So today I had to call Microsoft. Except it wasn’t Microsoft it was an automated voice as I tried to activate 5 additional client licenses for a copy of Windows Server 2003. No internet access so it had to be telephone. Windows Server comes with 5 CALs (Client Access Licenses) which allows 5 clients to connect, no more. Some software folks were running their fancy stuff which uses Windows file and print sharing to talk to the server app which ran, unsurprisingly, on the server. Only it stopped when the sixth PC tried to connect – this happened to be the PC which was being used to demo the software to the client. I have to drop everything and add in the 5 CALs. Only when I request a text of the activation code it doesn’t arrive. I wait and still nothing. So I call the number again. After refusing to enter any numbers on my phone I’m eventually transferred to a CSR, somewhere in Asia. I’m not racist – I just have difficulty understanding the numbers he is reading back to me – there is about 40 of them.
Eventually I have the key and the CALs are added, everything starts working and we’re happy. I’d like to note at this point that a Linux-based PBX with 7 telephone extensions took less than two hours to set up. This is an entire telephone exchange. I have then spent two days dealing with seven Windows clients and two servers, activating this, uninstalling cruft and agreeing to that. For $DEITY’s sake Microsoft, get with the program.
I got the activation code text five hours later. This was not a network issue either – The Girl had texted me to let me know she was in A&E. Die, foul beast of Redmond, just die already.