Mar. 18th, 2011

Windows

Mar. 18th, 2011 02:16 pm
Last night I discovered that what I'd thought was a spare Vista license was in fact not, in that although the system had installed some time ago without complaint, including accepting the serial number, Microsoft were now pretty convinced that it's a dodgy copy and refused to activate.

This is kind of my own fault, as it was an OEM copy from a machine I still own but which no longer runs any version of Windows, while the box it was installed on is an iMac. I've been "spolt" by software like OS X and Linux.

Anyway. I gave up and decided to pay for a new Windows 7 license. The two obvious options were to buy a boxed OEM copy, or to get a digital version direct from Microsoft. The latter cost slightly more, but had the advantage of not having to hang around more than an hour or two for delivery. So I took the quick/lazy route.

Overall, a fairly smooth experience. The Microsoft web store is not what I'd describe as entirely the most consumer-friendly setup, there were one or two fiddly or non-obvious details to deal with getting the purchase through, and then the download process, while it worked perfectly okay, would've confused the hell out of the average punter. They could make serious use of a good web usability expert.

That done, though, burn the downloaded ISO to DVD-R, boot from it, and it all went Just Fine.

One significant advantage of buying direct rather than going the OEM route: you can fetch either the 32- or 64-bit version from the Microsoft website any time. The OEM versions just give you one or the other on DVD, even though they could probably put both on a single DVD9 with no trouble at all.

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