The Channel logo


By | Lucy Sherriff 26th July 2005 11:07

Fakers beware: no more MS updates for you

WGA goes live

Microsoft is no longer providing updates to non-genuine versions of its Windows XP operating system. From today, the company has switched over to a full launch of its Windows Genuine Advantage Programme as part of its ongoing anti-piracy campaign.

Users will now have to join the WGA authentication program if they want to receive software updates from the Microsoft Download Centre or from Windows Update. However, MS says it will still provide security patches for pirated systems, which will be available via Automatic Updates in Windows.

To register for the WGA, users just need to visit the Microsoft Download Centre, Windows Update or Microsoft Update. There they will be prompted to download an ActiveX control that checks the authenticity of their Windows software and, if Windows is validated, stores a download key on the PC for future verification.

Microsoft stresses that this process "does not collect any information that can be used by Microsoft to identify or contact the user".

Back in January 2005, Microsoft extended the pilot scheme - which had been running in English since September 2004 - to include 20 different languages. It also broadened the kind of content available to participants. Microsoft says many of the 40 million people who signed up for the pilot did so because they wanted a way to check that their own copy of XP was genuine.

The company also says it will replace pirated software with genuine versions - free of charge to customers who submit piracy reports and proof of purchase, and for £61 or £92 for XP Home or Professional editions respectively for customers who submit piracy reports but don't have proofs of purchase. ®

Related stories

MS updates: real Windows users only need apply
MS offers real Windows XP to users of counterfeit software
Can my clone use my software license?

alert Send corrections


Frank Jennings

What do you do? Use manual typwriters or live in a Scottish croft? Our man advises
A rusty petrol pump at an abandoned gas station. Pic by Silvia B. Jakiello via shutterstock

Trevor Pott

Among other things, Active Directory needs an overhaul
Baby looks taken aback/shocked/affronted. Photo by Shutterstock

Kat Hall

Plans for 2 million FTTP connections in next four years 'not enough'
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella


League of gentlemen poster - Tubbs and Edward at the local shop. Copyright BBC
One reselling man tells his tale of woe