Activation of Microsoft Reader on Vista isn’t working…

Update: Just to make sure everybody sees this – this issue has been solved, the info can be found in Robin‘s comment below. Thanks, Robin!

I’m trying to go through this URL to activate the copy of Microsoft Reader installed on my laptop. I don’t see any problems until I get to the point where the activation process is actually running with the small progress bar… but every time I get this error message before the progress bar has filled up completely:

The Activation process has failed. There may be a problem connecting to the Microsoft Activation Server. Please try again later.

Originally I thought there could be a problem on Microsoft’s side of things, as I found a number of references on the web that talked about the problem going away after a while. But I’ve been trying this over the course of about a week now, and nothing has changed.

Now, the activation FAQ has this entry:

Which operating systems work with activation?
Activation works with:

  • Windows CE on Pocket PC 2002/2003 as well as many other Windows CE-based devices
  • On computers: Microsoft® Windows® XP; Windows® Millennium Edition; Windows® 98; Windows® 2000; Windows NT® Server, Terminal Edition; Windows NT® Workstation License Pack; Windows NT® Workstation with Service Pack

This seems to make it pretty clear that Windows Vista is not among the supported operating systems. I read this early on, but I didn’t really pay that much attention because I couldn’t imagine that (a) this kind of software, which does obviously not depend on any OS specific features, would be written in such a way that it wouldn’t run on Vista and (b) if that would actually be the case, that Microsoft hadn’t provided for compatibility by this time.

Can anybody shed any light on this? Is it actually possible that Microsoft Reader activation doesn’t work on Vista? I tried searching the net, but I found no information about this particular scenario.

3 Comments on Activation of Microsoft Reader on Vista isn’t working…

  1. I have exactly the same issue.


  2. Supposedly you have to run IE as an administrator for this to work. I am still loading software on my laptop so I haven’t tried but here’s a link on the Reader Activation FAQ:


  3. Robin,That’s great, it works! They have extended the FAQ since I looked at it, and I think they have also done something about the process itself – IE actually asks me to close the instance running with elevated privileges after the activation is complete. Thanks very much for the hint!


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