Overall Satisfaction Rating

    Based on 161 ratings out of 658 reviews

    • 5 stars4
    • 4 stars0
    • 3 stars3
    • 2 stars8
    • 1 stars146

Compare Miscellaneous

Research top Miscellaneous recommendations on ConsumerAffairs

Compare Companies
564people found this page helpful

Record a review about your experience with Microsoft :

Login to record a Video Review

Consumer Complaints & Reviews

I upgraded to Windows 10 several months ago. First, all my games disappeared --- including those I had paid for. So much for the "nothing will be lost" when you upgrade. Second, they have fixed it so if you wish to print a selection from a website, you are not permitted to do so with their Edge. You have to log into Chrome or Internet Explorer, then return to the website you are interested in. What a pain! Windows 7 was a dream compared to this program.

Every time Microsoft comes out with a new version of outlook it is more confusing and complex than the last version. THERE IS NO CUSTOMER SERVICE that is easy to access and no way to complain about Microsoft products. This is the problems with monopoly's they quit paying attention to the customer. Outlook is so complex with different ways to create folders, address books, tools, categories etc that I can no longer use it effectively. The address book is horrible with complexity and creating a folder to store emails in is always a gamble... maybe the emails disappear or maybe they don't. If I could go back to outlook I have 10 years ago I would be very happy.

I have been a user of Microsoft Windows since my first computer in 1993. While I have sometimes had minor problems learning the new upgrades, none have caused any significant headaches for me. Until Windows 10 that is. I bought a new computer in May 2016 and it came with Windows 10. I had no other option because they ALL come with Windows 10! In addition to all the issues that others have complained about, I am now having to pay more for my cell usage as I must use my cell phone as a portable wifi spot. Windows 10 is causing me to constantly pay overage fees which is DRIVING ME CRAZY. I am so upset and I am going to demand compensation for the overage, which I probably will never see. If anyone else has the same problem, we need to join together to get some relief!

I attempted to order SlimWire update for 29.97 for 1 year. When I received my order detail the price went from 29.97 to 49.97. When I was asked for my debit card information a second time, that's when the bells and whistles went off. I discontinued at that point and canceled before I could finish the last transaction and because of that I can't produce an order number and yes I would like a refund because when I check the balance on my card 63.00 was missing. I don't know what's going on but there definitely a thief among you, and my computer is acting up more than usual. P.S. GIVE MY MONEY BACK!!!

I bought a Surface Pro 4 at the Best Buy store in Los Angeles, CA, in February 2016. I paid $999 plus tax (U.S.). The tablet worked well until it went off of charger. After that I couldn't turn on computer for 2-4 days, last time in July for 1.5 week. Plus speaker didn't work as well. Since it was still within the one-year warranty period, I hoped it could be repaired. I called Microsoft on July 27. I was told that I could use the Advance Exchange Program and get a new Surface Pro 4 right away since my computer has hardware problems. Then, I could ship back my older device for repairs.

So I start setting up my warranty replacement, and I’m presented with two options. One is a regular exchange, where I send in the device and they send me one back. The other is an “advance” exchange, where they send me one, and I send mine back in the packaging. The advance exchange carries the warning that if they don’t receive the device back in 14 days, I’ll be charged for the full price of the Surface. Makes perfect sense? What’s the harm in doing an advance exchange? None, as far as I could tell. As I’m setting it up, everything says $0.00, you won’t be charged, etc. I finally finish, and the exchange goes into processing. I then get a confirmation email with the following section at the bottom:

“Terms and Conditions: A credit card hold will be applied to your credit card equivalent to the full retail value of your Surface device (plus applicable taxes). This hold is not a charge against your credit card; however, it may affect your available balance until the hold is removed. Your credit card will not be charged and the hold will be removed provided you return your original, qualified device with serial number ** within 14 days of the day you receive the replacement device. If, within 14 days from the date you took delivery of the replacement device, as indicated by the carrier’s tracking system, we either do not receive the original device back or the device you return to us is not covered under the terms of the warranty or has indication of tampering or physical damage, your card will be charged a replacement and handling fee equivalent to the full retail value of your Surface device (plus applicable taxes).

