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Windows Genuine Advantage supports Firefox

Microsoft Windows Genuine Advantage program is an online validation process that enables you to verify that your copy of Windows XP is genuine (non-pirated). You will be prompted to validate your copy of Windows if you request a genuine Windows download from the Microsoft Download Center or Windows Update.

The initial WGA 1.0 program downloaded an ActiveX control to check the authenticity of your Windows software. Since it was an ActiveX control, only Internet Explorer (IE) users could use it.

But the recent growth of Firefox has forced Microsoft to rethink their strategy. Microsoft Genuine Windows Validation process now works in Firefox and other Mozilla browsers. Firefox users can download and install the Windows Genuine Advantage validation Firefox plug-in - WGAPluginInstall.exe available on Microsoft's website to complete the Windows validation process.

Microsoft WGA Plug-in for Mozilla Firefox provides the same Windows validation as the original IE ActiveX control. The Windows Genuine Advantage Diagnostic Site will automatically detect settings of your Mozilla Firefox web browser (1.0.5 or higher) to ensure that the appropriate helper applications such as the WGA Plug-in for Mozilla Firefox is installed.

Brad Graziadio of Windows Genuine Advantage team told Dean (IE Blog) that the primary reason for porting the Windows Validation application to Firefox was Customer Feedback. Microsoft customers, running genuine Windows, wanted access to Microsoft Download Center even from Mozilla browsers.

The genuine validation process will collect the following information about your PC:

* OEM product key
* PC Manufacturer
* OS version
* BIOS info (make, version, date)
* BIOS MD5 Checksum
* User Locale (language setting for displaying Windows)
* System Local (language version of the operating system)