Because a product key or a Certificate of Authenticity was more common with old operating systems or software, the tag would be a good key to add. The excerpt it could have:

A product key helps prevent piracy of software. Use if you have a question about product keys and old OS's or software.


For questions asking about product keys and old operating systems or software.


Picking up Stephen Kitts comment, I think a tag that covers copy protection schemes/keys is more apropriate, as it may be useful not only for MS-stuff, but anything from installation keys to page numbers on manuals asked for in a game.


This seems like a useful tag to have. However, I'd be tempted to call the tag instead... though I'm not sure why. I have a gut feeling that it'll be applicable to more questions, but I can't think of any examples.

  • I can't think of any examples, either, but license-key might be better then product-key.
    – Zackary
    May 16 '18 at 15:30
  • 1
    I think it's way too restrictive as licence or product key. Make it about copy protection, then we're geting something useful.
    – Raffzahn
    Sep 24 '18 at 5:18
  • @Zackary I agree with Raffzahn's answer; could you consider unaccepting this answer?
    – wizzwizz4 Mod
    Sep 24 '18 at 6:42
  • @wizzwizz4 Done. :)
    – Zackary
    Sep 24 '18 at 15:47

I am not so sure about that - MS introduced product keys with Windows 95, started to work with them in earnest with Windows 98 by ~2000. This is somehow on the borderline of what I would consider "retro".

A product key program that was really working required an internet connection and online activation. Only after that was feasible, product keys started to make some sense. And the Internet as a widely available commodity is definitely non-retro, IMHO.

  • If this was about dongles, then it would be retro ;-). May 26 '18 at 19:42

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