Microsoft responds to WGA 'kill switch' rumors
Last week, we reported on rumors that
Microsoft planned to implement a "kill switch" in Windows XP. A ZDNet
blog quoted a Microsoft support employee as saying the Windows Genuine
Advantage Notification application would become mandatory by the fall,
and that users without it installed would see their copies of the
operating system stop working after 30 days. A Microsoft spokesperson
responded to these claims, albeit with a rather ambiguous statement:
"No, Microsoft antipiracy technologies cannot and will not turn off your
computer," said a spokeswoman with Waggener Edstrom, Microsoft's public
relations firm. "The game is changing for counterfeiters. In Windows
Vista, we are making it notably harder and less appealing to use
counterfeit software, and we will work to make that a consistent
experience with older versions of Windows as well."
Computerworld believes the spokeswoman is denying the "kill switch"
rumors, but she talks about turning computers off—not rendering
Windows unworkable. Additionally, she suggests using counterfeit copies
of Windows XP will become "notably harder and less appealing" over time.
This statement makes Microsoft's stance none too clear, considering the
company told ZDNet last week that customers "may be required to
participate" in the WGA Notification program in the future.