As leaked copies of Windows Server 2003 begin to surface before its launch, Microsoft says not to expect many changes to product activation in the new operating system - indicating the anti-piracy technology has met expectations. The company has yielded any drastic changes for its next generation Windows client, code-named Longhorn. Windows Server 2003 will have no more of the controversial activation technology than was seen in the first Windows XP service pack, along with a few tweaks.
When retooling activation for Windows Server 2003, Microsoft targeted scenarios specific to server environments. Algorithms were modified to reflect differences in hardware present in business and enterprise systems. RAID controllers and hot swappable drives, for example, are not often found on the desktop. Despite these differences in architecture, the trigger for re-activation remains unchanged. Microsoft Product Manager of Activation Allen Nieman explained to BetaNews that although it would seem there are major differences between the two environments, product activation processes are identical. Customers will be extended the same number of hardware modifications, and a "grace period" of three days to reactivate.
However, activation is a scenario few will encounter. Most large customers will purchase Windows Server 2003 through Microsoft's volume licensing program, which does not require activation. Key OEM partners such as Dell will continue on the path of selling standalone servers pre-activated. Only boxed copies of the operating system will require activation.
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News source: Betanews