Validating genuine windows
The Active X control checks Windows 2000 Professional licenses as well.WGA also advertises the latest service pack, Service Pack 3, for Windows XP, which requires manual intervention to disable.It is still possible to opt out of receiving this update using the "do not show" option at the Windows Update site (Windows XP), and the "Hide" option in the right-click menu of Windows Update in Control Panel (Windows Vista/7/8).In addition to these notifications, Windows Genuine Advantage will also notify users with the message "This version of Windows XP is no longer secure" if users on an XP Operating System are not using Service Pack 3, and it will provide a link to help users to update their systems to the new service pack.Microsoft has indicated that they will continue to deliver critical security updates through their Automatic Updates service as well as via the Microsoft Download Center, so that all systems, including those that fail to pass validation, will still continue to receive critical security updates.The company has made installation of Windows Genuine Advantage a requirement for use of the Windows Update and Microsoft Update websites, in part to be sure that customers who use support resources of the company are aware when their software is unlicensed.The WGA validation process validates the present installation of Windows and its license key against the detected computer hardware and determines if the software was licensed from Microsoft.It is accessible by either a stand-alone program, a Netscape-compatible web browser plug-in, or as an Active X control within Internet Explorer, the latter of which is relevant to any attempt to access Microsoft updates via its browser.
It also informs users that may have a non-genuine version of Windows why their Windows version isn't being reported as genuine.
WGA consists of two components: an installable component called WGA Notifications that hooks into Winlogon and validates the Windows license upon each logon and an Active X control that checks the validity of the Windows license when downloading certain updates from the Microsoft Download Center or Windows Update.
WGA Notifications covers Windows XP and later, with the exception of Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP Professional x64 Edition.
Microsoft includes the Windows Genuine Advantage Validation Library in several products, such as Windows validation tool or Windows Media Player 11, to check the validation about all Windows software.
As of version 7, Internet Explorer no longer requires the user to pass a Windows Genuine Advantage test in order to download or install the software.