A recent Microsoft update to Windows XP, which modifies the tool that verifies the validity of XP installations to insure that they are not illicit, may itself be considered to be spyware under commonly accepted definitions.
The new version of the “Microsoft Genuine Advantage” tool reportedly will repeatedly nag users of systems it declares to be invalid, and will then apparently deny such users various “non-critical” updates. Apparently various parties have already found ways to bypass this tool, though the effects of this on later updating capabilities remain to be seen.
However, I´ve noted a much more serious issue on local XP systems, all of which are legit and pass the MS validity tests with flying colors. It appears that even on such systems, the MS tool will now attempt to contact Microsoft over the Internet every time that you boot. At least, I´m seeing these contacts on every boot after the tool update so far, and I´ve allowed them to proceed to completion each time.Read Full Story