Despite all the bad publicity for Microsoft’s Windows Genuine Advantage antipiracy program, they are apparently forging ahead to expand the coverage according to Mary Jo Foley at Microsoft Watch:
To date, with its Genuine Advantage anti-piracy programs, Microsoft has targeted consumers. Windows and Office users have been required to validate their products as “genuine” before being able to obtain many downloads and add-ons.
Come this fall, however, the Redmond software maker is planning to turn up the Genuine Advantage heat in two ways: By baking more Genuine Advantage checks directly into Windows Vista, and by taking aim at PC makers, system builders, Internet cafes and other sources of potentially pirated software.
As far as Windows Vista goes, the details aren’t clear but the article speculates that certain premium Vista features will only be available to users who pass the WGA test. In April there had been reports that Vista’s fancy new Aero Class Vista GUI would not be available unless a user passed a genuine licence check.
And while it may be the stick for users, it seems to be the carrot for resellers who will get access to discount offers on Office if they sell genuine Windows while Internet cafes get little stickers if all their machines are loaded with genuine software. Not to be skeptical or anything, but these don’t seem like very powerful incentives.