In case you haven’t been following your Microsoft updates lately, Microsoft has implemented a Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) routine, which is now being pushed into all Windows users’ machines via Windows Update. The WGA routine checks your system to see if it is properly activated. If not, as in your version is a pirated version, a message will advise you that your version of Windows is “not genuine” and access to some Microsoft resources will be cut off.
Now here’s what’s cooking in the rumor mill, care of Dave Farber:
…in the fall, having the latest WGA will become mandatory and if its not installed, Windows will give a 30 day warning and when the 30 days is up and WGA isn’t installed, Windows will stop working, so you might as well install WGA now
You don’t need to be Nostradamus to see what’s coming up next: as WGA becomes mandatory, then what’s stopping Microsoft from nuking your version of Windows if they determine its pirated?
ZDnet’s Ed Bott calls it a “chilling possibility” and decries Microsoft for its “complete lack of transparency on the issue:”
Currently, no one at Microsoft is blogging about this fiasco. No executive has been quoted on the record about it. There are very few technical details available, and those that have been published are being tumbled through the spin machine and spit out as press releases
This is clearly a case of the right intentions but with the wrong implementation. Consider also the implications: Microsoft can also force its own products onto your workstation, threatening that it will disable your Windows if you choose otherwise.