Following is a letter that I intend to send to Microsoft tomorrow:
July 29, 2006
“Genuine Microsoft Software” Team
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052-6399
To whom it may concern,
Microsoft’s recent imposition of Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) has prevented me from obtaining my rightful updates to Windows XP. I have a 5 year old Sony Vaio that came with Windows XP Home. I recently “restored” the OS on this computer to prepare it for a less demanding task. When I tried to obtain updates I was given the message that my copy of Windows could not be authenticated and I should contact my “regional support tech”. Who is the regional support tech on a 5 year old computer?
I called MS Support and spoke to a series of kind people in Bangalore who could not help me. They sent me to a diagnostics page where an active x control refused to load. I spent 4 hours online with an unpatched 5 year old copy of Windows, obviously my computer was hacked and my brand new install was garbage. While they would not directly say so, the kind support staff hinted that this problem would go away with a new copy of XP.
The important consideration is that at no time did Microsoft software or support staff inform me that my copy of Windows was not genuine, it simply could not run. This bears repeating, my computer did not fail your test, your test refused to run on my ancient—but legal—XP installation. This is a Sony Vaio purchased from Fry’s Electronics, it simply is not possible that this is not a legal copy of Windows.
Windows is far and away my favorite operating system, however, if this is what the future portends; my 10 years as a loyal Microsoft customer are over. This arrogant and capricious implementation of hurtles to the lawful use of my computer force me to seek my software elsewhere.