merodach asks: "In pondering the next versions of Windows and Office (XP), the wonderful save-us-from-ourselves product activation, and MS's repeated public blunders with security I began to wonder about the security around the activation code, itself. Specifically, I was wondering how it would impact my job as an IT Consultant with regards to Melissa-type viruses and trojans which might: surreptitiously use the transmission code to send sensitive info to competitors/enemies of my customer; and (assuming that the software checks this periodically) change the activation info and damage/destroy the ability to repair that info (in short order rendering an entire network useless). As I don't have access to the beta versions or the code I was wondering if anybody in the Slashdot community would be able to list or explain what, if any, precautions are being taken on this." As it happens, TechRepublic has an article about this very subject. Thanks to Deecyl for the link.