Windows 8 verification causing problems for PC makers?

Windows 8 will reportedly have a new verification process for new PCs and according to Digitimes, via unnamed sources, it's causing problems for PC makers. The story says that Windows 8 will use OEM Activation 3.0 (OA 3.0) and as a result PC manufacturers are reportedly saying it will take longer to install the OS into PCs and therefore cost them money.

Windows 7 and older versions of Microsoft's operating system use a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) label that is normally slapped on notebook PCs and included on new desktops PCs as part of the packaging. Users type in the number on the COA label when they use a new PC for the first time to activate Windows.

Windows 8, on the other hand, will install the activation key inside the OS's UEFI firmware (Digitimes incorrectly says it's being placed inside a PC's BIOS). This means that PC makers will have to take more time and give every new PC with Windows 8 more individual attention than Windows 7 PCs, where a PC makers could simply stick on the COA label.

There's also concern that employees will need more training in order to get use to the new Windows 8 activation procedures. All of this means that PC makers could have to spend more in order to get Windows 8 installed on each PC.

If all of this is true, that could also mean that PCs with Windows 8 could cost more compared to new PCs with Windows 7. That could spell trouble for Microsoft in the long run unless they can come up with a way to make installing Windows 8 cheaper for the PC makers..

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To you people that have never had to type in the COA number. That just shows you haven't been around long enough to have experienced it. Doesn't mean it wasn't usually done that way.

I've done it MANY, MANY times.

Microsoft should rename Windows 8 to "Windows Vista 8". They keep changing game rules every and every single release. They should just improve and polish the previous release instead of creating something "from scratch" with "completely new UI" and new ridiculous anti-piracy measures that will be hacked and broken ANY WAY.

Seriously? What OEMs are this silly/stupid?

Since the early 90s, Microsoft has provided a rich set of deployment tools for OEMs, that have allowed everything from individualizing the GUIDs of early NT installs.

With the technology and Windows Vista/7 alone, they have continued to add on a massive set of features that allow image deployment with automation to slip software and any COA keys into the image, without any user interaction by the OEM or the end-user. There was a time when OEMs had to actually run an install on the PC, but that was over 15 years ago.

As one reply said, some OEMs have the user input the COA. Well, these OEMs are not using the full set of features available in the current OEM tools available, and are wasting their time and their user's time.

If any OEM is dumb enough to believe that Microsoft will not update their OEM deploy and automation tools to have a feature to shove the keys and license information in the UEFI, they have no idea what they are doing now, and have no idea how the new Windows 8 OA process works. (Here is a tip for them, Windows 8 actually makes it easier for OEMs.)

Additionally, since even with UEFI, the OA/COA embedding of licensing/keys is not required by Microsoft, it is only an 'option' for OEMs, like and OEM making a Tablet that they have need to lock the hardware - you know, like a 3G/4G Tablet sold through a cell provider. (Yes phones too, as we get closer to Windows 8 NT kernel replacing WinCE.)

Windows 7 already is highly automated, to the point an image can be stream dropped onto a ton of drives by an OEM, and dumped into systems without any install and without a custom key to each drive to match its targeted system.

To think for a second that Microsoft will destroy one of the things that make Windows easy for OEMS with Windows 8 and not provide the same level of automation at the very least is just insane.

So if A) It is optional and B) The new OEM tools have new ways that automated this and C) It will actually be easier than Windows 7, WTH are OEMs talking about, or are they just silly/stupid or spreading FUD?

(This article is helping them spread FUD, as there is already real information available from Microsoft on this topic specifically, and a call to a Microsoft contact would be able to confirm this is a crap assumption by OEMs.)

Alright, then. What about upgrading to Windows 9? Are you going to have to somehow install yet another key in the UEFI? Or will you be able to activate manually?

The real issue is that SLIC is not compatible with UEFI yet, while it is with a traditional BIOS. As the need/desire for UEFI grows among OEM customers, the side effects of that switch are starting to *sink in* for the OEMs. (There are several threads on the MDL Forums on this exact issue - in the Windows 8 *and* Windows 7 forums; avoiding Windows 8 does not make the issue go away.)

Actually, the risk when doing a bootflash depends on how it's done - I just re-flashed a VERY old IBM (now Lenovo) P4-based ThinkCentre via the bootable-ISO method (which is actually commonplace among OEMs large and small); alternatives include bootable USB sticks and specific options depending on the OEM that manufactured/ordered the motherboard. UEFI flashing itself is no different from that for a traditional BIOS - for either the user or the OEM; the differences lay in the options for the OEM.

Lastly, SLIC is *not* mandatory for OEMs. The COA is, but SLIC itself isn't.

Article is of a pretty **** quality and completely wrong.
Since XP and maybe even 2000, licenses have been embedded into bios, just because BIOS is going to UEFI doesn't mean it'll be much different.
The whole article sounds like a load of tosh.

There's also concern that employees will need more training in order to get use to the new Windows 8 activation procedures. All of this means that PC makers could have to spend more in order to get Windows 8 installed on each PC.

LOL, if they need aditional training to activate Win8, just shows the horrible low level of those people

I find it strange that OEMs are complaining about this now. The method already exists in Windows 7. There are OEMs that implant their key in the BIOS (Yes, BIOS and UEFI) and flash those to the PC's they build. Making it mandatory now is what upsets the smaller OEMs I guess. I think this has to do with all the bootloaders going around for Windows 7 using OEM certificates to bypass activation. A BIOS flash is still more risky than a bootloader installation.

Add me to the crowd that has never had to do that, except for the one laptop I upgraded from Vista to 7. Other than that one time it has been turn on, set up and go have fun.

smooth3006 said,
just please tech gods let me be able to toggle off metro completely.

