• Genuine Windows Blog

    Biggest counterfeit software bust... ever.

    • 2 Comments
    Earlier today the Chinese government and the FBI announced the largest bust of counterfeit software manufacturing or distribution ever. The bust by the Chinese Public Security Bureau (PSB) in cooperation with the FBI and help from Microsoft and others...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    There’s more to it than code… www.HowtoTell.com gets an update

    • 6 Comments
    Typically on this blog I post about issues closely related to WGA. In the interest in providing a broader context of the space in which WGA lives, I will broaden the scope of my posts and this blog somewhat. I'd like to kick off that effort today by announcing...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    Malware posing as Windows product activation

    • 3 Comments
    A new piece of malware identified by Symantec as ‘ Trojan.Kardphisher ' targets Windows XP users by portraying itself as related to Windows product activation. Symantec calls the threat level "very low" but I wanted people to be aware of it. After...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    Wall Street Journal article on counterfeiting

    • 1 Comments
    Saw an article in the Wall Street Journal today (requires login to read the whole article) that touched on how broad the counterfeiting problem is and how a number of US companies are working with the US Chamber of Commerce to educate officials in other...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    Reported OEM BIOS Hacks

    • 19 Comments
    I know many of you are aware of reports of hacks that attempt to exploit our OEM BIOS based activation. We're aware of this type of hack and I wanted to take a minute to describe how these work and how we plan to respond. First, what is OEM BIOS based...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    Another reported workaround ineffective...

    • 11 Comments
    Late last week, while I was out of the office sick and with my boss covering for me, our team learned of reports of a purported workaround to activation on Windows Vista. I also just noticed a question in the form of a comment posted by a regular reader...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    WGA Notifications and download and install telemetry

    • 19 Comments
    We’ve gotten a few questions recently about the fact that our latest WGA Notifications package sends install telemetry when installed or canceled. Given past concerns about data WGA sends out I wanted to take a moment to explain what is happening with...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    'Brute' Force Attack on Windows Vista now 'Moot' Force Attack

    • 15 Comments
    Over the weekend we learned that the widely covered 'Vista Brute Force Keygen' turned out to be a hoax. It's nice that the originator has come forward and is encouraging everyone to buy and use genuine copies of Windows Vista. As you can imagine we...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    Brute force attack on Windows Vista product keys?

    • 2 Comments
    This morning as I was checking my feeds while standing in line waiting for coffee I saw a few headlines about a reported brute force attack on product keys for Windows Vista. The attack randomly searches for legit keys. This is called a brute force attack...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    Windows Vista Tamper Detection and misbehaving apps

    • 2 Comments
    We've seen reports indicating that customers are being prompted to activate Windows Vista on computers on which activation had not been previously required. This problem can occur because a specific system setting is deleted when a program runs with administrative...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    New WGA Notifications rolling out...

    • 3 Comments
    If you'll remember back in November we made available a preview of a new installation experience for WGA Notifications. After a few tweaks based on feedback we have begun to roll this out more broadly. We are beginning the deployment process of this new...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    New look and feel for the site and more!

    • 3 Comments
    In addition to our recent upgraded new look and feel today the team published new diagnostics pages for WGA and OGA . And in anticipation of tomorrow's launch of WGA Notifications in countries around the world additional information about WGA Notifications...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    Pirated Windows Vista may be worth-LESS

    • 3 Comments
    I saw an article in the LA Times this morning reporting that counterfeit copies of Windows Vista are being seen in big cities in Latin America such as Mexico City and Sao Paulo and for very cheap. While we're not terribly surprised at this, nor would...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    More on: WGA False Positives

    • 6 Comments
    An Information Week article was posted earlier today that attempted to calculate the rate of false positives for WGA by using a rate quoted at one point in time as a lifetime average for the program. This does not produce an accurate view of the false...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    Report of a new hack - and one of my favorite websites stumbles

    • 31 Comments
    For me the report of this latest hack was a double whammy. First it's no fun to read a report of a new attempt to hack Microsoft's products, but secondly the tone of coverage of this hack on one of my favorite sites left me very disappointed. First...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    The 'Frankenbuild' monster

    • 28 Comments
    Over the last few weeks, we've seen a number of attempts at workarounds for Vista product activation. As of now there are at least two distinct workarounds that have worked to some degree, but I'm sure there are more on the way. One of these workarounds...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    New WGA Notifications Released

    • 5 Comments
    Yesterday we released the latest WGA Notifications Tool for Windows XP. This update includes a number of new features and I thought everyone might like to know about it. In addition to updated anti-piracy capabilities, this update incorporates and...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    Windows Vista 'Frankenbuilds' spotted in the wild

    • 3 Comments
    Last week saw a reported leak of an RTM build of Windows Vista. The reports I read indicated that there was an RTM build to download from a P2P network or via Bittorrent and instructions for 'hacking' by cobbing together a couple of files that were released...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    Can numbers stand on their heads?

    • 3 Comments
    Sure they can but then they're just upside down numbers. Ed Bott posted on his personal blog a link to a post by blogger Long Zheng asking (tongue-in-cheek) if the numbers in the report can be turned on their heads? For example, does the fact that 25...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    Windows Media Player 11 released

    • 4 Comments
    As I'm sure most of you know Windows Media Player 11 was released yesterday. WMP11 is of course available for Windows XP in addition to being preinstalled in Windows Vista. As an out of band release for XP, and a pretty major one at that, WMP11 has integrated...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    My Story

    • 4 Comments
    In my ‘ what's the risk ' post about the research done by IDC (PDF) on the risks of obtaining or using counterfeit software I mentioned I would share a personal experience with a site of the kind the research describes. The video below was captured from...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    What’s the risk?

    • 11 Comments
    Could using counterfeit software be risky in and of itself? Yesterday we posted a report done for us by the research firm IDC that investigated what risks someone might face using counterfeit software. Some of the results are pretty surprising. Most surprising...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    IE7 now available

    • 1 Comments
    As most of you probably already know IE7 is now released and available for download. See the IE blog announcing the release from earlier this week. As those of you who have installed the release or beta releases of IE7 already know it does include a validation...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    WGA service outage

    • 12 Comments
    Earlier this week a server on the backend of the WGA service experienced a bug that resulted in a temporary outage. As a result, some systems were incorrectly flagged as being non-genuine, and we want to confirm for those who contacted us about this that...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    New technology to protect Windows Vista and other products

    • 3 Comments
    This morning Microsoft announced a new set of technologies that will be included in the RTM of Windows Vista and Windows Server codenamed ‘Longhorn’ that are designed to prevent piracy of Windows Vista as well as the next release of Windows Server. The...
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