Microsoft’s unprofessional and defective VISTA platform

Time to hold Microsoft Accountable

Office of the Texas Attorney General follows-up on my formal complaint to State Senator Juan Hinojosa against Microsoft for ripping-off Texans with their unprofessional, defective and incompatible VISTA software. Letter of complaint posted below AG’s response. Other states should follow and hold Microsoft accountable.

Dear Mr. Stern:

Thank you for contacting the Office of the Attorney General.

Your letter has been forwarded to the Consumer Protection Division
(CPD) for review. CPD monitors business practices and determines
priorities for enforcement. When appropriate, CPD takes action to stop violations of Texas consumer protection laws. We appreciate your
assistance in this effort. You may also wish to read the consumer
protection section of our website for more information on the complaint process and for additional options at

Again, thank you for writing.

Katherine S. Wood
Public Information and Assistance
Office of the Attorney General of Texas

From “Peter Stern” 3/31/2009 8:21 PM >>>
Dear Sen. Hinojosa,

I agree 100% with your assessment of Microsoft’s VISTA software. You
are correct that it is NOT worth it to switch; however, millions of
Americans have no choice when they purchase(d) new computers that have the software on it.

I am a Vietnam Veteran and was a Director of Information Services for
state government and private industry. This is the worst software I
have ever seen being purchased by consumers.

Microsoft had no business placing VISTA on computers and putting the
software on store displays.

I filed a formal complaint with Microsoft [see attached] and Texas
Attorney General Abbott’s Office. Neither one has taken any action
regarding my complaint on this software. Microsoft never even
acknowledged my letter of complaint. It knows it has a defective
product since already it is planning to release its new product Windows 7.

I asked Microsoft to send me a free copy of Windows XP to replace VISTA on my system. Microsoft did NOT respond to my request.

The state must go after Microsoft on behalf of all the Texans who
purchased this defective product. Texans must be provided software that works effectively and efficiently. After all, they paid for it.

Please do something more aggressive regarding Microsoft and its
unprofessional VISTA product. The Attorney General must go after
Microsoft and force the company to reimburse Texans for their loss.

Thank you for your consideration of this request.

Respectfully yours,

Peter Stern


  1. Carl Nemo

    Congratulations on your success with MS.

    I happened to witness that a supplied MS reference link with one of my older posts concerning VISTA to another site is now a top pick on Google.

    The only reason I’m reposting the link is so folks won’t think my ravings and ramblings about their glitzy OS is “cooked up” on my part. Enjoy!

    Mr. Stern you are lucky that they simply offered a copy of XP Pro. Take it and run! As far as losing your Sony warranty and other such fears, I’d say “not to worry”. If you have a computer optimized to swallow Vista; ie., the “whole warthog”, then your machine will function in a blazing manner with XP Pro SP2/3… : )

    I hate gimmicky software and OS systems. When it comes to a computer, I consider them to be a tool, simple as that and could care less about superfluous tech specs. If you’re into games then get an X-Box or whatever platform suits your fancy!

    My computer is simply a wordprocessor along with its function as a web connection.

    My games are chess and gomoku which surely do not need speed. These games are like watching paint dry… : ))

    Carl Nemo **==

    p.s. To read the article one would have to register with the NY Times whereas the last time I fetched the link it was instantly available from the body of my written article. It’s the criticism offered towards their own company product by MS vice presidents who could not effectively use the product just prior to release. It also has references to class action lawsuits that are pending against MS concerning VISTA.

  2. pstern

    UPDATE on the Microsoft VISTA issue:

    Since so many of you kindly responded to this commentary I wanted to update you that Microsoft finally agreed to send me a free copy of its Windows XP Professional software.

    However, the catch is that Microsoft will NOT offer free support or warranty coverage on the XP software once I install it.

    If I install the new operating system and remove Windows VISTA from my system, Sony will NOT honor its warranty for my computer since the XP was not installed at the factory.

    Guess the conclusion to this long saga is that customers just can’t win the way the computer industry is permitted to operate. We constantly are at the mercy of those computer and software mega-companies.

