Another wave of WGA failures

Summary:Will Microsoft ever get WGA right? Last week, I reported on a mysterious outbreak of failures that were causing legitimate Windows XP users to fail validation and be tagged as pirates. This week, Microsoft's support forum is awash in reports from corporate and academic customers that volume license keys (VLKs) are suddenly being reported as blocked.

Will Microsoft ever get WGA right? Last week, I reported on a mysterious outbreak of failures that were causing legitimate Windows XP users to fail validation and be tagged as pirates. In all, 42% of the problem reports I looked at were from customers running confirmed genuine copies of Windows XP.

This week, the WGA Validation Problems forum is awash in reports from customers in corporations and at universities that volume license keys (VLKs) are suddenly being reported as blocked.

Reports include:

Microsoft says the problem is under investigation:

On Monday and Tuesday of this week (Oct 2-3), some VLK customers may have experienced problems with WGA validation. If a Windows XP system with a VLK recently began failing validation or reporting as non-genuine, then they may experiencing this problem.  The problem was the result of an issue on the Microsoft server side, and we are still investigating the cause.  We regret any inconvenience this may have caused you, and I am personally working to get the information you need to resolve this issue.

It's particularly embarrassing timing, given this morning's rollout of a renamed and much tougher activation and validation platform for Windows Vista that will increase the burden on corporate customers using VLKs. 

I've asked Microsoft to comment, and I'll pass along any response I receive.

Update 4-Oct 3:00PM Pacific: Microsoft provides the following statement:

Earlier this week one of Microsoft's servers experienced a bug that resulted in an outage of the validation service.  As a result, some Windows XP systems incorrectly failed validation and were reported as being non-genuine. The situation was identified and fixed within 24 hours. 

Steps are now available on our support forum for customers to correct any problems they are experiencing with this issue.  We recognize the inconvenience for our customers and are working to address their specific concerns.

"We recognize the inconvenience..." Is it really that hard to say "We apologize"?

Topics: Windows

About

Ed Bott is an award-winning technology writer with more than two decades' experience writing for mainstream media outlets and online publications. He has served as editor of the U.S. edition of PC Computing and managing editor of PC World; both publications had monthly paid circulation in excess of 1 million during his tenure. He is the a... Full Bio

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