Deloitte & Touche Audits Microsoft's Activation

Microsoft Corp. hired accounting heavyweight Deloitte & Touche LLP to conduct an independent audit of its controversial product-activation process in Windows XP and Office XP.

Microsoft submitted an assertion of its product-activation process to Deloitte & Touche on Oct. 1 that the accounting firm was then to verify in its audit.

Microsoft's document stated that the product activation process doesn't transmit information over the Internet to Microsoft until a user approves. The Microsoft document also says Windows XP, Office XP and Visio 2002 can be activated with nothing more than the installation ID number and -- for Office and Visio -- the country the product is being activated in.

"We have examined the accompanying management assertion of Microsoft Corporation regarding the Microsoft product activation process as of October 1, 2001," Deloitte & Touche states. "In our opinion management's assertion referred to above is fairly stated, in all material respects, based on the assessment criteria set forth in the accompanying management assertion."

Microsoft has been criticized for requiring too much information in the activation process, including computer configuration details and other information that have been seen as an invasion of privacy. The text of the document can be found here.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.