Newsletter Archives

  • Can’t get WinXP to validate a “genuine” copy?

    Apparently there’s a(nother) problem with Windows Genuine validation, this time for Windows XP only.

    If you can’t get WinXP to validate, there’s a workaround published on the MS Social site.

    Thanks to SB for the heads-up….

  • Windows Genuine Advantage lawsuit fizzles out

    Gregg Keizer at Computerworld reports that the lawsuit filed in the wake of Windows Genuine Advantage phone home discoveries has been dismissed.

    Multiple lawsuits filed in July 2006 claimed that Microsoft mislead users by labeling the WGA software as a security update, and failed to tell customers that WGA collected information from their PCs, then frequently “phoned home” the data to Microsoft’s servers. The plaintiffs later combined their cases and asked the court to grant the joint lawsuit as a class-action.

    Last month, the judge denied class action status. Last week the whole thing just fizzled out.

    Oh well.

  • Get security patches without Windows Genuine Advantage (er, Windows Activation Technology)

    If you ever wondered how to get around Microsoft’s obnoxious Windows Genuine Advantage antipiracy program, run over to the Windows Secrets Newsletter site.

    Susan Bradley has an utterly authoritative explanation of what’s going on behind the scenes with WGA – and what you can do about it.

  • Windows Genuine Advantage becomes Windows Activation Advantage

    Ah, the spinmeisters are at it again.

    Mary Jo Foley reports that Microsoft is replacing its “Windows Genuine” terminology with the kinder, gentler “Windows Activation” sobriquet.

    Apparently only the name has changed. The rest remains the same.

    … and Windows 7 book writers are scrambling…

  • Windows Genuine Advantage is still genuinely bad

    The latest issue of Windows Secrets Newsletter just hit the stands, and the lead article is one that every Windows user should read.

    Ryan Russell has taken apart Microsoft’s WGA (again), but this time he’s looking at the harmful effect WGA has in blocking access to security patches.

    Those of you who run a copy of Windows that is, uh, less than genuine, should check out the article to see what you can and cannot do.

    For the rest of us, Ryan’s article should stand as a call to arms.

    I’m not saying Microsoft has to give away its products for free. I’m saying that a copyright owner’s battle against piracy is not my problem, so please quit making my life hard in a vain attempt to resolve your legal issues…

    Microsoft has gotten really aggressive about license protection. The pendulum needs to swing back in the direction of making things easier for the company’s customers.

  • Still have Internet Explorer 6 – what to do?

    My good friend BB wrote with this:

    Woody, Never did put IE7 on my machine , but it seems that IE8 is getting good reviews. You think its ok to go with it now? If it doesn’t have that Genuine Windows checks…I ‘m still not sure if I’m ok or not..Oh Well !

    If you’re still using Internet Explorer 6, run to the Internet Explorer 8 download site and get it installed, like, right now. IE 6 is the single largest source of PC infections ever invented.

    If Windows Genuine Advantage prevents you from downloading or installing IE 8 (I’d be curious to find out if it does), you can still download and install Internet Explorer 7 – Microsoft removed the WGA check from IE 7 in October, 2007.

    Don’t worry about installing or running WGA on a Windows XP system. If your computer fails the WGA test, the worst that will happen is your desktop background (wallpaper) will turn black and you’ll get nag balloons out of the lower right corner. You’ll still be able to use every part of WinXP.

    While it’s important that you download, install and update IE 7 or IE 8 – Windows has hooks into IE that expose your PC to all sorts of infections – you shouldn’t use IE. Firefox offers a much better browser. It’s free, and it doesn’t interfere with Internet Explorer at all.

    Download and update IE to keep Windows secure. But use Firefox.