|I'm more or less cross-posting this from the Microsoft TechNet forums because nobody has replied there, and this is a really significant issue that I'd like to see MS take notice of and issue some sort of official statement.|
I don't really expect that anyone here has the true answer to this, but maybe someone has a connection at MS and can get the word circulating that this doesn't appear to have been well-thought-out on their part.
What will Microsoft do about Product Activation when they stop providing activation services?
I have asked this via email and phone with no luck. What I was told is "Microsoft will never stop providing activation services for Windows XP". That is definitely incorrect.
I very often throw together a 386 or 486 as my hobby surrounds older computers. I then proceed to install DOS 6.22 and Win3.1, or maybe Win95 in some cases. I own licenses for several older copies of Windows so if I want to build a machine and use it, I will do exactly that, then tear it down in a month and build another.
What I want to know is this: in 30 years when P3s, AthlonXPs and Pentium 4s are all 'vintage' computers, how will I install XP on them if the activation servers and phone options no longer exist?
Is Microsoft planning to release an activation-disabling patch to do this? I KNOW they will not continue activating forever (common sense...it costs money to provide those services).
Edit: to be clear, I'm talking about a copy which I own. Eventually, I will stop using it, since I will eventually have a new computer with the then-current version of Windows (this will likely be "Windows 8" since I run my computers far into obsolescence). Once I do, I will be free to re-use XP on whatever my "older" or "vintage" machine may be, and come the year 2030 that very well could be the machine I'm typing this from.