Microsoft Cracks Down on Activation Hacks with WAT Update for Windows 7
Article by George Norman
On 15 Feb 2010
You may remember that in the spring of 2009, Redmond-based software giant Microsoft announced it would change its Product Activation anti-piracy technology. The first step in this endeavor was to rebrand WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage) as Windows Activation Technologies (WAT) and tweak WAT so as to provide enhanced security.

Last week Microsoft announced it will release an update for WAT. The update is meant to crack down on pirated copies of Windows 7, the operating system Microsoft says is the “fastest selling operating system in history.” The same Windows 7 operating system that made Microsoft a profit of $6.66 billion in Q2 (the quarter that ended this December).

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The update, which is adequately entitled “Windows Activation Technologies Update for Windows 7,” will run on all Windows 7 versions and will detect more than 70 known and potentially dangerous activation exploits (a.k.a “hacks”). Microsoft has decided to roll out the WAT update via Windows Update to Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise users sometime later this month. If you want to take matters into your own hands and get the WAT update, you can get it at www.microsoft.com/genuine beginning February 16 and on the Microsoft Download Center beginning February 17.

General Manager with Genuine Windows, Joe Williams explains how the Windows Activation Technologies Update for Windows 7 works: “Once installed, the Update protects customers by identifying known activation exploits that may affect their PC experience. If any activation exploits are found, Windows will alert the customer and offer options for resolving the issue – in many cases, with just a few clicks. Machines running genuine Windows 7 software with no activation exploits will see nothing – the update runs quietly in the background protecting your system.”

Only users that have a non-genuine Windows 7 version will see the WAT Update in action. They will see periodic and persistent informational dialog boxes, a desktop watermark, and their wallpaper will be changed to a plain desktop wallpaper. The functionality of their Windows 7 operating system will not be reduced in any way though.



Tags: Microsoft, Windows 7, WAT, Windows Activation Technologies, Activation exploit, Hack
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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