Need Vista SP1 help? Call Redmond toll-free

Need Vista SP1 help? Call Redmond toll-free

Summary: Microsoft is providing free phone support for Windows Vista Service Pack (SP) 1 users -- whether they get their SP1 from Microsoft or via a PC maker or other retailer -- through March 2009. There's got to be a catch, right?

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Microsoft is providing free phone support for Windows Vista Service Pack (SP) 1 users -- whether they get their SP1 from Microsoft or via a PC maker or other retailer -- through March 2009.

There's got to be a catch, right?

Surprisingly, the caveats are relatively minor. The help is specifically for SP1 installation and compatibility issues. And the offer stands through March 18, 2009.

According to M3 Sweatt, the Chief of Staff for Windows Core Operating System Division (COSD), the offer of free SP1 help is not unprecedented. Microsoft has provided free support for previous Windows service pack installations.

Sweatt blogged on March 24 about the procedure those needing help should follow:

"If you call in for support, listen carefully to the options on the line as you wait and navigate for support. When you speak with an operator, be sure to tell the customer support agent that you would like support related to the installation of Service Pack one (or 'SP1') of Windows Vista. I've also seen the wait time drop from 30 minutes for individual chat support to less than 10 just in the last few minutes."

The toll-free call-in number in the U.S. for Vista SP1 help is (866)-234-6020.

Microsoft made Vista SP1 available to a broader set of customers last week, by making the collection of Vista fixes and features available on Windows Update, the Microsoft Download Center and via retailers like Amazon.com. Microsoft is set to push Vista SP1 to users via its Automatic Update mechanism in mid-April.

Microsoft posted to the Vista Team blog a list of reasons that some users might not be able to see Vista SP1 when using Windows Update. Microsoft is blocking users with unsupported drivers from seeing SP1.

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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6 comments
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  • Unusual Microsoft behaviour there ...

    ... the norm would be to up the support costs and use that money to publicize how fantastically brilliant Vista is and how the consumer cannot get enough of it.
    mark@...
  • RE: Need Vista SP1 help? Call Redmond toll-free

    I did not use the telephone, rather the on line chat.

    I had driver problems and so could not see Vista SP1 in Windows Update.

    The chat was excellent, I did the install on two computers as advised in Safe Mode.

    All went well.

    >>RSM
    richardmitnick
  • Unbelievable!

    When did they move one of their
    phones from India back to Redmond? Or
    did they just teach one of their
    Indian operators to say "Redmond"?
    Ole Man
  • RE: Need Vista SP1 help? Call Redmond toll-free

    I remember they offered limited free support at the time of XPSP2 from August 2004 to when I don't remember but surely more than 10 months.
    xp-client
  • What if it does not show under WU? Dumb.

    A friend of mine has a system and when he goes to WU (Windows Update) - the SP1 update is not shown.

    This is really dumb. It scares the user. A novice should not be forced to look at a MS knowledge base article!

    MS should have a tool to check on why the update cannot be installed - similiar to their Windows Vista Upgrade Advisor.

    Mary Jo, perhaps you can suggest this.
    Compumind
  • Followed directions and uninstall/install via Windows Update took 1.5 hr

    The KB936XXX had installed itself on 12/10/07. Once "uninstalled" I ran Update and it downloaded and installed SP1 flawlessly. As I finished up, the next round of updated were released to Update and they immediately installed.
    ckelly@...