SP1 brings with it a softer, gentler, naggier WGA - Day 3

SP1 brings with it a softer, gentler, naggier WGA - Day 3

Summary: Windows Vista SP1 brings with it a new tweaked version of the WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage) anti-piracy scheme. How does this look to the end user? Read on ...

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Windows Vista SP1 brings with it a new tweaked version of the WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage) anti-piracy scheme. How does this look to the end user?

Check out the complete SP1 WGA gallery here.

SP1 brings with it a softer, gentler, naggier WGA - Day 3Currently Vista offers two different user experiences to those considered to be running non-genuine installations of Vista:

  • Reduced Functionality Mode (RFM) - This is a state where the user can only access Internet Explorer for 60 minutes at a time before being logged out. Users can also boot into Safe Mode and access documents. Ultimately though, Microsoft is pushing the user to get the system properly activated. This state can be reached if the product activation period expires.
  • Non-Genuine State (NGS) - This state occurs when an activated copy of Vista fails a Web-based validation check (for example, when the user attempts to download software from the Microsoft site). In this case, features such as the Aero UI and ReadyBoost are completely disabled. Other features such as Windows Update offer limited functionality.

As of SP1, both these states are gone and if a system is considered to be non-genuine it will enter what I can call a nag state. In this state users will see:

  • A nag screen to activate at logon that cannot be dismissed for 15 seconds.
  • Every hour the desktop background is switched to black (it can be changed back, but after an hour it's set to black again).
  • Activation dialogs and balloon dialogs appear regularly.
  • Optional Windows Updates aren't delivered.

So, instead of losing functionality, the user is nagged to activate.

SP1 brings with it a softer, gentler, naggier WGA - Day 3 SP1 brings with it a softer, gentler, naggier WGA - Day 3

SP1 brings with it a softer, gentler, naggier WGA - Day 3 SP1 brings with it a softer, gentler, naggier WGA - Day 3

SP1 brings with it a softer, gentler, naggier WGA - Day 3 SP1 brings with it a softer, gentler, naggier WGA - Day 3

SP1 brings with it a softer, gentler, naggier WGA - Day 3 SP1 brings with it a softer, gentler, naggier WGA - Day 3

Personally, as someone who tinkers with the hardware settings on a regular basis, these nag screens offer a welcome relief from being forced to activate when in the middle of something (this happens to me all the time when using virtual machines).

Personally, I'd rather that Microsoft abandon WGA altogether, but this is a step in the right direction.

Earlier Vista SP1-related posts:

Thoughts?

Topics: Software, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Windows

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21 comments
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  • IE for only 60 minutes at a time

    MS really shouldn't reward bad behavior.

    Seriously, it does appear that MS has been listening to the complaints about Vista and is making an effort to remedy them. Still waiting for the performance comparisons with XP.
    John L. Ries
  • Message has been deleted.

    Linux User 147560
    • Actually the thought is they didn't pay for it.

      And for most people this (as well as the old behavior) will not be a problem. Problems
      with WGA, like most of Vista's "problems", have been grossly blown out of proportion.
      ye
  • RE: SP1+brings+with+it+a+softer%2C+gentler%2C+naggier+WGA+-+Day+3

    Gates and the rest of the MicroShyte crew have taken 'piracy' issues to ridiculous levels. Moral of the story with MS seemingly is if you buy their product, shut off auto upgrades rather than have to worry about whatever new crap they'll pushing as an 'upgrade'. Those new Macs look better all the time.
    cover1
    • Bye then... <NT>

      ...
      Scrat
  • Does Apple have a problem with pirated OS X?

    Seriously. Do they? If they do, I haven't heard anything about it. And there is no OS X counterpart to WGA.
    Userama
    • Apple's time is all allocated to locking down the iPhone <NT>

      ...
      Scrat
    • I'm going to assume ...

      ... that since you can find ISOs of Mac OS X online that yes there is piracy going on. But since you need a Mac to install Mac OS X onto, and that means money for Apple, I don't think Steve Jobs cares that much.
      Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
      • Thanks, Adrian

        Yeah, the hardware thing explains it, I guess.
        Userama
      • Actually

        OS X has been hacked to run on AMD machines and other IMB PC clones, not just apple hardware...

        Although I believe it is rather hit and miss and what it installs on.... (A bit like Vista when it first came out... :D)
        Bozzer
        • Hackint0sh

          Technically, you can install Mac OS X on just about any typical x86 PC. However,
          driver support is VERY limited (some things work, some don't) and in most cases,
          unless you happen to find cracked updates, you're stuck backing up and
          performing a clean install to get to the next Mac OS X minor update.
          <br><br>
          Actually, Apple often modifies every minor version to include new encrypted and
          signed copies of LoginWindow, Finder, and the kernel. So, going from say 10.5 to
          10.5.1 officially from Apple, your hackint0sh may be rendered non-bootable.
          <br><br>
          It's kinda annoying to have to keep looking for cracked updates and reinstalling all
          the time...
          iMouse
        • yes there are hacked versions osx but if you update it'

          yes there are hacked versions osx but if you update it it hoses osx and unless someone ether hacks the updated version or you hack it your self you can not boot it it go's to osx's boot screen and stops.

          so apple hoses things all the time your iphone your illegal copy of osx if your running it on an ibm clone. so they are no different than Microsoft as far as this go's
          SO.CAL Guy
  • Linux is always Genuine!

    Every linux box is genuine, and you don't pay more to have the "ultimate" version.
    obvio.capitao
  • Linux is always Genuine!

    Every Linux box is Genuine, and you don't pay more to get the Ultimate version.
    obvio.capitao
    • go Away...(NT)

      (NT)
      ivanotter
  • Their software, their rules

    If you don't like the rules, just don't use the software. If you want to use the software, then you have to play by the rules.
    Michael Kelly
    • Possibly the most sensible thing written on here for a while...

      ...but I'm sure somebody will find a problem with it...
      Ben_E
      • i agree if you don't like it there are many other choice's

        if you don't like it there are many other choice's out there your not stuck with microsoft.
        i just don't see what people whine about microsoft when theres not reason in the world you have to use it.

        just like google if i don't want to use it i can use some other search. so all i have to say is if WGA just buy a mac or install linux on your box.

        note i have never had any problems with WGA and i would say 99% don't. do i like it no but i like useing windows so i put up with it. just like i don't really like someone checking my bags when i leave costco or frys but i like shopping there so i put up with it. it's no big thing.
        SO.CAL Guy
  • RE: SP1 brings with it a softer, gentler, naggier WGA - Day 3

    I am afraid my knowledge is limited so I have some questions. "Currently Vista offers two different user experiences to those considered to be running non-genuine installations of Vista:"

    how would you download - install - and run non-genuine installations of Vista?

    I thought that if you downloaded the software it would be genuine.

    thanks
    Marjorie Mead
    jcmmmead@aol.com
    jcmmmead1
    • Buy Genuine Microsoft Software Only!

      The non-genuine, pirated, counterfeit, illegal copies of Windows Vista are all over the 'net. The only legitimate download source for "genuine" Windows Vista is from Microsoft's Windows Marketplace:
      http://www.windowsmarketplace.com/
      cnfrisch