Friday, March 23, 2007

Windows Genuine Advantage? I'm confused.

From the most recent auto-update of my XP machine:
Size: 1.2 MB

The Windows Genuine Advantage Notification tool notifies you if your copy of Windows is not genuine. If your system is found to be a non-genuine, the tool will help you obtain a licensed copy of Windows.

More information for this update can be found at
Um, OK, exactly how is this helpful to me? I bought this computer with Windows pre-installed. So why would I want to put 1.2MB of software on a machine that will notice that it's a genuine copy and not pop up a notice? And, worse, why would I want to run the risk that the software will screw up and decide my genuine copy is a fake? That's all I need as finals approach.

The answer, of course, is that the tool is helpful to Microsoft, not to me. Someone there decided piracy was getting out of hand, had engineering create this software, then gave it to some poor person in marketing to massage the language in the notice, and finally ran it past legal to make sure whatever the notice says is technically correct. Then they pump it out through automatic updates hoping people will just click through. Me, I defer to UserFriendly's wisdom on this one.

Oh, and for those with a technical interest, it's worth checking out Linux Genuine Advantage, too. It, like Windows Genuine Advantage, has also been cracked.

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