Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hatin' On Microsoft

I've been a defender of Windows 8 since I got it in January. I read complaint after complaint about it and almost didn't upgrade because of it. Then, when I got it I couldn't understand all the fuss - it works great, it's fast, I don't care about the start button, and the tiles are not in my way when using the computer. So why am I hatin' on Microsoft today?

I got my son a computer a while back, one of the those mini desktops. It worked great but you can't upgrade it, there's no room for a graphics card, etc. After I got Windows 8 on my computer I bought the upgrade for him, too. He loved it and Microsoft offered an upgrade to Media Center for free, so we got that. Don't really use it, but whatever. It was a separate installation after Windows 8 was installed and had it's own product key - which I thought was for Media Center only, turns out no. I had Windows 8 Pro, now I had Windows 8 Pro with Media Center. It's not like just adding a program, it changes the whole thing to a separate product. This became the problem, well, Microsoft made this the problem. It shouldn't make any difference - I have a product key for both, I legitimately paid for Windows 8 and legitimately acquired Windows 8 Pro with Media Center.

My son, older now, was becoming frustrated with his computer because he wants to play some games and the graphics card wasn't good enough. A friend had a larger, upgradable computer that died on him, I checked it out and told him it was the hard drive, but he bought a new computer instead of replacing the drive. He gave me the old computer and I put the hard drive from the little computer into it and - incredibly - it booted up and worked like it was always installed in it. I thought I would have to do another install. The only problem was I had to activate Windows again but I knew that and heard it was not a problem, just call Microsoft and tell them what you're doing and they can clear it up for you. So I did.

The first person I talked to was very nice, I explained the situation and she said she couldn't do it but would transfer me to another department that could help me. The wait was only a couple of minutes, I re-explained everything, was asked questions and had to be transfer again. The wait was not long, the third person was very helpful, she cleared the Windows 8 product key but it didn't work because the product key I had was for Windows 8 Pro, not for Windows 8 Pro with Media Center. The product code for Windows 8 Pro with Media Center was in an email on my sons account and I didn't know the password. I would have to wait until he got home from school. She said when I got it I could call back. And I did.

Now that I have the correct code, I call Microsoft again. I get transferred again. Then a guy asks me my name, number and email, and said he will open a case number and to please hold. Ok. Hold, hold, hold - 10 minutes, hold, ring, click. They hung up. I call back again, explain everything again, give my information again. He said that what I wanted was impossible, the product is too new and Microsoft can't clear the product code for me. You will have to buy another product code. "What? That's not going to happen. I bought this one. It's the same hard drive, the same installation. I'm not buying it again." It didn't go well. He hung up.

No, really, I'm not buying it again. I don't believe for a second that Microsoft cannot clear this product code. I searched the internet for ways to get around this problem without help from Microsoft. There are ways, and then there are ways. I chose to try this one: How to Remove "Windows Media Center" and go Back to Windows 8 Pro. Since I had the Windows 8 Pro product code and it was cleared, I figure it would be the best bet. It worked like a charm, was very easy, and when it finished the desktop looked exactly as before, my son couldn't tell the difference.

Thanks for nothing Microsoft. I'm not buying it again.

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