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Microsoft gives SP3 users 30 days grace period

A Microsoft whitepaper (opens in new tab) revealed that the company is to ease the registration rules with the forthcoming Windows XP Service pack 3 which is set to be released in the first half of 2008.

The document dubbed, Windows XP Service Pack 3 (opens in new tab) overview, states that "As in Windows Server 2003 SP2 and Windows Vista, users can now complete operating system installation without providing a product key during a full, integrated installation of Windows XP SP3, The operating system will prompt the user for a product key later as part of Genuine Advantage."

The 30 day grace period is similar to what Windows Vista users get and will display nagging notices to users to "coerce" them into purchasing a valid licensed copy of the operating system.

Microsoft also uses its Windows Update service to track down illegal copies and regularly updates Windows Genuine Advantage, its product activation and Anti Counterfeit technology.

Vista SP1 however will have a reduced functionality mode which is more stringent than XP SP3, disabling most features and effectively dumbing down the OS.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.