IT HASN'T been a good time to be Microsoft in recent weeks.
Not only did the original release of its latest version of Windows 10 have to be withdrawn after it was found to be chewing up users' files, but ever since more showstopping bugs have been appearing every few days or so.
But this is a biggie. Users are now complaining that they are being forced to downgrade machines running Windows 10 Pro to the lesser Windows 10 Home edition. And they're not happy.
The problem stems from Microsoft's anti-piracy system which now resides in a mixture of a hardware-based solution tied to individual machines, and tying the serial numbers to a Microsoft account.
It works, mostly.
What's weird is that nobody is quite sure why it stopped working. Reddit users seem to suggest that the issue is mostly affecting ex-Insiders and people who upgraded from Windows 8 Pro, but that's a trend rather than a rule; most users are unaffected.
Tom's Hardware reports that one user has claimed that they weren't even downgraded, but instead switched to Windows 10 Enterprise for virtual deskops, suggesting that with the right conditions, the bug can make things even weirder.
An official statement from Microsoft suggests that at least someone knows what happened and is going to do something about it.
"A limited number of customers experienced an activation issue that our engineers have now addressed," a spokesperson said.
"Affected customers will see resolution over the next 24 hours as the solution is applied automatically. In the meantime, they can continue to use Windows 10 Pro as usual."
Truth be told, for the average user, the difference between the Home and Pro editions will be imperceptible, but for people that need those extra features, then this is could be a disaster at worst, and a headache for the sysadmin at the least.
So hang in there. We've not had any issues yet from our side, but if you've been unlucky, it doesn't sound like you'll be waiting too long for a fix. μ
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