    Thanks to all of you for your interest and support in this entire effort.


  3. Carl Nemo

    Maybe Bill Gates or surely some of his staff and employees reads CHB and thought that giving you support as expressed on this public forum is good PR…! Whatever, I hope you get total satisfaction Mr. Stern… : )

    Carl Nemo **==

  4. pstern


    Just received from Microsoft:

    Dear Mr.Stern,

    I am contacting you regarding your recent letter, where you raised concerns about Windows Vista Home Premium. We appreciate your communication as it is important for us to hear from customers using our products, so we know what we’re doing well and what we can improve upon.

    We are sorry to hear that you are having performance issues with Windows Vista Home Premium. In your communication, you mention that Windows Vista Home Premium came pre-installed on your computer. The Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) warrants that the hardware will work with the software that came preinstalled on the machine. If your Microsoft product was preinstalled or distributed with your personal computer the personal computer manufacturer is responsible for providing your product support. Microsoft does provide OEM product support on a pay-per-incident basis. Please visit our website at for more information.

    As an exception though, we would like to offer a callback from a Microsoft Support Professional, who can address the concerns you have with Windows Vista. If you would like to accept this offer, please provide the following information:

    – Details regarding your issue – any error messages you receive before/during the time that the PC freezes/shuts down unexpectedly

    – Web browser that you use when you encounter the aforementioned issues

    – The software products that you use when you encounter the aforementioned issues

    – Daytime telephone number (where you are near your PC) , and a window of time that is convenient for you

    Microsoft stands 110% behind Windows Vista and what it delivers to our customers. Windows Vista was a very ambitious release and we are proud of the advances it delivers to end-users. It contains significant advances in many areas, including enhanced security, better audio and video experiences, and improvements that make it much easier to find all kinds of information, content, and data on your PC and on the Web. The following web site provides specific proof that Windows Vista is faster and safer and shows you the great experiences Windows Vista helps you have:

    Again, thank you for your communication. Please let me know if you would like to speak to a Microsoft Support Professional.

    Thank you,


  5. Carl Nemo

    Hi NumbnotDumb,

    It’s interesting you should recommend an Apple product since I’ve considered doing so with my next purchase. Bear with my technical ignorance, but someone told me that one can also run a MS OS on Apple’s nowadays. Is this in a separate partition or do they mean Mac’s can be ordered with a MS OS installed?

    I enjoy using my computer for writing and digital art which is my post retirement avocation so I’m sure a Mac would be up my alley, but then again I have quite a bit of software that’s based on the MS OS. So a hybrid situation would be ideal for me; ie., one with the productive, fairly glitch free Unix based Mac platform and still have the XP Pro SP3 OS installed in a separate partition.

    Cost isn’t a factor, but I am tired of having one too many MS OS “ugly stories” to resolve on occasion.

    Your feedback would be appreciated.

    Carl Nemo **==

  6. griff

    I remember playing Leisure Suit Larry that ran off a floppy on my parent’s first computer – a Tandy. Never did get the poor slob laid.

    That’s why I’m thankful I’m not required to mess with software in my job.

  7. almandine

    The vicissitudes of being the local guru.

    I recall when windows first came out and I denied its existence for as long as I could. DOS was OK for me. Somewhere along the line I gave in… gave up my own guru status… and except for going to the prompt for a debug now and then, I can’t say I’m too upset. I’ll let my kid help me out for a change. I’m a hardware guy anyway!!!

    Collectivism is slavery…

  8. griff

    Computers, being creations of Man, are not perfect. There was a time when we couldn’t get enough of Microsoft and Windows.

    I know plenty of computer-illiterate types. Sadly they all own computers! Not everyone can be computer-literate. I think most of the problem lies with the inability to find adequate help when needed.

    There is almost too much information out there sometimes.

    Case in point: A couple of weeks ago, my son’s machine downloaded and installed updates from Microsoft and subsequently, on reboot, went into a continuous reboot loop.

    It took quite a while to find a way to end the loop and get back into Windows. Microsoft’s knowledge base offered only routine solutions that I had already tried, such as system restore and so on.

