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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.

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