updated 03:55 pm EDT, Mon September 25, 2006
Vista WGA Plague
Introduced late into Windows XP's lifecycle, Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) was intended by Microsoft as a means of allowing security updates for all users while preventing illegal copies from sharing the feature improvements and general fixes that legitimate owners could enjoy. In practice, a significant number of paying users have been barred from valuable downloads through error or unscrupulous vendors. Recent test versions of Windows Vista show that this problem may well persist, according to ZDNet's Ed Bott. Despite a legitimate download and product key, the release candidate copy of Vista that Bott and other beta testers have received has periodically refused to download updates, inaccurately stating that the affected copies are illegal. The return of Microsoft's controversial anti-piracy scheme is not only a relatively late discovery for Vista users, writes Bott, but in its current state is likely to cause more errors than Microsoft would claim. While they may still be fixed for the final release candidate, these WGA problems are occurring near the end of the development cycle and may affect the final version. Beta versions of Office 2007 are also said to experience the problem.