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Microsoft eOpen Site Down For Nearly a Week 133

Posted by kdawson
from the service-available-but-not-to-you dept.
mauriceh writes "Since Monday Dec. 7, the Microsoft eOpen license website has been mostly 'Down for Maintenance.' When we do not see this message, we still do not see most of the normal functionality. As this is Microsoft's main channel for managing and installing licenses for products such as Server, and for open license products for business, this makes the company effectively 'closed for business!' Attempts to connect to https://eopen.microsoft.com/ are redirected (after a bad certificate warning) to https://www.microsoft.com/licensing/servicecenter/sitemaintenance.html. For those who wish to activate Microsoft Business Solutions software need to obtain Software Registration keys, and these also can not be obtained, as the site http://www.microsoft.com/BusinessSolutions/MBSRegistration does not resolve; instead one gets a Microsoft Search page. Telephone calls to their support numbers for the licensing program yield either busy signals, or a message saying one should 'call back later.'"
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Microsoft eOpen Site Down For Nearly a Week

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  • by jkrise (535370) on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:12AM (#30430018) Journal

    and they are trying to upgrade it to XP instead...

  • by the_arrow (171557) on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:12AM (#30430020) Homepage

    Don't worry, they will be back a couple of weeks after new year!

  • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:13AM (#30430030)
    Do I even need to rant, or does the story make it clear why proprietary software is a problem?
    • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:16AM (#30430054) Homepage

      Proprietary software is not the problem. Proprietary software whose functionality requires a given service to be infallible is the problem.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        In this case, yes. But a 100% open service whose functionality required a given (open) server to work wouldn't be affected: just change the server and you're back.

        • I know it's MS and all that but if it was as simple as swapping out a server I think they would have done it by now.
          • by argent (18001)

            If it was free software, you wouldn't need to connect to a license server to activate it. :)

        • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:33AM (#30430174) Homepage

          I meant that the problem is not caused by the fact that the software is proprietary. Yes, if it were open, it'd be easier to fix, but the original problem of failing services would still exist.

          • by wwwillem (253720)

            Yes, if it were open, it'd be easier to fix, ...

            Proprietary software is not more difficult to fix than OSS. It's simply that in the case of open source there are more people working on it. The army is not better, just much bigger....

            • by selven (1556643)

              If the software is proprietary, you don't have the source so your options in terms of fixing it are limited. If the software is open source, there are no such problems. So proprietary software IS more difficult to fix.

              • Yes, but in this case that's irrelevant... if you have the source to whatever software they are using on these servers, you still wouldn't be able to do anything about it, especially without the DB of licenses, you could tell it to look elsewhere, but it still wouldn't find it. Pretend it's YouTube, and forget about open/proprietary ranting... you could clone the site, and servers, but not the content.

                It would be like, editing the source code to your web browser when you can't get online, and "fixing it" by

        • In this case, yes. But a 100% open service whose functionality required a given (open) server to work wouldn't be affected

          I think you are mixing things up a little.

          One, the original point was that proprietary systems without license servers would not be effected for installation. Since OS X has no licenses for example, you could install new versions all day long.

          The second part of that sentence seems to be referring to the document DRM server... even in that case, a propritary solution where you hosted you

          • by GIL_Dude (850471) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:35AM (#30430750) Homepage
            This site isn't really a "license server" in the way that it sounds like you mean though. I use this site once in awhile myself as we have volume licenses through Microsoft. You go to the site to download software (then you have a copy and can use it without downloading again). You also go there for your volume keys. These are keys like a KMS (Key Management Server ) key. Once you have that, you can install as many copies as you want. Or, if you choose to use the MAK (Multiple Activation Key) - those are typically good for 5,000 or so activations. They don't activate against THIS site, so until you run out of activations on your key and need another key you don't need this site. Smaller companies get keys with less activations and may have 100, 500, 1000, etc. on their MAK key.
            • That's a little better in that as you say you are buffered from issues with the key caching, but fundamentally still at some point someone is going to have to go to a server they do not control for the ability to do a new install.

