After Microsoft pushed the Windows Genuine Advantage Notification (hereafter refered to as WGAN) tool out using Windows Update a lot of people cried out in despair. While I actually sympathize with Microsoft for trying to protect their intellectual property, there were several things that didn’t quite sound right:
- Microsoft originally assured the press that the tool could easily be uninstalled, but this was clearly not the case.
- Without mentioning it in any documentation WGAN send information about you and your computer to Microsoft once a day.
- Microsoft itself states in the user-agreement that WGAN is beta software. Forcing users to install beta software doesn’t sound like anything a qualityminded software company would do. The fact that many people has received false notifications underscores this fact.
- The description of Automatic Update clearly states that it only installs high-priority updates crucial for the security of your computer, but this is clearly not how anyone would describe WGAN.
Luckily, I have set Automatic Update to notify me before installing any updates, and I always select custom install so I can review the updates prior to installing them. This made me able to unselect WGAN for installation. Therefore my laptop is still free from spyware and beta software. I strongly advice everyone to do the same.
If however, you were one of the unlucky ones to get this piece of deceitful software on your system, I have the cure for you. Firewallleaktester.com has made a utility called RemoveWGA which helps you remove the update from your system.