New Version of Microsoft Windows Genuine Advantage Coming

Dennis Faas's picture

A new version of Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) is being rolled out with the first "service pack" for Windows Vista, due in the first quarter of 2008.  The new WGA will employ nagging alerts on computers suspected of using pirated software instead of disabling programs on the suspected computer. (Source:

When computer users activate Windows or try to download software from Microsoft's web site, WGA scans their system for signs of pirated software. If WGA finds an unauthorized copy of Windows, in many instances the computer becomes non-functional, only allowing a user to connect to the Internet to purchase a licensed version of Windows.

With the new version of WGA, users suspected of using pirated versions of Windows will still be able to use their computers, but will know their operating system is fake.  In fact, the desktop wallpaper will turn black and a white notice will appear alerting users to the problem. Every time users log in they'll be prompted to buy legitimate software, and every hour, a reminder will appear on the screen.

Users will be able to put up with the irritation indefinitely, but those wishing to buy a legitimate copy of Windows will be able to do so at reduced rates.  The cost is just $119 for Windows Vista Home Premium, half the regular retail price.

In August, a glitch in WGA resulted in fewer than 12,000 people trying to validate software over a two day period, raising outcries across the Internet.

This package of Vista updates will fix two holes in the operating system that have allowed pirates to create counterfeit copies: one that mimics the activation of software by computer makers before a PC is sold and one that extends a grace period given to people installing new software, before they're required to activate it.

Microsoft also plans to offer an update for Windows Genuine Advantage that will run the piracy check regularly without the user initiating the process.

Visit Bill's Links and More for more great tips, just like this one!

Rate this article: 
No votes yet