Microsoft has a new policy for Windows updates. For the past few months they’ve had an optional online test to determine if your copy of Windows is legal. It now appears the test is no longer optional. While you may still be able to get security updates with bootleg Windows, you will no longer get regular Windows updates.
If you flunk the test, you can now (‘for a limited period’) buy a new key for Windows online directly after flunking. They email you a new registration key, no reinstall of Windows is needed, and also snail mail an install CD.
A full version of Windows XP is $199, the upgrade is $99. Microsoft is charging a reasonable $149 to upgrade a bootleg copy of XP to a legal version.
To test your version in XP, Start/All/Programs, Click Windows Update.