Feeds

MS fixes phone-home nagware

WGA patch issued

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

Microsoft has patched a controversial nagware update that "phoned home" every time Windows started. Redmond has also issued an advisory with instructions on how to remove the software.

The component was designed to enforce its 'Windows Genuine Advantage' anti-piracy program, by nagging users into a state of obedience. Every time the PC was activated, the "notifications" (Redmond-speak for nag) portion of WGA checked its state against a central server, and then invited users of non-compliant software where they could "learn more about the benefits of using genuine Windows software."

Quite why Windows needed to phone home simply to remind itself to pester users is one of the more curious features of the program. But Microsoft's own channel fell foul of the warnings: two distributors said they'd received false positives for legitimate Windows installations. A year ago Microsoft made WGA mandatory for all Windows users seeking software updates or patches, and the Notifications nag was rolled out world wide on May 30, on what Microsoft describes a 'voluntary' basis.

Today Microsoft says a new version of WGA will no longer make the daily "phone home" call.

In a release titled "Windows Genuine Advantage Bolsters Frontline in Anti-Piracy Fight", Microsoft said it has also changed the End User License Agreement (EULA) with a General Availability EULA that makes its purpose clearer to users. And there's a new Knowledge Base advisory, over here, where you can learn how to both disable the nagware, or delete it completely. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu
Traffic flows up 20% as motorway middle lanes miraculously unclog
LibreSSL RNG bug fix: What's all the forking fuss about, ask devs
Blow to bit-spitter 'tis but a flesh wound, claim team
Mozilla fixes CRITICAL security holes in Firefox, urges v31 upgrade
Misc memory hazards 'could be exploited' - and guess what, one's a Javascript vuln
Putin: Crack Tor for me and I'll make you a MILLIONAIRE
Russian Interior Ministry offers big pile o' roubles for busting pro-privacy browser
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
Don't look, Snowden: Security biz chases Tails with zero-day flaws alert
Exodus vows not to sell secrets of whistleblower's favorite OS
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.