Windows XP users who update their system through automatic updates or the Windows update service might be in for a surprise. Microsoft has upgraded the company's Windows Genuine Advantage software for Windows XP and started the distribution of the update this week.
The new WGA for Windows XP mimics the annoyances that Windows Vista users have to endure if the version of Windows Vista does not pass the genuine verification check. The check is used to determine if a Windows product key is genuine.
Microsoft does not shut down the operating system completely, but adds nags to the operating system in an effort to convince users that they need a genuine license.
Windows XP systems that fail the WGA check will show a black desktop instead of any interface customizations the user may have added to the operating system. While it is possible to switch back to wallpapers, Windows XP reverts back to the black desktop automatically in 60 minute intervals.
With this update to WGA Notifications in Windows XP, we've implemented a couple of related features that draw on the notifications experience we designed for Windows Vista SP1. After installing this version of WGA Notifications on a copy of Windows XP that fails the validation, most users will discover on their next logon that their desktop has changed to a plain black background from whatever was there previously (see below).
The second annoyance is a persistent desktop notification in the lower right corner that displays the sentences "You may be a victim of software counterfeiting. This copy of Windows did not pass genuine Windows validation" and an image with the text "ask for genuine Microsoft software". The icon and message is translucent and don't prevent users from interacting with objects that are behind the notification.
The third and final way of nagging the user aree system tray notifications which will pop up regularly. There will also be a pre-logon message and a logon interrupt message on top of all that.
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.