They must have been working overtime over in Redmond, Washington this weekend when posts began to spring up on the Microsoft WGA forum. Users were complaining that their copy of Windows would no longer validate their authentic and legal version of Vista. This instantly kicked those law abiding users into a reduced functionality mode which would remain until their software was validated or until the 30 day expiration would pass.
Apparently there was some issue with the validation software that Microsoft loads onto users PC's. That software will occasionally call home to verify that it is of genuine and legal origin. Unfortunately, legit copies were flagged as illicit.
"This is inexcusable, I am not a software pirate, I paid good money for both my copies of Vista, and due to poorly implemented anti-piracy measures, I am prevented from using my own PC!" in user had posted on the Microsoft WGA forums.
A few hours later, Phil Liu, WGA program manager at Microsoft, made an early Saturday morning announcement that he hoped would appease angered users. Turns out that the black-flagging issue was the result of some servers at Microsoft HQ. They resolved the problem by noon Saturday Pacific time, but offered no further explanation as to what had caused the complication in the first place.
Maybe someone forgot to activate their copy of Windows Server 2003.
"I guarantee that I will personally resolve this issue before I go to sleep -- whether or not it is Tuesday I sleep. My goal is to identify a FIX for this issue -- afterwards get you all what you are looking for, an explanation and cause," wrote Liu.
This marks yet another blackeye for Microsoft and their failing copy protection schemes. Certainly, they do have a right to protect their product and intellucetual property from the likes of pirates and counterfitters. They however, do not have the right to blatently and blundly accuse their customers of piracy. It may have been a simpe server issue that had caused the problem, but it's still quite disconcerting.
I am so glad that I run Ubuntu Linux.