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Consumer Vista Upgrades Moving at Snail's Pace 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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Consumer Vista Upgrades Moving at Snail's Pace

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  • really? (Score:4, Funny)

    by President_Camacho ( 1063384 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @03:46PM (#18042806) Homepage
    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: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Valdez ( 125966 )
      Maybe they learned from their mistakes? Give them a small bit of credit, at least.
    • Re:really? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Kelbear ( 870538 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @03:58PM (#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: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        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 tongu
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by lukas84 ( 912874 )
          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 releas
          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by koh ( 124962 )

            I had Vista running on my old R51, which died a few weeks ago.

            Priceless. Thank you.

      • Re:really? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by drooling-dog ( 189103 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @05:45PM (#18044692)

        how is it that they still can't be sure that my laptop is ready for Vista?
        Shouldn't that read, "how is it that they still can't be sure that Vista is ready for my laptop?

        After all, that's what MS partisans say about Linux when it lacks driver support for something...
    • Re:really? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by baggins2001 ( 697667 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @04:05PM (#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.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    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.
    • 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...
    • by rajafarian ( 49150 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @07:01PM (#18045678)
      Ah, I see now what Microsoft meant when they said that Vista would create over 100,000 new jobs in the US and in Europe: Support desk jobs for the resellers.
  • Dammit! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 16, 2007 @03:49PM (#18042848)
    I used up all my good Vista jokes on the last article! :-(
  • they sold it. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by colinbg ( 757240 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @03:50PM (#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.
    • 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. Ma
      • 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.

        I found this out the hard way. The system I bought should be in the upper tier of systems that should run Vista well. It's got the big sticker to prove it.

        The good news is that when I backgraded to XP Pro SP2, the machine just hums. The core2duo lets me run Sonar in 64-bit mode and I get better performance from my activex plug-ins and software synthesizers than ever before. When my old

    • by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @04:27PM (#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.
  • by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @03:50PM (#18042866) Homepage Journal
    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: (Score:3, Informative)

      by stubear ( 130454 )
      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.
      • by Danse ( 1026 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @04:14PM (#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.
        • by bradkittenbrink ( 608877 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @04:55PM (#18043970) Homepage Journal
          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.
        • Get native OpenGL support 3d desktop with Beryl:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beryl_(window_manager ) [wikipedia.org]

          Has very little impact on system performance if you
          have a mediocre video card that supports open GL.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by rvw ( 755107 )

        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 (Score:5, Insightful)

        by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @04:32PM (#18043596) Homepage Journal
        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.
        • by thona ( 556334 )
          Vista runs fine here in computers with an NVidia MX 200, 64 Mbyte graphics card. Age around 4 years. No Aero, but aero is not crucial. 1Gb to 2 gb ram, but then the people DO development.

          And we plan to replace the systems now - but because they are starting to fall apart. The oldest system I have running here is a DUAL PIII. Runs Vista pretty fine.
          • When you installed MS Windows Vista, did the installation process recommend not using Aero or does it enable it by default? If it doesn't recommend whether or not to run Aero based on the graphics card then most users with older (not top of the line at the time) cards will probably be disappointed. Hasn't the "Wow" marketing been pushing the Aero interface as a primary reason to upgrade?

            Personally, I'm OK sticking with MS Windows XP at home. I haven't heard any near term plans to roll out Vista where
          • by gelfling ( 6534 )
            So the advantage to Vista is therefore, what? Isn't it a little bit like a dancing bear? Not so well it dances but that it dances at all?
        • My $40 GeForce 6200 runs Aero just fine.
      • 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?
        • by daviddennis ( 10926 ) <david@amazing.com> on Friday February 16, 2007 @05:54PM (#18044804) Homepage
          Essentially, Microsoft seems to have committed a severe blunder.

          They decided to require fancy graphics cards to run the best version of Vista. This is because Vista offloads the graphics performance from the CPU to the card. This also means that the extremely common "shared memory" graphics subsystems are unusable with the modern Vista, making a lot of strong-selling hardware obsolete overnight. This is the same hardware that makes the $299 PC possible, so you can probably tell how happy this makes hardware vendors.

