We’ve mentioned Windows Genuine Advantage over and over now. The original debut was back in 2005 and has caused quite the stir since with lawsuits, and general complaints, with some even labeling it as spyware. WGA was designed to check a computer to ensure that it is running a valid genuine version of Windows. Since it was released, there have been several modifications to the process.  The most recent update will let some users off the hook (for now anyways) for pirated software.

Before, WGA had two categories for classifying your operating system.  Either it was valid or invalid.  Recently they’ve added an “indeterminate” category.  This indeterminate category is for when they’re not 100% positive that the software is illegal.  One of the reasons they added this category was to help eliminate all of the times when WGA incorrectly identified copies of windows as being pirated or unlicensed.

WGA checks the product key that you have entered with a large database full of legitimate keys. If they don’t find your key, your copy of windows is considered invalid.  Since WGA was started back in 2005, some of the modifications include eliminating pop-up messages with warnings that the software could be unlicensed, but also changing how often the program checks for pirated copies.

If by chance your computer falls into the “indeterminate” category, you’d be directed to the Microsoft website for more information. One of the options would be to re-enter the legitimate key versus reinstalling the entire operating system.

Source: Computerworld.com