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Gartner warns over Vista license requirements

Businesses should lobby Microsoft for “additional benefits” to make up for the cost of administering new license activation requirements for the forthcoming Windows Vista operating system, analysts have urged.

Businesses should lobby Microsoft for “additional benefits” to make up for the cost of administering new license...

activation requirements for the forthcoming Windows Vista operating system, analysts have urged.

Industry analyst Gartner has warned that the way Microsoft plans to make volume license users activate their Windows Vista installations will cost more in staff time and hardware than they will gain in added security.

Microsoft has not previously required volume users to activate their licenses for each desktop machine. Instead, companies with select or open licenses have been given a volume license key (VLK), which allows software installed using volume media to run without activating its license.

But Gartner said Microsoft’s Volume Activation plan will mean users either have to ensure PCs activate to a Microsoft server using a Multiple Activation Key, or to an internally hosted Key Management Service, or combine the two methods. The Volume Activation plan is likely to extend from Vista to other products, Gartner believes.

Gartner said there were some benefits for users because activation would ensure a core set of Windows components was checked for tampering.

But the analyst said: “However, we don't see this as sufficient to offset the labour and hardware that will be needed.”

Gartner added: “While Microsoft works to recoup pirated revenue, customers may wonder what's in it for them.” Corporate users should “lobby Microsoft for additional benefits to help them defray the cost” of administering the new requirements, the analyst urged.

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