• Genuine Windows Blog

    Follow up: When a 'False Positive' isnt' a false positive

    • 32 Comments
    Since my post on Sunday, in which I talk about what a false positive is and what it isn't, I've received a couple of questions about the scenarios I outlined and how the math works so I'd like to clear some of that up. First off, the purpose of outlining...
  • 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

    Windows 7 OEM Product Key Leak

    • 27 Comments
    Yesterday we were alerted to reports of a leak of a special product key issued to an OEM partner of ours. The key is for use with Windows 7 Ultimate RTM product that is meant to be pre-installed by the OEM on new PCs to be shipped later this year. As...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    When a 'False Positive' isn't a false positive

    • 26 Comments
    Recently I've been hearing questions from journalists, other bloggers and customers about what exactly makes systems fail validation. Specifically, I have been asked for two things. First, a breakdown of the kinds of piracy that are detected by WGA and...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    So what happened?

    • 25 Comments
    Now that we have had time to dive into the details more on what happened that caused the temporary problems last weekend, I want to share what we found so far. We still have more work to do, but we now understand what occurred and why. We've also implemented...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    Validation Issue Fix

    • 22 Comments
    We've been receiving reports on our forum and through customer service starting last night that Windows Vista validations have been failing on genuine systems. It looks now as though the issue has been resolved and validations are being processed successfully...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    Update to WGA Notifications for Windows XP Professional

    • 19 Comments
    Starting this week, we will begin deployment of the latest version of WGA Notifications for Windows XP. In addition to the usual updates to validation that improve WGA's ability to detect the latest stolen or fake product keys and other attempts to circumvent...
  • 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

    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

    Misperceptions about WGA

    • 16 Comments
    With all of the recent interest in WGA over the past month, I wanted to take a moment to clarify a few of the misperceptions out there and hopefully bring some clarity about what the program is intended to do. First, I’d like to revisit the announcement...
  • 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

    Update on Validation Issues

    • 15 Comments
    We're continuing to investigate what happened but here's a quick update to yesterday's post. The issue with processing validations began Friday afternoon at about 3:30 PM Pacific time and through a combination of posts to our forum and customer support...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    Evolving WGA...

    • 12 Comments
    Tonight we're announcing some new developments with WGA. The full story is here on our PressPass site where an interview with Mike Sievert, our VP of Windows Marketing, was posted earlier this evening. Building on the success we've had over the last...
  • 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

    Bouncing Baby Blog

    • 12 Comments
    Hi! My name is Alex Kochis and I've just joined the Windows Genuine Advantage team product management team. I’m starting this blog because I would like to share some of the cool things our team is doing and because we want to hear from you. We want to...
  • 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

    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

    Taking the next step with Windows Vista SP1

    • 9 Comments
    Back in December, I mentioned some changes were coming with WGA in Windows Vista. I want to say first that I'm excited about the step forward we're taking with SP1 and proud of the work that has gone into it. I'm excited both about the changes we've made...
  • Genuine Windows Blog

    Research whitepaper shows companies using more unlicensed Windows software are at greater risk

    • 8 Comments
    Today Microsoft is posting a commissioned study conducted by The Harrison Group to determine whether there is a high correlation between the presence of unlicensed software in mid-market companies and IT related problems those companies might face. Not...
  • 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

    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

    XBOX Hacking

    • 6 Comments
    The Wall Street Journal published an article today ‘Hackers' Xbox Game: Decoding The Console’ that includes an interview with Andrew Huang author of Hacking the Xbox: An Introduction to Reverse Engineering. While the article is interesting and points...
  • 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

    Update to Windows Vista Activation Exploit detection begins today

    • 5 Comments
    Last year around this time, I blogged about some changes for Windows Vista that were released with SP1 . These changes included an update for Windows Vista users which helps detect the presence of activation exploits, then alerts the customer (if affected...
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