In a notable change to its anti-piracy policy, Microsoft has decided to ditch the infamous “kill switch,” which puts Vista in reduced functionality mode if the license key fails to validate with the WGA system. Instead, the company will take a gentler approach with the release of Vista Service Pack 1, according to corporate vice president Mike Sievert:

“Users whose systems are identified as counterfeit will be presented with clear and recurring notices about the status of their system and how to get genuine. They won't lose access to functionality or features, but it will be very clear to them that their copy of Window Vista is not genuine and they need to take action.”
Microsoft’s decision to do away with the kill switch was most likely prompted by the fact that its WGA system often gave false positives. Back in August, an incident caused by human error affected almost 12,000 users, highlighting some of the flaws in the WGA system.