It has been recently announced by Microsoft that their newest operating system “Windows Vista” will ship with new anti-piracy measures that will essentially ‘lock down’ the OS if it has not been activated within 30 days from first use.
We’ve all known since Windows XP was released that Microsoft has been trying to combat piracy in their flagship operating systems mainly with technology called Windows Product Activation (WPA). If you install Windows Vista and do not activate your copy within the first 30 days, the OS will enable a new limited functionality mode.
Without entering your key after this period, you will be presented with the following options:
- Reduced Functionality Mode: this allows minimal use of the OS until it is validated. Microsoft has not disclosed full technical details, but they have indicated that the web browser (presumably IE) will work for about an hour before interrupting the session and forcing you to log off. Additional limitations are described below.
- Buy a key online: hop online, buy a new key, and you’re done.
- Phone in for activation: instructions on how to activate over the phone rather than the Internet.
- Enter your key: Oops, it was under the coffee table book the whole time.
It has been said that Microsoft is very adamant to let end-users know that this new technology will not and cannot turn off your computer without your direct request.
For more information on the new reduced functionality mode of Windows Vista, be sure to check out the article I came across which details it very well.