Microsoft, in a bid to stem the rate of piracy of their software, has come up with the "Genuine Advantage" program. It allows you to check you 25 character key to determine if it is valid or not. They spend significant time and resources trying to keep up with Apple and the company wants paid for its efforts. Fine, I have not itch with that. But when they can’t even figure out if the key for the software they sold me is valid or not, that is a totally different story.
I bought Vista at the time they were running the "buy Vista now and get a free upgrade to Windows 7" promotion. (Before you castigate me, consider the number of web sites that still only run in Microsoft Exploder.) I elected to download both and burn my own CDs if needed (read "instant gratification"). Microsoft dutifully sent me a key for Vista which works just fine.
(Sorry for the delay. Figured I had better go and check that Vista was still ok. It is.)
Yesterday I wanted to load a program on my Windows 7 instance (remember Windows in Parallels on a Mac) and was shocked to find out that the key I had been using successfully for quite some time was no longer valid. In other words, Microsoft thought I was a pirate! I tried checking the key with the tools they supply (like Genuine Advantage) and they told me I had a bogus key. So I called the Microsoft Store, who connected me to Tech Support, who connected me to Tech Support Escalation, who sent me back to Microsoft Store, who sent me to Tech Support, who finally sent me to the one person who said "I’ll look into this and get back to you."
And she did. She got me an answer that fixed my problem. While I wasn’t happy at getting the run around I did and I certainly wasn’t happy that Microsoft couldn’t decide if the key they sold me was valid, at least I did get my problem resolved.