How many readers were caught when the WGA servers went down a few months ago?? If you were one of those people, there is no fear anymore! Well, at least not after the release of SP1. Word straight from the top, WGA Senior Product Manager Alex Kochis, said "Based on customer feedback, we will not reduce user functionality on systems determined to be non-genuine."
This is definitely an interesting development. Guess there won’t be any more half functional systems if the servers go down again… But what about warez copies, sure doesn’t seem there is anything there that will keep illegal users from using a non-legal copy of Vista.
With SP1 installed, a Vista system that fails validation – one that Microsoft calls “non genuine” – will continue to work exactly as before. All programs will run, the Aero interface will keep its transparent window borders and whizzy effects, ReadyBoost will remain enabled, and there won’t be any time limit on your user session. If your copy of Windows is flagged as ”non genuine,” you’ll have to deal with some minor annoyances: the desktop background is a solid black (the better to see the “non genuine” label in the desktop’s lower right corner). If you change your desktop to something less stark, a scheduled task will paint it black again one hour later, and you’ll see a small “Activate Now” alert in the same location, which you’re free to ignore.
Restrictions on Windows Update will remain unchanged. If your system is flagged as “non genuine,” you’ll still get critical security updates, but you’ll need to pass a WGA validation check before you can download optional updates and new, signed drivers.