Windows Genuine Advantage gets facelift for Windows 7

By Justin Mann on May 7, 2009, 6:40 PM
Still unpopular, Microsoft has decided to rebrand WGA in Windows 7 and make some tweaks along the way. Without citing specific complaints or cases, Joe Williams of Microsoft has admitted that customer feedback has resulted in them planning an overhaul for the Windows Genuine experience. Before announcing any specific changes, however, he did rattle off some loose statistics – claiming that upwards of a third of computers worldwide used pirated copies of Windows, and that the majority of users wouldn't even be aware their software was stolen. Interestingly, he also claims that making sure people have legal copies of Windows is more than just protecting Microsoft's revenue, but also protecting users from identity theft, data loss and other bad things.

He went on to talk about how anti-piracy measures will be handled in Windows 7, promising that it will be very different from what Windows users are used to currently. Essentially, Windows Genuine Advantage has been dumped as the moniker for the company's anti-counterfeit software and is to be replaced with the new Windows Activation Technologies (WAT). The biggest impact home users will see is more “informative” messages, letting them know in greater detail if and why their software is counterfeit.

For example, if Windows 7 is not activated during the login process, customers will no longer have to wait 15 seconds to click the “Activate later” button, and instead they will be given more information on activation. He also mentioned improvements for enterprise customers that will make volume activation easier and said that updates to WGA will still make their way to existing XP systems. It remains to be seen if Microsoft can get it right this time around or if “WAT” will be just as controversial as WGA.




User Comments: 15

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foogan said:
It's all hogwash. Smoke, mirrors, hot air.... pureutterbullshit.Empty, empty, absofuckinglutely empty promises."The" should be added to "Windows Activation Technologies" to make "****."I have to go, feel like vomiting.
gunste24 said:
Microsoft hardly ever gets things right to make it convenient for users.Had to use IE7 today and wanted to change the Home Screen. One goes to Home (Alt+M) - Add or change Home page, and what do you find?Two choices dictated by MS: Yes or No. No choice of your own preference.That is why I am an ABM person = anything but microsoft
tengeta said:
Once its cracked, its the same as every other WGA.They said this with Vista... and I'd bet 60%+ of Vista users are on pirated copies.Saying identity theft will happen to you if you use a cracked Windows is actually worse than the justification the government used to pass the patriot act.
Jammit said:
Windoze 7 is just XP with a stack of DRM software thrown in and some of Fisters worst bugs made a bit more inconspicuous."C'mon all you little poodles... Jump through the windows upgrade hoops"
mikeeve said:
Maybe if MS would just sell 1 or 2 versions of Window 7 instead of the proposed half dozen versions, they could lower overhead, cut the cost by 2/3, and sell lots more copies and forget tying the users into knots with their DRM methods.
QWales said:
I'd pay £25, anymore and I'll have it for free.Are they better off having millions of people using cracked copies of their software or millions of people being forced to use some other freecracked OS and a raised level of hate MS chatter on the web? I think there is something to be said for the people who steal the software being actual sales people for it.Why is MS trying to go down the WGA route again, do they think the crackers might be bored and need something to do because lets face it, it wont take long will it? I wonder if Windows would remain the OS of choice if it suddenly became uncrackable?
Mictlantecuhtli said:
The only complaint I have about WGA is, that at least in XP, it checks the validity every time I boot. Does Microsoft think the OS will somehow change to pirated version at some point? It should be done just once when activating, that's it.I've had no problems with activation or these genuine checks otherwise - probably because my 98SE, XP, Vista and 7 are all legal.[b]Originally posted by gunste24:[/b][quote]Microsoft hardly ever gets things right to make it convenient for users.Had to use IE7 today and wanted to change the Home Screen. One goes to Home (Alt+M) - Add or change Home page, and what do you find?Two choices dictated by MS: Yes or No. No choice of your own preference.[/quote]You can change the home page(s) in Internet Options.
windmill007 said:
Yeah I agree $49-$99 for the ultimate..... Anymore for anything less will just drive people to pirate. We don't want basic versions...we want it all. So why have so many versions. Just have Home and Business ultimate for $99. I bet they would make a killing.
chrisdpratt said:
It's all just clever marketing. Make people think that the hassle they're forced to endure through is for their own good. Don't fool yourself, Microsoft cares about one thing and one thing only, separating you from your wallet. It's all about their bottom line.I can just see the boardroom meeting: Hmm... "Windows is being pirated. We're losing money." (From the guy no one likes in the back:) "Maybe we could not charge $600 for an operating system that actually does most of everything it should be able to do?" (Huge laughter across the room). "Funny! But seriously, let's just make people go through a confirmation process every time they want to install updates or important software" (Cheers from the the room). "Sure, yes, that will be perfect, and it will finally stop all those pirates."Forethought has never really been the Microsoft strong-suit.
gobbybobby said:
I wish it would not prompt everytime you make a hardware change, I do not think the Operating systems are over priced, I got my Vista Ultimate for £100, But I a a little upset that 7 is coming out so soon, they better offer me a good deal to upgrade (if not upgrade me for free) I got a system builders licence in March, free upgrade?WGA is far too easy to crack, they may as well not have it, I helped my freind crack his XP by downloding the small file with readme and sending it to him via msn. (he was using MSN on his Mobile/cell phone as he does not have the Intenet) that shows anyone can get a crack, he said it took him less that 2 mins to do. I wonder how long MS spent on writing the codes and trying to make XP safe from pirates. Why do they bother? It just pisses off the legal owners who have paid for there OS.Piracy is bad.
Rick said:
[quote]He also mentioned improvements for enterprise customers that [b]will make volume activation easier[/b] [/quote]Why even bother? THAT is the version everyone will subvert for their own, free, personal use. :rollseyes:
avoidz said:
Maybe if Microsoft made Windows a lot cheaper, have just Home and Professional versions, remove the DRM crap, they wouldn't have to bother with this WGA bullshit.
Auldian said:
They have a right to protect their property. Their work is not "public domain" or free. One third of the installations globally likely ARE unlicensed -- stolen and not paid for. If MS tells 'em to sit and spin on it, power to 'em.It's the asshats that make this necessary at all. MS is NOT the bad guy.
PanicX said:
[b]Originally posted by Auldian:[/b][quote]They have a right to protect their property. Their work is not "public domain" or free. One third of the installations globally likely ARE unlicensed -- stolen and not paid for. If MS tells 'em to sit and spin on it, power to 'em.It's the asshats that make this necessary at all. MS is NOT the bad guy.[/quote]No one's said their product is public domain or free. The problem here is that their attempts to address an issue that is arguably detrimental to them, is greatly invasive and inconvenient for those with legitimate copies. Personally, I think its ridiculous that I have to call in to reactivate my copy when I change out a bad RAM DIMM or my video card. Sure the process isn't difficult but its still a pain. Especially when you consider the FACT that those with "cracked" versions, never have to contact Microsoft regardless of the upgrades or changes to their system.If I can see more value in using the activation crack... how is it helping Microsoft to have the activation at all in the first place?
phantasm66 said:
Now-a-days I always buy Windows, and even before that I got it from a site licence copy from work, which I was actually entitled to.I don't have a problem buying it. I DO have a problem having to buy a new OS every 2 years.
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