Microsoft Office 2010 Installation Epic Fail

If you are one of the millions of people who “beta tested” Microsoft Office 2010 you may be in for a series of unpleasant surprises when you try to move to the release version of that software.

The first surprise will be Microsoft’s recent testimonial that it is just downright impossible to upgrade your software directly from a beta or pre-release version to a release version whether we are talking about Windows 7, Microsoft Office or Notepad.  You are just gonna have to uninstall that old dirty beta software partner!  “What?” says Microsoft,  “couldn’t we do that automatically as part of the installation of the release version?..  Hey! Look over there–that cat’s on fire!” 

Oh, and don’t worry if, after fully uninstalling the beta software, the release version still believes you haven’t.  Microsoft has a fix program available that may… I mean will… eventually… remove the beta software from your machine.  At least you won’t be riddled with bullets like the guy in the board room scene of Robocop when the giant scary robot tells him to DROP THE GUN which he has already dropped and then opens fire.

After you finally do uninstall the beta version of Microsoft Office 2010 you may have a strange unexplained feeling of dread, as if something bad were about to happen.  This is actually perfectly normal because something bad is about to happen.

You may even realize an instant after you start the installation of Office 2010 release that if this installation fails you will be completely without any version of Microsoft Office on your system.  Further, because you enabled some of the Office 2010 specific file formats during beta testing, you realize that if something goes wrong you cannot go back to Office 2007 and you will be stuck in an Office-less limbo that, prior to this moment, was reserved for rapists and child molesters.

This is where you will see the following error message:

Error 25004. The product key you entered cannot be used on this machine. This is most likely due to previous Office 2010 trials being installed (System error: -1073422308)

But you didn’t install any other Office 2010 trials.  Wait… Do they consider beta testing a trial?  No that’s too sick to even consider and also the support folks at Microsoft were helping many a beta tester uninstall their beta copy so they could install the release trial.

There are a few threads talking about his problem on “Microsoft Answers” including this one and this one,  but so far there is no solution from Microsoft.  In case you haven’t figured it out, no solution from Microsoft means “Thank you very much for testing our software beta.  Now please buy a retail copy of it without seeing if we fixed any of the bugs you reported and oh, by the way, you may have to reformat your computer, reinstall Windows and reinstall Office from scratch.”


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