New WGA Notifications Released

Yesterday we released the latest WGA Notifications Tool for Windows XP. This update includes a number of new features and I thought everyone might like to know about it.

In addition to updated anti-piracy capabilities, this update incorporates and improved user installation and validation experience. First there is a new installation wizard (below) that provides more context and information on how the program works. Second the installation wizard offers the configuration of an autoupdate feature so as we release new versions of WGA Notifications that can detect the most current forms of counterfeiting that information can be updated automatically. The wizard also includes immediate results, and improved information for people who’s systems don’t pass genuine validation.

WGA Installation Wizard Introduction

 This update will initially be available for download on,, and through Automatic Updates but will be distributed initially only to systems running four known compromised product keys. The opt-in update will be rolled out worldwide through Automatic Updates over the next several weeks and months. We plan to update the Windows XP WGA Notifications tool every 90-120 days as part of our commitment to continually evaluating and adapting to changes in software piracy.

 Also, in the case that there is difficulty determining the state of the system a new result category is now possible that (in addition to genuine and non-genuine) lets users know if the validation result was indeterminate and provides them with resources to troubleshoot the problem and learn more about the results. Previously the validation process gave the benefit of the doubt in many cases. Which is good in the sense that if we weren’t sure the software wasn’t genuine or properly licensed we didn’t provide any message, unfortunately this meant that some users who did have counterfeit software, including the possibility that it could have been compromised as we saw in the Risks of Counterfeit Software study by IDC (PDF). We’re glad that with this new result category we can provide more actionable information to our users that can help them protect themselves.

You can download and install this newest version of WGA Notifications here:  

Comments (5)

  1. gabriel.lozano says:

    Just out of curiosity. Is there any reason why people would want to install this tool?

  2. zephzoota says:

    i dunno the microsoft update site already installs a active x control anyway so i dont think anyone would need to.

  3. rdamiani says:

    The thing that really gets me about WGA is how the way it’s sold to end users has nothing to do with any advantage they gain. i.e. one of my client’s systems failed a WGA check – leading to a discussion that got a bit heated – because they had been messing with their system clock.  How is that helpful?

    With WGA 2.0 in Visa, I’ve got to invest in new deployment and activation methods (and unless RIS now does multicasting like Ghost, I’m gonna have to spend a lot more on labor, too) and devote some of my client’s server capacity to verifying your revenue stream remains intact. Having to purchase SA for new machines so we can image is really unattractive. And it’s awfully hard to sell a company on 2 or 3 years of upgrade protection when it’s been over 5 years since the last release.

    I see how all this benefits Microsoft, of course. What I don’t see is how me or my customers benefit by making it more expensive, increasing the hassle factor, and creating a whole new class of potential problems that bring with them the baggage of clients thinking I’ve cheated them *and* MS Support sure I’m trying to get one over on them.

    The worst part about all this, of course, is not WGA itself. Even if it were telepathic and infallible, the fact that MS imposes it on all their end users gives a green light to *every* third-party developer to do the same thing. And rather than develop a realitvly low-key system like WGA 1.0, they go for really aggressive stuff like Key Server, FlexLM, or SafeCast. So now because you’ve opened the door, I’ve got to deal with dozens of activation systems, all different, and many incompatible, making large-scale deployments a whole bunch of fun.

  4. zephzoota says:

    the wga sucks anyway if you buy a new copy of windows or buy a new pc with windows the wga should be built in automatically without having the update website install one for you.

  5. Freebro says:

    I agree with the above Techs. WGA is all well & good for the so-called protection of Microsoft profit margins, but it is a big headache for techs & consumers alike with false diagnosis of legitimate copies of WIN XP!

    The main problem is that WGA will block a person from the internet access for the activation because the computer has not come up to a full start-up & completely operational with internet access. This is wrong & unforgiving on the part of WGA!!! The internet is needed to activate windows because Microsoft hotlines are not always available in all countries, like here in the Philippines (I’m American, not Filipino). I did try the phone numbers given to activate windows, & the phone numbers were wrong!

    Today is the 3rd time that since I bought a certified copy of Win XP from Acer Computers in Manila that I have had to reactivate just because of minor installations of minor peripherals.

    All I did today was add another printer to my system! This is not a major change to the system, but WGA said that it was. This, too, is extremely unforgivable!

    I am no longer a happy customer of Microsoft. I have used Microsoft OS software since 1984, but you have lost me as a future customer because I will switch to Linux when my wife retires from her Government job next year. I was using Windows 98SE, which by the way, never crashed on me like Win XP has, but I had to buy 2 certified copies of Win XP for my tower CPU & the laptop, so that my wife could do her work at home, too. Many of us would just love to have a very good explanation of the “Phantom WGA Menace”.

    Thanks Microsoft, but I will pass on the offer of Vista!