A flaw in how Microsoft Windows Server 2008 (download) calculates the time remaining until it must be activated could enable users to potentially run the server for years before activation. The defect is a consequence of Microsoft failing to assess its virtualization strategy, says an analyst. At startup, Windows looks at the install date (located in the registry), and compares it to the current date. It then calculates how many minutes that is, and starts a timer in the background counting down the minutes. Once you are out of minutes – you have to activate.