"Tampering of the item does not qualify for service. If our service facility detects signs of tampering – meaning opening or attempting to pry open the outer case of the item, unauthorized service to the item, or damage not covered under the terms of our warranty or removal of the serial number stickers, we will retain the item and your credit card charged accordingly."

Wait what? You put a hold on my account? And you didn’t tell me about it until the confirmation email? That’s not okay. I was not told of the damage clause on the phone, but only in a later email outlining the conditions. I was OK because my device didn't have any physical damage. I received my new device late May - which was great. We set up that new device and sent the old one back next day on the 08/01/2016 well within the 14 days. The instructions provided were to package up the old device with all the paperwork, call up your courier and they'll pick it up. But I didn't want to leave it outside so dropped it off at the depot to ensure it got back safe and sound.

Suddenly on the 8 August I had a charge of $ 1,088 on my credit card within warranty - advanced exchange on our order history!! **?! I called Microsoft - spent 2.5 hours on the phone with someone who had no idea and kept asking for our credit card number - which we didn't provide and they hung up on us. I then spent over 2 hours on IM answering the same questions and they told me tablet wasn’t covered by warranty because of the crack on the screen and they would escalate the issue. Then again another 2.5 hours on the phone answering the same questions and they hung up on me yet again. I sent this device back exactly as Microsoft told me. They charge me without my authority. I want my money back.

On August 10, I received an email from Microsoft Support Team: "I've revisited the results when your unit was accepted on our exchange center. I've confirmed that the scratches found on the corner of the device were self-induced damage which resulted on the charge on the amount hold. Please be advise that there will be no adjustment made on the account. If you need further assistance on your Surface unit, you may visit or call us at 1800 642 7676 in reference with the case ID indicated on the subject title of this email. No need to reply on this email. Closing case. Thanks."

I handed the phone to my husband, who asked if we could reverse the whole thing. Microsoft would send us the old defective Surface and we’d return the new refurbished one. We learned that the old one had been sent to recycling and could not be retrieved. Also, Microsoft supervisor advise me to reply to that email with the pictures attached of the Surface Pro 4 which I sent. I did so. In addition, my husband was told by supervisor Liz, that she is going to escalate this case to level 3 and will take care of it personally.

Five days pass, I didn't hear anything, so I called to Microsoft again to find out status of the claim. I was so surprised, that another supervisor told me that my case # ** was closed on August 10, and NEVER reopened again. Even though I sent pictures and did all my part, Microsoft never took a time to investigate the problem. It is means that supervisor...

How do I know I can trust these reviews about Microsoft?

  • 574,753 reviews on ConsumerAffairs are verified.
  • We require contact information to ensure our reviewers are real.
  • We use intelligent software that helps us maintain the integrity of reviews.
  • Our moderators read all reviews to verify quality and helpfulness.

For more information about reviews on please visit our FAQ.

I am so mad at Microsoft! Two years ago I bought a new laptop that came with a free Microsoft office trial. I never got to use the trial. It expired 30 days after I bought the laptop even though I never opened office! Two months ago I bought a new laptop. It came with the same "free trial". I had hoped I would get to finally try it this time. No such luck. Microsoft says my 30 days has expired. I called the company. They installed office on my laptop for free. I never got to open it. Less than 48 hours later my laptop crashed and could not be restarted.

I took it to the Geek Squad who said it was fried. I was given a new laptop as it was less than a week old. I blame Microsoft. The laptop was fine until they messed with it. I have still never gotten to try Microsoft office, not even once. I am a writer by trade. I write a weekly advice column and have just completed my second book, all without any help from Microsoft office! I will never stop spreading my hatred of Microsoft from every platform I can find far and wide! If there is a choice in software, I will always take the one that is NOT Microsoft.

