A tale of woe with a happy ending

For a whole lot of different reasons, that I won’t go into now, I decided to ditch my XP software on my Windows desktop and buy Windows 7 Ultimate. So I surfed around and having dealt very satisfactorily with Amazon for many years I settled for a purchase from their Amazon Market Place.

I suspect that most of you are too sensible to get caught but for any of you that might be as daft as me - it’s that old saying “If it seems too good to be true then it probably is”. Anyway, I went ahead and bought the DVD for £72 which arrived all sealed with the box label intact and ID Keycode inside. I duly installed, registered and validated the software and ran it successfully for about 3 months. However, 91 days later, I got the dreaded message “This copy of Windows is not genuine”.

Eventually I managed to speak to a real person at Microsoft and was informed that the disc I had been sold was for a Student License and the Keycode was unusable on a home PC. Naturally I emailed Amazon to make a claim but they informed me that their 90 day guarantee period had expired but to request a refund from the Market Place Supplier which I did. After 10 days with out any response I feared the worst but I have just received a full refund to my credit card account all due I suspect to pressure on the supplier by Amazon.

So a good result and full marks to Amazon.

ps to Nick - I know you’re thinking ‘Why bother with Microsoft’ but there are still a couple of Windows programs that I’m reluctant to do without. Otherwise I’m very happy with my Linux Ubuntu 11.04 PC.

Turning it ON…!

“I agree with Nick that the Home version isn’t good enough”

May I ask what is it you are doing where by Windows 7 is not good enough?


Good to hear that your issues were resolved. It is quite common to find software resellers passing on Student licenses as they’re way cheaper to buy and the sales reporting back to Microsoft is often quite lax.

I don’t use Linux on my desktop and laptop PCs, although there’s nothing wrong with it as a desktop OS. I have a Macbook Pro and an iMac in the office, which obviously both run OSX - it’s still Unix underneath and allows me to ‘get under the bonnet’ if things go wrong. I use VMWare Fusion to run a Microsoft OS on top of Mac OSX, this is purely to run two applications - Outlook and Visio. I have various old PST files which until the latest version of Office for Mac 2011 could not be opened on a non-Windows PC, hence needing Windows somewhere on my systems. Same goes for Visio, no Mac version available until very recently. One of the best things about VMWare Fusion is the way it allows you to just display the application window on your Mac desktop - you don’t need to be running fully in the Windows machine so integration and data sharing between the two is excellent.

Nick will of course be pleased to know that all 5 production servers at the office run Ubuntu Linux 10.04 LTS; we have one Windows 2008 Server running just to support some of the other Windows desktop users and to make sure their systems are patched. If anyone runs a small business I recommend Ubuntu as it will do almost anything a small business requires - file sharing between Windows and Unix systems, mail server, DNS, web proxy, network monitoring, etc. In our testing its much quicker than Windows Server, runs better on cheaper hardware, and is a fraction of the cost.


Thanks for the suggestion Carl but there are several reasons why I won’t be installing Windows 7. I agree with Nick that the Home version isn’t good enough and it’s still £103 for the 1 pc that I need software for. Also an upgrade is not an option for me now. Even though I have always acted legitimately, my experiences of Microsoft’s validation processes have been pretty horrendous over the years and I’ve had enough but that’s a whole new story that could fill a web page.
I am now running Kubuntu 11.04 which I am very pleased with and which I actually prefer to Ubuntu Natty.



Carl, the problem with windows home versions is they are severely knobbled and lack a lot of the features you need for work/enterprise functionality. If you just want a simple environment then that is a good deal, but you really need to check this versions offers all you need, otherwise you will get into an expensive upgrade cycle.



The Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade Family Pack give you 3 copies for £103 which is am amazing deal.


It doesn’t matter if you upgrade from an older version of windows or do a clean install using a well documented trick that has been around since Vista was first released.

At £34 a copy you really can’t go wrong can you :slight_smile:

lol Roger, the thought never crossed my mind :wink:



A quick look at the WineHQ application database shows that the two main softwares (PowerDVD5 and MS MoneyPlus) are not happy working under Wine.

In my Software Centre it’s showing three or four personal accounting/finance managers, I’m currently using Eqonomize but only for a specific part of the household expenses (SWBMO runs the overall accounts).

I thought that the Grisbi software looked ok, but it’s not a double entry book-keeping system, can’t ‘recommend’ anything specific for finance as a lot depends upon the user’s actual requirements.

For the DVD playback I don’t have a suggestion as my DVD player is kaput so haven’t bothered reviewing any DVD specific software.

Sorry can’t really help, can I?


One of the programs is Microsoft Money which I know is no longer supported but I downloaded Microsoft Money Plus which covers all the options that I need and is as good as MS Money for what I want. I am running KMoney on Ubuntu but it just lacks finesse and user-friendliness.

The other one is Cyberlinks Power DVD 5 which has been superceded at least 6 times I think; anyway it’s way old and no longer supported either. The trouble is I can’t find anything to match it. For simple DVD playback I consider it to be the best application ever. It comes with a remote control skin that gives every conceivable option for playback and I haven’t been able to find an equivalent (free or paid) for Linux. The nearest I’ve found is MPlayer which you’re supposed to be able to add the exact same Cyberlink skin to.

Trouble is, I’m not too au fait with Linux yet and the option in Software Centre is for SMPlayer only which as far as I can see doesn’t have the Remote Skin option.

I don’t know much about WINE (apart from the wet variety) so any advice would be gratefully received.
I would also be sad to say goodbye to Excel which I use a great deal. I have got Libre Office on Linux but although it’s very good, again it’s not quite in the same class. I’m not a staunch fan of Microsoft but I have to admit some of their programs are superb.
Anyhow, I have 18 days only left to sort it all out then Windows 7 dies.

The couple of Windows programs that you still need, which ones are they? Because it’s quite possible that they would run under WINE on Ubuntu.