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Vista SP1 customers get free support

Microsoft responds to grumbles

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Microsoft has sought to appease frustrated Windows Vista customers by giving away free support to anyone struggling to install service pack one (SP1).

A huge swathe of people has been frozen out of the upgrade until an unknown date in April, but some were able to manually download SP1 as of last week via the firm’s Windows Update website.

However, a heap of complaints have been stacking up on the firm’s official Vista blog, over troubles with the service pack install.

So, in an apparent attempt to ease some of the grumbles, Microsoft blogger Brandon Le Blanc says that anyone, including customers with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) copies of Vista, will be eligible for free SP1 installation support.

"You have a variety of options you can choose for support – all of which will NOT cost you any support fee. I repeat: support for SP1 will NOT cost you anything."

Such a free service is normally reserved only for purchasers who bought Vista at retail, while those who already have the operating system pre-loaded on their machines are referred directly to the OEM or reseller and are charged a nominal fee.

But in extending its free support Microsoft has clearly made an exception to that rule.

According to the firm’s SP1 site, unlimited installation and compatibility support is available free of charge until 18 March next year.

Under the plan customers can email a special SP1 support address or use online chat.

TechNet and MSDN subscribers, those with a software assurance agreement and anyone who's a member of the Microsoft partner program also have a telephone number they can call for service pack support. ®

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