It's The Norm
November 8-14, 2001 ARCHIVES
"It's The Norm" - Recent Entertainment Events in Las Vegas

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A Windows XP Warning


by Norm Johnson
Send Me E-mail

I know the following information I am about to reveal does not have much to do with entertainment, Las Vegas wise, but it is something I just thought I would pass along to all you fellow computer owners.

I always promised myself that I would never to go out and buy something new for the computer until hearing how it worked from friends, etc. Well, I wished to heck I had adhered to that philosophy last week. I, like millions of others I am sure, watched the news and read the newspaper about the wonderful new product from Bill Gates, the 2002 Windows XP Home Edition that went on sale a couple of week ago. Like a jerk I went to Office Depot and immediately purchased the XP.I couldn't wait to download it. Mistake number one and two.

As a writer I rely heavily on my computer to send and receive emails and faxes. I also have lots of protection having just purchased the upgrade editions of Norton Utilities and AntiVirus 2001 a few months ago. To my surprise, after loading in the new XP, my WinFax and Norton stuff was no longer working. So, naturally, like all computer dummies, I figured it would take a simple download from Symantec. So I go on line and begin looking for help from the company I trusted to keep my computer safe and up-to-date. I had over 270 days of upgrade remaining on my Norton stuff. I knew they would take care of me. There was no doubt in my nimble little brain! Wrong!

You can call two phone numbers they give you for support or you can try (and it is not easy) to get help on-line. I first tried to call Symantec (they are the parent company of Norton and Winfax) Friday evening. The automatic answer machine said they are closed until Monday. Okay, over the weekend, I attempt to send message after message requesting information on how to make my 2001 editions work via the on-line support system (which I guess is free). Some of my messages went somewhere that would not respond with an answer (it actually says that). After two days of frustration I call the 800 number. Well, if I had stayed on line and asked a simple question it would have cost me $29.95 per incident. I tried the 900 number and it charges $2.95 per minute. Heck it's cheaper to go out and buy a new product. I would say that is not quite giving a consumer good support.

Finally on the following Tuesday I get an email reply from Symantec. The 2001 editions no longer work with XP. There is no simple download to make it work either. One must go out and buy another edition, the 2002. I believe Symantec knew all along that XP was coming and that their older editions (including 2001) would not be compatible. I have no personal knowledge of the actual ownership of Symantec, but I would say Bill Gates is in there somewhere. "Let's introduce this marvelous new product and while we're at it let's make sure all that other stuff is obsolete," someone maybe said in a planning meeting. "That way, after they get home and find out their computer is no longer protected and they can no longer send a fax or get one, they'll have to go out and buy the new stuff. Not only will we make another billion or so on the XP, but just think of the billions we'll make selling all the other stuff. Neat huh?"

So, gang, I'm stuck. I now have to go get new editions of the product I had purchased a few months ago. It is, in my opinion, another "rip-off" of the consumer. And, to be perfectly honest with you, the XP Home Edition is not worth it. Oh, sure the color and sound is wonderful, but for a computer dummy like myself it's really not worth all the frustration and extra cost. My Windows 98 worked perfectly. What I'm trying to warn you about, gang is unless you are willing to shell out more money than the original $99.00 for the XP (to replace your fax and protective devices) then stay away from it. Just thought I would pass this little story on to you as a warning.

I'm outa here!

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