Microsoft has made an announcement that they will add the Windows Activation Technologies Update For Windows 7 in the next 14 days to Windows Update where it will be listed as an important update.
The update improves the anti-piracy detection of the Windows 7 operating system and it could turn many illegally activated Windows 7 systems into a system that is not activated with all the consequences if the activation period has been passed.
The update will detect more than 70 different activation exploits and act accordingly if hacks have been used to activate Windows 7.
The Update is designed to run on all editions of Windows 7, although we will distribute first to the Home Premium, Professional, Ultimate and Enterprise editions. It will be available online at www.microsoft.com/genuine beginning February 16 and on the Microsoft Download Center beginning February 17. Later this month, the update will also be offered through Windows Update as an â€˜Importantâ€™ update.
The update at this point is voluntary meaning that users can but must not install it. Data that is transferred to Microsoft servers during the checks will not include any identifiable information according to a blog post at the Windows Team blog.
How does it work? Once installed, the Update protects customers by identifying known activation exploits that may affect their PC experience. If any activation exploits are found, Windows will alert the customer and offer options for resolving the issue â€“ in many cases, with just a few clicks. Machines running genuine Windows 7 software with no activation exploits will see nothing â€“ the update runs quietly in the background protecting your system. If Windows 7 is non-genuine, the notifications built into Windows 7 will inform the customer that Windows is not genuine by displaying informational dialog boxes with options for the customer to either get more information, or acquire genuine Windows. The desktop wallpaper will be switched to a plain desktop (all of the customerâ€™s desktop icons, gadgets, or pinned applications stay in place). Periodic reminders and a persistent desktop watermark act as further alerts to the customer.
It is important to know that the customer will see no reduced functionality in their copy of Windows â€“ a customerâ€™s applications work as expected, and access to personal information is unchanged. The Update will run periodic validations (initially every 90 days). During validation, Windows will download the latest â€˜signaturesâ€™ that are used to identify new activation exploits â€“ much like an anti-virus service. When tampering, disabling, or missing licensing files are discovered, the WAT Update runs a check and repair weekly to ensure that the licensing files are properly repaired.
According to the blog post the activation update is being released to protect customers from the risks of activation exploits. Microsoft cites a recent stury done by German company Media Surveillance that 32% of over 500 hundred downloaded copies of Windows 7 and Windows 7 activation exploits contained malware.
It will be interesting to see if and when Microsoft decides to make the update mandatory.
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