              The description is very educational though, so thanks for breaking that out to understand what is going on more deeply. I guess that's why this is not a bigger issue than it seems like it is currently.

          • by bberens (965711)

            The problem seems to me to be the old "do you trust the cloud", i.e. having crucial functions handled by servers beyond your control.

            For most businesses I think the question is more "Do I believe the random guy I hired off the street is going to be able to keep the service going better than some outside vendor."

          • by Ash-Fox (726320)

            Since OS X has no licenses for example, you could install new versions all day long.

            I thought OS X server came with an activation key requirement.

            • Nope! I've never seen one in the versions of OS X i've used.
            • I thought OS X server came with an activation key requirement.

              I think they removed the serial number from Snow Leopard. Regardless, the older versions simply used a serial number that did not require activation. My beef is with relying on the server you do not control, simple license keys validate via an algorithm which means if you have a key and the install disk it will work forever, without internet access or remote servers.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by dkf (304284)

          In this case, yes. But a 100% open service whose functionality required a given (open) server to work wouldn't be affected: just change the server and you're back.

          Depends on the nature of the service. If it involves large amounts of data and wasn't already set up to replicate the data to a backup system, bringing things back up (whether or not you've got the source code) might be very difficult simply because people don't just want the service itself, but they also want the state embodied by the service. After all, if you had a NAS box with lots of data on it, you wouldn't be able to bring the service provided by it back up just by plugging a new NAS box in. You'd st

          • by argent (18001)

            It's a license server! What kind of open source software is copy protected and requires a license server?

        • Assuming that some other server is running. Assuming the other server has the data you need. Assuming the other server matches the variant of the client you've been using.

          Open source is a great thing, but it's no silver bullet - it can be mismanaged just as easily as closed source.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by v1 (525388)

        Proprietary software whose functionality requires a given service to be infallible is the problem

        and just two stories down is another article [slashdot.org] telling how MS let a cert expire now and it's causing software written in 2003 to lock users out... MS is just flush with examples of this flawed concept today...

      • by argent (18001)

        Well, you know, open source software by definition isn't fgoing to depend on a license server.

    • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:44AM (#30430250)

      Do I even need to rant, or does the story make it clear why proprietary software is a problem?

      This sounds like a trick question, but I'm not sure which answer I'm supposed to give.

    • No, but it makes it damn clear why copy protection is a problem.

  • by For a Free Internet (1594621) on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:14AM (#30430040)

    The rest of the internet is like a sweatshop-slavery conditions! No time off not even on Chrismiss! But Microsoft allows the interent to take a vacations with its family and frineds in this holiday season, which promotes social justice and peace.

    • by Ifni (545998)

      UNITE with the Campaign for a Free Internet because today, our future begins with tomorrow!

      The Procrastinator's Society called and they want their slogan back. They would have called sooner, but, well, you know, this and that...

  • I guess they were too busy trying to fix this problem [slashdot.org]?

    [insert a whole bunch of DRM schadenfreude here]

  • Greetings and Salutations.
    This is the last of a number of massive infrastructure failures in the past few months. The issues with Gmail, T-Mobile, SwissDisk, etc and this should be a warning that the computing infrastructure is becoming baroquely fragile. Fragility and unreliability in the basic tools necessary to keep a business running are hard to deal with in good economic times. With the current, VERY stressed situation, it could easily cause marginal busin

    • by Sarten-X (1102295)

      But what will the marketing departments do, if they can't show off the shiny buttons?

      What will happen to all the unthinking programmers who can't muster anything better than a sliding panel?

      What will happen to the hardware market when a 2ghz computer can actually do a thousand times the productive work of a 2mhz machine from the 1980s?

      What will happen to our economy then? It's bad enough as it is. Can't you see that being intelligent will only make it worse?

    • by Plekto (1018050)

      This is the last of a number of massive infrastructure failures in the past few months. The issues with Gmail, T-Mobile, SwissDisk, etc and this should be a warning that the computing infrastructure is becoming baroquely fragile.

