Microsoft changes 'Windows Genuine Advantage' name

Microsoft will be changing to name of it's activation and validation system from "Windows Genuine Advantage" to "Windows Activation Technologies" according to a report by Mary-Jo Foley.

However, the "Genuine" brand isn't completely disappearing. A press release states that Microsoft will continue to deliver genuine updates and notifications for XP users. The program has been criticized for its punishment tactics and false-positive results, even though Microsoft has fixed some of these problems in Vista SP1.

According to Microsoft, Windows 7's activation will be built on the same software protection platform that was part of Vista, with some minor tweaks made for Windows 7.

"In Windows 7 we modified this process: When customers choose to activate later they will see a dialog box highlighting how activation helps them identify if their copy of Windows is genuine and be allowed to proceed immediately without a 15-second delay. In Windows 7 we've made changes so that users will see more informative notifications messages and be able to more easily complete the tasks they need to.", said Joe Willians, general manager, Worldwide Genuine Windows in a Q&A session.

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They should call it something more accurate, like the "Customer Abuse Program". As it only effects customers who legally purchased the software, the pirates bypass all that nonsense and redistribute it to all the noobs who can't.

The only "advantage" was that some WGA downloads and offers were better than Ultimate Extras. Other than that, it only slows down XP's logon for genuine users.

Now, just drop the telephone activation stuff and make it an online method already.

"But it already has internet activation, idiot!"

No. What I mean is when you've used up your Internet activations due to troubleshooting hardware problems, you'll need to use the phone to tell them your PID and answer questions to get a new serial number of some sort in return to activate. But why the phone? This is a disadvantage to the deaf population. We embrace the internet because it's deaf-friendly. Why on earth can't Microsoft use a webform or application that we can answer questions to and punch in our generated PID code in? Such fail.

I had no more use for one since I discovered the Internet. but meh.

Plus I've read TTY relay doesn't work very well with an automated talking computer.

aarste said,
I had no more use for one since I discovered the Internet. but meh.

Plus I've read TTY relay doesn't work very well with an automated talking computer.

You can skip the automated system and go directly to an out-sourced human.

aarste said,
Now, just drop the telephone activation stuff and make it an online method already.

"But it already has internet activation, idiot!"

No. What I mean is when you've used up your Internet activations due to troubleshooting hardware problems, you'll need to use the phone to tell them your PID and answer questions to get a new serial number of some sort in return to activate. But why the phone? This is a disadvantage to the deaf population. We embrace the internet because it's deaf-friendly. Why on earth can't Microsoft use a webform or application that we can answer questions to and punch in our generated PID code in? Such fail.

It is usually only a couple of questions although I've noticed them changing them up a bit. To simplify the matter I usually start off by indicating that it is my only install and that I have installed it previously. That usually gets them to skip to the point of the call and give me my dang activation code.

As far as Microsoft is concerned, all of my systems are "genuine". OEM activation in Vista and VLK in XP, both pass WGA (oops, WAT, too many TLAs in this sentence!).

Man, I really hate Windows Genuine Advantage! But, I gotta say Vista's activation was relax compare to Windows XP. With Vista you could at least still use it after the deadline.

Windows Genuine disAdvantage was more like it... after having to call them 3 times to re-activate my computer for upgrades I flashed my bios with an OEM one and have been happy ever since.

0sm3l said,
Windows Genuine disAdvantage was more like it... after having to call them 3 times to re-activate my computer for upgrades I flashed my bios with an OEM one and have been happy ever since.

At one point I was calling them every other day for activation due to my reinstalls. Activation is supposed to be automatic if it is installed on the same hardware. Wasn't for me with Vista. Oh and WGA != Windows Activation...

I still think they shouldn't give 1 shi* let alone 2 sh**ts about a pirated install of their OS. No patches, no updates, not a dang thing.

Let em sit there with an unsecure system or get a legit license.

*EDIT*
But that comment leaves those who were swindled as ricknl stated above... dang.

zeke009 said,
I still think they shouldn't give 1 shi* let alone 2 sh**ts about a pirated install of their OS. No patches, no updates, not a dang thing.

Let em sit there with an unsecure system or get a legit license.


Unsecured systems can affect everybody, unfortunately (zombie PCs, spamming, DoS attacks, etc).

king_of_hearts said,
Or... The pirates all crack the "Windows Activation Technologies" while still enjoying the benefits of updates, patches, and pretty much everything everyone else paid for. Brilliant!

