Time to Get Real!!!
by Gary Woods
For those who actually look at the updates that Microsoft sends down the pipe every month there's been one that has caused a lot of controversy. It's the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) software and once downloaded it checks in with the Microsoft server occasionally to see if your copy of Window is real or.... This Validation is required for downloading some pieces of software from Microsoft Web sites, but Microsoft says it's not required for receiving critical security fixes through Automatic Updates.
If your computer fails validation the user gets a recurring alert from WGA warning them that they are running an illegitimate copy of Windows. But as of now the warning does not prevent the user from continuing to run Windows. So far WGA has spawned two lawsuits and has raised concerns about what Microsoft is adding to its software updates. Plaintiffs in two class-action lawsuits, one filed in California and the other in Washington, claim that WGA violates those states' anti-spyware legislation.
Probably the most irritating part of WGA is that it has sent repeated piracy pop-ups to people who owned legitimate copies of Windows. For users who receive invalid license pop-ups, Microsoft has provided a fix at http://find.pcworld.com/54536 that may reset the license keys if their copy of Windows is legitimate. Other users may need to call the toll-free number displayed on the WGA Notifications dialog box.
If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at email@example.com or see my column on the Internet at http://www.santabarbaraproperties.com or call me at (805) 729-0910
Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. You can hear Gary on the Radio at 1290 AM Monday 9-10 AM and he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc