In addition to persistent notification and the disabling of non-critical updates, WGA also disables Windows Aero, Windows Defender, and Windows Ready Boost.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.Microsoft has indicated that they will continue to deliver critical security updates through their Automatic Updates service as well as via the Microsoft Download Center, so that all systems, including those that fail to pass validation, will still continue to receive critical security updates.The company has made installation of Windows Genuine Advantage a requirement for use of the Windows Update and Microsoft Update websites, in part to be sure that customers who use support resources of the company are aware when their software is unlicensed.It includes the following steps: The Active X control is downloaded on the first validation and when a new version is available, but the validation itself can be performed any time the user connects to a Microsoft Website to update.On Windows Vista without service packs, WGA validation failure has a greater impact.
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.
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.
It also informs users that may have a non-genuine version of Windows why their Windows version isn't being reported as genuine.
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).
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.