So, Microsoft, about your tech support structure…

There are a few problems with your tech support structure, Microsoft. Big ones.

1) OEM users technically are supposed to get support from the computer manufacturer. This means I as an OEM Vista user technically cannot tell you that your Genuine Advantage plugin does not attempt to validate anything in Internet Explorer 9, and in fact redirects me straight to a page telling me how much I’ll love Internet Explorer 9 every time I try to run the validation tool.

2) When I ignore the fact that I am an OEM user and try to make my way through the technical support online tree I am not meant to use, the fact that this is a Genuine Advantage issue routes me onto a page intended to deal with issues with valid Windows systems being not-validated or with people needing to make stolen software legal. There is nothing to click on for complete failure of the tool to run. There is nothing to click on for me to tell you that the tool is redirecting to a page telling me how much I should download the very browser the tool will not run on.

3) Most of the answers having anything to do with this? Are for XP users, because apparently the tool never fails to run in Vista. And again, I can’t use the little ‘Ask A Question’ box to alert you to the failure because I am an OEM user – you will find this out the moment things get to the ‘What is your specific OS?’ question and have given me every reason to believe I will get the online equivalent of a hung-up phone once I get that close to an answer even though neither the validation tool nor IE 9 came with the OEM operating system.

So basically, I just went through switching back to the OEM Vista (reimaging off the handy partition my laptop’s maker put on the system) off of XP to use the better speech recognition system, have in my hands the information that hey, the Genuine Advantage Validation tool is borked on at least one system when installed directly on IE 9 instead of on a lower version and then upgraded to IE 9, and because I am an OEM user and your support pages presume most issues with the tool will be cases of mislabeled counterfeit systems, I can’t tell you that there’s something up that could be an issue for anyone trying to install everything through Windows Update after a reinstall and then trying to download anything requiring Vista validation.

Fail, Microsoft.

At this point, I’m less interested in the help (I think I’ve got a backup of the macros installer somewhere) than in the possibility of warning your tech support and development teams that this is a possible issue, but you technically won’t let me do that through anything but posting this and adding your Twitter accounts to the people the Twitter notification is aimed at.

Oh, and the reason I honestly need the macro capability? Even when I stick my last name in the user dictionary, every time I say it I trigger something requiring administrator approval. Every. Time. There’s no way to get rid of that little ‘function’ without using a macro. A setting to not allow speech recognition to trigger anything requiring user rights elevation would have been handy.

Dearly wishing I could directly gripe at a human,


4 Responses to “So, Microsoft, about your tech support structure…”

  1. codeman38 Says:

    On a more minor, but related, note: I just tried this myself in IE9, and it sent me to the page where I needed to install the ActiveX plugin for validation.

    The instructions on this page informed me to look for an information bar at the top of the window prompting me to install the plugin.

    A hint to Microsoft: If the user’s browser is IE9, the information bar is at the bottom of the window…

  2. codeman38 Says:

    Incidentally, as I discovered from a few related forum postings regarding XP: one potential fix is to delete the file c:\windows\system32\legitcheckcontrol.dll. (Or \windows\syswow64\legitcheckcontrol.dll, on a 64-bit OS. I know your processor is 32-bit, but hey, in case anyone experiences this on a 64-bit system…) Then go to the download page again, and you’ll be prompted to reinstall the ActiveX plugin (complete with the instructions that are entirely wrong for IE9).

    And if that doesn’t work, delete the DLL again, and follow the instructions on the page for running the alternate EXE for validation.

    • megaforte84 Says:

      Okay, I deleted the file and am trying again.

      And even after reinstalling the tool, I get the redirect. (No, Microsoft, I do not want to install IE 9. IE 9 is part of my problem!)

    • megaforte84 Says:

      I managed to use the alternative method by going back a few pages in the browser history and making the page stop loading before it did the check for the validation plugin.

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