Say goodbye to Windows Genuine Advantage and hello to Windows Activation Technologies. WAT now covers Windows Vista and Windows 7 anti-piracy tools. Microsoft reports that one piracy exploit has caused over 1 million crashes in non-genuine Windows installations and that Vista is much less pirated than XP. I don't know how much Microsoft uses pirated copies of its own software but I know that I can't tell the difference between a pirated and genuine version of Windows 7.
The new update to WAT breaks over 70 current exploits for Windows 7 activation. It can be voluntarily applied to any of the Windows 7 products starting February 16th. Every 90 days it will inspect the computer for tampered licensing files. Before doing that it updates itself with the latest anti-piracy definitions much like an anti-virus. The interesting part about this anti-piracy scheme is that in the event that Windows 7 is found to be non-genuine, there will be no reduced functionality for the customer. The desktop wallpaper changes to a plain color with a watermark and periodic reminders pop-up to annoy the living hell out of you.
I'm just hoping the acronym doesn't stick. I don't want to be bothered explaining what WAT is to people.