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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