Microsoft's WGA locks out valid users

If you're a Mac loyalist, here's some juicy news for you: A recent server problem at Microsoft ticked off some legitimate users of Windows Vista and Windows XP. Check out the news story, as reported by TechNewsWorld: "Weekend WGA Failure Locked Out Legit Windows Vista Users."

Here are some highlights from the article:

A server problem at Microsoft over the weekend caused the company's Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) validation system to falsely accuse legitimate users of Windows Vista and XP of running pirated software, resulting in the disbanding of some features for those users until the problem was fixed.

The problem began around 8 p.m. Friday, causing users to begin posting messages about it on Microsoft's forums. Vista's Aero graphical interface was among the features disabled for users accused of running pirated software, and user frustration reached significant levels before the problem was fixed.

Though the problems lasted only some 19 hours on a weekend, users did not seem inclined to forgive Microsoft for the inconvenience.

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The irony of this flub by Microsoft is that its WGA validation software, which is supposed to help prevent piracy, actually gave users of pirated software an advantage during the outage.

If you're a Windows loyalist, were you affected by Microsoft's server problems? How forgiving (or unforgiving) are you for the inconvenience?


Sonja Thompson started at TechRepublic in October 1999. She is a former Senior Editor at TechRepublic.

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