Microsoft techs have been remotely accessing my computers for months now. All started with my laptop and windows XP. Microsoft took out XP and tech service for it. So I decided to upgrade. I called their tech support. They said they would help me install windows 7. They remotely accessed my laptop and installed the windows program that I wanted installed. After it was installed they said it was completed. I tried to access my windows live mail. I was not able to. I called Microsoft tech support again. They said that they would fix the issue. Well several technical support reps, not just one several of them went into my system and each time they accessed my laptop they each did something different. And made it impossible for my laptop to function.

Put that aside and recently had issues with my browsers being out of date. That was on July 28,2016. My personal apps changed the browser so I had to update mine from explorer 8 to Explore 11. I wasn't sure how to do this so we contacted Microsoft once again for help. The browser was updated then my printer stopped working. The computer was no longer communicating with my printer. I then called Microsoft tech back getting different technical support each time, to fix my issues that were now going on with printer and the new Explorer 11 browser. 5 techs later, my issues have not been fixed, each tech that I am given each one does something different in my computer. Never fixing the issues, making my computers unfunctionable. I am at a stand still now. I'm not sure what to do now.

I've been informed today of the 'big change' in storage to OneDrive from 15 to 5 GB, with a warning if don't go below by today then will potentially lose my information. Really disappointing from Microsoft - very unprofessional and extremely unethical!!

Windows 10 was installed on four PCs and they are all the same exact PCs that were purchased at the same time. Well, Windows 10 has had a different effect on each of them. On two of them we had several errors in the install but finally got it installed. Now we are missing all of our printer drivers. We are basically having to re-install every program that is competing with Microsoft. They ought to be sued for their manipulation and techniques to force you into their products. For instance who wants another web browser set to all defaults of your system? Ya "everything right where you left it" - not a chance liars. I now have an IT ill far more than it was worth. If things are not ironed out we are reversing back to 7. 8 was a joke that's why we never went to it.

I installed Office 2011 on my Mac. Around May 2016 the Outlook started crashing and I called for support. I was told this was something they did not have a permanent solution for because of incompatibility with IOS. I was given the option to purchase an upgrade to Office 2016 which I did on June 23rd. It has been a little over a month now when I noticed my Outlook Auto Reply feature is turned off. I called for support and I was told this features is under paid support and they cannot help me unless I subscribe to the paid support services. I was speechless: this is one of the basic features of email in a business setting and I purchased the Business package. It is just like buying a bike without the wheels. I can't believe a company of this stature is getting away with so much rip off. Shame on you Microsoft! You should at least strive to live up to your competition in this arena. This is 2016, not 2006.

Microsoft 10 and all its failings (AKA Don't Buy Microsoft!). I have been a loyal Microsoft user since it came out. I have been faithful to the code. Recently, I took the plunge and bought a new computer w/ Microsoft 10. I have had it since November and now I want to give everyone a heads up on what to expect after purchasing this product and why you should run for your life. If you have ever considered going to Apple, now is the time. Microsoft will give you no satisfaction.

This product has failed miserably from the start. Numerous problems w/ the product from day one. I bought the top of the line computer w/ super speed and capability from Dell. The computer had problems just running the operating system. Hours on the phone w/ MS support and they recommended I send it back. I did.

They sent me a new computer. Filled w/ newfound promise, that optimism was quickly doused as soon as I tried to work w/ my brand new computer. I had to go back and reload the operating system and then load up all the programs just to make the system read my emails. I had to download additional programs to be able to read the attachments to my emails. I had to download everything! When you spend that kind of $$ you would expect the computer to work, but this is not the case w/ MS 10 and all its components. It is a POS.

I did eventually, through constant dedication and a ridiculous amount of hard work, get the computer functioning on a fair level. But, as always w/ the new Microsoft, just as you get comfortable and feel you have finally worked out the bugs and there will be few if any problems, BANG! All your emails vanish, or the sound quits working, or you have to reload the drivers so you can use the basic elements of your computer. Please understand, I don't have any programs on this computer that could cause these problems. This is my home computer I use for email, music and paying the bills. That's it!

