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I was playing with the idea of writing a quick column retracting all the acid remarks once made about Windows XP and confessing that I rather liked it. Well Ithat was the idea until yesterday morning when a little "Windows Update" icon appeared on my PC.

Dutifully following the instructions from Redmond Central, I allowed both my PCs, my desktop and my laptop to install the updates over the web automatically. The result? Pain and wasted time although I will confess that Microsoft have been helpful but that's really because I'm that really difficult Simon Moores. I doubt it would be so easy if I was Joe Soap on the street.

"Charlie don't surf". That famous line from Apocalypse Now".

"Windows (XP) don't crash". Microsoft's equally memorable equivalent. Not quite the case after my Windows Update. Working on a Word (XP) document, there's a flash - no bang - and it disappears. No recovery option it's gone, all the way gone and all that remains is the file that I started with on the hard disk.

It's a mystery to us say Microsoft.

A ****** catastrophe say's I, "it's happened three times now and by the way, funny things are also happening on my laptop, with VB script errors".

Send us the application log files asks the nice girl from Microsoft support. Not a problem on the desktop but the laptop now tells me that I don't have the privileges to do this and besides, when I try and attach the installation history details to the email to Microsoft support, I'm told I'm out of system memory and should reboot!

And please.. don't even ask me what's happened since I downloaded the latest MS Messenger update. I can't get my Hotmail and more besides!

Progress. I love it - and Windows XP of course!

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