Microsoft has confirmed reports received by The Register that Windows 2000 PCs running a specific version of Office 2000 have been hit by sudden, unexpected requests to continually register the software with Microsoft. The glitch could leave thousands of Office users unable to continue using their software.
The problem appears to centre on the Select Customer - ie. non-academic volume licence purchasers - version of the Office 2000 Service Release 1 (SR-1) running on Win2k. The Office 2000 Product Registration Wizard appears when any Office app is launched and invites the user to register. There's no way to get rid of the Wizard other than filling in all the details each time or clicking Register Later.
Unfortunately, clicking Register Later more than 50 times renders Office unusable. The Office Registration Wizard was introduced with SR-1 as an anti-piracy measure. Designed to be "simple and unobtrusive while protecting customer privacy", the Wizard requires you to register the product and obtain an eight-character activation code from Microsoft. The Wizard lets you use Office up to 50 times without registering, after which you must register in order to continue using Office apps.
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News source: The Reg