I really don't see how Microsoft couldn't just give us the switch to turn it all off, especially since it's what Windows 8 willd do by itself, if you have too low resolution.

I really hope they do... but otherwise, it shouldn't be hard to turn it off in Registry either.

Kuraj said,

I really don't see how Microsoft couldn't just give us the switch to turn it all off, especially since it's what Windows 8 willd do by itself, if you have too low resolution.

I really hope they do... but otherwise, it shouldn't be hard to turn it off in Registry either.


I really hope they do. I dont want metro on my desktop.

smooth3006 said,
just please tech gods let me be able to toggle off metro completely.

Absolutely, using a new Control Panel element. A user should not have to edit the Registry to turn off the Metro interface (or, in a weak moment, turn it on).

uh


Windows 7 and older versions of Microsoft's operating system use a Certificate of Authenticity (COA) label that is normally slapped on notebook PCs and included on new desktops PCs as part of the packaging. Users type in the number on the COA label when they use a new PC for the first time to activate Windows.

never once had to do that with an OEM system, they hardcode stuff into the BIOS already to preactivate it

Lenovo, Dell, HP, Acer, Toshiba all them came preactivated

neufuse said,
uh

never once had to do that with an OEM system, they hardcode stuff into the BIOS already to preactivate it

Lenovo, Dell, HP, Acer, Toshiba all them came preactivated

My first Dell PC i had todo that. Although, with my HP im not sure because the first thing i did when I got it was install 7, didn't even boot into Vista.

Users type in the number on the COA label when they use a new PC for the first time to activate Windows.

Since when? Every OEM PC I've ever bought, including the hundreds of HP PC's I've dealt with at work have come pre-activated out of the box. Not once have I had to manually type in the code off the sticker on a new PC. Sure when I rebuild machines from the DVD I've had to, but not new out of box.

There's also concern that employees will need more training in order to get use to the new Windows 8 activation procedures. All of this means that PC makers could have to spend more in order to get Windows 8 installed on each PC.

And they're not going to need training on how to install and configure Windows 8 anyway?

Shut up OEM's. Oh and while I've got your attention... stop installing crapware on your PCs. It would be nice for once to get a new PC and not have to spend an hour stripping out all the trial-ware and crap from it. Thank you.

"Users type in the number on the COA label when they use a new PC for the first time to activate Windows." I have never done this.. wouldnt it be activated out of box?

Nah, this is is raising the alarm because manufacturers dont wanna think in advance of any rising cost or procedure complexity, but they will suck it up when the time comes and that will be it if it's all for anti-piracy measures. Standard stuff, move along please.

thartist said,
Nah, this is is raising the alarm because manufacturers dont wanna think in advance of any rising cost or procedure complexity, but they will suck it up when the time comes and that will be it if it's all for anti-piracy measures. Standard stuff, move along please.

All of their so-called anti-piracy measures have been broken long before being released to the public. This will be no different. They are wasting resources and money on it. Plus, they mostly just adversely affect legit users as it is.

"Users type in the number on the COA label when they use a new PC for the first time to activate Windows."

HUH? Since when? I have never had to use the key to activate a "new" PC. Only when I clean install would I ever have to look at the COA.

Jack O Neill said,
"Users type in the number on the COA label when they use a new PC for the first time to activate Windows."

HUH? Since when? I have never had to use the key to activate a "new" PC. Only when I clean install would I ever have to look at the COA.

Depends on the PC maker. Some preinstall it for you with key actived some of them don't. I only see this as a function FOR pc makers to help users entering there key for first use and reinstalls

Yes but while it may cost them more, they will probably sell more based on the demand and the Windows user experience will be safer, will it not? To me it seems like many more pros than cons... just that companies don't make as much "short-term" money.

drazgoosh said,
Yes but while it may cost them more, they will probably sell more based on the demand and the Windows user experience will be safer, will it not? To me it seems like many more pros than cons... just that companies don't make as much "short-term" money.

Possibly, but you have to remember that the "Windows user experience" will deviate heavily from what the user is used to, even if there is a classic mode.

Planar1280 said,
Thats good news, maybe we won't get crappy dellware or hpware installed as a result

Or more to offset the cost! Booooooooooooo

Hopefully Win8 is like WP7 with the bloatware removal conditions

Planar1280 said,
Thats good news, maybe we won't get crappy dellware or hpware installed as a result
Keep dreaming, I wish you were right but that practice is too lucrative for them.

Planar1280 said,
Thats good news, maybe we won't get crappy dellware or hpware installed as a result
or Toshibaware
which is causing microsoft update support to go bonkers. Whatever Toshiba is running, great computer but it's blocking SP1 on Windows 7 from installing. So irritated they are sending me an actual copy of windows 7 64 bit because of course Toshiba doesn'r actually have one. They have a 3 dvdr restore disk set I spent $25 on. turn out it's worthless. Although I do like the Toshiba hard drive protector (moves the head if too much embalance is detected) as well as Labelflash. way better than lightscribe but harder to find.

PatrynXX said,
or Toshibaware
which is causing microsoft update support to go bonkers. Whatever Toshiba is running, great computer but it's blocking SP1 on Windows 7 from installing. So irritated they are sending me an actual copy of windows 7 64 bit because of course Toshiba doesn'r actually have one. They have a 3 dvdr restore disk set I spent $25 on. turn out it's worthless. Although I do like the Toshiba hard drive protector (moves the head if too much embalance is detected) as well as Labelflash. way better than lightscribe but harder to find.

You can google "Official Windows 7 SP1 download link" and find the links. They're unprotected ISOs hosted by Microsoft/their online distribution partners. They allow you to use the COA key on your computer to activate.

Technically these ISOs are for people who purchased Windows 7 as digital download, but they work for anyone.