Windows Activation Technologies Anti-piracy Feature in Windows 7
Article by George Norman
On 08 May 2009
Microsoft announced that with the next iteration of the Windows-based operating system, Windows 7, it will change its Product Activation anti-piracy technology, and the first step the company takes in that direction is by rebranding WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage) as Windows Activation Technologies (WAT) and tweaking WAT so as to provide enhanced security.

“The customer’s experience of product activation and validation in Windows 7 are built off of our Software Protection Platform that we introduced with Windows Vista. We had two primary goals: first, to enable Windows to protect itself by detecting when attempts have been made to circumvent or tamper with the built-in product activation technology; and second, to improve the experience of activating by focusing on enabling the customer to activate the product easily and, when necessary, to understand and resolve any issues they might face,” explained General Manager, Worldwide Genuine Windows with Microsoft, Joe Williams.


According to Microsoft, software piracy costs the world economy more than $45 billion per year. It is thus important that software developers address this issue for the sake of the company itself and for the sake of the user. The loses to the software developing company are obvious – it loses clients, meaning it loses money. But the loses to the customer are numerous – first of all, the customer loses money when he purchases a counterfeit version of what he believes is a genuine software application; then by using counterfeit software the customer could experience system failures, unrecoverable data loss, and could compromise his personal data (identity theft).

“As a software company, it’s important for Microsoft to take a leadership role in fighting piracy,” says Joe Williams. “We constantly hear from customers that they want to know that they’re using the genuine high-quality Microsoft product they paid for, and they want to know that their systems are more secure and that their software doesn’t contain malicious code. Counterfeit software delivers a poor experience and impacts customer satisfaction with our products — particularly if users don’t know that their software is non-genuine. For example, one piracy exploit caused more than one million reported system crashes on machines running non-genuine Windows Vista before we were able to resolve it. Customers running genuine Windows Vista Service Pack 1 are protected from that experience. And there’s an even simpler reason. If you pay for something, you want to know that you got what you paid for.”

Tags: Microsoft, WAT, Windows Activation Technologies, Windows 7, WGA, Windows Genuine Advantage
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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