Microsoft to ease XP activation with SP3

Microsoft Corp. will change how users activate Windows XP when Service Pack 3 launches in the first half of 2008, a company white paper said.

New installations of Windows XP SP3 will give users the same 30-day grace period currently offered to Windows Vista customers before they're required to enter a product activation key, the 25-character code that proves the copy is legitimate.

"As in Windows Server 2003 SP2 and Windows Vista, users can now complete operating system installation without providing a product key during a full, integrated installation of Windows XP SP3," the Microsoft paper stated. "The operating system will prompt the user for a product key later as part of Genuine Advantage."

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I don't understand why more people don't use the student keys. MS reps went around to universities, handing out copies of XP Pro, and actually told people to make copies and share them with their friends.

f0rbez said,
How will you activate a pre-SP3 key on SP3??

It works the same way, you'll just be able to skip the dialog box that asks for your key when you're installing Windows. Afterwards you'll have 30 days to enter one and activate.

Flae_qui said,
guessing all the current pirated keys that are passing the WGA will work? or will will they not? :blink:

Gee, I hope not.

GreyWolfSC said,

Gee, I hope not. :|

Even if it does, within a few days there will be a new one (key) that will, and after that one gets blacklisted, there will be another one, and so on and so forth. Even with the Vista RTM SP1 and their trying to stop the "Stop Timer" and "OEM BIOS" crack, there will just be another within days, if not hours of release. Pirates will just be slightly irritated, Legit Users will be severely inconvenienced. Same as it's always been.

While I normally hate it when people say "old news", wasn't this actually revealed months and months ago?

Notice the phrase

The operating system will prompt the user for a product key later as part of Genuine Advantage."

Sounds like they plan for the final sp3 to have integrated WGA, just like Vista has. No more choosing not to install the WGA junk.

I wonder if they are also going to do periodic checks like Vista does...

Yeah this is why I will probably wait awhile after sp3 final comes out to see if people have issues like this all over again. WGA can be really annoying in that aspect.

toadeater said,
Beware Microsofties bearing gifts...

Microsoft will do whatever it can to cripple XP and promote Vista.

I was thinking the same. I hope SP3 doesn't screw up a great operating system so that people will move to Vista.

You do know a public beta has been out for some time now right? I've been using it for several months, and it most certainly does not screw up XP or cripple it or spam you with Vista ads. It works fine and XP feels as snappy as ever.

Precisely why I'm not even going to bother with SP3, it's not like I need it. Microsoft can take WGA and shove it.

This isn't anything really new, per say.
SP2c introduced the keyless install...as an OEM we got this version because of the lack of product keys...but it is SP3 that will introduce slmgr.

The keyless install makes it a ton easier to build and clone machines. Then when the end-user gets the PC all they have to do is type in the product key and its set to go.

There is no key less install for WinXP till SP3, period. The serial is probably in the winnt.sif file located inside the i386 folder on the CD. Just open it with notepad.exe.

necrosis said,
There is no key less install for WinXP till SP3, period. The serial is probably in the winnt.sif file located inside the i386 folder on the CD. Just open it with notepad.exe.

DrJones is correct. SP2C has this feature, it's just not available to the public.

Windows Server 2003 SP2

Am I missing something, only Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista do keyless installs, right?