The latest update (version 1.9.0040.0) was released on March 24, 2009.Microsoft includes the Windows Genuine Advantage Validation Library in several products, such as Windows validation tool or Windows Media Player 11, to check the validation about all Windows software.It also informs users that may have a non-genuine version of Windows why their Windows version isn't being reported as genuine.

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The latest versions do not roll out worldwide at the same time: the dates given are the earliest dates on which the versions appeared, so the actual version being offered in some places will be an earlier version than the latest release.

It is still possible to opt out of receiving this update using the "do not show" option at the Windows Update site (Windows XP), and the "Hide" option in the right-click menu of Windows Update in Control Panel (Windows Vista/7/8).

See also independent review; time-phased force and deployment data; verification.

Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) is an anti-infringement system created by Microsoft that enforces online validation of the licensing of several recent Microsoft Windows operating systems when accessing several services, such as Windows Update, and downloading Windows components from the Microsoft Download Center.

The user is given a grace period in which to then pass validation, after which most of the operating system is disabled and Windows reverts to reduced functionality mode.

This behavior however has been removed in Service Pack 1 of Windows Vista in favor of prominent notices on systems believed unlicensed.

In addition to these notifications, Windows Genuine Advantage will also notify users with the message "This version of Windows XP is no longer secure" if users on an XP Operating System are not using Service Pack 3, and it will provide a link to help users to update their systems to the new service pack.

The version of Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications released November 29, 2006, had a changed install process to inform the user of what the program does, and can also be set to automatically update to newer versions of Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications.

In Windows 7, WGA is renamed Windows Activation Technologies.

WGA consists of two components: an installable component called WGA Notifications that hooks into Winlogon and validates the Windows license upon each logon and an Active X control that checks the validity of the Windows license when downloading certain updates from the Microsoft Download Center or Windows Update.

The program uses either a stand-alone program to generate a key or an Active X control to discover whether the license key is valid; either way an Internet connection is required.