Just tonight, I came home and tried to read my emails. Of course, I would get the message that my Outlook settings were out of date. The program gives me the option of fix my settings. Great! I hit enter and get the spinning wheel of hope... Nothing! It continuously gives me the "Oops, something went wrong and we were unable to fix that" message. Now, every time I log on I get the ping and the message that my Outlook settings are out of date and there is not a thing I can do to stop it. Very, very frustrating. Standard operations w/ Microsoft. They used to field a good product. Those days are over. Don't waste your money, time or energy.

My advice to you is to never purchase another Microsoft product. This was not ready for prime time and Microsoft is not supporting you the customer. I have given my feedback to the company several times and asked for some input or advice to get these issues remedied. Never once have I received any callbacks, emails or inputs to make me feel I made the right choice in my purchase or that I should continue to be a Microsoft user. If you have ever thought of going elsewhere or switching to Apple, now is the time to do it. Don't waste your time or energy or allow yourself to be continually frustrated w/ any product like you will be with Microsoft.

For the first time, I bought a Microsoft device, a Surface 3 for Christmas 2015. It started to not charge properly. The charger seemed loose. I returned it to Best Buy to check it and they told me the charger port was broken and to take it to a Microsoft store. I did and was told because I only had a standard warranty, my only option was to pay another $220 to have my tablet replaced. They don't have a repair option. If not, then, "too bad" for me. I was livid. I will not purchase another Microsoft product again. Microsoft sucks!!!

I decided to upgrade to Windows 10. I upgraded my daughter's and my computer too. Everything went fine with the upgrade. Until I attempted to install Office Pro Plus 2013 in her computer. Since I couldn't do it because the product key wasn't working, I contacted the support, and gave the support tech Alyssa ** (don't remember) the right to access my computer remotely. BAD DECISION. She removed all my rights from Windows. She changed my keyboard. I couldn't type the letter "P" and the number "0". Had no rights to recover to an earlier date, she disconnected me from the internet, no more sounds coming from the computer. A TRUE MESS, which resulted in having to format my daughter's computer again.

I just can't believe that someone from MICROSOFT would do that. WHY? Just tell me that it can be done, but don't mess up my machine. Do you know what is worse? No one can say that they have done it. Very few of us have the knowledge to beat them. This tech support people are savvy. And then, they sent an email apologizing for losing connection??? GIVE ME A BREAK. I DESERVE IT. Up to today, I used to believe in Microsoft. NO MORE. On my first chance, I am changing to APPLE. I learned a LESSON. NEVER GIVE COMPUTER CONTROL RIGHTS TO ANYONE ever again. And "ALYSSA" thank you for making me lose another three hours of my sleep to format my computer.

They killed my computer. They automatically updated it with Windows 10 without my permission. Then, their tech support told me to back it out. When I followed their instructions, it erased my entire machine. Everything. All my files, pictures, music. Gone. Since this was totally unexpected, I did not back things up before hand. Any problems with Microsoft goes to their totally worthless offshore tech support. It has taken me months to get some of it back. I no longer can use my printer which was the best I have ever had. They should be forced to respond to customers instead of routing everything to the India dead end.

Purchased a new laptop and tried to download Microsoft365. I kept getting an error message that simply said I couldn't complete the download and had to call. Did a chat with customer service, who wanted to remote into my computer - no thanks. He could not provide an explanation as to why I was having trouble completing the download. Called. Three times. Twice was told that there was an unknown issue that my Microsoft account was locked and I needed to be transferred to billing. Twice, when transferred, I was disconnected. Third time connected, the guy on the line left, I'm not kidding, like 30 second long pauses of dead air before answering every question I had. Finally this guy got me connected to a page that was not initially coming up at all, I had to specially connect to, that gave me details on my account.

