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Office 2k SR-1 makes registration with MS compulsory

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Compulsory registration for Microsoft Office is a reality, following the arrival of Service Release 1 (SR-1) for Office 2000 yesterday. As The Registerreported earlier this year, SR-1 reincorporates the Registration Wizard that appeared during Office 2k beta, and if you haven't registered the product after 50 uses, it stops working. According to Microsoft, existing users installing SR-1 either via download or CD won't be affected by the Registration Wizard, but new purchasers, either retail or OEM, will have to use it. It works by the customer using the Internet, email, phone, fax or post to provide a 16 character installation ID and the country they're registering in, after which the Microsoft Registration Center sends them back an eight character confirmation code. Mindful of previous ghastly privacy screw-ups, Microsoft says the Wizard "is designed to protect customer privacy through a simple and unobtrusive anonymous product registration process." Quite. At the moment SR-1 is only available for individual users as an online update from microsoft.com. Corporate users can download an administrative update which can be used to apply SR-1 to client computers. Or you can order it on CD, with an estimated delivery time of six to eight weeks. The retail version is intended to start shipping in May.b There's apparently one more gotcha if you want to go ahead with the online update. Win98Central tells us that IE is necessary in order for the update to proceed. If you haven't got IE installed when you run the update.exe that starts the install process, it prompts you to go and get it. ® Related stories: Registration Wizard casts spell on Office 2000 MS ID number system could track all Windows users

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