Microsoft announced Tuesday that it would use Automatic Updates to roll out changes to the component of its anti-piracy scheme that nags users when their copy of Windows is tagged as counterfeit. An analyst criticizes the changes as more work for customers.
Among the modifications to what Microsoft calls the WGA Notifications Tool for Windows XP are a revamped installation wizard that's designed to provide users with more information on validation results and a new category, called "indeterminate," that sits between the black-or-white of "genuine" and "nongenuine." In addition, Microsoft said that it would give Windows XP customers new tools to "troubleshoot the problem and learn more about the results" when the anti-counterfeit software can't make up its mind whether the copy of Windows is legitimate or not.
The developer's Windows Genuine Advantage program has been regularly knocked by users and analysts since Microsoft debuted the notifications component in April. Notifications Tool, an addition to the already-in-use component that decides if Windows is valid or bogus, nags users of pirated copies with on-screen messages, balloons, and banners. In June, Microsoft took considerable heat when it was revealed that WGA "phoned home" to Microsoft's servers on a daily basis. Similar technologies and practices unveiled for Windows Vista also have been blasted as onerous.