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Microsoft Fixes Glitch In Anti-Piracy Tool

Problem with Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage program angers some users.

OS

The issue stems from Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) program, which is designed to combat piracy by installing software on users' PC that periodically checks to see if their version of Windows is authentic before allowing them to download updates.

On Friday night, users began reporting on Microsoft's WGA forum that they were no longer able to validate Windows through WGA, with some users claiming that failed attempts to validate Windows Vista were causing the OS to enter a reduced functionality mode.

"This is inexcusable, I am not a software pirate, I paid good money for both my copies of Vista, and due to poorly implemented anti-piracy measures, I am prevented from using my own PC!" wrote one disgruntled user on the Microsoft WGA forum.

On Saturday, Phil Liu, WGA program manager at Microsoft, attempted to pacify angry users and said the problem appeared to be a server side issue. Microsoft fixed the WGA issue by noon Pacific time Saturday, but has yet to offer an official explanation for the problem.

"I guarantee that I will personally resolve this issue before I go to sleep -- whether or not it is Tuesday I sleep. My goal is to identify a FIX for this issue -- afterwards get you all what you are looking for, an explanation and cause," wrote Liu.

WGA has been a source of frustration for users since it was launched in 2005, and earlier this year Microsoft acknowledged that WGA had mistakenly identified more than half a million Windows users as software pirates.

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