Microsoft initiates Windows 7 anti-piracy push

"Voluntary" 16 February update will check users' Windows 7 validity every week to ensure Windows Activation Technologies

Microsoft is to push out a major update for Windows 7 users on 16 February which it says is designed to address more than 70 known exploits related to Windows Activation Technologies (WAT) – Windows 7’s activation and validation components.

According to Microsoft, the update will also determine whether the Windows 7 software installed on a given PC is genuine.

Initially periodic validations will be triggered every 90 days, but if the company finds a PC has been tampered with, or validation has been disabled, or is missing licensing files, validation will be triggered once a week.

This, Microsoft said in a statement, would be to “help protect customers’ PCs by making sure that the integrity of key licensing components remains intact”.

“If any activation exploits are found, Windows will alert the customer and offer options for resolving the issue – in many cases, with just a few clicks,” the statement reads. “Machines running a genuine copy of Windows 7 software with no activation exploits will see nothing – the Update will simply run quietly in the background, protecting the Operating System.”

Microsoft also stressed that it was important for customers to know the Update was “voluntary” and customers who choose to download it would “see no reduced functionality in their copy of Windows”.

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