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Legacy serial numbers, those issued for builds 9.0.175 and 8.0.31 and prior, can be upgraded at no charge to use the new system. Installing and activating Release 9 build 9.0.175, or Release 8 build 8.0.31, or more recent will automatically upgrade a legacy serial number to the new system. No need to manually do a "trade in" and no need to pay anything extra for the upgrade.
All legacy Release 9 and Release 8 serial numbers upgraded to the new system will start with a fresh crop of activations. In addition, all legacy Release 8 serial numbers, including even Runtime licenses and 32-bit licenses, will be upgraded to Release 8 Ultimate x64 as well.
...Or Stay with the Old
While the new system has significant advantages, some users may not wish to upgrade legacy serial numbers to the new system. If you do not wish to upgrade, Release 9 Base build 9.0.174 and Release 8 build 8.0.30 will continue to use the legacy activation system. If you prefer the older activation system, install and use those builds. They will run using the old activation system and will not time out.
Free activation support is not available for the older system, so if you want to stick to the old system and you need any assistance, you will have to spend technical support tokens for assistance.
Easy as Apple Pie
In modern times Internet is everywhere. The new system uses Internet to renew activations, to manage licenses, to provide more ease of use today, and to allow greater flexibility and conveniences in the future.
That has some tradoffs for computers used in remote areas for long periods of time away from Internet, but for most people Internet makes life a lot easier.
In the new system, the first time you run a Manifold product it will raise an Activation dialog. Enter your serial number to activate the license on that computer. Done!
It's that easy, with no need to login as Administrator, and no need to hassle with Activation keys, system IDs or any of that. Just enter the serial number and you're done. Other users can log into your computer using different logins, activate the license for their logins using the same serial number, and Manifold will run for them too. Activating additional logins on the same computer does not use up any additional activations.
Your computer must be connected to Internet during activation. After activation, the computer must continue to have an Internet connection, at least from time to time, to run the product. The software uses Internet to verify the license is still authorized on that computer, and to deal with issues like a Windows rollback deleting license data.
Licenses will check status infrequently, only once every week or two. That enables use where Internet service is unreliable or occasional. Even if the computer has no Internet connection at all, the product will continue to launch for a limited time, for at least ten days. That makes it easy to travel with a portable computer through regions where Internet is not available.
However, the computer must have at least some Internet connectivity from time to time, to allow occasional checks of license status. If Internet is not available during repeated attempts to confirm license status, eventually the product will not launch until Internet becomes available.
Once activated, a Manifold product license will run as long as that computer continues to operate in reasonably unmodified form. Significant changes, for example, re-formatting a hard disk and re-installing Windows, will require activation again.
To activate after changes, and to allow moving a license to a different computer, each Manifold product license comes with a never ending crop of activations.
A Never Ending Crop
Activations are like a crop of apples: after being used they automatically grow back over time, so they can be used again and again.
Each Manifold license has a crop of four activations, like a tree that has four apples. When the product is activated the first time, that is like picking one of the apples, leaving three more apples on the tree.
As soon as you "pick" an activation, it starts growing back again. It takes twelve months for that activation to grow back and to become available again. While the picked activation is growing back you will have a crop of three activations you can use. If you do not use any more activations, in twelve months you will again have four activations available.
The new activation system ensures that most users, who only upgrade a computer once a year or so, will always have at least three spare activations available, and often four spare activations.
Moving a License
Moving a license to a new computer requires an activation on the new computer. Activating a license on a new computer automatically will de-activate it on any prior computers. There is no need to manually de-activate the license on the old computer.
Suppose that after activating a Manifold on our first computer, two months later we want to move the license to a different computer. We can do that simply by installing and launching Manifold on the new computer, providing the serial number, and thus activating it on the new computer.
Activating on a new computer automatically removes authorization for the old computer. There is no need to "deactivate" on the old computer. Even if the old computer has stopped functioning or has been lost we can still move the license to a new computer.
After activating on the new computer, we will have used two activations from our renewable crop of four activations. The first activation we have used already will be growing back, with only ten months to go before it has grown back and is available for use again. The second activation we have used, to activate the new computer, just will have been picked and will require twelve months to grow back before it can be used again. But we still have two ripe activations in stock, ready for use.
The analogy to a crop of four apples that can be picked at any time we want, with a picked apple growing back in twelve months, is a useful way to think of activations. We can use activations as we prefer, eating many apples in short order and then waiting for a new crop, or we can pace ourselves and pick a new apple from time to time so we always have apples that are ready to pick or which soon will ripen.
For example, if we want to move our license from machine to machine four times in the first month of use, we can do that. But then we will have to wait another eleven months before the first activation we have used has "grown back" and is available again.
