Just two weeks before the scheduled released of Microsoft Windows Server 2003 an installation key has been leaked onto the internet threatening widespread piracy of the new software.
The key, which is currently doing the rounds on a number of message boards and forums, appears to be a Volume Licensing Key leaked by a Volume Licence Media user.
According to reports, the key will work with the Standard, Enterprise and Web editions of Windows Server 2003.
It is reasonable to assume that Microsoft has a database of which keys have been assigned to which volume licence users, making the tracking of the leak a simple task. Unless, of course, the key made it onto the web from another source.
At the time of publishing, Microsoft has not been able to confirm whether identifying the source of the leak will be simple.
One of the problems that Microsoft's controversial introduction of product activation with Windows XP failed to fix is that of volume licences.
Since the release of XP, single user versions of Microsoft software need activating with the company, making these products harder to pirate.
But with volume licences, product activation has been disabled to make corporate installations easier. And this means that a leaked Volume Licensing Key could be a real headache for the Redmond giant.
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