Enterprise customers can forget about the honor system Microsoft has in place for reporting Windows licenses they consume.
Starting with the release of Vista and "Longhorn" Windows server next year, customers will be required to register their volume license keys (VLK) with Microsoft within 30 days of acquisition and report their license usage on a monthly basis, executives said.
It's a very different system than what is in place today, sources said.
"In the enterprise, there is no client activation. You get a master set of bits and a number of licenses. It's always been up to you and an external auditor to verify that you didn't deploy more copies than you had licensed," said one source familiar with the plan, who asked not to be named. "This is designed to formalize the process."