Microsoft clarifies Vista activation to bit-tech hacks

Written by Wil Harris

October 26, 2006 // 12:16 p.m.

Tags: #activation #microsoft #vista #windows

Microsoft today talked to bit-tech in a bid to reassure the enthusiast community about the licensing terms of Windows Vista.

We previously read that Vista could prove to be a nightmare for enthusiasts who upgrade often, with only one transfer to a new machine allowed and with the license tied to a particular system configuration in a way that was far more limiting than Windows XP.

A Microsoft spokesman from the Licensing Dept told bit-tech that this would not be the case. He told us that Windows Vista will not require a system re-activation unless the hard drive and one other component is changed. This means that enthusiasts will be able to swap CPUs, memory and graphics cards out without any worry about having to re-activate with MS, either on the internet or by phone.

Should you change the hard drive and another piece of hardware - for example for a major upgrade such as a motherboard change that requires a re-installation - Microsoft will allow you to re-activate up to 10 times. You will not, however, be able to have more than one machine activated concurrently.

Should you wish to activate more than 10 times, you could be busted, or Microsoft could choose to let you activate again at its discretion.

For hardcore system enthusiasts, keeping a ghosted, activated copy of Vista with no drivers could be a good way of being able to swap around components and machines with the minimum amount of hassle.

This would seem to clear up some of the confusion about Vista activation. Let us know what you will be doing over in the forums!

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