Even if WGA does not really make the operating system unusable, no updates except critical ones can be downloaded from Microsoft. Rather than just disallowing updating, Windows Vista originally ran in reduced-functionality mode if found by WGA to be compromised if a product has not been considered genuine which has made some people compare WGA to time bomb software. Windows Vista SP2 has removed this behavior and reverted to the nag-only methods of Windows XP.
Genuine versions of Windows are published by Microsoft, properly licensed, and supported by Microsoft or a trusted partner. You'll need a genuine version of Windows to access the optional updates and downloads that help you get the most from your PC.
When your PC downloads updates, Windows checks to see if your product key or digital entitlement is valid. If it is, you're eligible to receive the latest updates from Microsoft. If it's not, your PC is running non-genuine Windows.
Your copy of Windows may need to be validated before you can get downloads and the updates which are reserved for PCs that are running genuine Windows. Windows might also prompt you to run genuine validation if activation isn't properly completed.
Repairs. If your PC has been repaired, you might start to see messages on your desktop that Windows isn't genuine. If the repairs required Windows to be reinstalled, the technician may have activated Windows with a different key than you used when it was originally installed. You might not see the messages until you try to download something from the Microsoft Download Center that requires validation, and validation fails. To fix the issue, you can properly activate Windows by reentering your original product key.For other issues, you may need to buy a genuine version of Windows.
If the Genuine Advantage check fails, WGA will block access to most Windows Update features, only allowing you to download critical patches as automatic updates. The system will also change your desktop wallpaper and provide regular pop-up notices on your desktop informing you that the software is not genuine, offering links to correct the problem. Originally, the WGA scanner for Windows Vista would also disable certain desktop and system features, but Service Pack 1 removed this restriction.
User who fails the WGA validation test and cannot download updates or applications from Microsoft Download Center and Windows Update or Microsoft Update can download and apply the WGA component patch so that the system will be treated as authenticated, genuine and legally purchased software when validation is performed.
If your version of Windows XP is not genuine anddoes not pass the validation schemes, you will not be able to downloadsecurity patches from WindowsUpdate, or install the latest version of Internet Explorer 7and other software. For those users that do have a valid version ofWindows XP, Microsoft offers some specialpromotions.
Also of note Microsoft will soon start pushing out a new version of its controversial Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications antipiracy tool to Windows XP users...Russia agreed to shut down Allofmp3.com and other music sites based in that country that the U.S. government says are offering downloads illegally...A new adware program silently installs on Mac OS X systems and opens Web browser windows.
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