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
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.