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Windows lines flooded in Japan

After experiencing the joy of unexpectedly brisk sales, Microsoft Japan is now dealing with the agony of a flood of customer support calls.

    After experiencing the joy of unexpectedly brisk sales, Microsoft Japan is now dealing with the agony of a flood of customer support calls.

    In response to the deluge, Microsoft Japan plans to take the unusual step of taking out ads in newspapers to notify users about how they can solve installation problems, according to the online edition of Nikkei Business Publications. Windows 98 sold more than 250,000 copies in Japan in the first two days after its July 25 debut, far surpassing initial sales of Windows 95.

    Microsoft reportedly expects to ship around 700,000 units of Windows 98 to retailers in Japan, up from the originally planned 400,000 units. Many of those users are finding the upgrade more taxing than expected, though.

    Because the company is getting swamped by calls, it will provide information on resolving the most common problems, which the report said includes conflicts with "driver" software and software such as virus detection programs or screen savers which cause a system to lock up, and lack of sufficient hard disk space for the installation.

    The solutions are already available on the company's Web site and by a fax retrieval service, but have not yet resulted in a reduction of calls to service support centers.

    Microsoft customers in the U.S. also snapped up copies of Windows 98 at a dizzying pace, only to experience a rash of problems upon installation.