Saturday, December 02, 2006

Life with Microsoft OneCare - why Vista is doomed

I decide to upgrade my Microsoft OneCare test subscription to a full subscription. This is what happens:
1. Click on link. Opens Firefox. Microsoft tells me I have to use IE. Interesting. I thought they weren't allowed to do that any more.
2. Start up IE 7. Cut and paste link from #1.
3. Enter credit card information.
4. Get to the page that's supposed to update OneCare. Click. Wait. Wait. Wait.
5. After a few minutes click 'retry' link.
6. Get message one can't retry. (The link, you see, was a test. I failed.)
7. Go to support.
8. Try their automated support path. It fails.
9. Follow link to chat.
10. Chat requires ActiveX install. I click to allow, using the latest version of Microsoft's fabled browser on the latest version of XP. Installation process terminates the chat session.
11. Restart chat using back button. Get error message that I need to wait 30 seconds.
12. Wait. Try back button again. Screen is blank. Refresh screen. Now it works.
13. Chat rep says I need to call Tech support.
14. Tech support answers (quickly!). Says I need to call the registration desk. 9am-6pm PT on Monday.
15. On a whim, I try hitting one of the pages from my history file. Now it says 'congratulations. Indeed OneCare now works. Visit their OneCare service page. Experience several major usability errors in a few mouse clicks.
Vista is going to be such a disaster. Thank you Apple. I'm so glad I have only one XP machine to maintain ... and if Parallels works out, one day there will be none.

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