Microsoft’s Fraudulent Windows8 “upgrade” offer?

Windows 8

It’s great, it’s beautifully presented, and the best OS I’ve used in the last 20 years or so.

It makes OS X look clunky (which, let’s face it – for Microsoft – is one hell of an achievement)

The upgrade

My primary windows machine (used to) run XP. Microsoft has a “special offer” to upgrade you to Windows 8. So I took it, and paid the extra for the physical DVD to be sent to me. That was on November 20th – more than 3 weeks ago, and it never arrived.

In the meantime, Microsoft auto-downloads and installs “Windows 8″

Or they claim to…

The bait-and-switch

…in the weeks since, I’ve found LOTS of Windows apps crashing, with “out of memory” errors on my 12 GB RAM machine. WTF?

After days of searching, I eventually found the cause:

Microsoft will charge you for 64bit windows BUT ONLY GIVE YOU 32bit windows

They never state this.

Allegedly, the DVD they send (or not, in my case) happens to contain the 64bit version. You won’t know this, but if you work it out, you can allegedly delete the crap they install on your system and replace it with the correct, actual, Windows 8.

The problem: Installed Physical Memory is different from Available Memory

32bit Windows 8 running on a 64bit CPU is ridiculous, from any perspective.

If you run “Device Information”, you’ll see a massive discrepancy between the memory that Microsoft agrees is in your machine (8Gb, 16GB, 32GB etc), and the memory Windows is willing to use (typically: 3.1 GB, 2.9GB, 3.5GB or similar).

There’s nothing you can do to make windows “enable” your memory – a 32bit copy of Windows cannot access more than 4GB of memory, by its very nature.

Good luck finding this out – Microsoft’s own website, if you select “windows 8″ and search for “RAM” or “memory” instead takes you to Windows-7 specific problems. Sigh.

Addendum 1: Microsoft support

  1. Microsoft’s “Live Support” personnel HUNG UP 5 seconds into the live-chat
  2. Microsoft’s official email address that sends the electronic order info … has an auto-responder saying it’s not ACTUALLY an email address, it’s a fake

What can you do? … not much.

Addendum 2: Microsoft’s ‘other’ support

*IF* you can get through to Microsoft’s generic, non-Windows8, support, you might be in luck.

That way, I finally got into a livechat with someone from Microsoft who “reprocessed” the mailing of the DVD. It’s a 1-2 week wait (how are they sending these things – by pigeon??), and we’ll see what happens…

They also gave me a different download link for Windows8, which they specifically stated was the 64 bit version.

…12 hours later…

Nope! Microsoft lied again: it re-installed the OS it was already running, with zero changes. Still 32bit. Still application crashes left, right, and center.

7 thoughts on “Microsoft’s Fraudulent Windows8 “upgrade” offer?

  1. Hirvox

    The good news is that the product key you have works for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions. If you can get the 64-bit ISO from a known-good source like MSDN or Digital River, you can install from that instead of waiting for the DVD.

    I don’t know whether you can do an upgrade install from 32-bit to 64-bit, though. I’ve been using cleanly-installed 64-bit versions since Vista.

  2. Ted Howard

    Just fyi, my Win7 64 to Win8 64 upgrade worked fine. I did the ‘wipe & replace’ style of upgrade. Maybe if I had done the ‘upgrade in-place’ style it would’ve failed (yes, 32b to 64b is failure).

  3. sixcorners

    0e8f2199fae18fe510c23426e68f675a
    md5 hashed my copy from msdn
    64 bit version
    Is your OS X install working well?

  4. adam Post author

    OS X is working fine. It’s very easy to point out what a crap human/computer interface it is – open Finder.

    (Finder is core to the OS, it cannot be removed or shutdown, and it hasn’t been upgraded in what – 10? 15? years? – and it BREAKS core features of the last two OS X upgrades – e.g. scrolling Does. Not. Work. in Finder, e.g. it stutters and hangs if there’s more than 2 screen heights in the scrollbar)

  5. membersheep

    I agree about the finder, they should really upgrade it.

    OT: I would like to suggest you, adam, to change the titles (or the subtitles) format of your wordpress theme, I always confuse one with another (because the lower-level titles are bold). But maybe it’s just me :D.

  6. adam

    yeah, whole theme needs re-writing to be honest :). Sadly, most wordpress themes aren’t standards-compliant, and all need “fixing” (even the commercial ones), so I never quite get the spare time to do it.

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