One of the downsides of the Microsoft anti-piracy program for the Windows platform is associated with the false positives generated by the Windows Genuine Advantage mechanism. The WGA went live in July 2005, and according to Cori Hartje, director of the Microsoft Genuine Software Initiative, the tool processed in excess of 600 million unique operating system validations since that time. In mid February 2007, Microsoft introduced an overhauling to the WGA mechanism following a preview made available back in November
2006. Along with the new installation experience for WGA Notifications, the visual redesign, and the revamped
diagnostics pages, the most notable changes introduced to the mechanism involved a gray area for the Windows operating systems that it cannot clearly determine as either genuine or non-genuine.
In May, Microsoft revealed that the WGA mechanism can be the source of failed validation when it comes to Windows Vista. “When you try to validate a copy of Windows Vista, you may receive an error message that resembles the following: The Validation service is unable to determine whether this copy of Windows Vista is genuine. You may receive this error message even though you were able to activate Windows Vista as expected. Typically, this issue occurs when Windows Vista was preinstalled on a computer by an OEM,” Microsoft revealed in Knowledge Base article 937474. the users are advised to access the Genuine Microsoft Software website in order to resolve their issues.
According to the Redmond Company, the issue is connected to incorrect licensing data in the BIOS. Still, this error message is just one more example of the problems inherent with the WGA tool. If there’s one thing that Microsoft has been extremely quiet about, even more than the future of the Windows platform, that is WGA’s false positives. Microsoft dodged all issues related to the errors in the functionality of its Windows Genuine Advantage solution. The company’s position has been that WGA false positives are but a small number and do not impact the tool’s overall performances or accuracy.
Microsoft, Windows Vista, WGA, BIOS, Genuine Validation