Microsoft updates XP to make WGA more annoying

By Justin Mann on
Microsoft is expanding the scope of their Windows Genuine Advantage software, which as many of us know tries to reduce the number of pirated copies of Windows in the world. This latest update targets Windows XP, and makes it more similar to the version of WGA found in Windows Vista.

The latest update goes a bit beyond the frequent reminder messages that tell you your OS is pirated. This time, the update will automatically change your desktop background to a plain black, overlaid with a WGA warning similar to the login screen change they added to XP a while back. This time, however, if you change the background, WGA will just change it back.

This is a pretty bold move by Microsoft, who has faced a considerable amount of criticism for introducing WGA in the first place. They also faced numerous teething issues with it, with estimates at one point claiming that up to 42% of the installs identified as being pirated were false positives.

Nagging someone with alerts when they had a legal copy was bad enough, but what if someone is falsely identified and then subject to having their OS toyed with by Microsoft? Hopefully they have fixed those problems by now.

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