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By | Kelly Fiveash 8th January 2010 14:55

Microsoft 'sorry' for volume licensing website cockup

Problems continue down on the VLSC ranch

Microsoft has apologised to its partners and customers who have struggled with the firm's volume licensing website, after the company overhauled its service.

As we reported last month, Microsoft's volume licensing websites were yanked offline for over a week while the software giant tweaked its service in a move to "improve the licensing management experience" for the firm's users.

Sadly for MS, even though a shiny new web portal has been created, many of its customers and partners are still complaining about the vendor's volume licensing site, which is currently locking many users out of the system because of a registration error.

"We apologise to our partners and customers for the inconvenience that they have been through during the upgrade improvements for the Volume Licensing Service Center (VLSC) site," Microsoft told The Register.

"In standard systems testing, we encountered an issue with the registration system. While the vast majority of partners and customers are able to access the system, there remain some issues that are causing difficulties for some and it has taken us longer than expected to correct these issues."

Microsoft said it was scurrying to fix the problem, but didn't offer a timescale on when the site might work for everyone.

"We understand the inconvenience that this causes and greatly value doing business with our partners and customers," it said.

Microsoft's eOpen licence and volume licensing service sites were kicked off the intertubes on 7 December, at which point the company declaring its system was "down for maintenance".

Over a week later, VLSC finally flickered to life only for some resellers to bemoan the overhaul.

Many have had to tell punters this week that they were unable to provide support for the site, and instead customers needing to activate products have been forced to pick up the phone or send an email to MS to get the necessary keys.

And that process has been taking a few working days to complete, an anonymous source told El Reg.

Microsoft's sluggish response to the issue hasn't helped matters either. Furthermore, its latest cloud fail-up reflects very badly indeed on a company that wants the world to take its software plus services strategy seriously; if MS can't even get one of its key customer websites right, then Google wonks can probably rest easy in their beds tonight. ®

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