      Nonsense. The infrastructure is perfectly sound. Our reliance on these few companies to do what could be done and used to be done in simpler ways is our problem. These companies care more about their next new venture than doing the extra work to make sure it works correctly the

  • Just a private monopoly in progress.

    In Microsoft's fantasy world, everyone is dependent on them. Everyone uses Microsoft operating systems, applications, and development tools. There is simply no competition.

    Hence the busy signals.
  • New licensing portal (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:46AM (#30430268)

    As a Microsoft reseller, we received notification on Tuesday Dec 8th that eOpen is supposed to be gone and replaced with:
    www.microsoft.com/licensing/servicecenter/
    Of course this new link doesn't work either, but at least we know that the eOpen portal itself not working is intentional.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      same - I've known through the eOpen portal itself since November 1 that the site is no longer going to "exist" as of 8th Dec. So to all the MS bashers - the site going down has been public knowledge for well over a month.

      The new one not working is a separate issue. GG failed migration.

      • by SuperKendall (25149) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:30AM (#30430676)

        The new one not working is a separate issue.

        This is madness. You can't say "Oh well they were always going to shut down on this date" without an implied "the new server will be active". It's not separate in any way, the old server going down and the new server coming up were linked events, the new server being a precondition for the old to vanish.

        Unless you were saying it makes any kind of sense to adhere to deadlines and damn the customers?

        • by Gilmoure (18428)

          We're Public Works. We don't make mistakes.

          *CRASH*

          They've gone back to Metric and didn't tell us.

    • by xmundt (415364)

      Greetings and Salutations...
      Hum...back in the day, when I migrated a customer from one package to another one, I had this tendency to bring up the new software, and run in parallel for a week or so. I seem to have missed the memo about simply shutting off the old service then, at some time in the future bringing up the "new, Improved" version.
      But then, I have spent 30 years trying to actually HELP businesses make m

    • by fermion (181285)
      Which is just another case where MS does not use community standards. Community standards suggest that when one page is replaced with another, the first informs the user of the obsolete status, remind the user to change the bookmark, then redirect to the new page.

      In MS customer service world, the old page is simply removed, and the user is left to wonder what to do.

  • by MyLongNickName (822545) on Monday December 14, 2009 @09:53AM (#30430326) Journal

    It isn't like they are a technology company or something.

    • by fbjon (692006)
      You're right, they're not. Microsoft is a licensing company, the software and technology is just a side effect.
  • As much as I like to bash Mic..well, any organisation that deserves it really...I had no problems accessing the site or downloading ISOs of Win7 and Win7 upgrade Weds last week.

    • by mauriceh (3721)

      This is for Volume Licenses and server products. not retail personal OS products

      • Yes, those too were available if I needed them, but on this occasion I just needed the Win 7 ISOs

  • so eOpen is eClosed for the moment?
  • by UnifiedTechs (100743) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:00AM (#30430386) Homepage

    eOpen was closed on december 6th and replaced by VLSC (Volume Licensing Service Center) at the following link: https://www.microsoft.com/licensing/servicecenter/home.aspx [microsoft.com]

    Morte info can be found at: http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/existing-customers/manage-my-agreements.aspx [microsoft.com]

    The VLSC site also appears to be down now, but maybe the swap is taking longer then planned or they are working out a bug on the week old site.

    Not saying Microsoft doesn't screw up, but lets get all the facts, eOpen is closed for good and has been replaced.

    • I hate to comment on my own post, but I just found out that another service window for the VLSC site was planned on the 12th, it actually states that in the second link I posted below. Anyone in IT will tell you a weekend outage lasting into Monday morning is not a basis for front page news.

      eOpen was closed on december 6th and replaced by VLSC (Volume Licensing Service Center) at the following link: https://www.microsoft.com/licensing/servicecenter/home.aspx [microsoft.com]

      Morte info can be found at: http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/existing-customers/manage-my-agreements.aspx [microsoft.com]

      The VLSC site also appears to be down now, but maybe the swap is taking longer then planned or they are working out a bug on the week old site.

