Microsoft to push new piracy-detection update to Windows 7 users

Microsoft to push new piracy-detection update to Windows 7 users

Summary: 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.

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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.

According to the blog post, authored by Windows Genuine General Manager Joe Williams:

"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.

Topics: Microsoft, Operating Systems, Software, Windows

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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44 comments
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  • MSFT the big brother.

    Big Brother is watching you.
    Snooki_smoosh_smoosh
    • Not really

      I thinks MS is entitled to check for pirated versions. Users have no rights to use the SW if they do not have a legit copy.

      The downside for MS is that too aggressive detection/enforcement may not only push a lot of users of pirated copies to alternatives (mostly Linux), but also annoy a certain percentage of legitimate users, some of whom may also switch.

      Gates allegedly said many years ago that he would rather have a user pirate a copy of Windows than switch to Apple or Linux.

      My guess is that this is still valid, but MS is loath to admit it.
      Economister
      • But I do have rights

        [i]I thinks MS is entitled to check for pirated versions. Users have no rights to use the SW if they do not have a legit copy.[/i]

        But I have a legit copy. They don't trust me, I don't trust them. Capice?

        [i]The downside for MS is that too aggressive detection/enforcement may not only push a lot of users of pirated copies to alternatives (mostly Linux),[/i]

        I doubt it.

        [i]but also annoy a certain percentage of legitimate users, some of whom may also switch.[/i]

        Now [b]that[/b], I would welcome.

        [i]My guess is that this is still valid, but MS is loath to admit it.[/i]

        No, they would mean they would have to admit to the truth, then.
        Wintel_BSOD
  • I'm surprised they didn't do this already

    I'm surprised that Microsoft hasn't already tried being more aggressive. Yes they goofed and had a bunch of false positives in the past with Genuine Advantage. But if people want to use Microsoft software, they need to pay for it.
    Chris_Clay
    • Already

      A good part of it they do, but this sounds more like v2.0. The signature updates is definitely new though.

      I like how they go out of their way to say it's opt-in. I'd wager that there's at least a 95% chance that this is built-in to SP1, which I would think would be out in the near term.
      rseiler
      • it is optin but...

        pushed as a important update mean most peoples will get it whitout even knowing.
        Mectron
        • remember ga

          was orginally opt-in and then without warning it was mandatory
          dwight-watt@...
    • But I already paid for it

      I have a receipt.

      [i]But if people want to use Microsoft software, they need to pay for it.[/i]

      Don't tell what I need to do, shill...
      Wintel_BSOD
      • Great. Now, to use it, you need to follow the guidlines in the EULA

        It is great that you paid for it. This is a tremendous step forward.

        Paying for it is one step of the process. The next step is following the guidelines set out by Microsoft in their terms and conditions, and the EULA.

        In school, for example, you pay for it up front (or it was paid for up front). This is like what you have done with the Microsoft software you have paid for it.

        However, in school. if you breake school rules, you are disciplined. If you break enough rules, you get thrown out. End of story.

        With Microsoft software, you need to follow the terms and conditions that you agreed to when you installed the Operating System, otherwise you license could become revoked or legal action could be taken against you.

        If you do not follow what someone else has told you to do, then you lose any privilages that you would have being in the position you were in before you disobeyed the rules that were set out.

        Microsoft software... you pay for it, you can use it. You don't pay for it, you shouldnt use it.

        Lots of things in life need to be paid for to receive the benefits that come with the payment. eg:
        Car insurance
        House premiums
        Petrol / Gas
        Microsoft Software.
        Yugatha
        • But I don't entirely play by those rules

          And I'm not going to follow everything on their sh!tty, unenforceable EULA, either.

          Now just try and stop me and millions of others...
          Wintel_BSOD
  • RE: Microsoft to push new piracy-detection update to Windows 7 users

    Stop the pirates in their tracks. Every time they steal like this Microsoft is losing hard earned money. That is money they can use for R&D to continue to bring us innovative cutting edge technology. I'm all for this, if I have to purchase Microsoft Windows (and feel good about it too!) then everyone else should as well. Not only that, but the benefits are enormous knowing you have a legal copy of Windows. Don't pirate, its not worth it.
    Loverock Davidson
    • LOL...

      You really are delusional, aren't you?

      "Stop the pirates in their tracks."

      Good luck with that. Pirates have been successfully circumventing WGA since the day it was implemented. I won't go into your almost psychotic love affair with MS (according to you, MS can do no wrong) but i will agree with you that pirating is bad. MS needs to find other reliable and more successful ways of thwarting piracy if they wish to keep their shareholders happy. WGA just doesn't work.
      Dave32265
      • Microsoft needs to punish the offenders

        and leave the end user (their customers) alone.

        Microsoft's present method of "stopping piracy" is forcing their customers to act as police for them and then punishing their customers if they find a pirate. NOT an equitable form of justice.
        Ole Man
        • Guilty until proven innocent

          That's the Micro$oft Windoze way!
          Wintel_BSOD
    • Given the wild success of WGA 1.0, I'm sure this will work.

      Hey, the first time they did this, trying to sneak the program in with a bunch of other needed updates, it precipitated my move to Ubuntu. I'd bet some others migrate to other platforms as a result of WGA 2.0.

      'innovative cutting edge technology', LOL. Lovie, that's the funniest thing you've said in a long time.
      heres_johnny
    • And I'm sure that every 90 days when you...

      Find that Microsoft have decided you are valid you'll be so happy you'll go out and party for a week.

      Or, you'll be found to be "not genuine" in which case you'd better go line up at local jail and ask them to arrest you for "grand theft" of Microsoft stuff.
      zkiwi
  • At least MS acknowledges that it will repeatedly phone home to validate.

    From the <a href="http://windowsteamblog.com/blogs/genuinewindows/archive/2010/02/11/windows-activation-technologies-update-for-windows-7.aspx">Windows Team Blog</a>:

    <i>The Update will run periodic validations (initially every 90 days). During validation, Windows will download the latest ?signatures? that are used to identify new activation exploits ? much like an anti-virus service. When tampering, disabling, or missing licensing files are discovered, the WAT Update runs a check and repair weekly to ensure that the licensing files are properly repaired. </i>
    Letophoro
    • Translation: SPYWARE

      -
      Wintel_BSOD
      • It's windows. It's always spying

        So how is this different from "update" and "Windows Office Genuine", "Cooperation with Law Enforcement (back doors)", yadda, yadda, yadda?
        mykmlr@...
        • Out of principle...

          ...I don't need to hand it to them on a silver platter.

          But if you want to be their tool, knock yerself out...
          Wintel_BSOD