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.