Print 19 comment(s) - last by Wwhat.. on Jun 30 at 6:34 PM

No more daily calls to Microsft for the Windows Genuine Advantage anti-piracy utility

DailyTech reported earlier this month that Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) anti-piracy tool was phoning home daily in order to determine whether a machine was running a valid install of Windows or not. It was also shown that the tool takes note of a user's system configuration along with their language and location settings.

Microsoft, looking to douse some of the fires that enraged over the announcement of the daily checks, yesterday released an updated version of the WGA anti-piracy tool via its Windows Update system. The new version of the WGA utility no longer makes daily calls back to Microsoft. The company did, however, state that the tool can still check on occasion whether the Windows installation is genuine or not. eWeek reports:

The WGA tool, which is a mandatory part of the Redmond, Wash., software giant's battle to curb Windows piracy, includes two separate components: WGA validation and WGA notifications. Validation determines whether the copy of Windows installed is pirated or not, and Notifications is set up to nag users whom Microsoft believes are not running "genuine Windows" and "suggest" where they can "learn more about the benefits of using genuine Windows software."

For users that would like to completely disable or remove previous version of the WGA utility, Microsoft has issued a new knowledge base article which takes you through the motions steps by step. Installing the latest version of the WGA tool will override the offending version; however, those who want to get rid of the tool altogether will have to do some registry editing. If you’re squeamish about digging through your registry – or just aren’t too concerned with the WGA checks -- you may want to sit this one out.

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For now..
By nowayout99 on 6/28/2006 2:04:07 PM , Rating: 2
Presumably in the fall, WGA will be a requirement and may shut out access to the OS altogether if the copy is not "genuine."

RE: For now..
By TomZ on 6/28/06, Rating: 0
RE: For now..
By stmok on 6/28/2006 2:41:58 PM , Rating: 2
To me the only concern is whether WGA is 100% accurate so that it doesn't create any usability issues for properly-licensed installations.

Its not. There have been innocent people being nagged to fustration. (some are folks who got their laptops repaired, and WGA keeps telling them they don't have a legit copy, even though it is).

They've clearly changed the phone home rate...I think its every 30 or 90 days. (maybe somewhere in between).

RE: For now..
By TomZ on 6/28/2006 4:40:00 PM , Rating: 2
Its not. There have been innocent people being nagged to fustration.

If it were me, I'd phone Microsoft and have them fix the problem. The frustration might then be their problem if they get zillions of such phone calls.

RE: For now..
By bim27142 on 6/28/2006 6:41:12 PM , Rating: 3
count me one of them... i have a pre-installed windows on my laptop and hell it's telling me that my copy is not genuine, WTF?! and i just HATE it when i call up MS and then they tell me to call up my laptop manufacturer because it was pre-installed... WTF?! this is NOT my laptop manufacturer's OS, what the hell are they suppose to do about it when in fact this WGA crap is MS's move... hope this "news" resolves my concern then................. and oh, this also bugged other OEM version users i believe...

so for those "pre-installed" windows users, don't even bother calling your laptop/desktop manufacturers as they just can't give you good answers then... this is MS's crappy move in the first place...

RE: For now..
By mindless1 on 6/28/2006 10:37:38 PM , Rating: 2
Fine, so long as they pay everyone for their time. Remember, we are considering people who have ALREADY PAID for windows. I for one certainly do not volunteer to jump through hoops to keep using the product they've already collected payment for. How about I dictate that they now jump through hoops in order to KEEP that payment?

Doesn't work one way and it can't then work the other. A paid-for license is a contract and can't be altered later even if one party tries to pull a "we can alter it later" clause, within limits. Having a component automatically install and then accuse of stealing software and shuttign down the OS certianly exceeds any reasonable interpretation of that, and would clearly be cause for a class-action lawsuit.

Besides that lawsuit, as already mentioned I'd expect to be paid for the time to fix their mistake. Downtime can cost money and nobody in a free society should be forced to call in to retain their property- the working licensed software, that is, the license itself is their property.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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