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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Microsoft Lies

Ok, I joined the Microsoft Partner network so I could get Visual Studio 2010 (back when that was a new thing).  It was a good deal, but before I signed I called in and asked specifically if I could continue to use the software if I decided not to renew my partner network membership.

The answer was yes.  My memory is not fuzzy on this because that was the key upon which my decision to join depended.  So I signed up.

Fast forward to this morning.  I need to move my Visual Studio to a new machine.  The machine is up and running and all I need is...
  1. a link to re-download the installer
  2. my product key (which I may have somewhere in my 2010 tax box).
You'd think all this info would be readily available in my records.  So I log into my msdn account, click "My Product Keys" and...

So I called in again and got a really helpful guy named Ozzie.  And as it turns out, Ozzie will not help me move my Visual Studio to my new machine unless I shell out for a new partner membership membership for $149 or something - I couldn't quite hear the price over the call center chatter.

Now those of you who know me know that I am struggling mightily in this economy.  And now apparently - even though I got a valid microsoft product without cheating, they want MONEY just to move it to a new machine!  Apparently, they want money just for me to continue using the software at all!  So apparently, when you buy something, it is not really yours!  It's theirs, you're just renting it!  They should stop calling it sales, and call it what it is.  Rentals!  They are not GM, they are Netflix!  You don't get to keep what you buy!

So now I am faced with an ethical dilemma.  Do I (apparently illegally) keep using "my" software to try and eke out a living?  Or (even though I was lied to twice) should I deactivate it and basically starve to death?

I have about -$32,000 right now, and am struggling to keep food on the table.  I CANNOT just pay them and take the hit.  Especially after they misled me!

Please, if you are considering signing up for the Microsoft Partner Network to get your hands on discount software, RECONSIDER!  That or understand exactly what you will be DENIED access to after your subscription ends.


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Bryan Valencia is a contributing editor and founder of Visual Studio Journey.  He owns and operates Software Services, a web design and hosting company in Manteca, California.

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