Also, there is Windows Genuine Advantage Validation and Windows Genuine Advantage Notification, these are 2 different things.
While the Multiverse IT post is less to the point than earlier answers, it is relevant.
And, he does bring up what might be a valid objection to downloading and manual installations: Assuming one downloaded only from MS, I can't see how doing it manually would be any more likely than the more usual MS automatic updates to carry any hacks or infestations.
When going to update.microsoft.com, it forced me first to accept an activex installation and now it wants me to install wga: Details Windows Genuine Advantage Validation Tool (KB892130) 1.1 MB , less than 1 minute The Windows Genuine Advantage Validation Tool enables you to verify that your copy of Microsoft Windows is genuine.
The tool validates your Windows installation by checking Windows Product Identification and Product Activation status.
Every set of updates would have to be examined in detail. Hiero2 - running Win XP and Linux mixed environment.
If you want to avoid most kinds of big brother stuff, then you need to use linux.That doesn't mean it can't or hasn't happened, but to me, it's an irrational fear - if you have properly obtained your copy of Windows, then you have nothing to be concerned about.The odds of a problem are probably up there with the odds of dying in a plane crash - yes it could happen, but statistically, your safer than when you drive to the airport.Update for Windows XP (KB898461) 477 KB , less than 1 minute This update installs a permanent copy of Package Installer for Windows to enable software updates to have a significantly smaller download size.The Package Installer facilitates the install of software updates for Microsoft Windows operating systems and other Microsoft products.You won't be able to use the Windows Update web site - just the local client, and you'll need to be careful with that as WGA creeps in unexpectedly with other updates (make sure you always do a custom download install of updates).