Microsoft To Change Activation System For Windows 9, No More Product Keys

/ 2 years ago


Infamous Windows leaker WZOR has been at it again revealing more interesting details about the upcoming Windows 9 OS. Microsoft is set to overhaul the way Windows 9 is activated and will ditch the current product key system. In its place Microsoft will make having a store account with them compulsory, you will have to buy your license from the store and it will give you a generic ISO file to install your OS with. Once you install that ISO file your system will then be profiled (most likely motherboard related details) and then linked to your account and activated. To move to another machine you simply deactivate the install on the last system, redownload the generic ISO file and go through the online syncing process again. The concept will be applied to 3-user and 5-user family licenses as well as individual licenses.

Straight away there are obvious issues with the new method of activation. Firstly, you have to get a Microsoft store account, whether you want one or not because your activation is linked to your account. Secondly, you will need an internet connection to use your PC and install your OS, this may not sound like an issue for home users but for business users this could be a deal breaker: especially those on closed networks. Thirdly, motherboard upgrades will essentially break your system so you will have to reinstall your OS, annoying if you’re just making a same chipset family upgrade: such as Intel H81 to Z87 where a reinstall is not needed. Fourthly, if all licenses are sold via the Microsoft store then Microsoft are cutting retailers and resellers out of the operating system market: they can no longer sell licenses if they have to be acquired via the Microsoft store because there are no product keys to sell. In summary Microsoft are trying to force an “always-online” style of DRM onto the Windows OS, if this is the case, I don’t think it will go down very well at all. We saw a huge community retaliation against Microsoft’s attempt to make the Xbox One “always online”, I am sure we will see a similar thing within the desktop environment.

What are your thoughts on Microsoft’s new Windows activation system?

Source: BetaNews

Image courtesy of

Topics: , , ,

  • Christopher Estep

    The reason is quite obvious – piracy of Microsoft’s operating systems (in fact, operating systems in general) is a massive problem. Microsoft is NOT a charity – they are a business. And as much as folks hate the idea of changing Windows, they still stoop to pilfering it at ever-increasing rates. Since product keys (the typical licensing scheme, which goes back to Windows 9x and NT4) have not worked, they are having to rely on other methods. Corporate licensing does not rely on product keys per se (and, unlike the article above states, corporate licensing, while it may change yet again, still won’t rely on product keys). Because Microsoft IS a business, why should they basically throw in the towel and give the OS away?

    • Shane Edwards

      This wont make a difference. It will just get bypassed as always during the RC release. Just another system that forces legit users to jump through yet more hoops while the real pirates remain unaffected.

      Next you will have to have a kinect plugged in to use the computer.

      Its the always on-line bullshit they tried with the xbox and we saw how that went.

    • albert89

      I don’t want M$ to give their OS away nor will I pay $299 or $499 for their OS.

  • zombie

    I support this decision.
    I hope that with this they’ll push more people away to free linux and thus speeding up there developement.
    Making it everyday consumer ready.
    Because seriously, microsoft has been slipping since windows vista.
    They haven’t even updated their file system.

  • XionEternum

    I’ve got a better idea for creating incentive for legit purchases of the OS: Charge $25 instead and allow the license to be transferable between PCs. Sure have an online system that detects when more than one PC is using the same license, and nullify all but the most recent activation with a notification to those deactivated copies that were illegitimately shared and they should pursue the source of their installation legally if they so desire. Meanwhile offering to immediately buy a new license for the new regular price and continue using the OS normally for up to 2 weeks in case they can’t afford it yet.

    If they don’t do this, they will only endure more piracy, more backlash, and push more people to Linux. This will ultimately become a loss in large scale for Microsoft. I swear, you’ld think and entire boardroom of people smart enough to be where they are would be smart enough to know when certain changes to their platform, products, or services will alienate their customs. Especially when there’s already significant backlash against the very changes intended due to existing examples. But no, the only thing on their minds is: “We need to be like Apple!” When the only reason most people are on Windows is because they don’t want to be confined to Apple’s closed-garden ecosystem.

  • Jason Yue

    Well, Linux sure is looking better than ever right now.
    – No “online” activation system
    – Completely free
    – No restrictions
    As a techie, I dislike having restrictions placed on my OS.
    Also, if you have to be online to use your PC… how will safe mode without networking work? I suppose cleaning PC infections will be a lot less effective now.

    Windows 8 didn’t work out and neither will the current Windows 9 format. They really need to think about the philosophy behind Windows XP and Windows 7.

  • SamRock

    The biggest issue is going to be that you are forced to download the ISO file everytime I upgrade!!!

  • Dr. Moist

    As a PC Gamer I’ve resisted Linux for years with only the odd test install here and there on a VM.
    Now that a lot more games on steam are multi platform. Windows is looking very pointless. Microsoft is doing a stern job in pricing themselves out of many markets. Current CEO will drive them to the history books.