          The funny thing is that if you have a 400mhz Titanium PowerBook you get those effects and they run a little slowly but just fine overall. Surely the right thing to do with a modern 3.2ghz PC would be to make the effects run off the CPU unless the graphics card was capable, like Apple does with the MacOS?

          I have to guess that Microsoft really wanted to sell video cards, but not even the video card makers seem too happy about this - early reports indicate that driver support still seems a bit shaky.

          So why does the system essentially require 1gb RAM to run applications, when 512mb is ample for XP? It's hard to believe that much requested features like user account control and trying to protect "premium content" would double the requirements. And using your flash card to increase available RAM seems like an act of desperation.

          My best guess is that Aero Glass is really piggish for some reason, but that doesn't explain why even Vista Basic has similar memory requirements ...

          Maybe some other Slashdotters can tell you about that, but hopefully at least I've clarified the video issue a bit.

          • Vista is a pig because it was coded with spaghetti code and visual studio crapware
            that adds bloat, and all the new DRM I am sure adds weight as well.
    • SO... if I get a FREE copy, i don't have to upgrade ANYTHING!!? WINNAR :)
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      > Didn't MS say openly that every $1 of Vista represents $18 of NEW hardware?

      No. What they said was: Every $1 spent on Vista requires $~8 of hardware, $~6 of replacement software (Office 2007 plus everything else they broke) and $~4 of support to make it work.

      Businesses will look at that and should see that the TCO is through the roof. It makes Macs look cheap by comparison.

      Choose here: Vista Pinto edition, Vista Corvair edition, Vista Edsel edition.

  • by WarlockD ( 623872 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @03:54PM (#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)
    • by operagost ( 62405 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @04:01PM (#18043066) Homepage Journal
      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.
      • by WarlockD ( 623872 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @05:32PM (#18044488)
        Yea, I fully admit we did. The main problem was that none of our "techs" were trained. Also was bad management.

        At Stream, we were paid BY THE CALL. It was more cost effective to tell the customer to reinstall, and then call back than to spend 15-20 mins to remove the inf drivers manually. All the while the management pushing for us to have a 15 minute call time. Sure, I might have the skills to bring back a system after getting corrupted drivers and being malware infested, but trying to tell a customer how to do it? Or better yet, teaching a tech who English is a second language and doesn't even own a computer to help a customer on this issue? Reinstall is far much simpler.

        I really think this is what makes tech support so bad. Not only do you have to know how to do the job, you also have to act as a teacher. Atleast I got a free Windows 98 OEM disk during my 6 month jaunt there.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by karnal ( 22275 )
          One of the other things that makes tech support bad is that you're constantly understaffed, yet your Boss may be the type to want you to "keep good relations."

          I have had stints with my company doing PC support - and even though I can still do it, I don't want anything to do with it. Why? Well, the end users are nice enough, but when you have 2 people to 1000, it kinda sucks when things start piling on.... I'm talking repairs, deployment, fixes AND moves, adds, changes (network and phone) as well.

          That's w
    • 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 wai
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 16, 2007 @03:54PM (#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 [blogspot.com], if anyone cares.
    • I read your blog entry and it sounds like you have a hardware problem. I have Vista and a Realtech 97 and have had no problems. (Note my Realtech is the motherboard sound chip, not an add-in card. I also have a SoundBlaster X-Fi, which also works fine with Creative's beta drivers.) The only Vista problem I've had so far is some sort of bug in Firefox that causes the webpage to jitter rapidly up and down by a few pixels. Other than that, no problems of any kind.
  • Support disaster? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by PingXao ( 153057 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @04:03PM (#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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by IANAAC ( 692242 )
      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.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by SeaFox ( 739806 )

        The lowest version of Vista should have no trouble on current hardware.

        Then they've already prepared for this. IIRC, all those free Vista upgrades being given out were for Home Basic. Dell comes through on their promise for free Vista upgrades in the cheapest, yet technically correct sense possible.
  • by Barbarian ( 9467 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @04:12PM (#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.

