What changes has Microsoft made to the Windows Genuine Advantage tool?

A. On April 25, 2006, Microsoft released a high-priority update to the Windows Genuine Advantage tool, which you can read about in the article "Description of the Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications application" (http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=905474 ). The tool performs more intrusive reminders if your copy of Windows XP isn't genuine. Specifically, these changes are:

  • A new WGA Notification tool that places an icon in the system tray if your Windows installation isn't genuine
  • A prompt at logon with instructions on how to obtain a genuine copy of Windows if your version isn't genuine
  • Periodic notifications (about once per hour) with the same notice as the logon notification if your Windows isn't genuine
  • If after 14 days of notifications your copy of Windows is still not genuine, you'll no longer be able to access Windows Update (critical security fixes will still be available via Automatic Update). Also, Users who have not validated their computers as genuine won't be able to install many updates, including Internet Explorer 7.0 and Windows Defender. It's possible to turn off the notifications on non-genuine installations but the system tray icon will remain and notifications may re-occur if Microsoft releases a new Windows Genuine Advantage tool.

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