WGA - the most recent phase

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Sparky Spartacus, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. Windows Genuine program revised following uproar
    Microsoft has bowed to public pressure, releasing a version of WGA that
    no longer validates Windows using a server-side configuration

    By Elizabeth Montalbano and Eric Lai, IDG News Service

    June 27, 2006

    Responding to pressure from irked Windows users, Microsoft released an
    updated version of its antipiracy program on Tuesday that changes the
    frequency with which the program checks for pirated or counterfeit
    copies of its client operating system.

    A new version of Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA)
    Notifications program available now no longer checks a server-side
    configuration of a user's version of Windows every time the user logs on
    to see if it is a valid copy of Windows. Instead, it periodically checks
    to see if the user's copy is genuine.

    "Our customers have told us that they were disappointed with their WGA
    Notifications experience, and we have made an effort to improve that
    with this update," a company representative said in a statement.

    Tuesday also marks the end of the pilot phase of WGA Notifications,
    which means eventually the program will run on all versions of Windows
    XP worldwide that use Microsoft's Automatic Updates system. The program
    is currently in a phased rollout, beginning with all English, Spanish,
    Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Italian and Dutch versions of
    Windows XP. Microsoft will soon offer these users the updated WGA
    Notifications through Automatic Updates.

    Microsoft has mounted an aggressive program to eliminate counterfeit and
    pirated versions of Windows, and WGA is a part of that. The program was
    first distributed not as an automatic update, but to users of
    Microsoft's download services who wanted to install add-on software,
    excluding security releases, for Windows.

    Microsoft later updated it with the WGA Notifications program,
    distributed as part of Microsoft's Automatic Updates, which reminds
    users their copy of Windows is not genuine and informs them of what
    Microsoft calls the "benefits" of using authentic Windows software.

    Users can opt out of WGA Notifications, but not the WGA program in
    general if they want to use Microsoft's download services. With the new
    release of WGA Notifications, Microsoft is including instructions for
    removing an older version of the program from a PC as Knowledge Base
    article No. 921914 on Microsoft.com, the company said.

    Since WGA's release last year, users have complained of bugs in the
    program that identified legitimate copies of Windows as counterfeit. A
    privacy advocate also accused the WGA Notifications of acting like
    spyware, since it sends information about a user's PC back to Microsoft
    automatically without letting the user know exactly what information is
    being sent.

    Upgrading the program so it does not contact Microsoft every time a user
    logs in should help remedy the latter issue. The new version of WGA
    Notifications also includes a more comprehensive End User License
    Agreement that clearly explains the purpose of the software and details
    about the program, Microsoft said.

    One Windows user said he has installed the new version of WGA
    Notifications with no problem. Steve Smith, owner of PC Manager, an
    independent PC reseller in Newport Beach, California, said the change to
    the program makes it easier for resellers to work with new clients who
    may have some illegal copies of Windows running internally but worry
    that trying to fix the problem could cripple them temporarily.

    The new WGA policy allows "customers to get their software licenses in
    order and not run the risk of being shut down immediately," Smith said.

    Paul DeGroot, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, said for most
    consumers using legal copies of Windows XP, WGA probably "wasn't much of
    an issue."

    The bigger problem is one of perception, especially after the spyware
    accusation, he said. "For WGA to phone home everyday was causing
    problems for some people," DeGroot said. "Microsoft may have blown a lot
    of credibility here."
    Sparky Spartacus, Jul 6, 2006
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  2. In message <3v2rg.1740$> of Thu, 6 Jul 2006 02:56:23 in

    <http://support.microsoft.com/kb/921914> is "How to disable or uninstall
    the pilot version of Microsoft Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications".

    It describes a tedious manual process and YMMV in applying it.

    I have used it once. The only difficulty I had was in finding
    "Double-click Add or Remove Programs, locate and then click Windows XP -
    Software, then click Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications" in
    "Start/Control Panel". Doubtless, somebody other than MS will publish an
    automation of the process.

    I am less than enamoured of MS in doing this.
    I have nothing to lose as I believe all the machines I use are kosher.
    OTOH, I could not download some MS software on an embedded XP system at
    my local public library as its security settings did not allow the
    running of Microsoft's snooping software.
    Walter Briscoe, Jul 6, 2006
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  3. Microsoft and Sony must have the same play book regarding
    Digital Rights Management. It's getting irksome enough to
    want to switch to Linux.

    Timothy Daniels, Jul 6, 2006
  4. Sparky Spartacus

    Quaoar Guest

    You apparently missed Microsoft's and Intel's Trusted Computing
    initiative. The WGA is it.

    Quaoar, Jul 6, 2006
  5. Sparky Spartacus

    Ben Myers Guest

    Good joke! Betcha Intel would not think it is funny tho... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Jul 6, 2006
  6. You're right, I missed it completely. ;)
    Sparky Spartacus, Jul 6, 2006
  7. Sparky Spartacus

    gg Guest

    gg, Jul 7, 2006
  8. That's funny. I knew the guy who was in charge fo WMP audio
    when that probably happened. I'm sure he's been getting calls
    from Redmond.


    "gg" posted:
    Timothy Daniels, Jul 7, 2006
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