Thanks to Aviran for the heads up over in the BPN.
Microsoft announced that on Tuesday it will make Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) more bothersome than ever. A new update for WGA is now on the Windows Update website as a mandatory update. Once installed, your copy of Windows will be checked for validity. If your Windows installation is found not to be genuine, Windows will display a message telling you that "This copy of Windows is not genuine." Windows will check and display messages on every boot as well as once an hour (or so). The new WGA tool also puts an icon in your system tray if your copy of Windows is not genuine.
Once notified and prompted to validate your copy of Windows, you will have 14 days to do so. If after 14 days you do not comply, you will not be able to download updates from the Windows Update website. Critical security updates will still be available via the Automatic Update built into Windows.
Microsoft hopes that by nagging users to get a genuine copy of Windows, it will cut down on piracy. We all know how much we despise pop-ups. Microsoft also urges anyone who purchased an illegal copy of Windows to report the counterfeit dealer. As a reward, Microsoft will (in most cases) give a free license to victims of counterfeit.
If you do not wish to validate your copy of Windows, there is a way to turn off the notifications by clicking on the system tray icon. If you decide to do so, Microsoft notifies you that you will no longer be able to receive updates via Windows Update. Once you agree to these terms, notification will be disabled. However the tray icon will remain in your system tray. When a new version of WGA is available, the notifications will be enabled again.