The Golden Braid

Weaving Wonderful Worlds

WGA Debate

I am by no means an advocate of the Windows Genuine Authentication initiative, but I do understand their attempts to put a stopper on rampant copying of their software. I think that it would be in Microsoft’s best interest to have a healthy dialogue with its users about how and when to go about this in the proper way.

That being said, I think it is also in poor form on the user’s end to point fingers at seemingly innocuous details. Sensationalist comments like this do nothing more than drum up support for specters of the real Intellectual Property debate. I have already noticed that the author’s comment has been “dugg” and is quickly climbing on the site’s front page. I ask that anyone that reads this to stand back and take a moment to muster a true perspective of the topic in question.

Microsoft’s PR response in the comment was that 80% of WGA positives are due to the unlawful duplication of volume license keys. Microsoft has already confirmed that many of these are likely due to pirated copies of its OEM versions that have been reverse engineered to dodge its initial activation step in some way. There is nothing surprising about this, as XP enterprise versions and volume license keys are targeted because they were engineered to avoid this activation step. This does not imply that there are not other methods around activation; it is simply the most actively used method because it is the easiest. While one may read into the comment thinking that WGA is throwing false positives once for every 5 legal keys, the real number is likely a tiny fraction of that.

The author should be commended for his pursuit of the truth, but my opinion is that we don’t need to “call up the troops” to support something that may not even be an issue yet.

It will be become quite evident if any real news comes from this. Meanwhile, there is really nothing exciting about this story as of yet. Move along.


July 4, 2006 Posted by | Daily thoughts, technology | Leave a comment