Microsoft is planning to push to Windows 7 users a set of anti-piracy updates before the end of February.
Called the Windows Activation Technologies Update for Windows 7, the Windows Genuine patch is designed to detect more than 70 known and potentially dangerous activation hacks, according to a February 11 post about the update on the Windows Team blog.
Microsoft is planning to push the update first to Windows 7 Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise users via Windows Update later this month, company officials said. The update will be marked as "Important." Microsoft also plans to make the update available for download via the www.microsoft.com/genuine site starting February 16 and on the Microsoft Download Center as of February 17. Ultimately, the update will be available for all versions of Windows 7.
"Although the Update will not be directly offered through Windows Server Update Services (WSUS), which is used by enterprise customers to manage the distribution of software updates in their IT environment, a WSUS administrator can import this update into WSUS through the Microsoft Update catalog. I’d like to stress that the Update is voluntary, which means that you can choose not to install it when you see it appear on Windows Update."
The update is designed to determine whether the Windows 7 copy on a PC is "Genuine" or pirated. (Yes, it's not always one or the other, as those who've experienced false positives in the past, when they were incorrectly designated as pirates, can attest.)
For the past year-plus, Microsoft has been emphasizing that those running non-Genuine Windows are more susceptible to malware, viruses and Trojans, which may be built into activation hacks or the counterfeit software itself.
My colleague Ed Bott has lots more of the gory details, plus some good anticipated Q&A, on the coming Windows 7 anti-piracy update.