back to article Windows 10 Pro goes Home as Microsoft fires up downgrade server

Microsoft's activation servers appear to be on the blink this morning – some Windows 10 users woke up to find their Pro systems have, er, gone Home. Twitter user Matt Wadley was one of the first out of the gate, complaining that following an update to the freshly released Insider build of next year's Windows, his machine …

  1. Walter Bishop Silver badge

    Re: el kabong

    > .. Are we all supposed to ignore this and not point out the obvious to spare your feelings?

    Nine down votes, how dare you criticize MICROS~1

  2. Walter Bishop Silver badge

    Re: Just go Linux

    > LXDE, is light and fast.

    Who down voted this, go on explain yourself.

  3. David Roberts Silver badge

    Re: The joke is on you! Alcohol and a cat

    Damn. I thought I turned the web cam off!

    Does it count that the cat is significantly older than the single malt?

  4. aqk

    Re: The joke is on you!

    Well, I have Alcohol and FOUR cats!

    After reading the usual and predictable nasty anti-MS comments here just now, I changed my insider Preview status from Slow to Fast, just to see what all this kerfuffle was about!

    Oh-oh! Another 4 GB 2-hour download has just been initiated! This is the fastest that the Insider Preview system upgrade service has ever responded! And it's Friday PM, my trolling hours!

    Thanx, guys!

  5. panoptiq

    Re: Just go Linux "Take my Linux ... please!"

    Point taken - Linux is not viable for the desktop. But as it turns out, neither is a subscription based, cloud centric Windows OS for business purposes. I liked the old days when Microsoft segmented their "Work" & "Play" OSs; namely Windows-NT and Windows-9x (Windows 2000 Pro & Windows omg Millenium).

    Problems started to appearing when they started "blending" them with the introduction of Windows-XP; they averted danger with the release of Windows-XP 64bit Pro. Windows-7 x64 Pro was great- all the other Windows-7 variants were... wanting. I won't even mention Windows-8.

    Stuff really hit the fan when M$ decided that Windows-10 was going to be the LAST release of Windows, it would be completely subscription based & entirely cloud centric. This is a prime example of Corporate blackmail & there's nothing anyone on the planet could do about it; after all, Windows accounted for >90% of all desktops in the world.

    My problem is with the arrogance of Microsoft to think that 1) choice should be taken away from consumers, 2) Everything will be pushed to the Cloud & 3) Nothing was ever going to fail.

    I would have been fine with the current subscription based Windows-10 for consumers and a Traditional corporate option of WindowsNT-IX for government, & businesses who require greater security & greater control. my 2 cents

  6. Sudosu

    Re: el kabong

    "That is just how their system broke. There isn't a good explanation possible, and I'm sure when they get around to having an explanation it won't be good."

    The telemetry SAN for Pro users filled up...

  7. Lorin Thwaits

    Re: Just go Linux

    It certainly makes sense -- Microsoft needed more testers for the Home version instead of the Pro version!

    (Personally I'm running Win 7 Amateur edition)

  8. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Re: el kabong

    I would argue foe MACRO-SHAT myself. As there is an aweful amout of excrement surrounding Windows X.

  9. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Re: Just go Linux

    Running Opensuse here as my primary OS. Still dealing with Win 10 for some graphics programs. They borked my machine last night as well. Can't wait till get a real photographic editing under Linux so I can be done with Billy Gates for good!

    Well for Photoshop there's the GIMP... Although, I'd probably would opt for Photoshop as well. Its not like GIMP is incapable of doing very Photoshop things. But, thats almost always the trick isn't it. Actually bothering to learn how to use the Software. And, to my knowlege Photoshop has a Library of Books written about, it. GIMP? Well I know the should exist, but, I have never actually ever encounterd any,

    Fine, what about Lightroom then? In this instance I have to emphaticly go with Darktable. Again its just different enough to have to spend a few moments to work things out. The good bit is its totally un GIMP like in that, its actually refreshingly simple to use.

    Since like GIMP it also runs under Windows, and MacOS. I would very much recomend you to give it a try. But, until Affinity Photo & Illistrator make their way over to Linux. Which I susspect they will sooner, or later. This is about as good as it gets. And, its not you can't run Photoshop proper from Wine. Along with Office 2k3 either.

    But, yes unless the Public rails against these Publishers to publish their Warez on Linux as well. its all ust wishfull thinking. Perhaps we should be pushing FreeBSD more? That to me sems more comercial friendly than Linux. Not, that you can't buy comerical Softeare (e.g. Steam Games), on Linux. But, I susspect the air around Linux is so poisend at this point. That until the mass revot comes,* nobody will really bother to give Linux the time of day.

