Microsoft Corporation requires users of it’s flagship operating system, Windows XP, to verify the authenticity of their software installation before downloading patches and updates from Microsoft’s website. The validation tool, called Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA), can easily be cracked without much trouble. This allows users of pirated copies of Microsoft Windows to verify their installation and receive the extra bennies offered from the manufacturer.
Although Microsoft has not confirmed that the crack works, details are well publicized, and it appears that the crack is popular, at least amongst nefarious users.
Microsoft has yet to learn that the best way to deliver software is to make it easy for users to have access to the software. Rather than trying to keep folk out, Microsoft should encourage users to be honestly use their products. Take a note from the shareware book, Microsoft. Create great software that we want to use, and then make it easy for us.
Given the option, most people want to be honest.
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