Microsoft ramps up anti-piracy on Windows 7.

After this Tuesday’s update, your Windows 7 PC will periodically tell Microsoft whether it thinks it’s pirated or not.

This Tuesday, February 16, Microsoft will roll out an update to Windows 7 that will "phone home" periodically to report the validity of each Windows 7 installation.
Microsoft discussed this update last week. The update is numbered KB971033. This is part of Microsoft’s "Genuine Advantage" program, which has attempted to stop piracy of its popular Windows operating system. (I’ve read that Microsoft Windows’ largest competitor is pirated copies of Microsoft Windows.)

Microsoft calls this newest anti-piracy measure Windows Activation Technologies (WAT). If WAT determines that your Windows 7 installation is pirated, it will report this to Microsoft and, while not reducing functionality, will annoy you in several ways.

Here’s an informed discussion of this update:

I’ll bet that WAT will "catch" the poor shlub who purchases a locally-assembled PC from "a friend" who installs pirated copies of Microsoft Windows on his PCs. A large number of innocent customers fall victims to these unscrupulous PC assemblers simply because they don’t know that every Windows PC should have a Certificate Of Authenticity (COA) affixed to it.

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