Microsoft sued over WGA Notification—again

Less than a week after a Los Angeles-based Windows user sued Microsoft over its Windows Genuine
Advantage Notification app, a number of other parties have joined
in with a class-action lawsuit
. The parties include companies
Engineered Process Controls and Univex, and make roughly the same
allegations seen in last week’s lawsuit: namely, that the WGA
Notification app is spyware and that Microsoft misrepresented its
functionality when rolling it out via Windows Update. The
parties accuse Microsoft of violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act,
the Consumer Protection Act, and the Computer Spyware Act.

Microsoft’s WGA Notification app has been the subject of increasing
controversy over the past few weeks. First, users discovered that the
software “phoned home” at every system bootup. Then a report surfaced that Microsoft planned to
implement a “kill switch” later this year to disable copies of Windows
without the WGA notifier installed. In the light of recent complaints,
Microsoft updated
the WGA Notification software to tone down the regularity of its calls
home. However, a company spokeswoman responded ambiguously to the “kill
switch” report on Monday. Thanks to reader Beetlebud for the Computerworld link.

Comments closed
    • Wireball
    • 14 years ago

    I don’t look forward to their killswitch functionality. If they implement killswitch functionality, I might get killed with it, despite the fact that I’ve never ever had XP installed on more than one system at any given time. I’ve upgraded my computer so many times that I’ve had to reactivate Windows XP several times, and I’ve reinstalled XP from scratch at least three times. So now I have to call Microsoft when I want it activated, and put up with them asking me “How many computers do you have this installed on?” after I already explained to them that I upgraded the motherboard.* It’s never even been installed on any other hard disk than the one I originally installed it on.

    *-Well, after waiting until 3AM to get my OS reactivated so I could use my computer because their system was down when I called at 12AM. I’m pretty sure it didn’t give me a grace period that time, either. I loathe product activation.

    On the plus side, they did give me this copy of XP for free, back when I was the design manager for a small computer manufacturer (in hopes that we would start selling XP with our systems), so I guess I can’t complain /[

    • rika13
    • 14 years ago

    WGA and activation are abuses of the m$ monopoly power and m$ needs to get smacked hard for it

    people may say there is no monopoly since there is osx and linux, however microsoft is the ONLY manufacturer of windows-compatible operating systems

      • Austin
      • 14 years ago

      *[<:oD<]* Amen. That's without even mentioning DirectX, ActiveX or NTFS! M$ and their monopoly should be required to port/supply code for those things under alternative OS such as Linux. [ramble] r[<>:o(<]r If they didn't hide WGA's functionality from users, didn't sneakily supply it as a critical update, make mis-detections nor accuse innocent people of theft then I wouldn't have such a problem with it. M$ need to consider that (IMHO) most people with pirate copies would be using Linux if they HAD to pay for Windows, same for M$ Office. Neither Windows nor Office would have achieved such market penetration/share had it not been for some people using them for free. I imagine a lot of people running pirate copies of Windows do so on a secondary PC which probably has a resale value below that of Windows itself. That's one good thing about Vista, it's likely to permit you to install it on a couple of your PCs l[<:oO<]l This whole modern idea that every pirate copy is a missed sale is plain dumb! It stinks of some M$ executive sitting in his office somewhere trying to justify his job coming up with all of this (largely) imaginary lost revenue. If Windows XP and Ms Office had both been impossible to pirate there would be loads more people using Linux and Open Office, hence a real possibility of M$ having less market share and hence less revenue! Come on Linux! [/ramble]

    • derFunkenstein
    • 14 years ago

    Meh, if you don’t like the behavior of a piece of software, don’t use it.

    • DrDillyBar
    • 14 years ago

    Well I’m having a problem free experience with WGA, but I do own the Original SP0 Boxed version of the OS. I just have to call into MS every time I reinstall to get it activated.
    And the article about the Kill Switch completely missed this problem. ‘Turn off’ as opposed to ‘Deactivate’ should have been clarified in that article. Never send a reporter to do a Tech’s job. 😉

    • droopy1592
    • 14 years ago

    WGA won’t turn your computer off! In the future!

    Or something.


      • PerfectCr
      • 14 years ago


      • Thrashdog
      • 14 years ago

      In Soviet Russia, your computer turns off YOU!! Now there’s copy protection to be afraid of.

      *dodges hail of spoiled produce*

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