"Windows Genuine Advantage" is the lovely bit of spyware that runs on XP and Vista (and is downloaded and installed as a fix). So far so good.
However, it looks like the server farm at the Microsoft end of this particular piece of nonsense is down, and anyone who's PC reboots and dials in has their copy of windows marked as counterfeit. Which means "reduced functionality mode". Or more likely, their machine crashing and their data lost, given the programming prowess demonstrated by Redmond this millenia.
Class. Microsoft implement a horrible, 1980's style spyware sniffer which relies on their servers delivering accurate results - but they cant keep their servers running. So the "normal" user gets penalised. Whist anyone out there who actually wanted to steal XP or Vista (and god knows why they'd want to do that) presumably has WGA switched off or hacked out in the first place.
So the only people actually being checked, and now thanks to their inept operations - penalised - are the very low-tech users who have paid MS (usually via the likes of Dell).
I mean, you cant make up this kind of stupidity..
I'd love to think that MS will learn from this, switch off or desensitise their WGA and stop hurting the very people who buy their product. But given that Steve "Mr Chair" Ballmer is still in charge, I know there's a snowballs chance on hell of this.
MS Dont realise that the desktop OS market is theirs to lose. And its actions like this (or Vista, or lack of investment in Explorer, or buggy automatic updates that screw your machine) that will drive people to their local apple mac store, or to the fedora/ubuntu/suse web sites..