Bang on. All this talk of pirates being shafted, bull. Since XP, pirates have been enjoying all the benefits any Windows OS has to offer and it will continue through Win7 and beyond.

Kirkburn said,
Unsecured systems can affect everybody, unfortunately (zombie PCs, spamming, DoS attacks, etc).

I actually assume:

1. Globally there are more pirated copies of windows in use than legitimate.
2. Most of these systems are in fact MORE likely to be infected by trojan/dos bots. They pirated windows , they're likely to use other dodgy software that often comes infected.

3. Therefore it's actually MORE important to get them security updates as they're the ones hosing everyone else off the internet.

Hmm even though they say it doesnt, I kind of feel we was right a few years ago when we said there would be no real "genuine advantage" once MS got everyone used to the nag screens before downloading.

there's never really been any advantage of having a genuine copy (except for the feel good inside feeling some people get)

Yeah, not being a criminal (or a person with an entitlement attitude disability) does feel good. I don't expect Microsoft's employees to work for free. If you do, switch to Linux.

I pirate. I don't believe it is morally right (although I don't think it exactly "wrong"). I do it because I can get away with it, and giving in to my natural human nature. Until they can stop me, I will continue to do it. I'm also a lost sale, if they could stop it, I would buy it.

The "genuine advantage" was double-plus good speak, perfected to an art during the Bush years. I, for one, would appreciate this change back to common sense English descriptions that actually mean what they say.

The just try and stop me attuide to piracy is why people who genuninly buy a copy are bing crippled. Most people get windows with your computer and if you put something else on just buy oem it's not that expensive.

Uh huh, well stop complaining about it because it's completely in vein. The point I was trying to get across was that I was the average pirate. And this, my kind of pirate will always exist if the situation allows its. It's akin to complaining "Why is the tornado going through my town?!".

CrazyK said,
Hmm even though they say it doesnt, I kind of feel we was right a few years ago when we said there would be no real "genuine advantage" once MS got everyone used to the nag screens before downloading.

The GA isn't *strictly* just to stop pirates. Its to let people know their corner shop PC store has sold them a PC with a dodgy copy on. People who genuinely KNOW their copy is dodgy tend to find ways around it.

I don't think I own a non legit copy of windows now because I cba to build machines any more so normally get windows with. I normally disable or refuse to install GA and GA Notifications etc as much as possibly because I generally know if the software is legit or not and dont need something using up rescourses to tell me.

Rudy said,
there's never really been any advantage of having a genuine copy (except for the feel good inside feeling some people get)

You don't get annoyed all the time by the non-genuine notifications and you don't have to patch it every few months.

If they would only get rid of all that crap activation and passed on the saving to the customers, there wouldn't be a problem with pirated copies.

The whole problem is only created by the fact that Windows is way too expensive.

The Stylish Hobo said,
I pirate. I don't believe it is morally right (although I don't think it exactly "wrong"). I do it because I can get away with it, and giving in to my natural human nature. Until they can stop me, I will continue to do it. I'm also a lost sale, if they could stop it, I would buy it.

You can still buy it. I bought about 95% of all items that I formerly pirated. This includes Windows. Now I get TechNet Direct and never worry again. I'll have a copy of Win7 Ultimate when it comes out.

Unplugged said,
The GA isn't *strictly* just to stop pirates. Its to let people know their corner shop PC store has sold them a PC with a dodgy copy on. People who genuinely KNOW their copy is dodgy tend to find ways around it.

I don't think I own a non legit copy of windows now because I cba to build machines any more so normally get windows with. I normally disable or refuse to install GA and GA Notifications etc as much as possibly because I generally know if the software is legit or not and dont need something using up rescourses to tell me.

Yea. This was primary being used to try to shut down the places making illegal copies of Windows. One big "red flag" to when a shop was doing that is if they refuse to provide a copy of the installation media for the OS installed. I know a friend reported a local shop because they were pirating Windows and they were shut down soon afterwards. Their machines were dodgy sometimes too. I also know a few customers who got dodgy copies from their local tech shops.

shinji257 said,
One big "red flag" to when a shop was doing that is if they refuse to provide a copy of the installation media for the OS installed.


Wait a second, that's not exactly how that work. You have OEM license that come with the label and the disk. But there also COA License where you only get the label without the CD. The COA cost a lot less to me and to my customers. And if they insist on getting the disk, I make them a copy.