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Print 67 comment(s) - last by Armorize.. on Jul 8 at 2:01 AM

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 mindless1 on 7/6/2006 2:56:50 AM , Rating: 2
You claim to be shilling for the free market?

That's either funny or you badly need some education. WGA wouldn't likely exist at all in a free market and certainly not be prone to accusations of piracy for purchased licenses. Remember, YOU can't argue away that 20% with random BS, it is already conceded to be erroneous by the source that wants to paint it in the best light possible.


By masher2 (blog) on 7/6/2006 11:48:31 AM , Rating: 3
> "WGA wouldn't likely exist at all in a free market..."

Where do you get such nonsense? I use a couple high-end software packages (costing $100K+/copy) in a market in which no company has anywhere near a 50% market share. Each of them is considerably more intrusive with their license validation than is WGA. One of them requires you to obtain a per-day usage key EVERY TIME you run the application.

> "YOU can't argue away that 20% with random BS, it is already conceded to be erroneous by the source...."

Oops, nothing of the sort. Reread the source article; you apparently misinterpreted it seriously.




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