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Windows Genuine Advantage

Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) is an anti-piracy system created by Microsoft that enforces Microsoft Windows online validation of the authenticity of several recent Microsoft operating systems when accessing several Microsoft Windows services, such as Windows Update, and downloading Windows components from the Microsoft Download Center.

Specifically, WGA covers Windows XP and Windows Vista. It does not cover Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003 or the Windows 9x family.

However, certain downloads and non-critical updates from the Download Center for Windows 2000 require validation.

It also advertises Service Pack 2 for Windows XP, which requires manual intervention to disable. Previously voluntary, it became mandatory for use of these services in July 2005.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at ITProPortal.com where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.

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