MS fixes phone-home nagware

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Osiris

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Microsoft has patched a controversial nagware update that "phoned home" every time Windows started. Redmond has also issued an advisory with instructions on how to remove the software.

The component was designed to enforce its 'Windows Genuine Advantage' anti-piracy program, by nagging users into a state of obedience. Every time the PC was activated, the "notifications" (Redmond-speak for nag) portion of WGA checked its state against a central server, and then invited users of non-compliant software where they could "learn more about the benefits of using genuine Windows software."

Quite why Windows needed to phone home simply to remind itself to pester users is one of the more curious features of the program. But Microsoft's own channel fell foul of the warnings: two distributors said they'd received false positives for legitimate Windows installations. A year ago Microsoft made WGA mandatory for all Windows users seeking software updates or patches, and the Notifications nag was rolled out world wide on May 30, on what Microsoft describes a 'voluntary' basis.

Today Microsoft says a new version of WGA will no longer make the daily "phone home" call.

In a release titled "Windows Genuine Advantage Bolsters Frontline in Anti-Piracy Fight", Microsoft said it has also changed the End User License Agreement (EULA) with a General Availability EULA that makes its purpose clearer to users. And there's a new Knowledge Base advisory, over here, where you can learn how to both disable the nagware, or delete it completely.

http://www.theregister.com/2006/06/28/microsoft_wga_patched/
 

Osiris

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Earlier this week there were reports flying about that Microsoft was actually using the WGA as a means to shut off pirates or anyone who doesn?t comply with the update. The people at Redmond now have made a statement to dispel those rumors.

Microsoft Corp. today denied speculation that it plans to cripple copies of Windows XP for users who refuse to install its controversial antipiracy tool, Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA).

All the WGA has netted Microsoft at this point is bad press and even a lawsuit or two.

http://www.hardocp.com/news.html?news=MTk4NzIsLCxobmV3cywsLDE=
 

Osiris

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The recently rolled out Office Genuine Advantage, along with its widely known Windows counterpart, seems to have made Microsoft decide to protect all of its paying software using a Genuine Advantage initiative.

The new tool, named simply Genuine Advantage Initiative, is aimed at protecting all Microsoft retail desktop software other than Windows and Office, which will both remain under their own Genuine Advantage. It is based on the Office version, but the changes it adds from this version is currently unknown.

http://neowin.net/index.php
 
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