Microsoft Updates WGA For Windows XP

Oh goodie. Microsoft is going to update WGA [Windows Genuine Advantage] in order to make it simpler. So if I read the explanation that Microsoft is providing, it seems that customers have asked for this. Customers want the simplest way possible to know if their copy of Windows is real or a fake. Microsoft also states that they are concentrating their efforts on Windows XP Pro, because this is where the pirates hang out.

So what happens if your copy of Windows XP comes up as a fake? This:

With this update to WGA Notifications in Windows XP, we’ve implemented a couple of related features that draw on the notifications experience we designed for Windows Vista SP1. After installing this version of WGA Notifications on a copy of Windows XP that fails the validation, most users will discover on their next logon that their desktop has changed to a plain black background from whatever was there previously (see below).

Plain Black Background

And you will also get this warning:

 Persistent Desktop Notification

I’m excited about how this release balances our goals of providing a great experience to those who have genuine Windows and at the same time creating a compelling experience for those who have non-genuine copies to get genuine Windows. As usual I welcome your feedback about this latest release and the program overall. Thanks for reading!

I’m glad someone is excited about this. My only gripe is when WGA doesn’t work correctly, which has happened in the past, a few million or so users suffered. Trying to get your system back up and running as the genuine article can be trying to say the least.

Just one question? Did anyone here call Microsoft and ask for a new WGA ? :-)

Comments welcome.

Microsoft blog release.

Article Written by

I have been writing for Lockergnome for eight years.

  • Bobzilla

    I personally think WGA is one of Microsoft’s best updates. Just think, it will help remove pirated software from many machines, however I’m not sure illegal users will plop down cold cash for a legit copy of Windows though. Some seem to think WGA will help the Ubuntu Linux movement. Hmm, I’m a little optimistic that XP pirated users will switch to Linux as a result of being locked out by WGA. Oh well…. either pay up or use Linux.

  • Zenium

    Yes, I called Microsoft for this. Just like I called Adobe and asked them to include the Macrovision FNPLicensing Service with the Acrobat 8 install. And then make sure FNPLicensing service runs all the time so it can phone home to make sure my Adobe DRM is correct.


  • El Pelon

    I personally think WGA is one of Microsoft’s best updates.

    Hahahahahahaha! That’s HILARIOUS!

    By the way, I believe that anyone leaving K-Mart is a potential shoplifter and should be subject to search at the store’s exit. If zI find an object that is not, in my opinion, paid for properly, I will spray paint the offender with black enamel and inform them that they may be a victim of mistaken identity.

    If they don’t like it, they can switch to Wal-Mart.


  • Pizzor2000

    It hijacks your desktop wallpaper, does it?

    The WGA acts more like a trojan with every update!

  • Roelof

    @ El Pelon: you sound more like someone who does not want his creditcard checked at the checkout – for reasons I can only guess at.

    I’m not going to defend Microsoft, but they have every right to check if their software is used legally. Nothing ‘hilarious’ about that. They should do it with the utmost care though. Every legal user unjustly taken for an offender is one too many.

    Of course Microsoft is bending over backwards to make itself as unsympathetic as possible. For a lot of people that makes it less of an offense to pirate their software. Frankly said, I can well understand that.

  • Topie

    If MS spent more time on their product design and less time on wringing every last penny out of computing Americans they might accidentally produce a product someone would be HAPPY to pay for?

    So far all MS has done is work against me. I don’t pay for argument.

  • Ben Dover

    WGA rightfully should extract $149.00 from pirate boy’s electronic wallet and offer a rebate if he can provide actionable information on who provided the pirated software in the first place.