Thursday, March 6, 2014

Microsoft Rage Monkey

After a few months of saving up money, I decided to buy a new computer, as our shared MacBook is too slow to run video nicely anymore. Both Gabe and I did market research, and we went to a few stores to try out the available options for an entry-level PC. After a few days, I decided to buy a Lenovo Yoga 2 with Windows 8 -- I even sprung for the touch-screen so I could better use the app-based platform. 

On my day off I started up the computer for the first time. I followed the setup instructions provided by the system, set my preferences, connected to the Internet, and started to complete the upgrades suggested by the system.

When I tried to complete the free upgrade from Windows 8 to Windows 8.1, nothing I did worked. I pressed the upgrade button in every way you could imagine, tried to access the upgrade from the suggested routes, and yet nothing worked. The system would not even acknowledge my touch.

At this point, I contacted Microsoft Technical Support through the Microsoft website. I followed the instructions and allowed the Microsoft Technician to access my computer remotely in order to assist with the upgrade.

After 30 minutes on the phone, with the Microsoft Technician completing various troubleshooting protocol, he told me the antivirus that had come with my system is fully functional but is not enough to protect the computer from the various ills that target Microsoft products. I was told my computer had already – though I had just turned it on – been compromised and that I would not be able to upgrade to Windows 8 until I had acquired a paid, comprehensive antivirus program.

The Microsoft Technician offered to transfer me to escalated Technical Support to have the new antivirus installed, and yes, I’d be paying an annual fee for the privilege of using the computer I just bought. I would not be able to complete the upgrade or safely use my computer until I had a paid antivirus on my system.

This is the point where I realized Microsoft products are garbage -- a cheap money-grab from a company that not only creates a product that is unusable until additional paid upgrades are added, but also knowingly jeopardizes their customer’s personal information from the moment a new computer is TURNED ON. 

This is also the point where the Microsoft Technician decided to derail the technical conversation in favour of sexually harassing me, commenting on my "sweet" and "innocent" voice among other inappropriate and unwanted comments. 

I terminated the call. 

I am going to return my brand new computer. I will not use a product that not only acknowledges its own shortfalls and security risks but then creates a system that requires its customers pay more continuously in order to use the faulty machine. If you know your product has a problem that renders the machine useless, and you have a solution to fix that problem, you fix that problem and provide a working machine. You don’t sell products that do not work.

An Apple computer doesn’t have these problems, and while the upfront cost is often double that of an entry-level PC, I quite simply can’t afford – personally or monetarily – the true and ongoing cost of a computer that runs Microsoft Windows.

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