Not really yet ALSO it’s difficult for someone with the right amount of time, desperation, or flexible skepticism to get around the Windows XP activation procedure. And despite the activation of XP, the actual encrypted algorithm, hated since before it started, was never broken, at least completely offline. Now, far from the logical end of all things XP, the solution exists, floating around forum-based backchannels on the web for months now.
On the tinyapps.org blog (first spotted by The Register), which provides micro-scale, minimalist utilities for restricted Windows installations, a blog post aptly titled “Windows XP Activation: GAME OVER” runs through the semi-recent history of humans. looking to activate Windows XP more than 20 years after it debuted, nine years after its end of life, and, importantly, several years after Microsoft shut down its online activation servers (or maybe they just exchange certificates).
xp_activate32.exe, an 18,432-byte program (hash listed in the tinyapps blog post), takes the code generated by Windows XP’s phone activation option and processes it into the correct activation key (Confirmation ID) , which is completely offline. It continues with system wipes and reinstalls. This, it seems, is the same key that Microsoft will provide for your computer.
Tools for generating keys that will be accepted by Windows XP existed long before this completely offline little program—lots and lots of them. But they’re usually software hacks or brute-force decryption tools that, while locally accepted, cannot be validated by Microsoft (for what it’s worth today). Another tool, WindowsXPKg, nicely hosted on a GitHub server owned by Microsoft, generates keys but requires an external server that, as of this posting, seems to be defunct.
Most people don’t really, hopefully NEED this tool. Fully functional XP images that you can sandbox inside a virtual machine are available in several places, including Microsoft’s own Windows XP Mode for Windows 7. And, of course, the install a poorly supported XP on a device connected to the modern Internet is a malicious premeditated. We’ll all enjoy it for the rhetorical, mathematical victory that it is, while we say a little prayer for those dealing with hardware that really need XP.