Windows Genuine Advantage Phones Home

Well I’ve been waiting for this to happen for years, and now its here.  Its always been a no-brainer that Microsoft could easily have your computer phone home to see if your software is legitimate.  So many people now have computers that stay on, and stay billgconnected to the Internet, and Microsoft has us all caught in the trap:  If we don’t get the latest “security updates” we could be vulnerable. 

In case you haven’t kept up with it, Windows Genuine Advantage is the name of Microsoft’s program that does just that. The folks that got the beta version of WGA were told it was an important update.  They weren’t told that if it found anything suspicious about your software’s legitimacy, it would disable it, leaving you with a non-functioning computer.  And it can’t be de-installed!

Microsoft is not the first company to take this approach.  Many expensive software applications “phone home” to see if you’re legitimate.  When you install these programs, agreeing to the “register now” approach practically guarantees you’ll infect yourself with a program that disables your software if the call home says you’re not legit.

Software manufacturers have a right to make money selling their products, and the problems with illegal copies of software probably do cost them a lot of potential sales.  Its one thing to disable an application, its quite another to disable an operating system.  And apparently many legitimate copies of Microsoft’s software are getting disabled.

Thats what a recent suit alleges.  Microsoft has backed down on the frequency of warnings and several other somewhat nasty things that result from failing the legitimacy test incur viagra vs cialis

But the bottom line is that you can’t avoid it.  Even if you go out of your way to avoid allowing WGA to be installed,  when you need security updates or important fixes to your office or driver software,  you can’t install them until WGA says you’re legit.

Since WGA installs a back-door that allows Microsoft to go in and check all sorts of details about your system, my prediction is that some ingenious hacker will figure out how it works and find a vulnerability in it (what – a security hole in a MS product? LOL) and have virtually unlimited ability to use the MS back-door to browse around on your system.

I hope I’m wrong!