Monday, March 19, 2007

Vista Anytime Ripoff

Before we bought a machine with Microsoft Windows Vista on it we did "all" the required research: which devices we use are compatible (HP printer, IBM Scanner, MP3 Player, Digital Voice Recorder, Digital Camera) and ended buying a new scanner since the old one doesn't work.
We also read the reviews of Vista, particularly Paul Thurrot's exhaustive reviews, and so when we went to the Cresta branch of Incredible Connection we could look at all the laptops on display, and check out the different models and products.
The laptop Penny liked was pre-installed with Windows Vista Home Basic edition, and seemed to be OK. After all, the laptop comes with a Fax Modem and a DVD drive, so one would expect it to be able to send faxes and watch DVDs. If not, we could easily upgrade to Vista Home Premium or whatever in order to get the "missing" pieces. After all, the "Windows Anytime Upgrade" icon was right there in the Control Panel. Wrong! Microsoft lied to us, and continues to mislead its South African customers. The "Windows Anytime Upgrade" facility is not available in South Africa. The icon in the control panel is misleading, because the facility isn't available in South Africa.
Phoning their call centre didn't help. The person who took my call told me I'd have to buy an upgrade and reinstall Vista from scratch. Wrong. The upgrade install does not wipe out all existing applications. At least in theory, anyway. We'll never find out, because of the inexcusable cost of the "upgrade": R 2370 for Ultimate (US$320), R 1821 for Business editions (US$245). "Windows Fax and Scan, available in the Business, Ultimate, and Enterprise editions of Windows Vista". Notice how none of the Home editions are mentioned, in spite of the fact that most homes don't have fax machines, but offices do. And you thought the marketing boys at Redmond were brighter than average. I think not.
The Microsoft SA person I spoke to on the phone said I should have asked for a different version to be pre-installed. That's a bit like telling a car owner he should have chosen the 3litre version instead of the 1600: it sucks. The damage is already done.
Now if we need to send faxes we use my Windows XP Professional machine. I guess we'll have to find a $30 faxing program to send faxes if my laptop stops working. I'm certainly not increasing the cost of a R6999 laptop by another 30% or so just to be able to use the fax modem.


Anonymous said...

Isn't it a bit harsh to say that Microsoft is lying?

Donn Edwards said...

I haven't found anything on that says that the Anytime Update isn't available in SA. The icon isn't greyed out or disabled if the country setting is set to SA. Withholding that information until it's too late is lying in my book.

Anonymous said...

Incredible corruption is insane with there Vista and office price's.

I am a computer dealer, my suppliers dont provide the upgrade editions of Vista, but i sell the full version of Windows Vista Ultimate for R1900, Incredible corruption sells the upgrade version Ultimate for R3200

Thats a R1300 diffence and the full version is the more expensive copy between full and upgrade aswell.

They are in the business of ripping people off.

I agree tho, Microsoft sucks in the sense that it doesnt provide the anytime upgrade in SA.

Anonymous said...

I guy at work with me just bought a computer for his wife with Vista and is also complaining about drivers and wishing he had stayed with XP.

Hilary Reynolds said...

Actually, MS is shooting itself in the foot. No IIS at lower versions. I have to use Windows at home and I need a web server. So what the hell I been wanting to get know Apache and I am not paying MS prices for the "higher Vista versions" just to use IIS.

Anonymous said...

I just used the service here in the US. The download of the software bombed and I could not get to anyone who could aid in restarting the download. Like it's a one time deal.

I did finally get a number for the Windows Anytime Upgrade folks. Called and said I wanted to cancel my order due to the run around I got all day. I was promptly told "YOU CANNOT CANCEL AN ORDER ONCE THE DOWNLOAD STARTED" So here I sit without the software, cannot get my money back and this totally SUCKS@@@

Anonymous said...

Forget Microsoft, it's time to break free and switch to Linux.

Donn Edwards said...

I already have an Ubuntu server and a Debian firewall/web server, but I'm not going the Wine route to run Access97 and SQL Server 2000.

Akira said...

Bought a Toshiba A200-1M8 notebook 2 weeks ago. It comes with Vista Home Premium. I bought the notebook for work, and will probably have to reinstall Vista again once I get my hands on a Vista Ultimate. Vista Home Premium should come with big warning labels saying that it does allow connecting to a domain and does not have IIS! And as u say, the Upgrade Anytime option is there waiting for one to click on it, but I guess big disappointment if u are in SA!

Not looking forward to wiping the current copy of Vista with all the installed software I have on there, nevermind the fact I'm not even sure the OEM-DVD that came with the notebook has any drivers on it (the Vista disc actually just contains an image file which one restores). It damn sure didn't have any XP drivers on there! Downloading 300MB of drivers in SA is not fun!!! Make that 600MB by the time I've got the Vista drivers too...

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