How the OXP Licensing Works
You all read the last issue #275. Some one sent me an email and said
"with this key, I can run it all". MS denies that, and said that the
real answer may lie in a misunderstanding over the details of MS new
licensing agreement. Well, no one from MS took the trouble to pick
up the phone and explain me how I was wrong, so for the moment I'm in
a wait-and-see mode.
The article goes on with (and I quote)
"If you buy a copy of Office XP off the shelf, or for a single user,
the accompanying activation key will allow Office XP to be installed and
activated on two machines: a primary desktop and a secondary laptop.
"But in a corporate environment the activation key does not have to
be entered on every machine, otherwise the systems administrator
would be "tearing his hair out in frustration", according to a MS
"It is likely that, in this case, someone had obtained a copy of the
corporate edition of Office XP, which would already have been activated.
A spokesman for the Redmond giant said that, as far as Microsoft is
concerned, "the code had not been cracked" and, although some bootleg
copies of Office are appearing, "the activation system was only
designed to stop casual copying of software". (end quote)
Yeah, right. Here's how it looks like it works. Here is a story from
some one who just received their brand new OfficeXP. Thanks Daniel!
All Office XP Media is "keyed" for a type of media - Retail boxed
copies will only accept retail keys (I don't know if it is an
algorithm within the key or a block of keys assigned as retail). But
Corporate IT staff would go bonkers trying to lock down all these
"ACTIVATIONS" to their installed copies of Office. So MS came up
with a solution and it is to be implemented with all XP designated
licensed products - Corporate version media keys!
My newly arrived media did NOT have a product key sticker anywhere
to be seen. I got confused and then remembered a nightmare I had
the other night. MS Open licensing's website stores the key to my
30 copies! I have to go to that site and enter the new agreement
number to get my Product Key and there it stays nice and safe until
something yucky happens to their server or something. That's not
the nightmare though.... Here's what I found, this was taken directly
from the MS eOpen site that stores my license information.
"Open Product Key. To install certain licensed products you will
need to use a specific Open product key (OPK). This OPK is issued
to your company for your exclusive use for each specific license
purchase. Because your company will be held responsible for
unauthorized use of the product keys assigned to your Open License,
you agree to use your best efforts to keep a secure record of this
product key including not disclosing this product key to any
unauthorized third party."
YIKES! Better not share that key! On the line item that contains
Office XP is a golden (yellow) key icon (really small and at first
I did not even realize what it was) and if I click on that I get
the following: Product Key Product description: Office XP Pro
Enterprise Win32 OLP NL. Your Open License Product key is
Do not share this information with anyone outside of your organization
This text within the pop up can not be selected for copy/paste so you
have to write it down the old fashioned way. Now I used my key on that
copy of RETAIL software and guess what? No activation needed! I used
the RETAIL key on my Open License Media and guess what - that key no
So corporate users can purchase ONE boxed copy of Office XP and use
their Open license KEY with it for all installs or they can order
media from Microsoft's World Wide Fulfillment center (you will need
your license agreement number to complete the order) and use that same
key. It's not hacked it's just what key you use!"
Fair enough. So one corporate key that leaks out to the Internet
and everyone can use it. OK, I got it. Sure. OXP is not hacked. [grin]
And fair warning, there is a lot of new code in OXP. Test, Test, Test
and test again before you deploy. There will be bugs and some of
them are going to be serious. Here's the article:
Windows XP May Have Instant Messenger On Steroids
MS will intro a field-test version of WXP that boosts the features
of its instant-messaging software. This puppy does text, chat, video,
audio and telephony services.
It's supposed to be called the "Windows Messenger", and the code is
MS's attempt to bundle IM with other communications code and to beat
AOL Time Warner's IM technology. AOL is already screaming bloody murder.
This field-test happens to be at the same time as negotiations between
the MS and AOL that are about whether MS will include the AOL icon into
WXP. They are running into some hitches. Up to now the two have worked
together but this may fall apart now. Windows Messenger will be more
closely tied to the OS compared to earlier MSN messaging service flavors.
MS is looking to add a bunch of features and more or less redefine the
IM category. If you look at the past, they are doing the same thing they
did with Outlook. Version 1 was bare bones. Now it has all kinds of bells
and whistles, including a calendar. The new MS-IM will have built-in
telephony, and video conferencing. But if the quality is actually good
enough, this will open up a whole other can of worms. Will it bypass
your local PBX? What's the network load going to be, and how about
security? Hmmm, not even to think about the connection speed issues.
This stuff is all peer-to-peer. Kinda like Napster as you are talking
directly to the IP address of the other person. If you are in the corporate
side of things, this needs to be thought through before you deploy. I
can think of a few things that not everyone will like with this concept.
Also, later today I'll be shown a fully secure, in-company IM application.
More about that later. Background article on ZDNet: