Items tagged with Windows Genuine Advantage

If Microsoft maintains a list of its least-popular ideas, initiatives, and software programs, Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) has to be near the top. Initially marketed as a voluntary tool when it launched in September of 2004, Microsoft announced just six months later that any user who wanted to access non-critical security updates for their OS would be required to install WGA. Despite Microsoft's attempt to bill WGA as a security feature, public opinion of its "Genuine Advantage" has been anything but good. This is partly Microsoft's fault. The company has, at various times, attempted to sneak WGA on to computers through unspecified Windows updates, and got caught with its fingers squarely... Read more...
Microsoft's latest operating system is still several months away from store shelves, but a team of Chinese hackers has reportedly found a workaround for the latest iteration of WGA. The hack is similar to cracks we saw with Vista, and uses an OEM BIOS to trick the OS into believing it doesn't need to activate. Microsoft is less than thrilled with the news, but cracks of this sort have appeared in every generation of Windows since WGA was invented, and they've not deterred the company from pushing ahead with the program. Getting an illicit copy of Windows to activate and run permanently might be a bit more trouble than it was in the days of Windows 98, but it's by no means difficult. Ironically,... Read more...