The Register: MS Windows licences shrink to barcodes — unique IDs here we come?

“What’s rumour in one part of the world or the channel sometimes
turns out to be done and dusted elsewhere, and so it is with the
Microsoft ‘barcode the Windows licence onto the PC’ plan we
reported on earlier today. Quantities of readers from numerous
parts of the world report that it’s been going on for varying
amounts of time, and it’s a dead cert that whatever companies are
left not doing it will have to start from their next OEM licence

“The system has already been spotted on Compaq, Dell,
Siemens-Fujitsu, Gateway, IBM and HP machines, and the time it’s
been running seems to vary on where you are in the world. As for
whether the IDs are uniquely linked to PCs or not, one corporate
customer in the Netherlands says that the development is at least
pointed in that direction: ‘Info from Dell suggests there’s a check
on the system type in the setup (if wrong type, setup doesn’t run)
coupled to something (number range? checksum?) that checks if the
supplied SN is appropriate for that type of system.'”


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