Microsoft Windows users who are living in the U.S., U.K., Malaysia, Australia or New Zealand will soon have to deal with Microsoft's next step in the company's fight against piracy. All computer systems that use automatic updates may receive the new anti-piracy tool that the company released for that purpose. It will install itself automatically on those systems and ask for a reboot. It will then check the license of the Windows operating system on next boot, and if the check fails, will display the following message on the screen:
This copy of Windows is not genuine; you may be a victim of software counterfeiting
Brian Krebs got some answers from Microsoft about this procedure, here are the interesting tidbits.
Customers who opt in to the pilot and learn they are using non-genuine versions of Windows will receive a message during logon that their copy of Windows appears to be non-genuine and will be directed to the WGA Web site to learn more. If they choose not to obtain a copy of genuine Windows at that time, the customer will receive reminders until they are running genuine Windows
The pilot is opt-in, so all participants are given a choice about whether or not they wish to participate. The opt-in is via a License Terms dialog, and users can chose to accept or decline. Only users who accept will receive the software. Once installed, participants will have the option to suppress notifications for some length of time. Users will not have the option of uninstalling WGA Notifications
WGA Notifications is for Windows XP users. Our client software does not collect any information that can be used to identify or contact a user. We use the same process used by many popular search engines and Web sites to determine where their users are from -- a form of IP lookup. This IP lookup process does not include any information that is used to identify you or contact you, and only gives a rough geographic representation of where users are located
It seems to be opt-in for now but it could very well become a must if you want to receive further updates for your operating system.
All the program seems to do at this moment in time is to notify the user that the copy of Windows is not genuine. This too may change in the near future.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.