K-12 schools nationwide that receive donated or refurbished computers running the Windows operating system (OS) now can take advantage of a little-known initiative from Microsoft Corp. that lets administrators ensure the machines they've received are properly licensed.

The free, online program is the latest attempt by Microsoft to get back within the good graces of its education customers, many of whom had criticized the software giant for taking too tough a stance on its software licensing policy. (See "Lament: Microsoft licensing stance hurts poor schools," http://www.eschoolnews.com/news/showStory.cfm?ArticleID=4012.)

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