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Windows Genuine Annoyance (continued)

Posted by: Stephen Wildstrom on May 25, 2007

The craziness of Microsoft’s Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) continues to amaze me. Today I was installing Windows Defender, Microsoft’s so-so, but free, anti-spyware program on a PC. First, Microsoft’s download site invoked Windows Genuine Advantage before it would allow me to download the program. Then it invoked it again before it would let me install the program. The result was a lot of hassle in a simple installation.

Microsoft has been making real progress against mass piracy in China an d other merging markets. Its deal with Lenovo alone to insure legitimate copies of Windows on machines sold in china will stop more pirated copies in a year than WGA will in a lifetime. Yet, seemingly taking a cue from the music industry, Microsoft is both harrassing its customers and insulting them by treating them all as potential criminals.

An additional note to Microsoft: The company says it is working to make its services browser-agnostic. But WGA makes virtually all downloads dependent on using Internet Explorer. While it is possible to get through WGA verification using Firefox, it is sufficiently ugly that I think most users will give up.

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Reader Comments


May 27, 2007 01:04 PM

Umm......use apple.......screw windows.......virus laden, slow, too many ads, why waste time on a PC anyways?

Tech Guy

May 27, 2007 03:37 PM

Microsoft continues to shoot themselves in the foot. Without a vision the company is going to become irrelevant.

william glass

May 28, 2007 11:00 AM

I had just gone through this same thing except I did a free download a month ago .I still get norton wanting me to renew & awed by my very seldom clicking on one of the news site that appear on a widget press.


May 31, 2007 12:55 AM

While Microsoft nags the piss out of everyone, they will never go done because they have one up on OPEN-SOURCE.... Microsoft is making everything it makes into some type of framework or framework update, allowing developers full access to make whatever they want with whatever they want. So, why complain? SDK's, DDK's... the framework itself has a development kit. Nice, real nice.... Slick move, M$.... One way to sidestep competition.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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