I first heard about this a few days ago in the Microsoft System Builders email. I suppose this just goes to show that it is practically impossible for a company to secure something that they can’t physically control.
CasterPod writes “As of February 28, Windows users who purchased their PC will no longer be able to reinstall without calling Microsoft and answering a series of questions. The move is part of an anti-piracy effort to close ‘a loophole that enabled unscrupulous resellers to use Windows XP product keys that were stolen from large OEMs.’ Specifically, Certificate of Authenticity (COA) labels on PCs are often unused because OEMs preinstall Windows and bypass product activation. The product keys can therefore be stolen and reused. First WGA, and now this.”