• 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

    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

    Activating Windows 7

    • 2 Comments
    Now that the Windows 7 Beta and RC are out, and the official general availability date has been announced , it's a great time to talk about Windows activation and how it's going to work. For customers who are already familiar with activating Windows Vista...
  • 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Update to WGA Notifications for Windows XP Pro

    • 4 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

    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

    Windows Activation Technologies: Activation and Validation in Windows 7

    • 5 Comments
    Earlier today we posted on Microsoft's Press Pass site an interview with our group's General Manager, Joe Williams. In the interview he discusses our approach to anti-piracy in Windows 7. The full details can be found here ; but basically the interview...
  • 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...
  • 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

    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

    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

    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

    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

    Windows 7 Beta

    • 3 Comments
    In the last week or so I've received a few questions related to the product activation experinece in the Windows 7 Beta and what, if anything, changes now that Microsoft is no longer offering broadly new downloads of the beta. First, I would like to point...
  • 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 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 7 RC torrent files infected with trojan

    • 5 Comments
    Wow that was fast, though I don't suppose I should be surprised. Earlier this evening I visited the blog of a colleague of mine and saw in a post of his (thanks M3!) that leaked Windows 7 RC files that were obtained through bittorrent have been found...
  • 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

    Pirated Windows 7 RC builds a botnet

    • 2 Comments
    Just a quick follow up on my recent post about the Windows 7 RC being available over bittorrent sites but with malware embedded. There are now reports, such as this one from cnet , that the malware infected downloads were actually building a botnet. It...
  • 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

    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...
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