All the while, the customer service rep on the line kept asking me which version of Office I had installed when I told him a zillion times the very reason I was calling was because I could not install it. When he finally connected me to this hidden account details page it simply told me I could not install because my credit card information was not up to date. Not a single rep told me this directly in talking to three of them, and the Microsoft error message did not tell me. We are practically forced to use Office software because it's all anyone uses... And Microsoft doesn't have the tech savvy to install a simple "time to update your credit card" message when a customer tries to download software??? Moronic. I was blown away by this experience.

To boot, I was having such trouble installing that at one point I left the Microsoft site and tried to purchase (I mean, I did purchase) a home version of Office through Amazon. Once I finally figured out how to resolve the issue on my Microsoft account, the version I had previously purchased through Microsoft automatically downloaded (I previously had a 5 device subscription). So that was $69 down the drain with Amazon that I cannot get refunded since they don't allow returns on software. Oh yeah, and, both the Microsoft reps who had disconnected my call when transferring - both of whom had made me go through providing phone number and email address when I called - neither called me back.

I feel that I was deceived when I purchased my Microsoft phone a year and a half ago. Microsoft abandoned its users and no longer offers apps, severely limiting the value of the phone. I can't even save my contacts to the cloud because my phone does not have Windows 10 and Microsoft does not offer it. Microsoft should have to refund a portion of the phone to purchasers of the last two years.

Windows 10 upgrade from Windows 7. Wasted 3 hours with a Microsoft tech who finally informed me I needed to call HP to have certain HP programs reinstalled after they were uninstalled by Microsoft. They had no way to determine this before wasting 3 hours? Is HP a start up hardware manufacturer? How does MS upgrade systems automatically? Is this "problem" unique to HP? Told them to forget 10. I went back to 7.

I'm a student studying abroad. I do not bring my Xbox with me, I leave it at home. I of course did not keep my phone number, as I'm gone for 5 month increments. I have access to the email that I signed up with, and receive emails from Xbox Live regularly. When I arrive home, it says that to be sure that it's me, they have to send a number to the recovery phone. No option for a recovery email. Of course I can't, so I fill out the form to the best of my abilities (billing information and personal information) but can't fill out the parts about email as it is JUST AN XBOX LIVE account, registered under a Yahoo domain. They use the same form for automated account recovery for mail and for Xbox, two widely different services. I do this 4 times, each time waiting 24 hours for a response. No avail.

So two weeks ago I contact the customer service hotline and they say they'll 'escalate my claim' and someone will call me in 3 days. I've been calling every second day since then hoping that they just 'forgot to call me', but no, today they resubmitted my form, because apparently my last claim was already looked at, and no one had done anything to it. Doubtful that they'll even contact me this time either.

So in middle of 2 weeks of business travel in a Baltic country I missed blocking a major Windows update of Windows 10. My laptop is a HP i7 which is 3 months old and very cutting edge with pad functions. I purchased it specifically because it clean of personal content for travel. I spent a day just customizing it with classic shell and all the security layers to travel and prevent outside access. I also needed to present powerpoints to military working groups and didn't want my personal information showing on start screens. So, I have 3 layers software security and VPN service.

So the update changed my username, put my Microsoft picture on front and deleted my pin access. When the laptop finished its 2-hour update and turned back on, I had to cold boot it just to get around the stupid tutorial of new worthless features that I spent a day disabling previously. Next, my desktop background was gone, classic shell had to reboot and all the icons were rearranged.

HERE IS THE BEST OF ALL, my presentation on powerpoint was corrupted and would NOT open. Well being a professional I had a flash drive back-up. This also confirms why you never delete camera cards after downloads and just simply carry extra cards. I take an average of 500 photos a day plus hours of video for work purposes. Lucky that Microsoft couldn't destroy my Nikon and Go-Pro software and I didn't have to reload all the media contents. So, when I gift this Laptop to family member after returning home I will be forever leaving the Microsoft operating system and going to the more expensive but truly a better option.

