Microsoft to disable product activation over Net

C|Net | at | by Mike

Customers who find themselves reinstalling Windows XP should be ready for a headache: Microsoft will no longer support activating the product over the Internet.

Intended to curtail the stealing and selling of certificates of authenticity, the new security measure will start at the end of this month. At first, it will be limited to the Windows XP software preinstalled on systems shipped by the top 20 PC sellers.

"The main reason is to address piracy in this area," a Microsoft representative said on Thursday. "Microsoft has found various people selling the labels of authenticity that they have copied or have pulled off other PCs."