Posted: 23 February 2005 at 5:53pm | IP Logged
On February 28, MS will disable Internet Activation for all WinXP
product keys located on the Certificates of Authenticity (COA) labels
distributed by large, multinational OEMs.
Direct OEMs of Microsoft (large multinational OEMs that that have a
direct signed license agreement with Microsoft) usually preinstall Windows
software using System Lock Preinstall (SLP), which is a direct OEM's method of
legitimately bypassing Product Activation on behalf of their
One form of piracy occurs when Product Keys are stolen from
Certificates of Authenticity (COAs) that have been placed on direct OEM machines
where the Windows software was preinstalled using SLP. Pirates take the Product
Key from these COAs and sell them to resellers or customers who then use them to
activate a hard disk loaded copy of Windows.
To reduce the illegal
trafficking of these OEM product keys Microsoft will "disable" the ability to
activate these direct OEM Product Keys over the Internet. When a customer or
reseller tries to activate using a Product Key found on the list of "disabled"
Keys, the online product activation wizard will instruct them to call Microsoft
where a customer service representative can assist them further. Call center
operators receiving these calls will only issue an override key to customers who
correctly answer a series of questions which manually verify them as
The first phase of this Product Activation policy update will
affect product keys from the top 20 Direct OEMs only. This policy will go into
effect on February 28th with additional updates throughout the year to extend
this policy to all OEMs authorized to use SLP. This change will affect all
Windows XP product keys already shipped from the top 20 OEMs in the market today
as well as shipments going forward.