Original equipment manufacturers wanting the latest version of Windows on their machines are going to find that things are a little different this time around. The new process should be more secure, cutting down on any piracy that may or may not happen.
In the past, many OEMs who were shipping PCs with the most recent version of Windows would often share the same activation key, but this made life easy for pirates and rogue OEMs alike. This time, Microsoft will be requiring OEMs to write a unique activation key into the BIOS of each machine and ship them with the operating system pre-installed. OEMs will also have to get all keys directly from Microsoft -- no ifs, ands or buts.
The new policy should tighten up a few loose holes that pirates have been exploiting for a while now. Of course, the whole change of policy is optimistic and assumes that people will be attempting to pirate the new operating system. In all likelihood, users who buy a new computer and are unhappy with Windows 8's tablet-like interface may very well look into pirating older versions of the OS. [Maximum PC]