Windows 7

I just finished a two hour telephone call with Microsoft support. I just wanted to quickly install Windows 7 on my computer.

Problem is this “upgrade” version. You are licensed to install an upgrade version of Windows 7 when you have Windows XP installed on your computer. You find everywhere on the Internet (third party and Microsoft) that you CAN NOT upgrade your Windows XP, but you have the ability to perform a “clean install”.

So, since I knew that and since I had the option to “upgrade” my installation, I chose that option. The installer immediately warned me that this wouldn’t work, since I had a Windows XP installed, so I had to return and choose for the “clean installation”. As expected.

Installation went smoothly. There where all other Windows installations bugged you asking for advanced network options, usernames, keyboard layouts, … this Windows installation just installs. And so we come to the point where the product license had to be entered. The product license is invalid.

I retried, I entered the – signs manually (the installer inserts them automatically), I tried with capslock, without capslock… nothing helped. So I searched for the Microsoft Support number. Online and with another computer of course. The first thing I thought when I was connected with Microsoft was “OMG”. The computer voice was so low, I could hardly understand what they were saying. But, luckily for me, the support guy was understandable and in contrary to all other helpdesks, I could speak to someone almost immediately and thus without listening to some crappy music for several minutes. Microsoft support seems to know what they’re doing. They’re not suggesting “reboot your computer” and don’t answer any other run-over-a-pre-defined-list questions. Straight to the point. And while they’re waiting for their computers to search for information, they note my information so they don’t loose any time.

I had to give them my product key and this was the hardest thing to do of the entire phone call. When you spell some letters, they resemble another one, so he noted the key wrongly for three times. When he finally got it right, he could see nothing was wrong with the number, so he would redirect me to someone of technical service.

This second guy immediately knew who I was, so I didn’t have to explain everything overnew. He suggested to continue without Product Key and reinstall from the same dvd. This would be seen as an “upgrade” of a newer version and thus the key would work. I tried and indeed, that was the solution.


So it takes twice as long to install Windows 7. So far the “fast installation”.

However, after that, Windows 7 works like a charm. So much faster than Windows XP, so much more userfriendly, faster, not only in response time but also as in “userexperience”… Overall VERY happy with the result.

And what you immediately see is that they have learned a lot from Mac OS X. A lot.
Now I only have to try to install some (old) applications. So far, everything looks good, except for the Oracle 10g client. It isn’t supported nor working on Windows 7. It seems that the v11 client isn’t supported either, but it should work. So I’m now downloading the 500MB package and will see what that’ll do…