Feeds

MS beefs up WinXP Pro's anti-piracy nagware

More false positives ahoy?

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

Microsoft wants to rein in more Windows XP pirates over the coming weeks, by pushing out a new version of its “nagware” which detects when a machine is running a fake copy of the OS.

The company’s Genuine Windows director Alex Kochis said yesterday that Redmond will release the latest version of its Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) notifications program for XP through Windows Update starting this week.

Microsoft has built in changes to the nagware similar to those already found in its notifications software for Vista service pack one.

Customers whose machines are found to be running dodgy copies of XP will see their desktop backgrounds change to a “plain black background”. A user can change their screen settings as desired, but the nagware will, er, paint it black every 60 minutes.

nagware

A static message will also hang around on the desktop, pestering the user that their copy of XP appears to be a knock-off version of the operating system.

Microsoft has previously claimed that XP is more pirated than any other operating system. It reckons that the counterfeit rate for Vista is less than half that of XP, it would be below us to suggest that even the pirates have a hard time selling Vista.

But these findings are based on somewhat wonky internal metrics, like WGA validation failures, which have been known to falsely flag up legitimate installs as invalid, making the metrics far from robust.

Kochis said XP Pro topped the piracy list as the number one most-targeted Windows OS, so the firm is aiming the nagware at users of that edition.

“I'm excited about how this release balances our goals of providing a great experience to those who have genuine Windows and at the same time creating a compelling experience for those who have non-genuine copies to get genuine Windows,” he said. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.