Genuine Advantage Has Gone Too Far

This entry is not about the spyware tendencies of the beta program, Windows Genuine Advantage, that Microsoft is FORCING Windows XP users to download as a "critical update". It is about the schizophrenic way that they are going about validating Windows XP installations.

When the WGA first came out, I avoided downloading it once I heard that it would "phone home" each day and was also still in beta state. However, I soon wanted to download something or other from Microsoft’s website, and I was not permitted to do it without this stupid WGA spyware installed. Fine, I downloaded it. This morning, I decided to give IE 7 beta 3 a shot. When I went to Microsoft’s website, somehow the WGA that I was required to install was not enough. I still had to validate my copy of Windows. I had to download an executable called "WGAPluginInstall". Once that was done, I next had to download ANOTHER program called GenuineCheck. Huh? I have WGA installed. Then after GenuineCheck ran, I had to enter the number it gave me into the web page to download IE 7 beta 3. Think this is enough? When I tried to install, I was told that I had to manually remove IE7 beta 2. What, you can’t write an installer that will just overwrite it? OK, fine. I did that too. What really got me though, was when I rebooted and finally got to run IE 7 beta 3, it had to validate my copy of Windows to. That’s 4 times that I can count of having to validate one copy of Windows XP. I had to validate to download, then again to install.

What’s up with this?

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