Have you heard about Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) program yet? If not, chances are good that you will sooner or later—especially if you go to download additional software from the Microsoft Web site.
WGA is part of Microsoft's ongoing effort to protect its customers and partners from counterfeit software, and to increase customer awareness of the value of authentic Windows XP software. As a part of this program, you will be required to validate your copy of Windows whenever you request a genuine Windows download from the Microsoft Download Center or Windows Update. Validation is a process that verifies that your copy of Windows is genuine.
You can learn more about WGA by reading the Genuine Windows FAQ and viewing Microsoft's Genuine Windows online demo. Once you know the ins and outs of the program, I recommend that you click the Validate Now button on the Genuine Microsoft Software site and follow the onscreen instructions to validate your copy of Windows XP.
Note: This tip applies to both Windows XP Professional and Windows XP Home.
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Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.