Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications
Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications is Microsoft’s anti-piracy system, designed to confirm that your copy of Windows is genuine. If proven otherwise, constant reminders prompting you to take appropriate actions will be displayed. The tool is available as a standalone application for Windows XP users only and does not work on higher Operating Systems.
A constant reminder for software counterfeiting victims
The term WGA, short for Windows Genuine Advantage (renamed to Windows Activation Technologies in Windows 7) describes a system that prevents piracy. It enforces users to activate their copy of Windows online when accessing several integrated Windows services (such as Windows Update).
Either you obtain the WGA Notifications program via Windows Update, either you download it separately, the result is the same. After the application is installed and the service is active, it can no longer be removed from the system.
If your copy of Windows didn’t pass the validation test, notifications will occur at the next restart / log on. You will be prompted with messages such as ‘You may be a victim of software counterfeiting’ and ‘This copy of Windows did not pass genuine Windows installation’. The ‘Resolve now’ dialog enables you to view the reasons for validation failure.
Slightly limiting Windows features
The effects of not passing the Genuine Advantage test are uncomfortable, to say the least. One of the following consequences (more than often, all of them) will occur: the lower section of the desktop is covered in notifications, a desktop dialog reminding you to take actions constantly appears and / or the desktop background changes to black (the wallpaper can be reset, but every 60 minutes it turns black).
In order to prevent unpleasant notifications, you should purchase your Windows license from Microsoft only and activate it properly. If your license was obtained from sources that are not trustworthy, chances are your copy will not pass the validation test.
To end with
Taking everything into consideration, we can say that Windows Genuine Advantage Notifications is a small, useful tool to keep around in a business environment that still uses Windows XP to prevent any actions that can otherwise affect the well-running of your business, or limit Windows features.