This morning I was greeted by a friendly message from Windows Update saying I had updates ready to install. Because I'm the curious sort who likes to see how many issues MS has to deal with regularly, I decided to use "Advanced" mode to see what the updates were (By "Advanced" of course it means anyone who is concerned about what is getting installed on their machines...I've seen I Robot, I know that one day the great machine can decide the only way to save us from our selves is to format our hard drives).
What greeted me was the "Genuine Advantage Notification" update. Apparently this is a little guy that sits in memory and periodically checks to make sure my version of Windows does not suddenly become pirated. WTF? Is this really a problem? Sure I can maybe see if someone decides to upgrade to a pirated version of Vista, instead of paving their machine like normal people do, this might come in handy....that's assuming though that the tool gets picked up by the upgrade process, and that someone who purchases a pirated copy of Vista is the sort of person who would leave a gem such as this one installed on their machine.
Okay, okay, I know that there are probably cases of normal users going to Thailand and thinking to themselves "Well, here is a booth with Windows Vista DVDs, and they are only wanting $30 for it...that's way cheaper than in the US...must be the currency conversion rate", and so they accidentally get themselves a pirated copy of Windows. I would think that most people who are grabbing pirated copies of their OS are doing it because they don't want to pay for the full version, and they are under no false pretenses about the "Genuineness" of the product.
The best part of this utility is the fact that once it figures out that your OS has become pirated, it will "help you obtain a licensed copy". That makes me feel really confident about having this thing running all the time.