I'm building multiple PCs at work this week. Step three of the build process is to install XP. For this purpose, we use our Microsoft-issued Volume License Key. Step five of the process is to run Windows Update to install any post-SP2 updates. As of this morning, this process fails because our VLK cannot be validated. At first I thought this might be because Microsoft invalidated our key. It turns out that, no, this is not the case. Instead, Microsoft broke Windows Update: WU no longer automatically installs WGA on the computer as part of the preinstall. In order to run Windows Update on a fresh build, you must manually install the Windows Genuine Advantage ActiveX control on the computer. Once you've done this, then and only then can you run Windows Update.
I don't know what you're thinking, Microsoft, but I hope you get a fucking hell of a lot of calls from corporate users complaining about this. I know I'm pushing this up to my channel partner. Hopefully others will to. Stop dicking with us. Crap like this increases TCO, and you push TCO up too much and we will all defect to Linux.