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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 Tyler 86 on 7/6/2006 10:10:15 PM , Rating: 2
15$ a year for a full-feature professional user OS is more reasonable - 75$ at 5 years.
With that saved 75$, you can invest in their hypothetical 75$ Small Business Office software suite.

Higher numbers for server variations are acceptable - that's where they make their money's worth anyway.

They're fleecing the average consumer with their 'workstation' products.

XP Professional is supposed to be a workstation OS, that's Microsoft's excuse for the high price tag.

They already sell it relatively for peanuts (~80$) to OEMs like Dell who aim to put it on non-server machines.

XP Pro can't make up for the 149$ it costs over 5 years to the average XP Pro user. 149$ as an introductory tag for early adopters I can see... but waiting for the price to drop to 149$ after 5 years, on the verge of a replacement?

Come on.
This isn't something that you should have to budget into your damn computer. This is basic.

We could all be using Linux, OpenOffice, and playing id's latest engines - Doom 3, Quake 4, etc...

What's stopping that? Some lame corperate words, and OEMs like Dell that don't give their customers a choice, just tier.

It's not difficult to develop an application on another OS, it just needs to be done.
Commercial developers need to be there to draw people, but developers develop where the people are - Microsoft got there first, and they're milking it for all they can.

Can't blame 'em for that. Can blame 'em for the price tag.

"I f***ing cannot play Halo 2 multiplayer. I cannot do it." -- Bungie Technical Lead Chris Butcher
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