What Product Activation is
Product activation involves the use of a certain computer software to, upon installation or within a certain time frame after installation, to use the Internet or the phone to activate a product.Back to top
Examples of Product Activation
The first widespread implementation of product activation was in Microsoft Windows XP and Microsoft Office. Software corporations like Macromedia, Adobe and Norton have introduced product activation into their software.
Product activation does not necessarily have to follow installation. Adobe and Symantec provides a grace period of thirty and fifteen days respectively for their line of products requiring product activation.
Example of a bogus activation number, When the user decides to run the product activation process, the hardware identifier of the computer on which the software is installed will be hashed with the product key.
When the user decides to run the product activation process, the hardware identifier of the computer on which the software is installed will be hashed with the product key. The new key generated, sometimes called the installation key, will be sent over the Internet to the company involved.
Adobe and Symantec both offer users the option to activate their products over the phone. In this process, users are typically required to provide information such as the product key, and an activation key would be read to the respective users over the phone. The user should then enter this activation key into the software to be activated when the software prompts the user to do so.
After activation, most users would not have to re-activate their products. However, a computer upgrade as well as substantial changes on a computer’s configuration may make it necessary for some users to reactivate their products.Back to top
Despite the seemingly innocuous process of activation, product activation as a measure against copyright? infringement has come under controversy since its widespread implementation. Several web magazines have run articles criticising product activation, specifically in Microsoft products.
Critics cite the possibility of the need for re-activation when a user makes many changes on his/her computer’s hardware configuration. Microsoft has acknowledged that this is a possible scenario. However, the software company expressed that the people who need to reactivate their software constitute only a small percentage of Microsoft’s user base.
The need for re-activation also strikes some users as being too sudden. For example, if a notebook running Microsoft Windows XP unexpectedly deactivates itself on the road, its user cannot reactivate the software until he/she reaches home. Without an operating system, the user is no longer able to use his/her notebook before activation.
Lastly, some people are uncomfortable about connecting to companies’ servers in order to activate their product. Microsoft expresses that no personal information whatsoever would be transmitted to them during the activation process. However, other companies do collect personal information from users through their software independent of any software activation process. This makes some people concerned about their privacy when they activate software over the Internet.Back to top
As an Anti-DCI Measure
Software companies aim to stamp out casual copyright infringement? by product activation. The process of product activation makes it difficult for a person to share his/her software with neighbours or friends. However, this system is not foolproof. Many people bent on making unauthorized copies of software requiring product activation, use cracks? to circumvent the product activation mechanism.