WGA failures: Microsoft responds

Summary:As I noted at the end of my earlier post on WGA failures, I contacted Microsoft last week and offered to brief them on my findings so that I could include a response in the original story. Despite repeated follow-ups, they declined that opportunity.

As I noted at the end of my earlier post on WGA failures, I contacted Microsoft last week and offered to brief them on my findings so that I could include a response in the original story. Despite repeated follow-ups, they declined that opportunity.

Last night, after I had left my office, a Microsoft spokesperson who had not read the story or heard any details about it sent me an e-mail message containing this statement for publication:

The Windows XP Validation tools are very accurate at determining if a copy of Windows is genuine or not. We have found that many customers who originally felt their copy of Windows XP had been inaccurately labeled as non-genuine were surprised to learn that they were indeed running non-genuine software, often at no fault of their own. Microsoft works closely with these unknowing victims to remedy the situation. The false positive rate for WGA Validation failure is a fraction of one percent, and in these cases a bug was at fault and repaired shortly after. We are constantly evaluating the criteria for validation and are confident that validation results are accurate.

If I receive any additional responses from Microsoft that directly address the issues in the story as published, I'll post them here.

Update 27-Sep: Still no further comment from Microsoft on the specifics I reported yesterday. Meanwhile, Microsoft customers continue to report real-world problems with WGA falsely accusing them of running illegal software. I've reprinted one report from a hospital where doctors have to click past bogus WGA errors before they can view X-rays and CT scans.

Topics: Microsoft

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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