Will someone please sell me a desktop computer?

I went to three different stores on Sunday trying to purchase a desktop computer I can convert into a server.  I am trying to set up MS IIS Server so I can use their new IIS SEO Tool for few of my sites.  I am a fiercely loyal Mac owner and if this software worked on a Mac I would not waste my time but it does not so I am stuck.

Apparently, $MSFT is holding all PC sales hostage until their new Windows 7 operating system comes out later this week.

I went to Best Buy and they had a desktop that would have worked but since it was loaded with Windows 7 they could not sell it to me.   Right there on the shelf was a dozen machines but nope, they could not sell me one.  The sales person told me the were for online sales – what – I have cash and want to buy one now.  Are you not a retail store?  I asked him if I bought one using my Iphone can I pick it up now.  No he said, something about a sale next Thursday.

I went home and went online and looked at a bunch of online retailers.  My wife suggested I check out Wal-Mart – we had recently seen and Netbook for less than $200.   Bingo, they had one that was more than I needed and half the price.  It told me my local store might have it or the nearest one with stock was about 12 miles away.  I went to my local store and they did not have any desktops in stock.  I called the distant store just to check with them.  They told me they had it in stock and to come and get it.

I slogged out in the torrential rain to the store taking about 45 minutes to get there.  Went to the computer aisle and there it was – on the shelf.   Not the same model number but same features and price.  Took it to the counter to pay and got a nice error “not available for sale” – WTF?– there is a recession you should be willing to sell me the cart of I want it.

Everyone seemed confused until salesperson Dan walked over and noticed it had Windows 7 so was not avialble for sale until Oct 20th.  I could not believe this.  I told them to keep the precious Windows software since I was going to run Windows Server 2008 that I just paid a small fortune for.  He said it was already loaded so no deal.

I asked if I could buy the other version they have in stock with the upgrade certificate – nope – they don’t have any.  Confused again they called Salesperson Janet who realized they linked the SKU’s making them effectively the same product which is they they showed it in stock.

Janet, sensing my frustration, as much with the situation as with my iPhone not having connection so I could not call another store nor could I Tweet my utter disgust with Wal-Mart and $MSFT for holding me hostage – as I was saying, Janet, sensing my frustration, checked other stores – she checked the computer for other stores while three of them showed product in stock – when she actually called they all had Windows 7 so not for sale.  BTW, the last store she called she had to use her mobile since she could not make a long distance call from the store.

Dan and Janet both  suggested that I go online and buy the product and it will be delieverd to my house.  Wonderful I said and planned to go home and buy another product from another store.  I do have to thank salespersons Dan and Janet for their help and trying to help me purchase from their store.  The manager who could not seem to be bothered well, no thanks to her.

I did check Wal-Mart.com and found that the machine I wanted to get in the store I could buy online and have it delivered for $0.97 cents would arrive sometime the week of November 9th.  Wonderful.

I did check online online retailers and found that I could not get what I wanted for a reasonable price.  Interestingly, the machine I saw at Wal-Mart was nearly twice as much at the online retailers.  Those Bentonville buyers must have been trained in Gitmo to get those kind of deals.

I did check back with my friends at Wal-Mart today to see if I can come and get it today as they told me I could.  They told me they were mistaken – I would have to wait for the festivities of Oct 22nd.  Apparently there are a lot of people wanting these machines so they suggested I get there early.  They have heard that people plan to camp out to be one of the first to get Windows 7.

To close this rant, I went to multiple stores, cash in hand but could not buy what I needed because some company wants to have a big splash with their product.  Frustrating…

Update: I was heading back from NYC on Wednesday and stopped into a Wal-Mart along the way.  They had 3 of the desktops I wanted originally in stock on the floor.  I bought one ans as I went down the aisle I found a Dell with twice the HD space, nearly twice the RAM memory and a faster processor and 3″ larger monitor for $100 more.     I wish swapping the two was easy – I never left the computer department but had to have 2 people inspect the machine to make sure I did not steal anything.  Anyways, now going through the painful process of making it a server.