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19-Jan-2020 03:18

If WGA determines that a user's copy of Windows is unauthorized but was installed from seemingly-legitimate media (i.e., the CD and holographic emblem present on real copies of Windows seems genuine), then Microsoft will supply the user with a new CD.Microsoft also offers discounts to people who want to purchase a legitimate copy of Windows but do not have a valid CD.It does not cover other versions of the Windows NT family, such as Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition, or the Windows 9x family.The Active X control however checks Windows 2000 Professional licenses as well.According to Microsoft themselves, it is legal to run Microsoft Windows without Windows Genuine Advantage.

The WGA validation process validates the present installation of Windows and its license key against the detected computer hardware and determines if the software was licensed from Microsoft.The Active X control is downloaded on the first validation and when a new version is available, but the validation itself can be performed any time the user connects to a Microsoft Website to update.When a user installs Windows Genuine Advantage, an Internet Explorer add-on is installed labeled "Windows Genuine Advantage".Windows Vista SP1 has removed this behavior and reverted to the nag-only methods of Windows XP.

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The notification tool has been accused of spyware-like behavior, "phoning home" on a daily basis.Some users have even reported the disabling of Office programs such as Microsoft Word, Power Point and Outlook.