Microsoft Nuisances and Annoyances: Live Messenger, WinMo, Product Expiration and More
Article by George Norman
On 25 May 2009
If you had any reason to be upset with Redmond-based software developer Microsoft, then you are going to like this article as it is a sum up of several sources of annoyances affecting Windows Live Messenger users, the people who were hoping to share Windows Mobile apps, the people still using Windows 7 Beta and the people using certain versions of the MS Office productivity suite. Last but not least, the development team behind “societal networking” platform Vine has announced there are a few drawbacks you should be made aware of.

Windows Live Messenger
The good thing about this Instant Messaging (IM) client is that it is provided free of charge to users from all over the world; the bad thing is that not all users can use it. If you live in certain parts of the world, parts of the world that are embargoed by the US, you will be unable to login to Windows Live Messenger.


Windows Live Messenger support explains: "When you try to sign in to Windows Live Messenger, you receive the following error message: ‘810003c1: We were unable to sign you in to the .NET Messenger Service.’ Microsoft has discontinued providing Instant Messenger services in certain countries subject to United States sanctions. Details of these sanctions are available from the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control.”

It must be said that the explanation provided above is not the first one issued by the Windows Live team. The initial post, which is available below, used to be posted here, but has since been deleted.

“When you try to sign in to Windows Live Messenger, you receive the following error message: 810003c1: We were unable to sign you in to the .NET Messenger Service. Microsoft has shut off the Windows Live Messenger IM for users in the countries embargoed by the US hence Microsoft no longer offers Windows Live Service in your country.”
The countries in question are: Cuba, Syria, Iran, Sudan and North Korea.

Windows Mobile 6.5 App Sharing
Last week we reported that work on the Windows Mobile 6.5 smartphone operating system is complete, and one of the interesting features about it was the fact that you could share the apps you purchase from the Windows Marketplace for Mobile with as many as 5 WinMo-powered phones. It seems that you will not be able to share the app with your family and friends, as previously reported; instead you will be allowed to reinstall that app on a limited number of additional phones – for example when you lose, upgrade or get a new phone.”

The official statement provided by Microsoft is as follows: “Microsoft knows the frustration of losing favorite apps and personal information when you lose, upgrade, or add a phone. For this reason, if you buy an application on Windows Marketplace for Mobile, you’ll be able to reinstall the application on a limited number of additional phones simply and free of charge. As outlined in the terms of use for Windows Marketplace for Mobile, this ability is limited to phones owned by the person who purchased the application. Application sharing is not permitted.”

Windows 7 Beta
If you are still running the Beta version of Windows 7, you will get an email from Microsoft regarding the software’s expiration date. Windows 7 Beta will expire on the 1st of August, but you will start getting annoying prompts about updating as June 1st – and by “annoying prompts” I mean the OS will shut down every couple of hours. What you re advised to do is upgrade to Windows 7 Release candidate, which has been made available for public download (download links and activation keys available here).

Office 2000 and Office 2007
Support for Office 2000 will be officially pulled as of July, the current year; the Office Update site will be shut down as well, in August. The Office Sustained Engineering team explains: “Microsoft Office 2000 leaves extended support on July 14, 2009. Office 2000 patches published on or before July 14, 2009 will remain on the Download Center. Starting August 1, 2009, Microsoft will discontinue support for the Office Update website. Customers can access the equivalent functionality of the Office Update site via Microsoft Update. This move will allow us to provide a more simplified and consistent experience for users across Microsoft products. At the same time we will also discontinue the Office Inventory Tool. The July Office Inventory Tool will remain available for download on the Download Center, but it will not be updated after August 1, 2009.”

The bad news about Office 2007 is that its SP2 (Office 2007 Service Pack 2) erroneously activates the software’s expiration date. Corporate Vice President, SharePoint, Jeff Teper explains: “we have recently discovered a bug with Service Pack 2 (SP2) that affects all customers that have deployed it for SharePoint Server 2007. During the installation of SP2, a product expiration date is improperly activated. This means SharePoint will expire as though it was a trial installation 180 days after SP2 is deployed. The activation of the expiration date will not affect the normal function of SharePoint up until the expiration date passes. Furthermore, product expiration 180 days after SP2 installation will not affect customer’s data, configuration or application code but will render SharePoint inaccessible for end-users. We are working to release a hotfix to automatically fix this issue.”

Microsoft Vine
Last but not least, it turns out that if you want to use Vine outside the US of A, the software will work, just that it will not provide you with the same functionality US users benefit from. The Vine team explains: “We have received feedback and questions from folks outside the US who have reported various problems. We did not plan on having beta users outside the US because some of the key features like SMS messaging and News content won't work at all right now. We will need to partner with non-US wireless carriers and content providers in order to get the full functionality to work in other countries. Since we didn't have that in place we decided to beta test in the US only. What we did not expect was that some of you would see more serious problems with Places and causing the client to crash.”

The bottom line is that if you use Vine with non US-EN version of the operating system, you may encounter unexpected problems.

Tags: Microsoft, Windows Live Messenger, Office 2000, Office 2007, Windows 7 Beta, Vine
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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