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Readers on WGA and the Service Packs

Even in the dog days of August, concerned readers took the time to contact us on a couple of hot topics.

On the first, the infamous Windows Genuine Advantage, David reports in fine British English:

"I have had problems with WGA on the install side -- firstly when it was offered up as an update openly and it crashed my main PC. I was able to restore the system once I'd realised the problem after a couple of hours and set the update to not bother me again. A year or so later, it came through as an update disguised as something else, causing the same problem, but due to the subterfuge it took out the PC for the best part of a day. Eventually I had to do a driver update to fix the problem and only later discovered the cause.

"I complained both times to Microsoft and received a feeble response the first time and nothing the second time! All this trouble to benefit MS and no one else -- it really annoyed me that this had not been thoroughly tested and was offered as a critical update. I have since advised all my clients to be extremely wary of MS updates and never to leave them on automatic."

A wise move, David, and thanks for your e-mail.

And on the dichotomy between Windows Vista SP1 and XP SP3, Brian, a Kiwi who will surely be supporting the All Blacks in the Rugby World Cup (which starts tomorrow!), didn't mince words:

"If ever Microsoft offered an insight into its own potential doom, it is Vista. Will a service pack resolve the issues? Who knows? The major hurdle is that Vista shut out a lot of software and hardware that many of us were using, some of it the latest offerings from major companies in their fields. Drivers were too slow to be available and Vista-friendly upgrades are not being offered by our favorite packages. From a business perspective, the cost to own was far too high in a cycle that was too short from the last major upgrade, which many still have not completed, to XP.

"Why much of this happened comes down to Microsoft's business attitude of not sharing code with other providers so they can adapt their offering to work with the new operating system. Trying to eliminate the competition by writing them out of contention in this manner is fundamentally poor business when your profit depends on their ability to keep users on your operating system. Look to some of the examples of good decisions, such as Adobe's to make it work on the OS of your choice -- Windows, MAC and Linux. Although the latest version of Photoshop is only very slowly becoming Vista-friendly.

"I work in computing and run my own server-based network at home. I purchased a cheap laptop so I could get an understanding of Vista. Ended up dual-booting with XP so I could still work with the software I owned. For me, the cost of replacing all the software I work with is not viable until my client base has made a financial decision to upgrade theirs. And remember who they are going to ask for input into that decision."

Brian, we hear you, and you're not alone.

Any thoughts on anything you've read in RCPU? Shoot them to lpender@rcpmag.com. And have a great weekend.

Posted by Lee Pender on September 07, 2007 at 11:54 AM


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