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Microsoft sheds a little more light on its WGA iniative

A recent blog by Ed Bott over at ZDNET has brought even more attention to Microsoft's Windows Genuine Authentication (WGA) which has been coming under increasing scrutiny and has even been the subject of a lawsuit. Computerworld and Ed Bott have been trying to get to the bottom of the whole WGA mystery and some of the issues being brought to the forefront are quite interesting.

Microsoft’s WGA utility, which is used on the Windows XP operating system to combat piracy, has been used in the past to validate OS installs so that users could download certain system updates as well as downloads like Internet Explorer 7.0 Beta and Windows Media Player 11. But while Microsoft sees WGA as a major ally in the fight against pirates, the utility has been pegging some innocent customers as having pirated copies of Windows XP. "80% of all WGA validation failures are due to unauthorized use of leaked or stolen volume license keys," said a Microsoft spokeswoman to Computerworld.

Ed Bott, not satisfied with this response from Microsoft, fired off his own inquiry into the reason for a 20% false positive rating for WGA and received this response from Cori Hartje, Director of Microsoft’s Genuine Software Initiative, "While we will don't have specifics to share on other forms counterfeit installations, they mostly result from activities such as various forms of tampering and unauthorized OEM installations."

It'd be nice if Microsoft would go into more detail on that other 20%, but that likely won't happen anytime soon. Microsoft is no longer accepting interviews on the WGA matter -- possibly due to the pending lawsuit.

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By Tsuwamono on 7/5/2006 10:13:56 AM , Rating: 2
I find this retarded. Now my PC cant even go into standby mode because Microsoft says my copy isnt genuine. I know its genuine, i just modded it after i bought it. And i even tried removing the mods but they still say it isnt genuine. God damn retards. Your company makes billions.. YOU DONT NEED TO WORRY ABOUT SOMEONE MODDING YOUR PRODUCTS!

RE: Retarded...
By Schadenfroh on 7/5/2006 10:18:13 AM , Rating: 2
What exactly did you change when you "modded" it?

RE: Retarded...
By Slaimus on 7/5/2006 10:20:41 AM , Rating: 2
I think he meant hardware upgrade.

RE: Retarded...
By KeypoX on 7/6/2006 3:02:23 PM , Rating: 2
no i dont think he meant "hardware upgrade" he prob meant modded. I modded mine as well but i dont get the WGA message like alot of others.

Modded is when you install your own programs or remove programs from the cd along with the drivers you need so when you install windows you get all the base programs you want and the drivers you need. It is the same thing that dell/compaq...... all those peps do with their versions of windows

RE: Retarded...
By jkostans on 7/5/2006 10:19:19 AM , Rating: 2
Why don't you just remove the WGA? Also, I bet the number is actually higher than 20%

RE: Retarded...
By Trisped on 7/5/2006 1:34:43 PM , Rating: 2
Simple solution. Format C and re-install. Then don't install WGA. The thing is, you have to abide by WGA's end user license agreement if you install it. Since they make you jump through so many hoops to install, they can assume that people know what they are getting in for.

My question is what you modded in your computer that made WGA mad? Most people say they upgraded it if they install new hardware, and that shouldn't set of WGA. If you messed with certain files in Windows then yes, you will set off WGA, but that is common sense in the mod community.

RE: Retarded...
By Tyler 86 on 7/6/2006 8:35:15 PM , Rating: 2
Could be anything... user interface changes, bloat removal, whatever... same thing happened to a few other Dells at work - just trying to lock out junk salesmen shouldn't be using.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer
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