      Not saying Microsoft doesn't screw up, but lets get all the facts, eOpen is closed for good and has been replaced.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Sxooter (29722)

        I hate to comment on my own post, but I just found out that another service window for the VLSC site was planned on the 12th, it actually states that in the second link I posted below. Anyone in IT will tell you a weekend outage lasting into Monday morning is not a basis for front page news.

        I don't know about you but I'd probably be out looking for a job if the sites I run were down on open of business monday morning.

    • by thijsh (910751)

      Not saying Microsoft doesn't screw up, but lets get all the facts [...]

      The facts? Here: http://www.getthefacts.com/ [getthefacts.com]
      Or maybe the facts are also 'down' :)

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      The VLSC site also appears to be down now, but maybe the swap is taking longer then planned or they are working out a bug on the week old site.

      Not saying Microsoft doesn't screw up, but lets get all the facts, eOpen is closed for good and has been replaced.

      Sounds to me more like eOpen is closed for good and hasn't been replaced. Maybe when this new site is up, it will have been. Right now, however, Microsoft is screwing the proverbial pooch, and no amount of apology will remove egg from face.

      • by Vancorps (746090)
        Except that you're complete wrong on all counts given that both events were scheduled. Eopen was supposed to end and Microsoft gave all of us plenty of notice of this. The new site was working for a while but is down for scheduled maintenance. This isn't near as bad as you're making it out to be. It's amazing how people will look for even non-existent reasons to bash MS when there are so many legit reasons.
    • by Kaboom13 (235759)

      I tried to process an eOpen license last week. When the VLSC site finally was up, I went to add the license to our account, only to be completely unable to find an option to do so. Finally I gave up in frustration, and called their tech support line. I was on hold for 2.5 hours, and when they finally answered, was told they "forgot" that functionality when they did the "upgrade" to the VLSC from the old eOpen site. Luckily I already have the media and such, and can go ahead and build the server and put

      • The old eOpen site was pretty terrible, I have to give MS credit for making something worse.

        They're masters at it. DOS 4. Windows 95. Windows ME.

  • by jimicus (737525) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:04AM (#30430436)

    Microsoft are trying to rationalise how their licensing works. Historically, they've had a myriad of different websites you had to use depending on if you have an Open Subscription License, an Open Value License, an MSDN license or a license that you made up yourself with a box of magic markers and a sheet of paper.

    They're certainly trying to merge Subscription and Open Value right now - I recently purchased a few licenses on the OVS plan (the website for which is being shut down) and I'm having trouble accessing them on the "new" system.

    This isn't another "gosh how fragile everything is" story. This is a bog standard "some f*ckwit decided to go live with the new system without testing it properly" story. The only eyebrow-raising part is that you would expect Microsoft to have a whole brace of plan Bs in place at the drop of a hat for just such an occurrence.

    • The only eyebrow-raising part is that you would expect Microsoft to have a whole brace of plan Bs in place at the drop of a hat for just such an occurrence.

      I thought we all learned from Danger that in fact Microsoft had no such plans.

      So this current issue is just Microsoft planning as they have shown us they are wont to plan.

      You would be wise to make future plans based on Microsoft accordingly.

      • by jimicus (737525)

        Maybe I should re-word that.

        One would hope Microsoft would have a whole brace of Plan B's in place at the drop of a hat, particularly considering the recent Danger/Sidekick fiasco. However, anyone who has worked with Microsoft products for any length of time and continues to do so must be fairly used to the triumph of hope over experience by now.

      • Indeed, it's one of the chief reasons I'm going Open Source everywhere I can. Budget is part of it, but it's just as much the obscene horror story that their licensing is. Couple that with the fragility of their only real option for license management, and you get a picture of a company that's awfully good at cashing your check, but has little concern with any kind of meaningfully delivery of service. This is what a monopoly gets you, incompetence and arrogance.