Bought Office Pro Plus 2013 from University of Georgia when I worked for the University. Turned on my computer this morning and cannot use any of the Microsoft applications. Called the University and they said I needed to talk with Microsoft. Microsoft told me that it was a volume license and it had been pirated and was blocked. I told them that they needed to give me a replacement since I had already paid for the product and I was not the one who pirated the software. They refused and said that I needed to buy the applications again. So I am left with the choice - buy the applications again or not be able to use my computer. Great choice Microsoft. You must be really hard up if you need to take money from retired people!!!

I received the Surface Pro 3 as a Christmas gift last year. 1.5 years later the hard drive crashes just 6 month out of warranty. This is obviously a manufacturer's defect but Microsoft will not replace or fix my tablet. I only use the tablet for business travel so it only has about 50 hours of use. When I took it to the Microsoft store the Tech told me "If you had used it more often this glitch would have shown up sooner and you would still be covered under warranty." They offer a "out of warranty replacement" for another $450.00... why would I purchase another Surface when they don't stand by their products? If this was a car warranty or no... the maker would fix the defective part!! Very unhappy and will not buy another Microsoft product.

You might as well say I was forced to download Windows 10, as I was almost constantly presented with a window on my screen to upgrade as support was going to discontinue for Windows 7, which was great. I finally performed the download and have been unhappy since. My games that came with Windows 7 were not included in Windows 10. I have tried to download them off the internet, but even game sites that said their games were for Windows 10 wouldn't play. I have an HP system with an AMD processor.

The Windows 10 compatibility only goes up to Windows 8. Why??? Therefore I also tried games that were for Windows 8, no luck. Right now I'm so frustrated with Windows 10. Microsoft should have to provide new drivers and new games or give you a way to go back to Windows 7 and provide support for it until Windows 10 works out its bugs. Also feels like they are trying their best to push Microsoft Edge and don't want you to use Internet Explorer at all.

Several times I was prompted to update to Windows 10. I work from home and company software does not work with it. I was unable to work for 3 days besides other issues I came across. Found out Microsoft tricked us when you try to push the red ex to get rid of it the set it up so it confirmed the approval of the update. In the news a woman travel agent sued and won for just that reason. I called cust service and could not understand the man from India or Pakistan, except he said it's the first time he heard of it. I work with 20 people and 4 of them had the same thing happen. Once again a big company screwing us little folks. We need a class action against them. Don't care to get a dime but would like to see them lose millions. Scumbags.

I can see by the complaints that I am not the only one that is furious with the behavior of Microsoft trying to force users on to windows 10. I have consistently declined their offer to convert, and then with total disregard and without my permission have the nerve to install windows 10 on MY computer and change MY operating system. I then have to wait for them to restore my computer back to windows 7 when it should have never been changed in the first place. This should not at all be allowed and I hope something will be done to put a stop to it.

In January of 2016 I purchased an Acer laptop from a Microsoft booth in the Boise Towne Square Mall, Boise Idaho. Within a few hours I noticed that I could not download anything. I took the laptop back and the same salesman exchanged it for a Dell 5500 series. Within a few days I noticed that the 2nd laptop would freeze and randomly restart without any warning. I spoke with the same salesman and he said to bring it in and he would keep exchanging laptops until I was happy. The next day I went to the mall to exchange it, and the booth was gone. The booth next to where the Microsoft booth was said that they left pretty quickly.

I called Microsoft and they walked me through several tests and then attempted to charge me to reinstall windows 10. I told them absolutely not! They eventually agreed to do it as a '1 time courtesy'. It didn't help. I decided to call Dell and see if they could do any better. For an entire week I was on and off the phone with their tech department. They remote accessed my laptop for 1-3 hours at a time. Nothing worked. I asked for an exchange and they refused.