    I finally came across a solution that involved renaming some directories and files in DOS and deleting some registry keys. That at least allowed me to log back in and backup his data.

    And then the real fun began.

    Windows was pretty much whipped, so reinstallation was necessary. I had purchased Vista Ultimate on the day of release and installed it on my machine. While doing the inevitable search for some fixes for a print server issue, I came across a deal to purchase two additional licenses for Home Premium for fifty dollars a piece.

    Since I have two other machines, I dropped the hundred dollars and purchased the licenses. Installation of the different versions uses the same disk and the version that gets installed relies on the key.

    The other two installations went pretty smooth, although I had to use XP drivers for my RAID configurations. But upon reinstallation, setup was halted due to an invalid key. What?

    I was informed that I had to initiate installation from the existing Windows installation. I logged back in and started the installation. I had the drive partitioned, but wanted to recombine the partitions into one since I have network backup now. I was not allowed access to the C: drive because it already had an OS installed on it.

    I was then prompted to boot from the disk and have my key rejected again. I performed a keyless installation and was resigned to the fact that a phone call would be necessary.

    I called the number and when I finally got through, was told by the rep that my key was invalid and I needed to call another number. I called the other number, navigated my way through the endless menus, and was directed to call the original number again. Unbelievable!

  9. almandine

    “Having done a little web and application programming in the past, I can say that it isn’t easy writing and debugging millions of lines of code.”

    That’s a very good point, Griff.

    Thinking back to Bill Gates $8K purchase of Dos and the strides in computing made since then does put it in better perspective. Windows, XP, Vista… all have made significant advances in computing availability and power – albeit with the many, many bugs – and necessary fixes – created along the way.

    My question is… where would we be without Bill Gates – and Steve Jobs/Apple, for that matter… and the answer is much less well off. Microsoft has made billions of dollars from its enterprise – to be sure – but what about all the people who have used MS computing tools to make even more? Think of the productivity gains… the new businesses… the explosion of ready information… the livelihood all that represents.

    Heck, my dentist office is the only place I know that still uses paper records and billing statements. How many computer-illiterate types do you know?

  10. griff

    That’s true. Their desire to keep their code under wraps doesn’t allow the kind of access needed to write good software. Having done a little web and application programming in the past, I can say that it isn’t easy writing and debugging millions of lines of code.

    I do warranty field service for a major OEM, and I can asure you that the hardware/driver packages were not ready for Vista on release. Some machines were using XP drivers on release.

    It’s too bad Microsoft doesn’t have some healthy competition. Linux is still pretty much a niche OS and Apples are still pretty expensive. I don’t know why, considering Apple now runs on the same hardware platform as PC’s. Perhaps all that extra money goes into developing a better OS?

  11. DejaVuAllOver

    By the way, I think you have it exactly right about Microsoft going out of their way to never, under any circumstances, give other manufacturers the information they need to write good software for Windblows. I worked for the c%^8suckers on three separate occasions as a contractor. There is a warrior culture at Microsoft that I would describe as a Cheney and/or Masada complex: Everyone’s out to get us so we’re gonna screw them first before they get a chance. We’re so superior and we don’t owe anyone the time of day. And why bother to fix anything, when everyone else will do it for us.

    If I had a dime for every hour I’ve worked polishing Bill Gates’ turds over the last 20 years, I could retire.

  12. DejaVuAllOver

    One of my favorite jokes….. I heard this at least ten years ago and it’s as true today as it was then:

    “The day Microsoft makes a product that doesn’t suck will be the day they make a vacuum cleaner.” Author unknown.

  13. NumbnotDumb

    Go Unix.

    Less viruses (if any)
    Simple installation of peripheral devices (hook up and it works)
    No stroke from years of anger fits you get when dealing with Micro$oft products.

    PC’s with Micro$oft installed prove the saying “it’s not a matter of if, but when” they stop working correctly.

    disclaimer: I do not work for Apple/Macintosh, but have had years of stress free, productive results with their products.

    Linux is more user-unfriendly (Ubuntu, Red Hat etc…) but works well.