Tuesday, December 30, 2008

And while I'm complaining...

The Microsoft License model has it's problems, and I have complaints about it (I use Linux almost exclusively, but in this Windows World, even I get stuck using or supporting M$ products).

For those who don't do serious systems support, when you buy a M$ product these days, you get... nothing. Not one single solitary atom of physical tangible anything to show for it. (Excluding media kits, which they are beginning to NOT SELL.) What you are buying is THE PRIVILEGE of running their (usually) crappy software without getting sued.

I have complaints about this.

To actually activate this privilege (aka "license") you have to go to https://eopen.microsoft.com which is actually one of their LEAST published URL's. There you have to sign in and give them a variety of personal and business info. None of which is needed to "activate the license," that is already done by this point; all they need for that is a pair of numbers which they email to you. The info collected is required before you can simply navigate around the site.

I have complaints about this.

They specifically say on the website to "Click 'Cancel' if you do not want to provide this information." Which I don't. So I click. And nothing happens. I'm still stuck at the same required info page. So I figure, this must be a scripting issue since I am using my trusty Firefox browser (on linux). So I switch to IE7, the latest and greatest, running on Vista Ultimate, the latest and greatest, the flagship of the desktop. Log in, go to download my product (did I mention that you now have to download EVERYTHING? ) and what? the same screen! Click cancel and get THE SAME RESPONSE (i.e. nothing, if you got lost.) Even their own browser won't act right on this page.

Needless to say, I have complaints about this.

So I enter some bogus information (why is that even an option?) and deselect the "May we spam you" checkboxes. Now I can finally download "my" files. But I can't switch back to FF, the whole page brainfarts and dies if I do that now. So still in IE7 I proceed to download my stuff, which requires about 25 clicks and authorize-me's and do-you-trust-this-website's.

Yeah, I have complaints about this.

And in the middle of all that, this jewel pops up on the screen:

This shows an IE7 screenshot which states that the browser can't handle the download, if the image is too small to read. You have to download an additional (3rd party) download manager to get "your" files.

I have complaints about this.

Not that it will do any good.

(edit credit to: darren)

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