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Paying for things we get for free?

Written by Gordon Fecyk, 12/15/2012

The support can cost you nothing because, most likely, you already paid for it.

Don't pay again for it.

IT'S BEEN SIX WEEKS since Windows 8's release, and we already have third parties claiming to do a better job of managing Windows 8 than Windows 8 does of itself.

This is an operating system that came with its own updating mechanism since 1998, and now its own after-the-fact anti-virus security blanket. I don't expect an automobile mechanic down the street to know all about a 2013 edition of some new automobile after only six weeks, instead I would go to the car dealership first for service. Why should I trust some third-party with the service of my new PC only six weeks in?


SHOULD I TRUST THEM because of their Microsoft Gold Partner membership? Let me show you how easy it is to become a "gold partner:"

  • Step 1: Sign in with your Windows Live ID.
  • Step 2: Tell them about you and your company.
  • Step 3: Agree to their terms and conditions.
  • Step 4: Profit!

OK, so I made that last step up. But why else would a company want to associate themselves with Microsoft if not for profit?

My worry is what else would you be getting into. I almost fell victim to at least one piece of "ransomware" from another supposed Microsoft Gold Partner: "Here's the files we can undelete for you, now pay us $29.95 to do it." I might have been able to uninstall their software, but I still get junk e-mail from them weekly... or at least I did before I put them in Messagelabs' bin.


REGARDLESS OF MOTIVATIONS, I would rather take my new PC to the place I bought it for support, which, by the way, is their responsibility under their OEM agreement with Microsoft. Or if I bought Windows 8 Pro, which I did, I'm entitled to at least some free support from Microsoft directly. I don't need to pay a third party money to find my hardware drivers for me.

OK, so what if I were a complete "n00b" and I was watching a YouTube video sponsored by some driver updating outfit, wondering if my video could play faster if I paid this completely-unknown entity some money? Well, if you're that person, I hope you found this site first because here's what I do:

  • Run Windows Update (Control Panel, Windows Update or PC Settings, Windows Update) so it can find and install any drivers it knows.
  • If that didn't work, check with the maker of the device with the missing driver. It's their job to support their device, not some third party's.
  • If that didn't work, well, maybe it's time for a replacement device. And your $29.95 would be better spent on a new device than on the advice of a previously-unknown third party.
  • (You) Profit! By saving money on support.

The support can cost you nothing because, most likely, you already paid for it. Don't pay again for it.

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