Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) notifications service has moved out of pilot testing and will now reach out and touch millions of mainstream Windows XP users in the coming months. WGA is software distributed through Microsoft's Automatic Update and Windows Update that identifies fake or counterfeit versions of Windows and informs those who fail validation how to get a legal copy of Windows. The updated WGA Notifications package was released Tuesday.
One year ago, Microsoft launched WGA Validation, a program that urged customers to check to ensure that their copy of Windows is authentic or legal when using Windows Update. The first phase of WGA Notifications -- which alerts customers that run Windows software deemed to be counterfeit or illegal -- was launched in Norway and sweden in November 2005 and in five additional countries last February. In April, Microsoft expanded the pilot program to a segment of Windows XP customers in the U.S., United Kingdom, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand. As of this week, the pilot phase of the program ends and Microsoft will do a phased roll-out globally to all Windows XP users, Microsoft said.