Seven ways to fix WGA

A few ideas on how Microsoft can make its copy protection more tolerable

4. Make it less accusatory. Kochis's post today says that the glitch resulted in customers being told their copies of Windows weren't genuine. I've seen that message myself, and I'm pretty sure in that case that the copy of Windows was real--it was one that Microsoft had sent me. "We kind of think there's a chance that your copy of Windows might be fake, but there's really no way to know for sure--our apologies if we're wrong" would be a message more in line with WGA's current capabilities.

5. Stop the constant need for revalidation. The way that Microsoft makes you revalidate your copy of Windows as genuine most every time you download from its site may help foil pirates. But its a shabby way to treat paying customers, and it's not particularly clear why hundreds of millions of people whose copies of the OS are unquestionably legit need to be put through the rigmarole. (Microsoft pitches WGA as a customer benefit given that it'll tell you if someone has sold you a counterfeit copy of Windows; if you bought your PC from HP, Dell, Gateway, Sony, Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, or any of dozens of other companies, there's no reason on earth why you would want to be put through ongoing anti-piracy checks on a copy of the OS which Microsoft surely got paid for.)

6. Make the marketing less patronizing. No more happy people endorsing WGA, please. No more selling of it as a customer benefit. Just explain that it's an inconvenience that Microsoft puts customers through in order to make life difficult for software pirates.

7. Change the name. Normally, I'd be the last one to suggest that Microsoft change the name of something. But there's nothing advantageous about Windows Genuine Advantage, and it's hard to take it very seriously as long as its very name insults your intelligence. How about calling it Windows Anti-Piracy Validation?

For years, Microsoft's monopolistic position in operating systems has allowed it to treat its customers like they couldn't take their business elsewhere. I believe we're at the beginning of an era in which the company will have to work much harder to keep our business. Rethinking WGA from the ground up would be a good start...

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Harry McCracken

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?