Back in December, I mentioned some changes were coming with WGA in Windows Vista. I want to say first that I'm excited about the step forward we're taking with SP1 and proud of the work that has gone into it. I'm excited both about the changes we've made to the user experience that we talked about and also about what we've done in Windows Vista SP1 to combat two of the most common methods we've seen for trying to hack product activation in Windows Vista.
First let me recap the changes to the customer experience that are included in SP1. "Reduced Functionality Mode" (RFM) has been removed from the product and replaced with a notifications-based experience. The purpose of the notifications-based experience is to differentiate between a genuine and activated copy of Windows Vista and one that is not, and do so in a way that maintains system functionality such as logon, access to the familiar desktop etc. This new experience means that systems that are not activated during their grace periods (initial activations as well as those due to hardware changes) or that fail our validation may have this experience.
The experience coming in SP1 is common across the activation and validation scenarios and here's what it's going to look like.