Microsoft nags software pirates

In its continuing efforts to thwart software pirates, Microsoft has expanded the reach of its Windows Genuine Advantage plan to include a new Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications application. Where Genuine Advantage already restricted Windows Update and certain software downloads on Microsoft's site to users running legit versions of Windows XP, the new app nags users who fail the Genuine Advantage Check with a number of notification messages.

According to Microsoft's knowledge base article on the app, notification messages appear on the logon screen, in a desktop banner, and in balloon notices in the task bar. The messages advise users to "get genuine," offering the option to purchase a legal Windows XP license at a reduced price. Microsoft says the frequency of the notices is "determined at installation time," and that messages keep appearing until the operating system is determined to be genuine. The Notifications app is deployed through Automatic Updates, the only channel through which pirates can currently get critical system patches from Microsoft. Affected users will also be prevented from uninstalling the app, although it can be temporarily disabled until a new release is deployed. Thanks to TG Daily for the tip.

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