While almost everyone is celebrating the wonders of Windows 7, and how it has brought joy to the many who were unhappy with Vista, there are some things about the things Microsoft does that are still problematic, and presenting  impossible stress to some.

The licensing scheme that Microsoft uses has been a problem for some time, and the only positive thing that can be said is it is good that more have not been afflicted with the problems.

PCWorld has more on the subject which might be humorous if not so serious –

Ongoing problems with a Microsoft Corp. Web site handling software licenses have left some business customers unable to activate and use their Microsoft apps for more than a month.

Microsoft first took down its Volume Licensing Service Center for maintenance in early December, after attempts to merge multiple licensing sites into a single, more secure site backfired for some users.

Those affected include businesses purchasing Microsoft software, or resellers and integrators handling newly-purchased software for business customers. Problems they have reported via Twitter include users losing access to paid-for software licenses; an inabilityto login to the VLSC site and fix this for one month or more; and six-hour waits on Microsoft telephone support trying to fix their accounts;

No wonder Microsoft was bragging about the low Windows 7 call volumes. They had to have something positive to put out.

One user said that Microsoft, unable to grant him access to his account and license activation keys, was forced to physically mail him replacement software.

Snail mail in the world of the internet? That is certainly not very forward thinking. It also shows that Microsoft seems to be completely out of touch with the fine control of its business.

In a blog published early Monday, Microsoft “sincerely apologized” for the “inconvenience.”

Unfortunately, sincere apologies don’t do much to pay staff, or utility bills, or other expenses. Microsoft needs to be a lot more helpful to these people than it currently appears to be.

“While the vast majority of partners and customers are able to access the system, there remain some customers who may be experiencing difficulties and it has taken us longer than expected to correct those issues,” said Microsoft. It invited users to send problems via e-mail or Twitter.

Some customers are finally getting their problems solved. Mark Lowe, co-owner of a Raleigh, N.C.-area systems integrator, tweeted Monday that he “was back on track” after working with Microsoft’s Twitter-based support team.

Reached by phone, Lowe confirmed that he had, as per earlier tweets, been “going insane” after being unable to gain access to software that he had purchased more than a month ago — and after spending hours with Microsoft’s customer support.

With his license problem fixed, I ” am a happy bunny today ,” Lowe wrote Monday.

A Twitter-based support team? Are they serious? Apparently Microsoft doesn’t mind the airing of dirty laundry over Twitter either. This further points out the fact that Microsoft is in a position of abusing their customers, mainly because they have no other simple solution.

As I read the story, I realized that I have incomplete knowledge about this, but from what is shown, it looks as though Microsoft is moving in the wrong direction in terms of their support of the customer. Reducing the number of sites may reduce costs for Microsoft, but at what price to the customer? I can’t imagine that the customers inconvenienced for over a month are very happy with a sincere apology, and might be looking to a move to another software solution, perhaps on another operating system. That could be a double loss for Microsoft.

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Apple_Microsoftanother happy Microsoft customer after a month of non-working software?