Microsoft has announced a programme aimed at helping organisations using Windows XP Professional to ensure their PCs are compliant – and aiding those that find that they have computers that aren't compliant through the channel.
The initiative comes 18 months after Microsoft began helping customers who found themselves in a similar position to make their versions of Windows valid – however, as Microsoft have testified, the same approach simply wouldn't work for larger organisations with multiple licenses as Cori Hartje, the initiative's director explained.
"This fills in the entire picture," said Hartje. "Consumers who had been identified as running a counterfeit [version of] Windows could simply push a button and have the purchase made right then. But we didn't have a good way to programmatically address the same for larger-scale customers, particularly through the [reseller] channel."
She also said that it was unreasonable to expect larger customers to go through the same channel as customers and re-license every PC individually, saying that it would be more reasonable to expect them to go through their resellers.
"We also wanted something like this as a turnkey for the channel," she said. "This way, resellers will be able to offer [their customers] Microsoft financing, for example, as well as other services, such as Software Assurance."
She highlighted examples such as when: "After an internal review, a company may find it has, for example, 2,000 machines that it got 'naked.' And they need a way to address that," it would be unreasonable and a colossal waste of resources to handle the issue one PC at a time.
She also explained the role that resellers could play in ensuring that their customers did not unintentionally "mislicence" their PCs saying that often the problem is simply down to companies thinking that they can buy in new PCs 'naked' or without an OS and then apply their volume licence agreement to the new PCs when often it is only meant for upgrades of PCs with operating systems already on them.
The announcement comes as Vista SP1 testers have become increasingly despondent with the update saying that it: "lacks wow."