Windows group announced some changes in their increased efforts against piracy and new steps being taken to protect Windows Vista (see http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2007/dec07/12-03wga.mspx for details). These changes are coming in Windows Vista SP1 (due out in Q1 2008). Along with disabling some of the known exploits that counterfeiters are using, changes are being made to product activation. Specifically, the Reduced Functionality Mode (RFM) is being replaced with new notifications to let customers know that their systems are not genuine when they do not activate or when their systems fail validation.
So what does this mean for Windows Server 2008?
If you don't know already, Windows Server 2008 uses the same activation method as Windows Vista. With the release of Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, Microsoft made a strategic policy decision requiring for all editions of Windows, both client and server. As part of Microsoft's Genuine Software Initiative (GSI), we have added an element of engineering, which is the Software Protection Platform (SPP) that introduced new technology for our volume licensing customers called Volume Activation 2.0 (VA 2.0). VA 2.0 allows for different types of activation and is configurable by IT Pros to automate and manage the product activation process for Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista system licensed under volume licensing while addressing piracy and key management issues. VA 2.0 eliminates the use of product keys at the time of software installation and enables better protection and management of customer-specific product keys through new and enhanced activation management tools.
Up until now, customers who have been testing pre-release versions of Windows Server 2008 have not encountered the new volume activation methods because the pre-release versions use the same activation methods as our retail products, which are done primarily through online activation. However, when Windows Server 2008 releases in Q1 2008, volume license customers will notice that they will now be receiving KMS and MAK keys for activation purposes. Full technical and planning information for Volume Activation is located here: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/bb892849.aspx
Microsoft, Windows Vista, Service Pack, Vista SP1, Windows Server 2008, Piracy, WGA, Product Activation