Activation servers overloaded at Microsoft

We're seeing total overload on our activation servers today so some people haven't been able to get keys to install the new Office or Windows betas. We apologize for that and are working on getting more capacity online. In the meantime you might want to watch the keynotes from WinHEC. Lots of good stuff there.

And keep trying. Hey, I remember when I was a beta tester on Windows 95. I had to download the entire OS on a 28.8 modem! I did that every weekend. How things have changed!


Back in the Office, playing with Betas

Hi ho, hi ho, I'm back in the office and snowed under with 265 emails (and that's after cleaning them out). Whew.

But some interesting stuff coming through my aggregators and email.

Lots of good feedback about Windows Vista. Chris Pirillo sent me and Jim Allchin the kind of feedback that product teams die for (when I was a beta tester I won a $1400 laser printer for reporting about this number of bugs and issues about Adobe Acrobat). Yes, Jason Clarke, I'm making sure this list gets seen by everyone.

A reader asked me whether I think it's smart business, given my visibility, to point out everything that's wrong with Microsoft. After all, that might give people the idea that Windows Vista is buggier than it actually is, was the thesis.

That's a risk I'm willing to take. Why? First, my belief is that my readers are smarter than I am and can figure out the truth. Second, I am sick of companies always taking the "only report good PR" route — that's no way to build trust and improve products together. Third, I know a few people in power read my blog and I want the best possible Windows Vista out there (translation: public discussion increases the chances that these issues will be fixed and not swept under the rug). Fourth, this is the time to fix problems, not worry about PR. Fifth, I assume you all know how to use Technorati to search for the dirt on Microsoft anyway. 🙂

I'll report when things work well too. For instance, Chris Pirillo used to really bag on Outlook (his bashes of Outlook are legendary). But look at his post "Outlook 2007 Might Not Suck!"

Anyway, thanks for this kind of feedback. Anyone else? Link to your bug reports here and I'll make sure they get entered into the bug tracker.