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Posted on March 14th, 2014 by Barry Collins not as daft as it sounds


A cap doffed in the direction of The Register for spotting this website:

The reporter used a WHOIS lookup to discover that the website was actually registered by Kristina Libby, a member of Microsoft’s PR team.

Although The Reg concludes that the website is “a little tongue-in-cheek humour”, I wouldn’t be so sure.

I’ve had numerous requests for informal technical support from readers, friends and family over the years, many of whom didn’t have the first clue what operating system their computer was running. Some of the more memorable responses have included “Word 2003″, “Windows 99″ and merely “Microsoft”. (I bet you’ve heard some corkers over the years, too. Let me know in the comments.)

Just recently, I spent ten minutes on the telephone trying to remotely diagnose a broadband problem for an acquaintance who swore blind he was running Windows 7. I couldn’t understand why he couldn’t see the same networking wizard options I could until I used TeamViewer to remote desktop into his PC and discovered that he was still on XP.

So, well done Kristina Libby, I shall be redirecting my clueless correspondents to your website in the future. But do me a favour, will you? Add a string to the site that actually tells them what OS they have got, not just what they haven’t. Otherwise I’ll be desperately trying to help my friends find the Control Panel in Excel 2008 for years to come.

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19 Responses to “ not as daft as it sounds ”

  1. Peter Clarke Says:
    March 14th, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    It states on Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 that I’m running windows XP, even though XP Embedded 2009 has support until 2019

  2. DaveyK Says:
    March 14th, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Although directing someone who doesn’t even know their OS to install Windows 8 is likely to open up a world of pain.

  3. Steve Cassidy Says:
    March 14th, 2014 at 3:15 pm

    “POS ready” – ahh such delicious ambiguity in a TLA! And as for the original idea, I thought “the brand is everything” when it comes to the Windows logo, Windows powered, etc etc …

  4. Bioreit Says:
    March 14th, 2014 at 4:49 pm

    Best one I can remember was a teacher asking me when their laptop would be “upgraded to Office Vista 7″. To this day neither they nor I are fully aware of what exactly they were requesting.

  5. Mike C Says:
    March 14th, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    My heart sank the other day when a friend told me Windows had rung him up to say he had a virus. He paid them to fix it. Strangely, they installed a genuine free trial of McAfee. Though they charged him through the nose for it, and will doubtless be back when the trial ends. But it was definitely Windows who rang him…

  6. tech3475 Says:
    March 14th, 2014 at 7:14 pm

    Correct me if I am wrong but doesn’t XP have the full name show up on boot?

  7. TiredGeek Says:
    March 15th, 2014 at 7:33 am

    Mike C – time for a holiday methinks ;)

  8. Mark Thompson Says:
    March 15th, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Me: “Which version of Windows do you have?”

    Them: “Office”.

    Bless ‘em.

  9. David Wright Says:
    March 15th, 2014 at 8:34 am

    What OS? Usually Samsung or HP or Dell…

  10. william Says:
    March 15th, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    How can anyone not know what version of windows there running? You get told at least once when you turn on / use your PC.

  11. Time Agora Says:
    March 16th, 2014 at 9:09 pm

    I have to agree with DaveyK. If they can’t even figure out which OS is running perhaps they should “phone a friend”.

    Hold: Windows Key + Hit: ‘R’
    Release: Windows Key
    Type: winver
    Hit: Enter

  12. David Wright Says:
    March 17th, 2014 at 10:37 am

    @William not necessary, I’ve seen plenty of PCs over the years that have custom boot screens, with a Windows logo and the name of the hardware manufacturer – or the name of the corporation to who the PC belongs.

  13. rocketmouse Says:
    March 18th, 2014 at 4:04 am

    A friend of a friend who’s concerned about the demise of XP: Which one is the computer? The one on top of the desk, the one under the desk, or the one to the side? My guess is that the one to the side would be the printer. My answer was that “the one” under the desk in all likelihood was the computer. We were then regaled with the fact that the person will be receiving a hand-me-down tower, and the ramifications thereof. Hmmm.

  14. tjie Says:
    March 18th, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Time Agora: MS don’t really make it that obvious with winver. I ran winver and it popped up a window with main writing saying Windows 8. Below that it says verion 6.3 (Build 9600) and only in the copyright info does it mention windows 8.1 which is what I’m actually running. Not exactly user friendly.

  15. Alan Says:
    March 20th, 2014 at 9:46 am

    User: “I have an error message and the OK button won’t respond”
    Me: “If nothing else will work all you can do is turn it off, hold the power button for 6 seconds to switch of the PC and then press again to turn on”
    8 seconds later…
    User: “No, it’s still there”

    To this day I have no idea what she thought the box with a green light and a Dell logo was that the monitor was standing on.

  16. Tony Says:
    March 20th, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Had exactly this yesterday.
    “I’ve been told that XP is being discontinued next month. Is my machine OK?”
    “Yes you have got Windows 8″
    “Is that newer then?”
    No comment!

  17. Stan Says:
    March 24th, 2014 at 7:56 am

    I know which windows I have cos it shows a big penguin on the first screen :)

  18. George Says:
    March 29th, 2014 at 6:41 pm

    I have window XP how can swich it over to window 8.i

  19. Steve Says:
    April 12th, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Board level Users are amongst the thickest. Some years ago our Marketing Director sent us a request for a new laptop that had to be ‘top spec mega rom’ My how we laughed.


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