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Archive for September, 2006

Frustration with buying a new computer and Microsoft Reader activation licenses

Purchased a great new machine. Spent $1,500 or more for the hardware. So far so good.
Spend another $1,000 for software to make everything legal. Takes about 20 – 25 hours to make sure all of the programs are installed and activated, the data from the old tablet migrated over to the new one. The go about the tedious job of making sure all of the digital rights are transferred to the new machine (Napster, Itunes, etc.). Again working fine.
Then I run into Microsfot Reader. Download and install the new reader for the device. Open it and all of the books in my library show up. Feeling pretty good I try to open the last one to continue reading it and … find out I need to activate this. No biggie. Go to the web site to activate it only to find out that I’ve exceeded my 6 licenses on my existing Passport account. Unlike Napster, there’s no way to inactivate previous licenses on machines that I no longer own and have been wiped clean before discarding. Submitting a request for additional licenses (which, according to the web site we can do every 180 days) goes into some Microsoft black hole. After waiting 3-4 days with no responses I scrounge around for some telephone or chat support … none exists.
After exhausting all other means of getting support I do get ahold of someone who’s support everything but Microsoft Reader (for which there’s no phone support). Escalate the problem after many attempts and even get a case number SRX060926607092 and get transferred to a "technical expert" who can’t help me either.
Does anyone wonder why it’s so hard for e-books to catch on? Unlike paper books there’s no easy way to transfer the license to someone else or yourself on a different machine. Solve that and e-books would take off like lightning! Why do people seem to focus on the wrong thing and send those of us who try to be honest into purgatory?
Enough spouting. It’s time to have a drink, go buy a paper book and go to bed.