After many attempt to stop counterfeiting and piracy of Windows operating system including WGA push to Windows Vista, especially the hugely popular Windows XP Professional, Microsoft is intensifying the effort to cramp down on pirated Windows XP Pro, again. Microsoft is rolling out an updated WGA (Windows Genuine Advantage) Notifications, together with WGA Validation Tool to deactivate any ‘friendly’ machines detected.

According to post by Alex Kochis, Director of Genuine Windows division on WGA blog, the new WGA Notifications update includes the latest validation information including recently stolen or misused product keys and other information, such as attempts to circumvent product activation.

Also change is the installation process, where the install wizard will be presented to the user once the update has been downloaded by Automatic Updates (completely in line with AU settings) and after the next login or reboot. User will be able to choose whether to install the update in the same way as in past releases. However, users who installed the last update will simply have the validation information (new product keys etc.) be updated without their needing to go through the install process again.

WGA validation process does not remove or reduce the functionality of the computer detected to be not genuine. Only notifications that remind users that they might be victim of software counterfeiting are presented, although these messages may be persistent and annoying. The behaviors was introduced on WGA update.

For those who interested, the new version of WGA Notifications, at version 1.9.0040.0, can be downloaded at Microsoft Download Center. And hacker has managed to come out with patches to crack the WGA 1.9.0040.0.