While Microsoft's largely left its Windows activation the same since Windows XP, it appears the company may now be changing its activation requirements with the upcoming October 26 release of Windows 8.
A new report from Justin Kerr of Maximum PC claims Microsoft is looking to close "loopholes" in the current activation requirements in an effort to reduce piracy rates for its signature operating system. One of the ways Microsoft hopes to achieve this is by modifying the OEM versions of the operating system, making it more difficult for pirates to avoid paying Microsoft for the operating system. Instead of providing OEMs with a single activation key, Kerr states, OEMs "will be required to write a unique Windows product key into the BIOS of each new machine shipped."
Additionally, OEMs will now have to contact Microsoft directly to obtain product keys. OEM machines will now feature a "Genuine Microsoft" sticker to alert consumers of the machine's authenticity. Certificates of authenticity were previously the only requirement Microsoft imposed on OEMs to ensure authenticity.
Kerr states the new OEM activation requirements will only be used in Windows 8 products (and presumably Windows RT products as well), although the program could potentially be expanded to Microsoft's previous operating systems.