Microsoft Starts Pushing Harder On Piracy

Everyone knows that Microsoft has always taken piracy seriously. They started to lay down the law when they released Windows XP which required activation. After that proved to be easy to get around they released Windows Genuine Advantage which prevented users from being able to update their computers (except for those updates that Windows Automatic Update acquires). Now they are pushing even harder with the most recent Windows Update.

This update will scan your computer to see if it is running a legitimate copy of Windows, and if you aren’t it will prompt you with a message saying “This copy of Windows is not genuine; you may be a victim of software counterfeiting.” This is currently an opt-in service but may soon be required. Here is some detailed information:

As part of the pilot program, some customers in the U.S., U.K., Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand will be invited to receive WGA Notifications through Automatic Updates (AU) to learn whether or not they are running genuine Windows. Customers who opt in to the pilot and learn they are using non-genuine versions of Windows will receive a message during logon that their copy of Windows appears to be non-genuine and will be directed to the WGA Web site to learn more. If they choose not to obtain a copy of genuine Windows at that time, the customer will receive reminders until they are running genuine Windows. While the pilot is presently opt-in, as it expands later in the year, AU and WU customers may be required to participate. Users who have not validated their machines as genuine through WGA will not be able to download IE 7 and Windows Defender among other downloads and updates. However, they will not be denied critical security updates.

The pilot is opt-in, so all participants are given a choice about whether or not they wish to participate. The opt-in is via a License Terms dialog, and users can chose to accept or decline. Only users who accept will receive the software. Once installed, participants will have the option to suppress notifications for some length of time. Users will not have the option of uninstalling WGA Notifications. Customers [already] running genuine Windows Advantage will be unaffected by WGA notifications. Users running non-genuine Windows will see the notifications at boot time, login time, and periodically to via a system tray bubble notification. Messages are displayed until the system is running genuine Windows. Users can choose to suppress the notifier. The notifier will remind such users that they are not running genuine Windows and direct them to the WGA failure page, where they can learn more about the benefits of genuine software and take advantage of the Microsoft genuine Windows offers designed to help victims of counterfeit software. All users are able to receive High Priority Security & reliability updates regardless of their validation status. Users will not have the option of uninstalling WGA Notifications.

WGA Notifications is for Windows XP users. Our client software does not collect any information that can be used to identify or contact a user. We use the same process used by many popular search engines and Web sites to determine where their users are from — a form of IP lookup. This IP lookup process does not include any information that is used to identify you or contact you, and only gives a rough geographic representation of where users are located.

News Source: Washington Post