    Then again having two or three (if you count Gentoo), architypes of Yum, and or Apt, RPM, and or DPKG to learn (and or stick with), has probobly been of much help either. this and Ubuntus pressence on the Web, making Ubuntu pretty much the goto Linux.

    *Hint it wont!

  10. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Re: RIP KDE

    And, here I thought thart KDE was last seen heading out toward the far end of the Shed?

  11. Michael Habel Silver badge

    Re: Just go Linux

    Dohh How did I fail to see my own genus at work?

    MicroSoft Windows X SE (Slurp Edition).... Its almost enough to make me slightly nostalgic for Windows 98SE.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh goody

    Another MS TITSUP event.

    The major snafu's seem to be coming thick and fast at the moment.

    As I have said before, it is their machine not yours. They can do what the hell they like with it and there is little you can do to stop them. Even taking legal action is a dead duck. They will just deny all liability and point to their EULA that says you can't sue them for anything. Queue 10 years of costs in court getting nowhere.

    What MS giveth that seem to be taking away with a vengance at the moment.

    I'd better get the popcorn out. This could be an interesting few days.

  13. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

    Re: Oh goody

    The EULA does not take away your rights under the consumer rights act to having a decent product that works.

    After all... Ford could make you sign an EULA saying that any accidents are the fault of the driver....

    However , if you manage to beat the M$ lawyers , all you'll get back is the cost of the win 10 licence

  14. ibmalone Silver badge

    Re: Oh goody

    Consumer rights only apply to consumers though. Business to business you're down to contract law.

  15. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Re: Oh goody

    "They will just deny all liability and point to their EULA that says you can't sue them for anything. Queue 10 years of costs in court getting nowhere."

    Small claims court and stuff their unenforceable EULA.

  16. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Re: Oh goody

    "However , if you manage to beat the M$ lawyers , all you'll get back is the cost of the win 10 licence"

    There was one report of a woman who got a few $k for the disruption caused to her by the enforced upgrade.

  17. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Re: Oh goody

    "Consumer rights only apply to consumers though."

    If MS have downgraded to a consumer version then maybe consumer law should apply.

  18. Dwarf Silver badge

    Microsoft Windows

    The gift that just keeps on giving.

    - Giving pain to it users.

    Wake up everyone, open the windows, go outside, smell the roses, there are other choices that work far better.

  19. chivo243 Silver badge

    Asleep at the wheel?!

    M$, please see Title.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    MS you had one fucking job...

  21. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge

    Billywindows fun again, I see.

    Now we wait for Bombastic Bob to have a go at them :)

    We got one laptop with the clap at the moment. Waiting for the user to come back from wherever so that I can have a prod 'n poke at said laptop and see what's going on.

    Thanks M$ for the extra work. Now go away.

  22. rmason Silver badge

    No Bob or our favourite random-conspiracy-related-word-generator, AMFM, are you ok?

  23. dmacleo

    do you really want to poke something that has the clap????

    to each their own....burning sensation... I guess


  24. arctic_haze Silver badge

    Will this never end?

    Microsoft at least in consistent in the quality of its services.

  25. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Re: Will this never end?

    "Microsoft at least in consistent in the quality of its services."

    That's ISO9000 for you. All that's required is consistency.

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft, stop running your activation service on Windows and it might be more reliable, sell the dogfood, don't eat it.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    They can eat it once it comes out the other end of the dog.

  28. hplasm Silver badge

    They can eat it once it comes out the other end of the dog.

    That's when they sell it!

  29. clocKwize

    Re: Contractor rights

    my gaming PC popped up with a "windows needs to be activated" watermark much to my displeasure. Hopefully it goes away in a day or 2, but it is certainly not the end of the world.

  30. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Re: Contractor rights

    Well it should be the end of the world for a gaming PC, one of the things that gets nobbled with unactivated Windows is Direct X.

  31. bombastic bob Silver badge

    Re: Contractor rights

    yeah, that's the kind of thing that should worry EVERYONE. Periodic "re-activation". What the *FEEL* were they *FEELING* (not thinking) when they excreted *THAT* "feature" ???

  32. PCArcade

    Re: Contractor rights

    It doesn't. Direct X works fine on a non activated PC. It doesn't make this latest cock up ok, but gaming boxes are still going to be ok


    Re: Contractor rights

    nope works fine on my home gaming pc

  34. Unixman39

    Re: Contractor rights

    Run the beta Proton3.7 for Steam. A great number of windows games now running under Steam OS on Linux and it is darn good and getting better daily. It's just a matter of time before Windows loses it's crown. That will be when it goes subscription service and you have to pay a monthly or yearly fee for it. The greedy clown (Billy Gates) can fully stuff it by then.

