• Microsoft is addressing the other forms of piracy with other initiatives such as Certificates of Authenticity (COA) that accompany new PCs with genuine licenses, edge-to-edge holograms, education campaigns and, as needed, enforcement efforts.

    Product Activation keeps users from changing or upgrading their hardware.

    Not true at all. Users can change or upgrade their hardware. One of the forms of piracy that Product Activation guards against is hard disk imaging. Not all forms of hard disk imaging are illegal. In the case where a pirate copies data from one PC hard drive to another to illegally run the software on two PCs, Product Activation stops that by forcing the copied software to be reactivated. It does so by comparing the hardware on which it was activated to the hardware on which it is now being booted. If the hardware is substantially different, then reactivation is required. If it is the same or similar, then the software will continue to work. Those who upgrade their PC's hardware substantially may be asked to reactivate. Reactivation for this reason is easy and can be completed by contacting Microsoft to obtain another confirmation ID.

    Product Activation changes the way Microsoft software is licensed.

    The underlying principles of Microsoft's software licenses have not changed. Microsoft's end user license agreements have always stipulated the number of PCs that software can be installed on. Product Activation does not change that.

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  • Volume Licensing and Activation

    Qualifying as a volume licensing customer is easier than many may think. Customers can qualify for Microsoft's Open Licensing program by purchasing as few as five licenses. More information on Microsoft Open Licensing and Microsoft's other volume licensing programs can be found at the business licensing Web site. It's important to understand that Volume License Agreements do not cover the full Windows Client operating system; Volume License provides for Windows Client upgrades only. Customers must first have a qualifying underlying operating system license before installing Volume License software on their computers. Those who acquire software licenses through one of Microsoft's volume licensing programs will not be required to activate those licenses. Microsoft understands the unique deployment requirements of businesses that need to acquire licenses in volume and provides product that does not require activation to those customers.