A recent blog post by TinyApps highlights the arrival of an offline tool that can successfully activate a Windows XP install. The new tool is safer than prior solutions, it isn't a crack and it works completely offline. It doesn't require online connectivity (a risky area for Win XP machines to tread), which is a considerable bonus.
Windows XP was introduced in October 2001, and many contemporary PC users will have either come to the fold during its reign or thoroughly enjoyed the upgrade from prior generation DOS/Windows kludges. Thus, Windows XP has a special place in the hearts of many PC enthusiasts and DIYers. So now it is only natural that these users will sometimes seek to cobble together old hardware or virtualized Windows XP installs for retro high jinks. This is where the xp_activate32.exe tool shared by retroreviewyt comes in.
The above-linked activation tool (18 KB) purportedly is a "phone activation utility," which has been packaged into a compact executable to activate Windows XP entirely offline. Microsoft turned off the Windows XP activation servers years ago, understandably, so the tool lets tinkerers safely activate with minimal fuss.
The dangers of going online in 2023 using Windows XP are made pretty clear in the discussions regarding this new tool on Reddit. However, as the tool allows OS activation without any internet connection, it helps avoid your newly minted XP system getting struck down via any number of flaws/vulnerabilities.
If, after the above, you aren't sure why you might want to run Windows XP in 2023 or any time in the future, a few suggestions are provided below:
- Using a system tool, app or game that was never upgraded to be compatible with a currently supported Windows OS,
- Using old hardware that isn't supported by a current platform and / or modern Windows OS,
- Indulging in some older hardware / software research,
- To address curiosity, nostalgia, or just for fun.
If you intend to install and use Windows XP, please take precautions. In addition to the OS and PCP/IP stack being riddled with unpatched known vulnerabilities, it will be difficult (but not impossible) to get secure online essentials like browsers and antivirus software. Thus many will prefer to keep the OS offline and use the old software (and hardware?) in their archives.
If you are still missing the Windows XP era, check out some other (relatively) recent reports, like the Windows XP source code leak, the Raspian Windows XP tribute, and the news that someone got Windows XP running on the Bitcoin SV blockchain.
Those more interested in using older Windows OSes, like Windows 95, for their retro pursuits can ask ChatGPT to find a serial key, as the algorithm is much simpler.
Though it would be nice if Microsoft had brought forward Windows XP Mode to Windows 11 Pro, or even as a paid feature (especially if it had proper 3d capabilities), but this is the same company who seems to all but have abandoned Android For Windows...
Yes the OS is 23 years old and yes Microsoft abandoned it sometime last decade, but software licenses are a quagmire of legal things.
Presumably it's not considered a crack because you need to enter your valid key. It only generates the correct confirmation ID code for the installation ID based on your hardware, just as Microsoft's phone system used to do so the activation system all operates as it's supposed to. Nothing is circumvented except Microsoft's phone activation servers which have been shut down for years.
What would be a crack is a keygen to generate a key you didn't buy.
i'm with you on this one. this is not really a crack, but a way to activate a valid key you have since the phone lines have been shut down. it's a grey area for sure and i respect the forum's position on it, but it does not really fit how a "crack" truly is defined or what it does.
but as noted above, a couple clicks from the article and i got the file. so if you can't find it, then you really did not try too hard :)