It was hard to miss the news about the WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage (?)) outage Microsoft had this weekend. Just in case you managed it somehow, you might want to catch up on it in this Computerworld article. Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage blog has an update about the "continuing investigation". Alex Kochis claims that "fewer than 12,000 systems were affected".
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Considering how many (genuine) Windows systems are out there, this doesn't seem to be so much. However, 12,000 paying customers ran into problems even though Microsoft promised them that WGA will give them a "genuine advantage".
System failures always happen. No IT system has a 100% up time. What is annoying about WGA is that Microsoft tells their customers it is only to their advantage. This is comparable to the new activation rules for Vista and Windows Server 2008. They unquestionably cause extra costs for Windows customers. But Microsoft keeps telling us that it is only for our best interest. I never understood why should higher revenues for Microsoft benefit me.
This incident is just another example that shows that any kind of anti-piracy technology only brings disadvantage to the customer. Microsoft knows that, and we know it, too. It is this obvious insincerity that displeases me.
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Update: The WGA Blog has now an explanation of the incident.