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Microsoft updates anti-piracy policy

Microsoft has set new standards in its Windows Genuine Advantage feature to prevent counterfeit and to stabilize anti-piracy with Vista.

The new change to its anti-piracy policy is the “kill switch” which reduces functionality in Windows Vista if the license key fails to validate with the WGA system. Instead, the software company will take a more gentle approach with its release of Vista Service Pack 1.

Windows Vista users whose systems are identified as counterfeit or a bootleg copy will be officially presented with repeated notices about the status of their software. Instructions will also be shown on how to make the operating system comply with Windows Genuine Advantage. PC users won’t lose access to functionality or features, but they will be reminded that their copy of Windows Vista will need immediate attention.

The decision to terminate the “kill switch” was most likely prompted by the fact that its anti-piracy system often gave false positives. Back in August, an incident caused by human error affected almost 12,000 users, highlighting some of the flaws in the Windows Genuine Advantage system.