  • by Ace905 ( 163071 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @04:14PM (#18043276) Homepage
    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! [douginadress.com] | Sometimes I'm bored [prettybored.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)


      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 i
      • by plopez ( 54068 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @05:42PM (#18044638) Journal
        This may or may not impact you but I also factor in add-ons such as anti virus, office suites etc. *AND* my time.

        Linux loses for me since I do not want to spend the time to fiddle with it (also you could factor in a bill rate, say $40/hr for how much it costs you in time), and MS loses due to cost of anti-virus and other add-ons and the amount of time I have to fiddle with it to get it to work.

        When I factor all then in I think Apple was my best, least expensive purchase overall.

        Of course YMMV
        • by just_another_sean ( 919159 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @07:12PM (#18045800) Journal
          Linux loses for me since I do not want to spend the time to fiddle with it

          Anyone who trots out this tired old line hasn't tried Linux in a while. Ubuntu, Mepis, Fedora, hell if your time is so valuable paying for Linspire is an option, all install just about everything you need out of the box to get work done.

          Oh, playing games? Not on a Mac, at least not that many and my guess is that's not what you mean.

          The only other thing I can think of that may take time to get setup on Linux but not on a Mac is audio/video. Not sure about what a Mac comes loaded with out of the box and what you have to download and install yourself but all of the distros I listed above have quick, painless ways to install codecs and players in minutes*.

          So, um, yeah, Vista sure is pissin' off people and OEMs...

          * assumes broadband connection is available.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by stratjakt ( 596332 )
      Why not just stick with XP?

      Who exactly is forcing you to upgrade, to Vista, Apple, or anything else? I've felt no pressure.

      Also I don't get the logic. Apple releases a new OS every year for you to buy, MS, 5 or more. Ultimately, you'll be out the same amount (well, a little more) with the Mac upgrade cycle.

      Why do you feel so much better about needlessly tossing money to Apple than to Microsoft. This, I don't understand about the "switcher" mentality.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by littlem ( 807099 )

      But is there any reason now NOT to run an apple?
      Not wanting to run a non-free operating system seems like a pretty good reason.
  • Bandwagon Users... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Beefslaya ( 832030 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @04:14PM (#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.
    • Part of the "What else is there?" is on the heads of developers. Many places of business use applications that were only written for Windows, and they are necessary for their business. I cite "Xactimate" for insurance estimation. It's not the OS that locks them in, it's the applications that don't exist on another platform.

      And I am as guilty as anyone. As a Mac User, I have not written ONE LINE of Mac Code. I have REAL Basic on my machine, but have I used it? No...

      We as a developer community need to do
    • all it takes it for someone to NOT be able to use some ActiveX feature and they won't be using a Mac or anything else.

      All the Realtors I know (except my wife) use Windows because there is always one web-based thing they use or some Program they bought that NEEDS ActiveX or IE to function at all. I can work around it, but they can't. A computer is just a tool for them.

      Another client wants a security webcam up on his website, but the software that runs the security system needs ActiveX.
      Other than that, t

  • by RyanFenton ( 230700 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @04:18PM (#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:

    https://upgradeweb.moduslink.com/vista/default.asp x [moduslink.com]

    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
  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @04:20PM (#18043394) Journal
    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.
  • Here is my issue. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Buzz_Litebeer ( 539463 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @04:21PM (#18043412) Journal
    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.

  • by maynard ( 3337 ) <j@maynard@gelinas.gmail@com> on Friday February 16, 2007 @04:27PM (#18043518) Journal
    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? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OriginalArlen ( 726444 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @04:27PM (#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!

  • 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-
  • No Shit. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Luscious868 ( 679143 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @04:32PM (#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.
  • 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.
  • uhm ... err ... when is support other than a disaster?

