Friday, 25 August 2006

Windows "Genuine" Advantage?

I wrote about this in May. I declined to allow Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage Validation Tool to be installed on my laptop although I am 100% sure I am running a legal copy of Window XP - it comes with the computer and has stickers on the back of the laptop! Most important of all, I paid for it!

Now that "C|net Community Help & How-to" is running a post about this.

[Art]'s trying to help fix some people's computers, as they are being blocked by Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) from receiving any Windows updates--even though they have a valid version of Windows at hand.

Reading the EUA of beta version again, I noticed that
· If the software detects you are not running a genuine copy of Windows XP, the operation of your computer will not be affected in any way. However, you will receive a notification and periodic reminders to install a genuine licensed copy of Windows XP. Automatic Updates will be limited to receiving only critical security updates.
· You will not be able to uninstall the software but you can suppress the reminders through the software icon in the system tray. [my emphasis]

And if there is any problem, the maximum damage you can claim is US$5 even if Microsoft knew or should have known about the possibility of the damages. What is the worth of damage to your work horse? US$5 is far from meeting the damage!

The first community answer posted to "C|net Community Help & How-to" was from Pete Z. of Los Angeles, California. It is suggested that the customer contact the manufacturer and if the guy went out of business or is doing hard time for piracy or some such - you could contact Microsoft directly and plead the case. If the only answer you get from them would be the purchase of another license, then your best bet would be to do so. Fortunately you don't have to pay full retail for a new copy.

I know a better answer than this. Go open source and install a Linux laptop!

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