Microsoft hits XP Professional pirates with Windows Genuine Advantage

Microsoft has stepped up efforts to discourage pirating Windows XP.

Microsoft has stepped up efforts to discourage pirating Windows XP.

Using its Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) anti-piracy program, Microsoft intends to harass users suspected of using an unofficial version of Windows XP Professional. Microsoft said Windows XP Professional is the most pirated edition of XP.

Updates improve Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA)'s detection of stolen or fake product keys. The WGA program will also make the screen go black every hour on a machine suspected of using a pirated copy.

WGA will also display a "persistent desktop notification" over the user's system tray until they upgrade to a genuine copy of XP.

Windows users in the past have complained WGA has told them they are using pirated software when they are not. Microsoft has faced lawsuits from users who claim WGA is a form of spyware.

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