  • by canfirman ( 697952 ) <pdavi25@yaho o . ca> on Friday February 16, 2007 @04:44PM (#18043780)
    With all of the logistical/upgrade/support problems in this release, Microsoft should change the Vista's slogran from "Wow!" to "Doh!"
  • Yeah, gotta love being able to just make up delivery times with no consequences.
    Quote from an email 4 days ago:
    "The Upgrade Software should begin shipping late January 2007. You will receive your Vista/Office software within 4-6 weeks from release date."

    From the upgrade site today:
    "Order Status : Order awaiting shipment
    Shipping Date : TBD. Check back in 2-3 weeks for more information"

    Yeah fuck you HP, lying through your teeth to me...
  • PB (Score:3, Funny)

    by Thaelon ( 250687 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @05:31PM (#18044476)
    You keep using that word. I do not think that means what you think it means.
  • Lots of people will keep their hardware and not switch to Vista. Lots of people will get new hardware with Vista. And a fair number of Windows users will say "screw this" and buy a Mac. Looks like an excellent year for Apple and Dell.
  • by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @06:15PM (#18045108) Journal

    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..

    Huh? MS has already released recommended specs.

    It ran quite well on my old P4 2.6 GHz, 1 GB RAM and Geforce 6600 GT...

    That is, far below what e.g. Dell has sold the past few years.
  • by Malkin ( 133793 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @06:39PM (#18045416)
    They are doing everyone a big favor. Vista's upgrade process is absolutely not robust enough yet for the average consumer.

    Last weekend, I spent two days upgrading to Vista on a machine that was just purchased in October. I did succeed in the end, but it was not without a considerable amount of hair-pulling.

    The essential problem is that if ANYTHING goes wrong, the upgrade suddenly becomes a non-consumer-friendly train wreck. The most painful thing is that there are any number of small hardware problems that can cause the boot to blue screen. If the boot blue screens, Vista tries to boot again. That is, you end up in a boot-loop. The blue screen does not stay up long enough to read it. So, anyone debugging the problem needs to learn about the F8 menu, where they can request that the machine not reboot on boot failure. THIS time. Then, you have to look at the blue screen, and hope that it's something that'll give you SOME clue as to what's wrong. After all...

    IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL ...could mean, oh, your audio hardware is having some issue, or it could just mean you have 4GB of RAM (See KB929777 [microsoft.com]), or any number of other things.

    Vista WILL NOT FINISH INSTALLING until you have done at least one clean non-Safe-Mode boot. However, it WILL NOT allow you to use Safe Mode until it has finished installing. So, there is no way to remedy any problems (short of yanking hardware out of your machine) unless you boot off of the install DVD, and go into the command line tool there. However, you cannot get to the command line tool directly. You have to ask for it to do a Repair first. However, Repair hangs on some machines. (Man, I wish I was making this up.) So, you may have to cancel out of Repair, just to get to the command line.

    None of the three distinct problems that were preventing my upgrade were detected at all by the tool that was supposed to determine if my machine was Vista compatible. Not a single one of them. So, I had no idea where to start looking for problems.

    Okay, now imagine your typical first-level tech trying to guide a consumer through this swamp.

    They can't. This is not something that can be realistically handled by first-level customer support. Moreover, the "just do a clean install" line that Microsoft has been feeding to anyone who contacts tech support REALLY isn't going to fly with people who were told their machines would be ready for a Vista upgrade when it became available. They have already been using their machines, and they expect a smooth upgrade -- not a clean install.

    These companies have a vested interest in making sure that the Vista upgrade process is not going to blow up in the faces of their customers. Because their equipment is very consistent, they face a situation where it's either going to be a disaster for everyone, or it's going to run smoothly for almost everyone. The stakes are very high for them to get this one right. The cost of botching it up will be phenomenal. So, give them some time. Let them get this one right. Or, their poor customers are going to find yourself with your machine torn apart all over the floor, gnashing and wailing, like I was. Upgrades should never be this hard.
  • Good! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by xant ( 99438 ) on Friday February 16, 2007 @07:56PM (#18046234) Homepage
    Upgrade Versions of Vista are Poison [computerworld.com].

    Of course, this has always been true of Windows Upgrade versions, but not to the extent of Vista.

Loose bits sink chips.