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'Genuine Advantage' disables legal Windows copies

updated 04:45 pm EDT, Mon August 27, 2007

'Genuine Advantage' gaffe

Microsoft has yet to offer a reason for problems with its Genuine Advantage (WGA) service, which stopped functioning properly between Friday night and Saturday morning. Though it was fixed by later on Saturday, the glitch temporarily identified many legal copies of Windows as illegal, crippling their features. While WGA can disable relatively little in copies of Windows XP, much more can be harmed in Vista, such as the Aero interface and the DirectX API, the latter of which is crucial to many media services, such as games. The only temporary solution is to disable anything that contacts WGA, at the cost of updates and patches. Since remedying its servers, Microsoft has offered to help restore affected copies of Windows to their full functionality.

The recent outage is not the first the company has experienced; similar ones occurred in October and November of 2006, but this is the first to affect Vista, Microsoft's new flagship operating system. It was originally feared that another WGA fix might have to wait until Tuesday. [via InformationWeek]

by MacNN Staff




  1. Mactarian

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Genuine Advantage

    In this case Genuine sounds like a true oxymoron.

  1. lklarson

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Genuine Advantage?

    So, what, again, is the "advantage"? To ME, I mean. I routinely tell this not to install on the windows boxes in my purview.

  1. bryanjbusch

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Is this Mac/Apple news because it's possible to install Windows on an Apple machine?

    Why not cover Linux news, as well?

  1. Deal

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Isn't that nice...

    "Microsoft has offered to help restore affected copies of Windows to their full functionality."

    Isn't that nice...

  1. elroth

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: irrelevant

    Could you stop already with the "how is this related to Apple" posts?

    "MacNN publishes dozens of news stories related to Apple, iTunes, iPod, and the Mac industry, tracking the latest developments in the computer, Apple-related, Mac, online music, and iPod markets."

    This seems to be computer news to me, as is the Acer-buying-Gateway story you also didn't like. If you only want stories specifically about Apple products, go to Otherwise, quit complaining about a free news service.

  1. ClevelandAdv

    Joined: Dec 1969



    The only thing genuine advantage can do for a legal user is cause problems, what idiot would install this c*** on their crappy PC.

  1. leamanc

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: disadvantage

    What idiot would install this c*** on their crappy PC?

    The idiot that would like to be able to access Windows Update and pull down the much-needed patches for Windows, Office and other M$ junk.

    I believe you can install the "highest priority" security patches without validating via WGA, but otherwise you are stuck with a buggy machine with "low priority" security holes.

  1. LinksBeMad

    Joined: Dec 1969



    and they advertised windows vista as being flawless...of course it wasn't vista itself that was messed up, more like the Genuine Advantage service...good thing I'm stuck with my XP...

    Sony AIT1

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Big deal

    How many people actually were affected? Very little would be my guess. But it doesn't stop the complaining from all the people who didn't have a problem

  1. UberFu

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Why in the h***

    is this Apple related news ?

    Could someone at MacNN with an I.Q. higher than 12 maybe release a statement to it's readers to explain how the h*** this and other similar articles have any thing to do with the Mac ??

    Of course not_ 'Cause MacNN is too good to respond to it's reader base_

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