The Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) program is part of what
Microsoft describes as its on-going effort to protect its
customers and partners from counterfeit software, and increase customer
awareness of the value of genuine Windows XP.
Microsoft will ask users to validate their Windows when requesting a genuine
Windows download from the Microsoft Download Center or Windows Update. To help
customers who unknowingly purchased a counterfeit version of Windows XP,
Microsoft has created two genuine Windows offers for those who qualify.
Complimentary offer: Microsoft will make a
complimentary copy of Windows XP available to customers that have been sold
counterfeit Windows. Customers will be required to submit a proof of
purchase, their counterfeit CD, and complete a counterfeit report with
details of their purchase. Only "high-quality" counterfeit Windows will
qualify for the complimentary offer.
Electronic Key Offer: Microsoft will offer an
alternative for customers who find out via the WGA validation process that
they are not running genuine Windows, but do not qualify for, or choose not
to take the complimentary offer. These customers will be able to license a
Windows Genuine Advantage Kit for Windows XP online for a price of $99 for
Windows XP Home edition or $149 for Windows XP Professional. The Windows
Genuine Advantage Kit for Windows XP will include a new 25-character Product
Key and a Windows Product Key Update tool that will enable customers to
convert their counterfeit copy to genuine Windows XP electronically. To
qualify, customers will be required to submit an on-line counterfeit report.
WGA validation is required for all genuine Windows downloads on Microsoft
Download Center and the Windows Update service for users of Windows XP and
Windows 2000 (client, not server). Security updates are accessible to all users
via Automatic Updates. Genuine Windows downloads are available, without
validation, to customers running Windows 98,
Windows ME, Windows Server 2003, and Windows NT
4.0 with Service Pack 3. Genuine Windows downloads are not available for older
versions of Windows (Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0 with Service Pack 2 and
earlier), and non-Microsoft operating systems.
Genuine Windows FAQ Microsoft's FAQ provides answers to common questions about the Windows Genuine Advantage program.
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