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Step 1: Cut a hole in the Vista box

Hardware and software compatibility isn’t the only problem that Microsoft partners can expect when helping customers migrate to Windows Vista.

Broken Vista DVDApparently the Windows Vista packaging is so confusing that Microsoft felt compelled to post online step-by-step instructions for opening it. The convoluted process requires users to first cut along grooves in the outer packaging, then pull a set of red tabs in different directions so the DVD case is extracted through said packaging.

A Gizmodo report on the situation has solicited dozens of comments from Windows Vista owners sharing their own experiences of opening the box. Some who tried using brute force said they ended up breaking their DVDs. User “JONB4MORE” took a shot at both the packaging and Vista itself, saying, “It took me 45 minutes to open the Vista case and 30 minutes to decide I wasn’t using it.” And “BSPROWL” joked — I think — that he had to use a hacksaw to get his Vista box open.

All the attention paid to Vista’s packaging problems could just be a case of kicking a product while it’s down. More than a year after its release, Vista hasn’t caught on among businesses, and IT solution providers are pretty apathetic about the operating system.

Still, Microsoft is one of the most scrutinized companies in the world, and the befuddling box is just one more thing for critics to point to when talking about Vista.

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Oh yes, I have a Ph.D. in Geophysics and have been building my own systems for over 20 years - I'd say I know a thing or two about hardware and software! But the box had me stumped. I didn't want to break the box, so I had to search online for instructions on how to open a 2 piece plastic box! I was embarrassed for Microsoft that they actually had to post instructions.