I notice that he returned the second computer because of MS' onerous DRM, which insisted that the OS was counterfeit. I'm aghast that one in three valid copies are flagged as "pirated". Note: I'm not a Mac user; my OS of choice is Mandriva."
After his initial computer purchase from a local retailer, he tried starting Vista and had no luck: It gagged on other preinstalled software, and the retailer had no remedy. He received a replacement laptop.
On our colleague's second try, he ran into a wall with Microsoft, which insisted through its online validation process that his copy of Vista was not legitimate. About a third of all new Vista owners with valid copies of the OS already have suffered through this. The retailer assured our colleague that his Vista was valid but replaced his laptop again anyway to solve the problem.
Armed with yet another new laptop, our colleague escaped repeats of the first two problems but hit a new bump: Vista refused to acknowledge his computer's peripheral devices, even though Microsoft's own hardware compatibility list said it should.
He returned to the retailer and this time asked for his money back. He says he might try buying his first Mac with the refund. "There's only so much I'm willing to put up with," our colleague said. "I just wanted the [expletive] computer to work, you know. Isn't that all anyone wants?"