ActiveX controls are components used by Internet Explorer. These controls, or "add-ons," enhance the browsing experience by allowing animation or helping with tasks, such as installing security updates from Microsoft Update or validating genuine Microsoft software. The validation processes for Windows uses an ActiveX control to check the authenticity of your software. The first time you run validation from Windows or request a genuine Windows download from the Microsoft Download Center or Microsoft Update, you'll be asked to install an ActiveX control. The ActiveX controls used by genuine Windows validation are signed by Microsoft Corporation. If you do not see sufficient evidence of the Microsoft signature, you should not download the control. If an ActiveX control does not contain a valid publisher signature, Internet Explorer will prompt you with a security warning and prevent you from downloading it to your PC.
When validation is done for the copy of Windows that is running on your PC, a pairing is made between the product key installed on your PC as well as the hardware configuration on your computer. If you validate Windows again with the same product key, the validation service does a quick check to make sure that the pairing still matches. This is to make sure that Windows or Office is properly activated and not in use on more computers than permitted by the software licensing terms. No personally identifiable information is ever collected by the validation service. Read the genuine Microsoft software privacy statement.
If you have trouble running the ActiveX control, you might use the Contact Us link at the bottom of the Microsoft Download Center or Genuine Microsoft Software webpages to request additional assistance. You might also access the genuine Microsoft software diagnostic page for troubleshooting tools.
Note: ActiveX cannot always be used because some browser security settings and some companies do not allow its use. Because of this, there is an alternate method to validate your software that provides the same functionality as the ActiveX controls. This method involves running a small executable file.