Update on MS product activation plans

— 8:26 PM on January 22, 2001

The Register has the latest on Microsoft's product activation scheme to be featured in Office 10 and Whistler. MS product manager Allan Nieman tries to set the record straight.

But first, although cracks and patches dealing with the protection in Whistler builds 2410 and 2416 (an "internal" Microsoft build currently maiming bandwidth in shady circles) have been produced, it would seem that the panic produced by product activation's appearance in the beta code was unnecessary - according to Nieman, neither of these builds is actually protected. "It's just a UI screen," he says, a "first glimpse" of what the system will look like. Just click next, as Microsoft's technical beta testers have now been informed. Duh.

Obviously that won't be the case with the shipping product, so the work of the script kiddies won't have been entirely in vain. But Microsoft really, really wants people not to hate product activation and - strange but at least at the moment true - is trying to draw a sharp distiction between activation and registration. And, by the way, registration will not be compulsory, according to Nieman.

This story will continue to develop as more details are released.

WinInfo reports that the Whistler MCSE exams will be interchangeable with Windows 2000 so those who are Win2k certified won't have their certifications expire or have to be re-tested when Whistler is released.

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