I called Microsoft back, at the same time as having an open complaint with the Better Business Bureau. Microsoft continued to push me from one extension to another. No one would take accountability for any of what was going on. I was told yesterday that I should call billing and they would provide me with a reprint of my receipt, in order for them to exchange my laptop. I called billing today and what did they say...'I'll connect you with Dell tech support'...are you kidding me?! I was right back to the beginning! I am disgusted with all of it!! I thought Dell was awful. Turns out Microsoft is even worse!! So now, I have a black screened, frozen piece of crap sitting in my living room, whose only use is as a paper weight! Disgusted! Angry! Livid! You choose!! :(

Do not buy this. It will disconnect from wifi, speakers quit work, the virtual mouse, whenever you get an update something goes wrong. It has never worked fully for more than 7 days at a time. I have had to do a complete reboot several times, and start all over. I use my phone most of the time because I don't even try my surface. It also won't connect to a printer. SAVE your money and stress level.

I can see by the number of complaints that it is no use for me to waste any more of my precious time to write an in-depth review of this communistic FORCED upgrade. My computer is completely ruined. I now have to buy a new one. Additionally, I was right in the middle of a work project with a deadline. I am now three weeks past the deadline trying to correct the issues that were caused by this mandatory, forced product. What happened to the United States of America and FREE consumer choices?

As many before have stated, Microsoft should absolutely face punishment. This is piracy at is modern finest. Microsoft - you are abominable. This has cost me time, job-related issues, and MONEY. I repeatedly clicked NO until the choice went to NOW or LATER. Then, there were no further choices. Microsoft possessed my computer and inflicted Windows 10 on me, against my will. They might as well have tattooed their wickedness across my forehead - prefaced with 666. That's it - Microsoft ~ Windows 10 ~ 666.

The device would not boot past the BIOS. I called support and they sent a shipping label and said they would replace the product. A week later, it came back to us with a broken screen and a letter refusing to replace because of the broken screen. The Surface had NO physically damage to it when I shipped it out, it was securely packaged by my own hands. Microsoft now claims that we sent it to them in this condition: an audacious claim that is absolutely breathtaking.

I just lost 2.5 hrs of business computer time for Microsoft to jam down my throat Windows 10. I have consistently declined their offer to convert. I am furious that I had to lose use of my computer for this company to force themselves into MY COMPUTER TO CHANGE MY OPERATING SYSTEM! For the first time in 25 years I am seriously considering changing all my business systems.

As many people have experienced, my Windows 10 update was mandatory, automatic, and poorly executed. The specific issue is that, while you may have had a product key before, your "digital entitlement" after the free upgrade no longer has your product key associated with the account. There is a popular academic storefront called Microsoft DreamSpark, which many students use to get free or inexpensive Microsoft products through their university. I was one of those students, and used it to acquire Windows 8 on January 1st, 2014. Unfortunately, DreamSpark doesn't keep track of your product key for longer than 24 months. That should be okay, right? Of course it's still attached to my account? Well, after my fated upgrade, no longer.

This week I upgraded my motherboard and CPU, a process I know would require reactivation. I purchased the key itself (it did not come with my desktop as it is not prebuilt), so this is not an issue. I contacted live chat support in order to acquire my key and make sure I could do the transfer. After 2 hours on chat, they (a) could not find my key, (b) therefore could not invalidate my current Windows, and (c) instructed me it was a digital entitlement and therefore I should be okay as it is associated with my Microsoft account.

I was not okay. Of course, immediately after my hardware swap, I was no longer authentic. I called Microsoft support this time, hoping to get a hold of someone with a bit more expertise. Phone chat asked what my key was, to which I replied I could not acquire it. They stated that "[they] don't give away free keys" and that I had to go through DreamSpark, that the digital entitlement is not on my account, and that Microsoft isn't responsible for the upgrade and don't have to help me. The customer service representative said that it was the decision of her supervisor, who I then asked to be transferred to. She hung up on me. I already never use this operating system for programming. If the day ever comes where Linux becomes a viable operating system for gaming, with high quality drivers as in Windows, I will certainly never again support this nonsense.