| By Susan Bradley |
Windows Genuine Advantage: now more genuinely annoying for genuine users of Vista.
A software failure at Microsoft over the weekend falsely branded thousands of legitimate users’ PCs as “nongenuine” and restricted some capabilities.
WGA wreaks havoc on genuine users
First off, I’d like to say that I’m a business person. In full disclosure, I own about 100 shares of Microsoft stock in my retirement plan. I understand the business needs of Microsoft. I understand that most consumer software is licensed for use on one computer per purchase, although many consumers don’t accept that. (It should be said that certain versions of Microsoft Office do permit multiple installations.)
But normally, when a company deals with customers, it takes a friendlier approach than Microsoft is taking with WGA.
On Aug. 28, WGA program manager Alex Koch explained in the WGA blog a serious software failure that marked legitimate copies of Windows Vista as “nongenuine” on Aug. 24 and 25. While I commend his frankness, this is one area where Microsoft really needs to remember who pays its salaries. You, the genuine customers, do. When you buy Vista, you don’t expect to be called a thief when Microsoft has server problems (see Figure 1).
Figure 1. The error message that Microsoft’s WGA server wrongly displayed.