From time to time, I'm helping the cheese shop owner down my street, because he is a great guy and he knows almost nothing about computer, but uses it everyday to manage his stock of cheeses and bank account.
Today, he told me that he has an issue with the computer he bought last september, with Vista(ss) on it. As he is using a Account Management system which is not compatible with Vista(ss), he decided to bought an upgrade to Windows 7.
So far, so good. He paid 119€ for the Windows 7 familly Premium upgrade from Vista(ss) Home Premium. Quite expensive, but, hey, you have to pay the price when you don't know that Linux is a pretty decent alternative.
After having installed the POS^H^H^Hsoft, he had to activate the key. But then a message said 'the key is not valid for this version of the product'. WTF ??? So he called me.
One hour on the internet, no help. I have to say that Microsoft web sites are probably some of the worst ever when it comes to find a valuable piece of information. In fact, there is *no* information available.
So I decided to call the Activation Center, because, hey, it's The Activation, Stupid !
I spend almost 2 hours being thrown like a ball from one person to another one, from Microsoft to HP and back, from the useless phone center somewhere in north africa, because it's probably cheaper to pay people there than in France (poor guys, being paid around 300€ a month to pick the phone and hear someone like me yelling ...).
At least, we were able to discover that the package labeled "Windows Premium" contains in fact a DVD labeled Premium but containing the Extended edition. Of course, the key is the Premium one, not the extended one.
At this very moment, I thought that the solution was damn easy : they just have to give me the extended edition key, and voilà.
Fuck me ! No way ! Those guys are so stuck in the middle of a huge swamp of bureaucracy, combined with a large dose of idiocy and fear about the consequences of breaking the rules to help a CUSTOMER (I emphasize this word, because, hey, you know what Microsoft, we are not only USERS, we also are CUSTOMERS !) that they can't provide me with those 24 chars and 4 hyphens (and UUID for those who know what it's all about).
So I told the guy (the manager of the manager of the technical guy I was talking to) that I have a better solution : go on the internet, get a hacked key and that will do the trick.
"But that would be piracy !!!" he replied.
You know what ? *yes*. And you forced me to do that, Microsoft.
Last thing : my fellow Cheese seller will buy a Mac next time. He saw mine, and found it quite wonderful.
PS : If anyone from Microsoft read this, feel free to contact me to help me to help this poor guy. I won't charge you more than 125 € an hour to get it working. I already wasted 2hours of my precious time btw. Prove me that you are smarter than the system you are now stuck into. Remember USSR ?
PS2: feel free to re-post.