According to ComputerWorld, Microsoft has, for all intent and purposes, won the Windows XP WGA, anti-piracy, lawsuit. The lawsuit was brought to court over three years ago because people felt Microsoft was misleading its customers by releasing WGA as a critical security update. The beta version of WGA would send information back to Microsoft on a daily basis without informing the user. Even the final version of WGA reported back to the mother ship once every 90 days. Users said that this made it a form of spyware and should not have been a forced update.
In January, the judge refused to give the lawsuit class action status. Microsoft was also told that they could file an expense report by February 12, 2010 to be compensated for their legal fees and other losses from the lawsuit. However, in the end, both parties agreed to pay their own attorney's costs and court fees. The judge dismissed the lawsuit last week.
Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) was pushed to Windows XP machines by Microsoft in 2006 in order to detect pirated copies of Windows. If detected, WGA would annoy users and sometimes cripple functionality in order to push them to get a genuine license. In Vista and Windows 7, WGA has been replaced with Windows Activation Technologies (WAT). According to Microsoft, WAT works in a completely different way than WGA, though it serves the same overall purpose.
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