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· AllStar
53 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Microsoft Corp. today announced the release to manufacturing of Windows® XP Service Pack 1 (SP1), a package of updates for Windows XP, the company's most advanced and fastest-selling Windows licenses. Windows XP SP1 brings enhanced security, reliability and compatibility to business and home users. Windows XP Service Pack 1 will be available to the general public Monday, Sept. 9. Jackie

· God Bless America!
2,534 Posts
Which I find funny. How the HECK is there an RTM for a download? All they have to do is post in on their site! But I do think it will be funny what happens to all my friends with pirated XP when this happens. I know quite a few people plan to just buy XP.

· Hall Of Fame
3,433 Posts
So this is a Free Downloadable patch, or a charge to use it (like 98 Second Edition was not a freebie)? I assume by SP1 it will be a freebie.

Well 2 things will keep me away from it for at least a few days. Those who downloaded NT 4 - SP6 learned the hard way to let someone else be on the bleeding edge, and the demand on the download servers will make download speed suck. I'll probably wait 1-2 weeks just to be safe and to get a quicker download time, expecially since my Production machine is running XP. If XP were on my test machines (running Redhat 7.3 and Win2K Adv Svr - SP3) I would probably try it first day available.

· Hall Of Fame
1,118 Posts
I'm interested to find out if this will be free or not too. I would think that since this is FIXING something that THEY weren't able to do right, then we shouldn't pay.

· God Bless America!
2,534 Posts
It's free, but you must legally own XP as it dramatically improves the copy protection (turns out it will do more than just disabling the FCKGW key)

-update- Here's the exact details from Microsoft:

1. Ensuring licensed customers receive full benefits
* Eligibility for Windows XP Service Pack 1 and Windows Update
Licensed customers will continue to enjoy product updates and access to Windows Update. Service pack 1 will fail to install on Windows XP installations using either of two well-known pirated product keys. Additionally, Windows Update will verify the product key used to install Windows XP against a list of valid product keys to ensure installations made with cracked or pirated product keys will not receive access.
* Additional grace periods for hardware out-of-tolerance situations
Users will have up to 3 days to re-activate Windows XP after making a hardware change that triggers the need to re-activate. Previously, users were required to re-activate immediately upon the next boot after the hardware changes were made.
* Volume license key (VLK) encryption
An encryption feature will be added to unattended setups of Windows XP with Service Pack 1. Customers who place their VLK in an unattended setup file (unattend.txt) will be able to encrypt the VLK such that it will be time limited and hidden from plain text.
2. Raising the bar on pirates
* Product key inclusion in Installation ID for activation
In order to protect customers and Microsoft against product key attacks, the product key used to install Windows will be included in the Installation ID for all activations completed after SP1 has been installed. Internet activations will send the entire product key while telephone activations will send a hash value of the product key in order to limit the increase in size of the telephone Installation ID..
* Repair of activation circumventions
Service Pack 1 for Windows XP will contain fixes to cracks used by software pirates to circumvent activation. Installations of Windows XP patched by a crack will require activation after SP1 has been installed.


Changes to Product Activation in Windows XP Service Pack 1

What changes have been made to product activation in SP1? How will these changes impact customers?
Microsoft will introduce additional technological measures in Service Pack 1 for Windows XP aimed at ensuring legally licensed customers receive the full benefits of owning their valid license. These changes include denying access to the Windows XP SP1 updates for PCs with known pirated installations, product key validation during activation, and the repair of cracks to activation. Additional features have been added to provide a better customer experience including an additional three-day grace period to re-activate after significant hardware changes and the ability for volume license customers to encrypt their volume license product key in unattended installations.

Licensed customers are not impacted by any of these changes.

Will these changes also occur in a service release or update for Office XP?
No, these changes are specific to Windows XP.

What happens to a customer who tries to install SP1 onto a Windows XP install made with one of these pirated keys? Are there any exceptions to this?
They will be unable to install the update until they have acquired genuine software and installed that software with a valid product key. Nothing will happen to their underlying Windows XP installation. Access to upgrades and service releases is a benefit that Microsoft offers to those who have acquired and use genuine Microsoft products only. There are no exceptions to this.

What should a customer do if they find they unwittingly acquired a pirated copy of Windows XP? How can a customer acquire a legitimate license for Windows XP if they find that theirs is pirated?
The customer should go back to the point of purchase and demand a refund or a genuine copy of Windows XP. Customers can also contact Microsoft directly at http://www.microsoft.com/piracy/reporting/default.asp and report the piracy.

Customers can acquire a legitimate copy of Windows XP from a trusted retailer or PC manufacturer.

What are the product keys that are affected by this?
We are not publishing the product keys themselves, however the product IDs generated from these product keys are (where X may be any numeric value):

* XXXXX-640-0000356-23XXX
* XXXXX-640-2001765-23XXX

The product ID can be found by right clicking on My Computer and choosing Properties and viewing the General tab.

What about the Windows Update check of the product key? And also during activation the product key is now provided? How does Microsoft know whether a customer is using pirated or genuine product key in these instances? And what about privacy in these matters, as the check is occurring on the Microsoft end?
For Windows Update, the product key and product ID are verified by Windows Update. There is no link to the activation system. Once the product key and product ID are validated, they are discarded; neither the key nor the ID are maintained after the validation check.

For activation after SP1 has been installed, Microsoft uses the product key as part of the Installation ID to determine if it is legitimate. If it is not legitimate, the activation request is denied. In this case, the product key (along with the entire installation ID) is kept as part of the error record. Remember that no personally identifiable information is required to activate.

How does this additional grace period work?
Microsoft implemented the additional grace period to provide a time period for customers to activate if they were required to because of a hardware change. Previously, a significant hardware change would require an immediate reacivation. With SP1, a significant hardware change will require reactivation within 3 days.

How does the volume license key (VLK) encryption feature work?
This encryption feature allows the system administrator to time-limit and hide from plain text the VLK used for unattended installations of Windows XP. See our volume license key web site for details.

When I attempted to activate a Windows XP SP1 installation with a product key that had been used on another PC I got an error message asking me if I wanted to buy an additional Windows XP license. Is this new?
Yes, beginning with Windows XP SP1 Microsoft is offering the ability for user's in certain geographies to purchase an additional Windows XP license at a discount for a second PC. If the Windows XP software was completely removed from the previous PC before being installed on the subsequent PC, no additional license is required.

Why is this additional license purchase feature available in only certain countries?
Due to logistical issues, Microsoft is only able to sell these additional licenses in a few countries. More countries may be added in the future.
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