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WGA failures: Microsoft responds

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.