This is the program where you can only get "Stuff" (new add-ons and Windows updates, for example) if your copy of Windows "validates" to be non-pirated. They had this on the download page for the Beta of the Anti-Spyware release (although you could decline to participate and still were allowed to download it). Even when it does become mandatory, supposedly later this year, users with copies of Windows XP that don't validate will just be prevented from downloading updates and other software.
Well, my Windows Server 2003, for example, which is a completely legitimate copy of the OS, has NEVER been able to get Windows Update, and I've tried every "Fix" in the book, so how the hell is this new program going to help me? Mine doesn't pass the "Genuine Advantage" test either, even though its a completely legitimate and activated copy of the OS from my MSDN Universal subscription! So theoretically, later this year, Peter Bromberg, who is a Microsoft MVP, won't be able to download the latest BETA of the MS Anti-Spyware or whatever else they want to entice me with...
Oh, and by the way... why do I have to go through this "Genuine Windows" process again, since I already Activated my new installation of windows when it first came up? Isn't activation with a valid product key sufficient? After all, if I didn't activate the product, it would have ceased to work, right?
According to Microsoft, almost one of every four Windows users is using a "non-genuine" version. "Non-Genuine" basically to me means that the CD is a copy and it installs, it just won't activate, so the hackers have provided some sort of a crack to get around activation. Otherwise, it's indistinguishable from the real thing.
Problem is, a lot of people aren't trying to rip off Microsoft. Some of them really paid money and will discover that they got cheated by somebody else -- a distributor, reseller, etc. on their copy of Windows. Fat chance ever getting even on that score!
The buzz from Microsoft is all about protecting customers from counterfeit software, etc. Sounds the same as "product activation" from a couple of years ago to me. Deja Vu all over again?
Or perhaps more like this:
Recursion: see Recursion.