Microsoft has made some changes to activation and validation process in Windows 7 (and Windows Server 2008 R2 which shares the same code base), which has seen Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) label been dropped in favor of Windows Activation Technologies (WAT). Other than name change and some cosmetic change on product activation for OEM and retail Windows 7 customers, corporation and business Windows 7 users who subscribe to volume licensing agreement or use volume license key (VLK, or specifically KMS and MAK) to activate has some changes and new features in store too.

TechNet Edge has recently interviewed Ram Rathnam, Director of Product Management for Windows Activation Technologies team. Several new activation concepts such as Key Management Server (KMS) and Multiple Activation Key (MAS) was introduced in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008, which will continue to exist and utilize in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2. In fact, end users shouldn’t notice any significant change on activation procedure, as most enhancements and refinements to activation technologies occur on platform level.

In summary, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 volume activation has improved in term of refined user experience, ease of activation and enhanced key management.

View the video clip on how volume activation has changed in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 by Ram Rathnam in order to know in details about Windows 7 Volume Activation. Microsoft SilverLight is required. For user without Microsoft SilverLight installed, view the same video listed second below instead, where Windows Media Player plugin is required (most IE browser supports WMP).

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Update: Windows 7 and Server 2008 R2 Volume Activation 2.1 Full Details