Microsoft's new anti-piracy technology...
...they're taking it to a new level with Vista and Office 2007:
1) Unactivated Vista, after 30 days, will run in "reduced functionality mode" until activated. One hour of web browsing and then you're disabled.
2) Microsoft will continue to check if Vista was legitimately acquired, even after activation. Should a license key be deemed illegitimate, the user will be given another 30-day grace period to acquire a legitimate license key, Microsoft said.
3) As part of the effort to fight piracy, Microsoft is changing the way businesses license its software. New licensing systems will replace the current volume license keys, which have been widely abused. Starting with Vista, Microsoft will offer two different types of keys and offer three different ways to distribute them within an organization. In all cases, some more work will be required on the part of the technology department at a company.
4) Additionally, the functionality of Windows Defender will be crippled, and optional downloads from Windows Update would be unavailable to the unlicensed user (already the norm, isn't it?). Microsoft would also place a watermark on the desktop at all times that reads "This copy of Windows is not genuine."
5) Vista activation won't be permanent. If Microsoft discovers that the user has used a product key without authorization, it will force the user to reactivate his or her copy of Windows. Product keys may be blocked for a number of reasons, Microsoft says, including for abuse, stolen or pirate keys, or if the key was seized due to anti-piracy efforts.
Sounds like a nightmare. I certainly hope they've worked thru all the validation issues the had with their "Genuine Advantage" program.