Microsoft Drops XP Pirate Checks

Written by Tim Smalley

July 4, 2006 | 11:12

Tags: #advantage #anti-piracy #automatic #genuine #lawsuit #piracy #pirate #stealth #update #updates #windows #xp

Companies: #microsoft #wga

Microsoft has dropped plans to track down pirated copies of Windows XP through its Windows Genuine Advantage anti-piracy tool, after causing a wrath of controversy.

The software giant is expected to dump elements of its WGA notifications programme - the stealth application behind the annoying warnings, which is installed during the Windows Update process. The software phoned home every time Windows boots to confirm that the operating system is genuine.

This action could be due to the class action lawsuit filed last week, along with the fact that paying Microsoft customers have spoken out about the stealth application.

One angry customer spoke to Australian IT about the stealthware. "I bought my software legitimately, I validated it, I go to Microsoft for updates, and if they want to check it then, that's okay. But coming back every day is too much."

The main problem is relating to the secrecy of Microsoft's actions because the tool was downloaded without user knowledge via the automatic updates feature. As such, it left most users completely unaware that Microsoft was periodically checking up on them. The customer continued by saying, "It ended up on my machine without me knowing about it. The fact that they didn't tell anyone was the worst part of it." You can read more here

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