Windows 2000 to inherit XP's copy protection?

Here's a new and interesting development on the Windows XP copy protection and licensing registration front. Many of us aren't too comfortable with Microsoft's plans, and how they could affect our privacy and our computers' usability. But those who think "Oh, forget XP; I'll just stick with Win2K and avoid this whole mess" may have a surprise coming. It's looking like MS is laying the groundwork to update Windows 2000 to support the same registration process as Windows XP.

After installing the IE 6 preview, I had the following registry key added to my Win2k Pro box:

Within this key are 2 subkeys: "HardwareID" and "Store"

Under the "HardwareID" key is a "ClientHWID" binary value entry, containing what I'll assume is a hash key generated off my system's hardware.

Under the "Store" key is another key named "LICENSE000", which contains four binary values named the following: "ClientLicense", "CompanyName", "LicenseScope", and "ProductID".

Make of this what you will, but I wouldn't be surprised to see MS start sneaking code like this in through hotfixes and service packs. It may become rather difficult to avoid their registration scheme.

Tip: You can use the A/Z keys to walk threads.
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