Why can't I activate Windows XP?

,----[ Quote ]
| Summary: I tried to activate Windows XP Home and it didn't work. Thus began a
| phone saga with Microsoft support, ending in failure. Until I fixed it
| myself.
| [...]
| If it weren't for the job requirements, this laptop might just have ended up
| running Linux.


Ouch. Microsoft's reputation sinks further.


Microsoft's Genuine Advantage

,----[ Snippet ]
| A lot of managers are afraid to use Open Source Software, because it
| doesn't come with any support. Of course that isn't true. It is a classical
| piece of FUD. And then again, how much is support worth?
| [...]
| MS: * Microsoft Support. Good morning, sir. Can I help you.
| IC: * Windows displays some strange message on my screen.
| MS: * What's the message, sir.
| IC: * ReadStringFromInf: UpdSpGetLineText failed: 0xe0000102; Microsoft
| Windows is Not Present
| MS: * May I have your product key, sir.
| IC: * [gives completely valid product key]
| MS: * Ok, sir. Can you please reboot your PC?
| IC: * Will that solve the problem?
| MS: * Please reboot your PC, sir.
| IC: * Ok, ok, wait a minute.
| MS: * Please call us again if you eXPerience any more problems. Have a
| nice day, sir. [click]


I work for MS but even I struggle to get a hot-fix

,----[ Quote ]
| The problem took 260 minutes to resolve from start to
| finish and an estimated 90 minutes of Ledgard's time,
| not including the time it took to write-up his problems...
| Still, the frustrations experienced by Ledgard give
| a salutary lesson that Microsoft's online product
| support is mediocre, at best, and will surely strike
| a chord with many long-suffering sys admins.


The top Linux support weaknesses, then and now

,----[ Quote ]
| In 2003, SearchEnterpriseLinux.com visited the Linux support landscape
| with a list of Linux support weaknesses. A lot has happened over the
| past four years, as is evident in the success of Red Hat and
| Novell's subscription-based support models and the meteoric
| rise of commercial-grade Ubuntu support, to name a few.


Microsoft Y2K bug circa 1998?

,----[ Quote ]
| On January 8th of this week my parents received a phone call which they
| dodged because the call was coming through at 11:00 p.m. at night.
| The next day they retrieved the voicemail message which was from Microsoft
| technical support calling me back to see if my problem has been resolved.
| [...]
| I remember in the past year or so when I called Microsoft and the problem was
| not resolved (BSOD after Microsoft patch) that Microsoft did call me back the
| next day to see if i made any progress in my little computer crises (which I
| though was super cool of them... I was really impressed)... *
| but wait a second .... or wait 315,569,260 seconds ....
| Microsoft hadn't done this (call me back that is) the first time I called ...
| and I called many years ago.... but that must have been when I was living at
| home with my parents..... which is why they called me at my parents phone
| number. *


Top 10 reasons why Microsoft's Xbox 360 Customer Service is "teh br0ken".

,----[ Quote ]
| So there you have it Microsoft, the Top 10 reasons your support
| system is "teh br0ken", from my admittedly short experience with
| it. When I'd assumed a company of your size would set the standard
| for customer service, I didn't mean the standard by which to do
| better than...
| I realize it's probably no great revelation that their customer
| service sucks, but come on, why can't they fix this? Can they
| only fix simple things? That makes them useless for people with
| "real" problems.


Another Xbox Support Nightmare

,----[ Quote ]
| We seem to be receiving an increasing number of horror stories from
| Xbox 360 owners who have had to call Microsoft's Bangalore-based
| tech support call center. When your reason for calling is a
| bricked console, one would think it would be a painless and
| quick procedure to get the thing replaced or repaired.
| Apparently not the case, according to Brent from Consumerist.com


Xbox 360s Still Dying, Customer Service Still Crap

,----[ Quote ]
| "They'll handle everything, they're great. They'll even pay for shipping
| and Fed-Ex it for you. That's what they did for my systems (yes, plural)
| when they died."


Which is better for technical support

,----[ Quote ]
| I have found in general that with open source support you often get
| more than what you pay for but with closed source support, by some of
| the biggest names in software, the support is often lacking in the
| value department. With open source asking for support has generally
| resulted in a solution within a week and I have never paid for it.
| However with closed source companies I have open tickets that have
| not been resolved in months. With open source I can communicate
| directly with the author(s) of the program and work closely with
| them to find a solution. Closed source on the other hand has just
| requested information, verified the bug and then informed us that
| the solution may be available in the next release of the program.


A practical guide to Ubuntu Linux

,----[ Quote ]
| Putting off that New Year's resolution to get started on Linux? Here's a
| combination of book and distribution that will lay a strong foundation for
| Linux projects *


A Perception of Lack of Support for Open Source Should Not Stop Adoption of

,----[ Quote ]
| People seem hesitant to accept open source because “there is no company
| behind it” like Microsoft. First of all, from an OS standpoint, support of
| Linux distros by the companies that publish them has come a long way in the
| past few years. Companies like Canonical (the distributor of Ubuntu Linux),
| Novell (SuSE Linux), and Red Hat offer support programs that can assist you
| with your problem, although these programs vary in pricing and how they are
| conducted. The point is, however, that despite the fact that the OS is
| developed, maintained, and improved by an amorphous body of programmers (the
| open source community), there are real companies behind the distros that will
| be there if you have a question or problem.