After the key has been activated, it can’t be used on another workstation unless you’re using a Volume-Licensed version of Windows XP.
That means each Windows XP workstation in your organization has a different product key.
It has to be purchased with "non-peripheral" hardware such as a mainboard, etc.
I have an OEM version of XP Pro, purchased mail order from a legitimate company.
I recently called microsoft for tech help and they told me that copy was registered 5 times already. So it looks like they don't really care much if its used on more than one system at a time. Nope There is a difference between registration and activation and the product key used to unlock XP If they said registration, they mean that someone registered - giving their name and address when it was installed.
The purpose of the procedure is collecting information to trace pirates without making life too difficult for the legitimate user who just replaced a mainboard.
Illegal software hurts small businesses (and small system builders in particular) a great deal.
Setup takes this information, mixes it with information it derives from the hardware configuration of the workstation, and creates a code that it sends to Microsoft to validate the installation.
This can cause problems for support techs, because each product key can be used only one time.
If you try to reinstall Windows XP and don’t have your original product key or CD, you can’t simply borrow one from another workstation.
Normally, you’d have to obtain a new product key, meaning a new purchase of Windows XP.
Naturally, you don’t want to do that because you already have a copy of XP—you’re just missing the valid key that goes with your workstation. In reality, View Key XP is a hacker tool used to reveal Windows XP product keys.
But just because it can be used maliciously doesn’t mean that you can’t use it for good.
They are licensed to the computer they are originally installed on; not the user.