Below is a brief description of how Product Activation works for Work-at-Home (WAH) use. For further information, please visit the following links:
Product Activation works by validating that the software's product key, required as part of product installation, has not been used on more PCs than is allowed by the software's end user license agreement.
Product Activation technology is being included in most Microsoft media including Microsoft® Office XP and Windows® XP. Activation is not product registration. The only information required to activate is an Installation ID created by the software and, for Office XP and Visio 2002, the country in which the software is being installed. No personally identifiable information is required to activate. You can use software Activation Wizard that enables you to provide your product ID to Microsoft either through an encrypted transfer over the Internet, or by telephone. The installation ID is sent back to your machine to activate your product.
To make activation convenient, the products do not require activation immediately after installation. Office XP and its components will allow up to 50 launches before requiring activation. Visio 2002 will allow up to 10 launches before requiring activation. Windows XP will allow 30 days from first boot before requiring activation. . If you do not activate within the allotted launches, the product will go into reduced-functionality mode. At this point, you will not be able to edit documents or create new ones. Existing documents can still be viewed and printed, because the actual document files themselves remain unchanged. When a program is in reduced functionality mode, you may still activate it at any time to enable its full functionality. Once activation is completed, most users will never have to activate their installation again.
Windows XP is licensed for use on a single PC. It cannot be installed on more than one PC without purchasing additional licenses. It can be re-installed and activated on the same PC an unlimited number of times.
Office XP is similarly licensed, however Office XP allows for a second installation on a portable device (laptop) for the exclusive use of the person who is the primary user of the first copy. Likewise, Office XP can be re-installed and activated on the same PC an unlimited number of times.
The installation ID includes an encrypted form of the product key and a hardware identifier (no personal data is included). This means that if you overhaul your personal computer by replacing a substantial number of hardware components, you may have to re-activate Office. If this should occur, you can call the telephone number displayed on the activation screen to re-activate the software.