Windows Genuine Advantage

By Steve Biddle, in , posted: 4-Jul-2006 22:14

If you've been using XP over the last few months or following the news you're probably aware that MS deployed "trial" software called Windows Genuine Advantage in select countries which came as high priority windows update. This software checked your product ID and if it suspected you were running a pirated copy of XP displayed a nice logo on your log in srceen saying that your software may be counterfeit and a nag screen in your system tray. It also rang home to MS every time you rebooted your PC which was not disclosed by MS.

There have been numerous reports of this software causing incompatiblity issues and over the past couple of days there appears to have been a significant back down from MS as the anti WGA backlash started to gain momentum.

MS being sued over WGA Spyware

How to remove WGA from your system

And this candid interview with Microsoft's chief privacy strategist who essentially says "we stuffed up"

Other related posts:
CCTV exposed. Why understanding network security is so important.
Anker make some of the best USB chargers and powerbanks available. Now you can get their products shipped directly to New Zealand
United Airlines pulls out of New Zealand for Southern Hemisphere Winter – AKL/SFO becomes seasonal.

Comment by alasta, on 5-Jul-2006 07:09

It is unacceptable that WGA does not provide sufficient notification about its 'phone home' functionality, but I don't really see the problem with WGA in principle. Surely Microsoft has the right to protect their intellectual property.

Comment by sbiddle, on 5-Jul-2006 09:17

The phone home seems to be one of the biggest gripes. I've read stories of people in oz who have incurred charges of over $30 per month extra in local call charges because WGA automatically connects to the net on startup or a reboot to phone home! I agree of the principal but it seems to be a hack which is also causing compatibility and system stability issues on some systems. Surely MS could have just deployed such a system in Vista and left XP alone?

sbiddle's profile

Steve Biddle
New Zealand

I'm an engineer who loves building solutions to solve problems.

I also love sharing my views and analysis of the tech world on this blog, along with the odd story about aviation and the travel industry.

My interests and skillset include:

*VoIP (Voice over IP). I work with various brands of hardware and PBX's on a daily basis
  -Asterisk (incl PiaF, FreePBX, Elastix)

  -xDSL deployments

*Structured cabling
  -Home/office cabling
  -Phone & Data

*Computer networking
  -Mikrotik hardware
  -WAN/LAN solutions

*Wireless solutions
  -Motel/Hotel hotspot deployments
  -Outdoor wireless deployments, both small and large scale
  -Temporary wireless deployments
*CCTV solutions
  -Analogue and IP

I'm an #avgeek who loves to travel the world (preferably in seat 1A) and stay in nice hotels.

+My views do no represent my employer. I'm sure they'll be happy to give their own if you ask them.

You can contact me here or by email at