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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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RE: Uh....
By Visual on 7/5/2006 8:47:05 PM , Rating: 2
$25 wont get you even a "safe mode"-only version :p
it may very well be what the OEMs pay for the OS, but not what the end customer pays.
i can manage to find an OEM version of xp professional around $80, and its rare. and please don't push me "home edition", or god forbid "asian edition" as a cheaper alternative.

and you needn't flame me for stating my oppinion on what a reasonable price would be. someone asked that question, i answered. i haven't went to bill gates and forced him to accept my viewpoint have i?

and you purpously skipped another option for when you don't like the price - that is, steal it. as bad as it sounds, it is a common occurance, and is infact what started this whole discussion. i'm a programmer and im not supporting stealing someone's hard work same as i wouldn't want it to happen with mine, still i have to point out it's just bound to happen with high prices, especially in poorer countries. and the funny thing is, microsoft realise that all too well, and don't seem to mind it - they get their big money from those that could afford it, and they get popularity and wider spread for their os from those that couldn't... piracy is the only reason they got to be the monopoly they are now.

"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner
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