Microsoft just gave me the opportunity to wait on hold, and then to talk to a stranger from india. We had a conversation composed of me reading 54 single digits to him, and then him reading a new set of 54 digits back to me. There was a script, and so we couldn't even really say anything else to each other. It was like being in the coded communications department of the army in a war we'd both been drafted for, as I'm pretty sure neither of us had any idea what the numbers meant, and we both would've rather been doing something else. I think the man on the other end of the phone may have had the worst job I've ever run across; I feel awful for him.
Who on earth ever thought that was a decent way to do anything? Somebody must have... Did Jim Alchin approve this? Dave Cutler? Brian Valentine? Bill Gates? Did any ONE of them look at this, and think, 'Yeah, that's great, let's do it that way!"?
Actually I think Dave Cutler is the only one on that list who DIDN"T have to approve this. Unbelievable. I thought it was a joke, until I realized I couldn't actually use the copy of Windows XP I paid for until I went through these shenanigans.