If we use our license in a more normal way, activating on the computer we routinely use and only activating again after significant hardware upgrades, we very rarely will need to activate more than once per year. We will always have a stock of three or four activations to use.
If we move our license to a different computer every few months we might have two or three activations at different states in the twelve month process of "growing back", with every few months the oldest of the activations we used becoming available again. If we do not move our license too frequently we will always have at least one ripe activation ready for use at any time.
Activations Always Grow Back
Activations never stop growing back. Having a crop of four activations where any picked activation always grows back in a year means we can replace our computer every three months on average, and we can keep doing that for years into the future without any fear of not having an activation when we want it.
- A Safety Measure - After activating on one machine, we must wait 24 hours before activating on a new machine. This is a safety measure to avoid accidentally using up an entire crop of activations in just a few minutes.
- Keep Up to Date - Make sure to upgrade to new versions of Manifold products, as re-activation of old or obsolete licenses may not continue to be supported once future versions of a Manifold product are released. Although Manifold may voluntarily support use of activation keys for outdated versions of a Manifold product for some reasonable period of time (such as three years) licensees should not expect such support forever.
- Activation Guide - Please visit the Activation Guide page for a step by step guide to activating an installation.
Differences from The Legacy System
While the new system provides great convenience for most people, there are some tradeoffs compared to the legacy activation system that may be considerations for licensees considering an upgrade.
One License, One Machine
Most legacy Manifold licenses allow use on both a desktop computer and also on a portable computer, so long as the two are not used at the same time to run Manifold. The new activation system keeps things simple by limiting each serial number to use on a single machine. To install on two computers we need two licenses.
The new system offsets that extra cost by granting a fresh crop of activations to all legacy licenses that are upgraded. For many users that reset is worth almost the cost of a second license. Over time, the new system can be lower in cost for two computers.
In the legacy system, only one key per year regrows: getting more activations requires buying an extra license. One more key per year may be enough for one computer, but because that one key per year does not accumulate it is often not enough to support two computers. In the legacy system, users who install the same license on two computers tend to buy extra licenses over time.
In the new system, although initially two licenses are procured if operation on two computers is desired, those licenses both have an endless crop of activations that all keep growing back, with most users having a stock of three to four activations for each system always available. Because all activations grow back there is no need to buy extra licenses. You always have plenty of activations in stock for your two computers.
An additional benefit of the new system for many Release 8 licensees is getting a free upgrade from Personal, Professional, or even a Runtime license to Ultimate x64. In the case of Runtime licenses, that is getting a free interactive license.
Release 8 License Server
Release 8 installations using 8.0.31 or newer cannot be activated using Release 8 License Server. License Server users should not upgrade from 8.0.30. Over time, Manifold expects to introduce a licensing option for the new system that will provide the benefits of License Server.
Manifold system licenses have always required some Internet access, but the new system depends more on Internet. As always, to get the conveniences of Internet we need an Internet connection. Despite the ubiquity of Internet, there may be cases where users might not have Internet access, not even only once every week or two for a few seconds. Such users should not upgrade to the new system.
Over time, Manifold intends to introduce new features in the new activation system that will enable people who have no contact with Internet to use Manifold products. Those new features will be developed for users in national security settings where no contacts with external servers are allowed, and for users operating Manifold in very remote regions where even occasional Internet contacts by satellite telephone are not available.
Users who do not have Internet access or who prefer the old licensing model that allows activation on a desktop and a portable computer can continue using the legacy activation and licensing system.
Such users should not upgrade their legacy serial numbers to the new system but instead should continue using Release 9 Base build 9.0.174 and Release 8 build 8.0.30. Those legacy builds will continue operating using the legacy activation system and legacy licensing model. All legacy activation services will continue for those builds, at least for a few years.
Free activation support is not available for the older system, so if you want to stick to the old system and you need any assistance, you will have to spend technical support tokens for assistance. That is not normally an issue since activation is so simple in either the old system or the new system that people who can read and apply simple instructions from web pages never need tech support for activation.
Pages especially useful for installation and activation:
- Status Page - Get status on a serial number to see what product it authorizes, the status of activations, whether it has been revoked.
- Activation Guide - A quick, step by step, guide to activating an installation.
- Install and Activate - Step by step, Release 9 User Manual topic with great illustrations. Release 8 works the same way.
- Activation Troubleshooting - Provides a quick troubleshooting checklist that solves 99% of activation problems.
- Activation Frequently Asked Questions - The title says it all.
- Activation Support - How to contact tech support for priority assistance with any serial number or activation question.
- Product Downloads - Download the latest installations for the current release of Manifold System.
Buy Now via the Online Store
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