    Yes, defectivebydesign is good. windows and bug are also good. But still, where's the slownewsday?
    • by Aladrin (926209)
      This doesn't really fit with 'slow news day' because this IS news we'd expect to see here. That tag is reserved for things that really don't belong on this site at all, and especially not the front page.

      A major IT producer making a screwup this big is definitely 'news for nerds, stuff that matters' no matter who you're a fanboy for.
      • by jpardey (569633)
        Woah, I meant to make a joke. Bad job on my part. But yes, it is news. I just find Vista more funny than anything else. The increased price of hardware is somewhat troublesome, but I am sure there will be alternatives, such as not playing video games, and pro audio equipment. I'm happy with Ubuntu and Fluxbox and not watching HD-DVDs on my computer. A large percentage of the population probably would be too. Seems a lot of these things are forced down our throats. Urge to critique "free market" rising...
        • by jpardey (569633)
          Oh yeah, it was just that there are so many of these things now. That is not necessarily a problem with the OS, just it seems like reporting on every traffic accident in the world on Slashdot.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:26PM (#17853400)
    Look, I like reading /. for the tech/science news. It's a very valuable tool for that. But, honestly, when every other article is another Vista-bashing FUD extravanza, this site really loses its respectability.

    This site is supposed to be about news and technical scoops not about personal opinion or flame wars. Get a grip. We like different operating systems. All the other ones suck. Let's move on and talk about something interesting.
    • I second that... well said.
    • by AudioEfex (637163)
      Look, I like reading /. for the tech/science news. It's a very valuable tool for that. But, honestly, when every other article is another Vista-bashing FUD extravanza, this site really loses its respectability. This site is supposed to be about news and technical scoops not about personal opinion or flame wars. Get a grip. We like different operating systems. All the other ones suck. Let's move on and talk about something interesting.

      I think you are being a bit sensitive here, at least on this specific s

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by psychgeek (838231)
      This site is supposed to be about news and technical scoops not about personal opinion or flame wars

      You must be new here
  • by wordsnyc (956034) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @09:33PM (#17853476) Homepage
    Seriously. Vista seems to be shaping up as the gift that keeps on giving, if you're in the market for schadenfreude. My guess is that they're actually keys for "Club Clippy," a special secret online video vault full of Ballmer-Goes-Wild scat porn. Ooogaooga!
  • A thought (Score:2, Funny)

    by Shadyman (939863)
    Maybe they're leftover keys from Windows ME that never got used. They've got plenty of those left over.
  • Many (if not all) users who took advantage of Microsoft's Vista Family Discount have been issued invalid installation keys [CC] and cannot install Windows Vista Home Premium.

    Microsoft's antipiracy program is so good, even if you do pay for the software you can't run it!

    Microsoft says, 'There is no expected time period for a fix at this time.'

    Hmmm, they already have the customer's money, are not delivering a product and have no time frame to deliver the product to these people. Isn't that a textbook case o

  • by Ace905 (163071) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @10:23PM (#17853872) Homepage
    I'm not saying Microsoft hasn't screwed up here, but the author of this little 'blurb' put a very anti-microsoft spin on it. The representative they spoke to had said Microsoft was taking care of the issue and offered the only possible solution that could be offered - refund or waiting for a new key.

    This wouldn't be unacceptable if you had a problem _installing_ vista and the sales guy at the store said, "I don't know why you're having a problem, we'll have to have a technical rep. get back to you". It just sounds horrible because it's something simple like a 'product key'. Well guess what - not everybody can make those.

    They are probably under the tightest lock & key system microsoft has because you _don't_ want anybody, even most of your own employees, to be able to create valid keys.

    I think the article's overzealous hatred of microsoft is apparent when the author says, " If Microsoft does not have this issue fixed very soon, they are going to have a lot of unhappy customers ". I'm sorry but I think Microsoft actually knows that, and so do I.

    Don't insult our intelligence.

    That whole anti-ms rant was written based on 1 phone call to a rep that sounded, surprise! reasonable.

    ---
    surprise! [douginadress.com]
  • by WinDoze (52234) on Thursday February 01, 2007 @11:38PM (#17854534)
    I bought a 24" iMac on the day Vista was released (seriously - typing this post on it now). My first OS X machine (although I use them at work), and so far I freakin' love it. And best of all, it doesn't try to tell me what I can and cannot do with media I purchased separately.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Mr2001 (90979)

      And best of all, it doesn't try to tell me what I can and cannot do with media I purchased separately.
      I guess you haven't run iTunes yet.
  • by Todd Knarr (15451) on Friday February 02, 2007 @01:36AM (#17855256) Homepage

    I can understand making a mistake in key generation. Mistakes happen. But what makes me wary is the Vista enhanced authentication/validation process. We know Vista is designed to validate that key not just when it's installed but periodically thereafter. Microsoft knows they need to make a good impression right at product launch, and they still manage to stuff up the keys so they won't validate. My thought is this: if they can blow it now, what about 6 months or a year down the road when it isn't so blatantly critical for them to look good? Are they going to upgrade a server somewhere, blow it again and suddenly my key isn't on the valid list anymore? What confidence does this incident give me that this won't in fact happen?

  • by codecracker007 (789100) on Friday February 02, 2007 @03:11AM (#17855784)
    below:
    [+] defectivebydesign, haha, windows, slownewsday, bug (tagging beta)
    above:
    'Buy VIsta Today' Ad

    All hail the wonderful world of contextual ads!!!!!!
  • Subject (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Legion303 (97901) on Friday February 02, 2007 @04:57AM (#17856258) Homepage
    "There is no expected time period for a fix at this time."

    I guess that would depend on the speed of your connection and the quality of your usenet provider.

    For instance, on my rather slow connection I could have the 32- and 64-bit combo RTM DVD in about 6 hours if I actually wanted it, and about another 20-30 seconds for the Vista final activation crack.

    So really, MS doesn't have to worry about a thing. The market will fix itself. :)
  • uh huh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by s4ltyd0g (452701) on Friday February 02, 2007 @11:58AM (#17859602)
    So Microsoft can't even distribute their own keys properly, and they go about telling evryone that WGA can be trusted and is accurate detecting pirate copies. yeah right...

It is impossible to travel faster than light, and certainly not desirable, as one's hat keeps blowing off. -- Woody Allen

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