Thursday, February 24, 2005

Changes coming for Microsoft XP activations

I remember when Microsoft instituted the "activation" requirement of Windows XP. You remember it too, don't you? You had to have your laptop or desktop contact Microsoft's servers within a certain period of time or the operating system would cease to work. You also had to avoid moving that XP license from one piece of hardware to another or worse yet, you ran the risk of activation issues if you significantly upgraded or changed the same computer. My how the times are a changing...Microsoft-Watch reports that the policy is about to change for OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers):

"Microsoft has required users not covered by volume-license agreements to register their XP copies via the Internet or phone using their unique product keys. As of next week, however, Microsoft plans to curtail the number of users relying on the Web to activate their copies of XP.
As of February 28, Microsoft will disable Internet activation for all Windows XP product keys located on Certificates of Authenticity (COA) labels that are distributed by the 20 top worldwide PC vendors. Microsoft will be relying on these PC makers to do the activation for users."

OK, so now the manufacturer will have to activate XP. Sounds good as it could save me precious time, but is it all good? Hmmm.....what rigmarole will I have to go through for a system restore or what if I want to completely wipe the hard drive and reinstall with the license I paid for? I realize why Microsoft is doing this, but there has to be a better way to combat pirated operating systems. While we figure out what that is: for any new PC buyers after February 28th: be aware of the new policy.

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