Importance of Windows Vista product key

Any computer software product can be copied and installed on more than one computer system. In order to avoid that, a new concept came into light. Developers started to protect the software which they developed, by using some sort of mechanism. This gave rise to the development of product keys. Let's know the importance of the Windows Vista product key.

Difference between product key and CD-Keys

The product key was initially called as CD-Keys. It contained a series of numbers. The setup or install program of the product was prompting one to enter the key. The key entered is compared with the product key stored in the media such as floppy or CD-ROM. If the product key is matched, then setup program continues to copy and install the product files on to the computer. Otherwise, setup program aborts. This verification process resulted in the reduction of pirated softwares. But, this process was not fully fool proof.

Role of Windows Vista Product Key

Once the product key of the product known to some persons, they simply copied the product from CD-ROM to CD-ROM and started installing the product. Some persons went ahead and developed some cracking mechanisms to break out the product key by some means. This caused again huge revenue losses for the company which developed the product. They all started thinking. It was Invention of World Wide Web i.e. the Internet, has come to their rescue, i.e. product key verification.

The product asks one to verify the product key in the internet, after being installed. The user can continue to use the product without verification, but, after some days or some tries, the entire or some part of the product is disabled. The user must verify the product, to make it enabled again.

How does Windows Vista product key work?

Windows Vista verifies the product, through the internet, hoping to reduce the pirates. However, it prompts for the product key, in the first stage of the setup itself, which is a good change compared to previous versions of Windows family of operating systems. The product key in Windows Vista is alphanumeric, means it can contain both alphabets and numbers.

Technical Details

The length of the key is now fixed to 25 characters. In windows vista, when entering the product key one has to enter the hyphen character, whenever, it appears in the certificate given with CD-ROMs. There is no separate text box to enter it separately, as it was before. The product key entered is verified against the product key stored in the CD-ROM. After Windows Vista got installed, the product verification tool looks for the internet connection. If it is available, the product verification tool sends the product key along with some information about the computer to Microsoft verification web site and gets it verified.

If the product is pirated, then Microsoft tells the user that the product is not genuine. If the product is genuine, then an activation code will be returned back internally, and thus the product can be used now on. If no internet connection is available, then one need to call the Microsoft and get the activation code, and provide the code, when asked. This process still under first stage and Microsoft only warns to the user about the pirated software. They may also take legal action too in near future against the users, to fight against pirated software.

Check out more topics on windows from here,

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