    • by Techman83 (949264)

      The only eyebrow-raising part is that you would expect Microsoft to have a whole brace of plan Bs in place at the drop of a hat for just such an occurrence.

      You must be new here...

    • Even for themselves!
    • Remember Vista activitation problems? WGA problems? All because some F***wit decided to go live w/o testing and having no plan b/c/d in place if it failed.

  • They've been planning to replace eOpen for months. If you had viewed the warning message in red text at the top of the eOpen page since November 1st, you would know this.

    Also, the volume licensing site is usually down on weekends for "maintenance" even though it seems like it's to deter piracy in the form of IT licensing admins logging in from home and downloading software. I don't think I've ever been able to connect to it from a Time Warner home cable connection.

    • by mauriceh (3721)

      And yet, when you get a Microsoft Open License Order Confirmation, the first section directs you:

      Volume License Keys

      Also included on the eOpen site, are your applicable Volume Licensing Product keys for installation of products requiring a VLK. If you are unable to find your VLKs, you can obtain them by calling the Activation Call Center for your region. Procedures for obtaining your VLKs and for Activation Center phone numbers can be found by going to http://www.microsoft.com/licensin [microsoft.com]

    • by mauriceh (3721)

      https://www.microsoft.com/licensing/servicecenter/sitemaintenance.html [microsoft.com]

      The Microsoft Volume Licensing Service Center is undergoing maintenance as part of a series of enhancements to improve the licensing management experience for partners and customers.

      We apologize for any inconvenience and our goal is for the site to be available on Wednesday, December 16, 2009. Please check back on the website sign-in page for regular updates.

  • by myxiplx (906307) on Monday December 14, 2009 @10:30AM (#30430678)

    As one of their ideal customers, we used to make a lot of use of eOpen. We registered all our licences on there, and it was nice, a single portal to track all of our Microsoft licences and upgrade rights.

    Then we left it without logging on for a while (after all, it was all working fine), and the next time we tried to use it we discovered Microsoft had wiped *ALL* of our licence information that we had painstakingly entered into their site.

    Turns out that they linked the accounts to Live, and that your account expires if you don't use it for 90 days.

    Handy that for corporate account licence management, and strangely enough we haven't used it since.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Same shit happened to pretty much all of my clients. I've been insisting that people keep all of their licensing info registered so that they have an easy off-site access point in addition to their regular documentation backups, to keep it "safe" and quick to get at - and after all where better then the very vendor who insists on all that activation and serial number crap, surely they will appreciate their customer's efforts! Even if it is a truly vile de-facto monopolist vendor such as Microsoft ... but th

      • by AK Marc (707885)
        Same shit happened to pretty much all of my clients.

        I'm the free IT guy for the non-profit my sister works for. They got XP licenses back when you could actually buy them. Then, Genuine Advantage stopped working on a computer. The answer? "You don't own that license, it isn't valid." I have a proof of purchase, I have the actual print out of the license (And no, it wasn't an annual one or such). And Microsoft refused to authorize it. So, it'll be back to legal pirating for them. You can't pirate it
  • and people just noticed today?

    Wow Microsofts open source really is grabbing attention!

  • by omb (759389)
    Outages, mistakes, no Certificate, late bad code full of bugs, Bribing legislators and Standards Organizations, Continuing Anti-Trust violations are all in the days work for the crooks from Redmond.
  • by gmuslera (3436) on Monday December 14, 2009 @11:19AM (#30431244) Homepage Journal
    oh, wait, just got slashdotted
  • They were keeping the data on their sidekick!

  • We have a few licenses that used to be managed through eOpen, I never received any notification about its disappearance, but happened to discover the switch to Volume License Service Center on Friday when trying to login to eOpen. VLSC was definitely up and running at that point, I could log in and manage the same licenses that I used to with eOpen.

    That said, the initial terms of agreement screen that appeared after logging into to VLSC was terribly confusing. A blank window with no instructions, I was exp

  • I found the solution and it works for me!!!

    The obvious solution is that you aren't reloading the page enough times. Try it, it works the 16th time!!

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