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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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Why WGA?
By proamerica on 7/5/2006 4:17:33 PM , Rating: 2
Stopping idiocy. Thats what laws and rules and all this bullshit aboug WGA are really about. Keeping the morons in check. Some people are victimized by morons through no fault of their own, some people are morons, some people just shouldn't go anywhere near a computer that has more than a D-pad and two buttons for input. Problem with fools is this: "If you make something foolproof they'll just make a better fool."

Maybe you can make the schools better, maybe if parents were better it would help as well.

RE: Why WGA?
By Tyler 86 on 7/6/2006 9:08:54 PM , Rating: 3
Instead it appears as though they're dropping standards for education of the masses in exchange for 'more progressiver' (sic) education measures.

It shows.

WGA doesn't keep morons in check though, if that's what you're implying - it only confuses them to their doom.

Anyone worth their digital salt with WGA wouldn't think twice about exorcising it from their system if it gave them any crap.

The people should not be afraid of the government, the government should be afraid of the people -- same thing applies to corperations, whether they believe it or not.

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs
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