Shawn Wildermuth's Rants and Raves

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The Windows Genuine Advantage Deception
The Windows Genuine Advantage Deception
June 12, 2006


I know this has been all over the blogosphere by now, but I wanted to make sure people knew about Windows Genuine Advantage being snuck into Windows Update. Here is a ZDNet article that walks through Windows Update to show how deceptive the install is.  I am disappointed in Microsoft over installing this tool via Windows Update. While I don’t work for Microsoft, I am a fan of what they do in general.

The problem with WGA is that it is an anti-piracy measure, not a security update. The idea is to have users trust Windows Update and turn it on so they can’t get hacked, right?  By trying to sneak this onto computer systems to see if they are genuine, they are undermining the trust factor for most users. Through the generosity of Microsoft (through their MVP program), I have legal versions of Windows running throughout my network.  But I still didn’t install WGA.  Why?  Its the principle.

My less techinically savvy friends are going to see this on a news site or other place and think twice next time there is a Windows Update alert. So they won’t install the update and they get comprimised.  They they think Windows in an inferior product.  Is this going to help Microsoft get more Windows licenses?  Nope. They consider an iBook next time.

Microsoft, think this more next time.  I am disappointed…