Microsoft finally attempted to clear up confusion over licensing of Windows Vista for power users who rebuild their PCs on a regular basis. But the answer from the software vendor did little to placate some users, who are still upset about Microsoft’s one-machine transfer policy for Vista. Microsoft users who frequently change the hardware configuration of the system running Vista may fail Vista’s new Software Protection Platform software-validation feature more than once. If they did, they would be required to purchase an additional license or use Microsoft’s support services to activate Vista on a newly configured machine. The situation is similar to what many XP power users experience today, and that Microsoft has improved the algorithm used to determine what hardware configuration changes constitute a new device. The bottom line is that the hardware tolerance of product activation for Windows Vista has been improved and is more flexible than that for Windows XP. Microsoft believe these improvements will better accommodate the needs of their PC enthusiast customers.

Microsoft finally attempted to clear up confusion over licensing of Windows
Vista for power users who rebuild their PCs on a regular basis. But the answer
from the software vendor did little to placate some users, who are still upset
about Microsoft’s one-machine transfer policy for Vista. Microsoft users who
frequently change the hardware configuration of the system running Vista may
fail Vista’s new Software Protection Platform software-validation feature more
than once. If they did, they would be required to purchase an additional license
or use Microsoft’s support services to activate Vista on a newly configured
machine. Microsoft’s product-activation process for Vista compares information
from the initial validation — which includes the hardware configuration of the
device — against the new configuration to transfer the license to a new piece
of hardware.

At that point, a customer can use the one-time reassignment of the license
they get with their purchase of Vista to transfer the license to a new hardware
configuration. However, if after a user does this, he or she “again exceeds the
tolerance for updated components. “The customer can either purchase an
additional license or seek remediation through Microsoft’s support services.”
The situation is similar to what many XP power users experience today, and that
Microsoft has improved the algorithm used to determine what hardware
configuration changes constitute a new device. The bottom line is that the
hardware tolerance of product activation for Windows Vista has been improved and
is more flexible than that for Windows XP. Microsoft believe these improvements
will better accommodate the needs of their PC enthusiast customers.