We've certainly covered plenty of stories about problems with Microsoft's Windows Genuine Advantage program that tries to make sure the Windows operating system you're using is properly licensed. The big problem has been a decent number of false positives, where people with perfectly legitimate copies of Windows are being told they're using counterfeit software. However, there may be another nuisance associated with WGA. Well known Business Week columnist Stephen Wildstrom claims that when a Vista laptop he hadn't turned on in a while was turned on and required a WGA check-in, the "success" window also included a huge ad pushing him to upgrade to Vista Home Premium. Beyond the fact that Wildstrom was already using a more advanced version of Vista so the "upgrade" push would actually be a downgrade, it raises questions about why Microsoft is using what's supposed to just be a piracy checker to also push advertisements. It's annoying enough that Microsoft feels the need to treat its customers like criminals and force them to confirm they're not, but to then dump unwanted and poorly targeted advertising on top of it seems particularly tacky.
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