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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.





"We are going to continue to work with them to make sure they understand the reality of the Internet.  A lot of these people don't have Ph.Ds, and they don't have a degree in computer science." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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