Last week, there were reports of a “kill switch” being built into Windows Genuine Advantage. Ed Bott, the guy who first got word of the “kill switch”, got an email from Microsoft saying there will NOT be “kill switch” technology built into WGA.
No, Microsoft anti-piracy technologies cannot and will not turn off your computer. In our ongoing fight against piracy, we are constantly finding and closing loopholes pirates use to circumvent established policies. The game is changing for counterfeiters. In Windows Vista we are making it notably harder and less appealing to use counterfeit software, and we will work to make that a consistent experience with older versions of Windows as well.
Hopefully this is true and MS won’t just start disabling PC’s found to be running illegal versions of its operating system. And if they do, so what? Switch to Linux.
Windows Genuine Advantage is Microsofts way of making sure you’re running a legal version of Windows. WGA is pretty easy to break, as demonstrated in this post at My Digital Life. WGA is currently optional but may be required in the coming months.
There are reports of Microsoft introducing a kill switch to WGA. The “kill switch” functions exactly as you would expect: if you don’t have WGA or your WGA authentication fails, Windows will stop functioning, totally.
He told me that “in the fall, having the latest WGA will become mandatory and if its not installed, Windows will give a 30 day warning and when the 30 days is up and WGA isn’t installed, Windows will stop working, so you might as well install WGA now.”
That’s pretty shitty of Microsoft to do. I think a whole lot of people are gonna be upset about this. Been contemplating switching to Linux? Now’s probably a great time to do that.
Really though, none of this matters, thanks to release groups like eth0 who release cracked versions of WGA hours after their official releases are out. The crackers will always be one up on Microsoft.