13 November 2018

Oh for the love of Pete…

Yes, I ran into even more Windows 10 activation issues recently.

I didn’t even do anything wrong.

This time, it was a spontaneous message that my Win 10 Pro on my main desktop puter was not activated – just, well, because…

It turns out this was a known bug that MS has supposedly fixed.

Yes, I’m afraid I’ve had it…

It’s either FREE, or it’s not…

Look, Microsoft…

You need to fix this – like last year.

I’ve had more trouble with Win 10 activation this year than at any time in my entire (Microsofty) life.

See: Episode 3: Reactivating Windows 10 after a major hardware upgrade (again)

With this recent “bug”, I’ve reached the end of my rope.

I upgrade my puter frequently. It’s just a thing. Some people have fancy cars and mistresses. I have a kick-ass computer all the time.

If I have to swear at MS every time I upgrade my hardware, then I’m very quickly going to be switching to linux.

It’s just that simple. There comes a point where I simply can’t be arsed dealing with this “activation” crap any more.

What MS needs to do

It’s really not complicated.

Charge $49 for ONE version of Windows 10, 11, or whatever you want to call it.

That’s it.

Stop this nonsense with Product ID keys, re-activation, blah blah blah…

Honestly, no one cares. It should be transparent to the end user. Do I really have to explain this??

What we DO care about is that our computer works. And 2018 has been the year of “WTF” events in the realm of activation problems, disappearing files, etc.

I strongly suspect that like this recent “activation mishap” with Win 10 Pro, my previous struggles were also due to bugs and weaknesses in MS’ strategy.

That strategy is to basically give Win 10 away for free, and then nab people on SaaS – Software as a Service.

That’s quite possibly the most asinine idea I’ve ever heard.

The Microsoft Store is literally a joke compared to the Google Play Store, etc.

Let me say that again

So, what MS needs to do is come out with a new version of Windows every 2-4 years. Charge $49 for it.

Ya know, the price of a video game.

And then make it EASY to pay for it.

Make it so that I can upgrade to Win XX easily – I can pay via credit card, Bitcoin, PayPal, or whatever else before the upgrade even starts. Ya know: EASY! The opposite of “difficult” and “painful”.

This whole idea of making everything work via the MS Store is for the birds – especially since it often doesn’t work, especially if you’re outside the USA.

When I tried to buy a retail copy of Win 10 Pro N via the Windows Store a few days ago, it told me, “Sorry, there was an error.”

Gosh, thanks.


First you introduce a bug that deactivates my valid Win 10 Pro N, then you won’t let me buy a new copy easily even if I wanted to, and then THREE DAYS LATER you finally tell me, “Oh, sorry, our fault!”


Scottie’s Recommendations for Microsoft Fiscal Year 2019:

Step 1: Fire some people. I never had issues with re-activating Win 7. Ever. I could even use the automated activation system instead of trying to speak to some Indian dude who is barely fluent in my native language. Not your fault, hardworking Indian dudes! I love ya. That one’s on MS.

Step 2: Windows XX for all users for $49, and that version works no matter what I do to my puter.


Honestly, who wouldn’t pay $49 for a new version of Windows every few years – IF it was made easy to pay for and easy to install?

That’s far better than giving Win 10 away for free, and then beating everyone over the head with unnecessarily complex activation issues. Honestly, we shouldn’t have to worry if it’s an “OEM” or a “Retail” key.

MS can’t even manage to get Win 10 “updates” out the door without destroying people’s files and causing other mayhem. We’re still waiting on the “Big Awesome Fall Update 2018”. My guess it that it will be released sometime in 2271. Is everyone at Microsoft drunk or something?


And then, when I upgrade my hardware, just reactivate the dang OS. That’s it.

Just make it work like we all expect it to work.

That’s the #1 problem with Windows: it isn’t easy to install and configure (“Could not install Windows 10: Something went wrong…”), it isn’t easy to upgrade anything, and it isn’t even easy to buy a copy for cryin’ out loud!

Heck, I can install Ubuntu 18.04 in a dual-boot config and I don’t even have to worry about anything: Ubuntu will take care of the bootloader, boot menu, everything… Right out of the box. No questions asked, and it’s all automatic.

And what happens when I upgrade a puter running Ubuntu? Nothing. It just works.

And BTW, I haven’t talked to a single person who has Win 10 and who even knows what “Cortana” is, so it’s pretty clear you screwed the pooch on that one, too. Too little, too late… as usual.

Why does a multi-billion dollar company like M$ struggle so hard – to get such simple things – right??

So, what’s your favorite flavor of linux?? 😉

Get Scottie Stuff!
Episode 4: Windows 10 activation issues are driving me NUTS!
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4 thoughts on “Episode 4: Windows 10 activation issues are driving me NUTS!

  • 13 November 2018 at 13:55

    I can feel your pain, bro. MS business model has outlived its age. Nobody pays for OS nowadays except Windows users. Users who want best out-of-the-box experience buy Apple products. Many people use Linux for common tasks and they’re not geeks all the time. I installed Linux to several, basically computer-illiterate people instead of Windows, and all of them were happy how faster and more stable their system started to work. MS could safely rename their OS to GameLauncher 10, because it’s the best thing it can do, and one of the reasons why it’s still so popular (another one is a vendor-lock inertia in government and business organizations).

  • 13 November 2018 at 16:55

    Very happy with Linux Mint (a nice distro from people migrating from Windowz).

  • 18 November 2018 at 02:26

    I am gradually coming to the conclusion that M$ is functionally run by Pakistani sympathisers of Al Qaeda, or by staff of the Chinese foreign intelligence service (Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó Guójiā Ānquán Bù?), with the intention of driving the whole of Western society crazy with frustration.

    Especially the speakers of English.

    Have you noticed that most students of IT are from those two countries?

    Just joking.

    I hope.

  • 20 November 2018 at 14:55

    I spent a bit of time playing with a whole bunch of Linux distributions a few years ago, and I’ve kind of settled on CentOS as my preferred one now. It’s basically got the industry & developer support of RedHat, but is totally open source. If you’re going to go to Linux, you really need to look at the software package repositories available, otherwise you’ll wind up compiling and installing a lot of software manually, which can get annoying if you have better things to do.

    The two main repository types are RPM package repositories (started by RedHat) and Debian package repositories, started by (you guessed it) Debian Linux. Both have fairly comprehensive ways to manipulate and manage packages, and many of the most popular Linux distributions use one or the other of these; Ubuntu and Mint use Debian packages, OpenSUSE, RedHat and CentOS use RPM.

    Many providers of commercial Linux applications will only guarantee compatibility with these distros, or distros that use these package management systems, too.

    If you want a nice desktop experience (which is really a must if you’re moving across from macOS or Windows), any of the above distros would probably work well. The site: http://distrowatch.com is a good resource for comparing Linux distributions based on features etc.

    Personally, I don’t use Linux GUIs too much, as I mostly run Linux in virtual machines for server functionality (accessed via console or SSH etc). I prefer to use macOS for personal computing, as they’ve made (IMO) the most beautiful, intuitive and well-engineered GUI out of all of them, plus it has OpenBSD (a POSIX-compatible UNIX-like OS) under the hood, so it’s fairly easy to port any Linux software across if necessary. To me, it’s the best of both worlds.

    For Linux though, I’d recommend Mint, XUbuntu or CentOS, depending on which package manager and software repositories you’d like to use. I haven’t checked up on all the latest distros though, so it’s possible there might be newer ones that have been released in the last year or so that are slicker in terms of GUI and User Experience.


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