  35. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Re: Contractor rights

    Perhaps it gets nobbled after 30 days.

  36. Agamemnon

    Re: Contractor rights

    It pains me to do this as I'm a xNIX person, and no fan of Redmond (in fact, I live in it), and so much more likely to sound like Bombastic Bob than makes me personally comfortable, and so:

    Bill's (formerly unchallenged) greed has absolutely nothing to do with anything at Microsoft these days. Oh, the Interns know who he is a vague way (seriously!) but Bill drives around Bellevue in a minivan and is a great deal more interested in other things (according to El Reg, Poop, specifically) these days. Bill is not, nor has he been for some time, responsible for the retarded shit-storm that is today's Microsoft. Ballmer set much in motion, and adjusting with both nudges AND hammers we have SatNad who is quite firmly in control, and thus, to blame.

    I don't mind calling out villany, just make sure you get the right villan. (Oracle and Amazon continue to make this easy.)

  37. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Re: Contractor rights

    "is a great deal more interested in other things (according to El Reg, Poop, specifically) these days"

    Not too big a difference.

  38. johnnyblaze

    Finally upgraded

    I bit the bullett and upgraded my Windows 7 PC at the weekend.... to Windows 8.1! With a 3rd party start menu replacement (Start8 in this case), it's actually very fast and stable, and not a forced upgrade in site. It will give me a few more years grace anyway - before that godawful Win10 looms (or wobbles by that time) onto the horizon for me!

  39. Tezfair

    Not the first time

    About 2 years ago, not long after a free upgrade from W7 I started getting this sort of error, usually also followed by the 'this needs to be activated' messages. In the end I scrapped my dual booting setup, got a 500gb ssd and done a fresh install and it's been ok since.

  40. Martin Summers Silver badge

    Shame I've pissed about all morning trying to sort this on a machine activated with Windows 10 Pro for over 2 years. I don't read 'El Reg until dinner time. At least I have an explanation now! FFS Microsoft...

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh No!

    Not an 0x004003 error!? They've been thrown back to 1984. Did no one tell Microsoft about meaningful error messages?

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Oh No!

    What, so you prefer "Oops, something went wrong"?

    Windows users...

  43. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Re: Oh No!

    shouldn't that be "Share and Enjoy!"

    (or was that "Go stick your head in a pig!")

    Doff hat to the late, great Douglas Adams

  44. Skribblez

    Re: Oh No!

    Like the good old sys1475 error message, the numbers help for ease of internationalization. Though it would help if we had access to the list of error codes too... :-)

  45. David 132 Silver badge

    Re: Oh No!

    Not an 0x004003 error!? They've been thrown back to 1984. Did no one tell Microsoft about meaningful error messages?

    Software Failure. Press left mouse button to continue.

    Guru Meditation 0x004003

  46. Not That Andrew

    Re: Oh No!

    Or the other favorite

    "Something went wrong: Something went wrong."

  47. Anonymous Bullard

    So, Windows regularly contacts the licensing servers to check if the licence is suddenly no longer valid.

    What could possibly go wrong? Oh, wait...

  48. Mage Silver badge

    Registry fix?

    Is there a registry fix, or is there any possibility MS will mess up in the other direction and make all copies of "Home" be "Pro"?

    Really the Home versions of Windows are evil and the price difference etc Home / Pro is evil. Also most consumers don't get a choice.

  49. Antonius_Prime

    Re: Registry fix?

    "Also most consumers don't get a choice."

    Well, you're not wrong in one sense.

    In another the choice they get is M$ or the Fruit Factory, all for a "It just works! I'm not like those IT techy blokes! I have a life! I don't have time to learn all the useless bollockology* they use!"

    (*Actual words used by one of my End L-Users because i took personal Skype off his work PC and told him Biz Skype or piss off. His retort of "it's my PC!" was met with "No. It's the company's. You agreed to abide by the IT Standards when you started. If you don't like it, I'll upgrade you to an abacus and a notepad. I'll be nice and let you choose your own colour pen. There shouldn't be any compatibility issues!")

  50. soulrideruk Bronze badge

    Really the Home versions of Windows are evil and the price difference etc Home / Pro is evil

    The price difference is evil?

    I paid £2.36 for a win10 Pro licence off ebay. Home was £1.73. I can't see how the price difference is evil? 63p is hardly earth shattering. It won't even get you a can of coke...


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