Pirated Windows 7 Users Watch Out For Windows Update KB971033

Welcome to the next round of the cat and mouse game between Microsoft and the pirates. While the first round undoubtedly belonged to crackers – who managed to circumvent Windows 7 Activation measures by faking OEM certificates and using OEM-SLP (System Locked Pre-installation) product keys, Microsoft is ready to strike back.


The Windows Activation Technologies (WAT) update (KB971033) was made available through Windows Update earlier this month. While the update is optional, it is not very easy to spot. Microsoft simply describes it as an Update for Windows 7 (Important). Windows Activation Technologies is mentioned only in the details pane – which most users tend to overlook.

Microsoft claims that the Windows Activation Technologies update is capable of detecting more than 70 known and potentially dangerous activation exploits. If the WAT tool determines your copy to be legitimate, then nothing will happen. In other words, you will notice WAT only if your copy is determined to be pirated (counterfeit). Even in that case, you won’t lose any major system functionality . This time around, Microsoft has decided against implementing any drastic measures. Instead, it will try to annoy you into purchasing a legitimate version of Windows 7. Among other things, you will get frequent reminders/notifications, your wallpaper will be removed (although desktop icons, gadgets and pinned applications will remain) and a prominent watermark will be placed on your dektop. The new WAT tool is programmed to run a validation check every 90 days and will periodically download database updates (much like an antivirus software).

Undoubtedly, the new WAT tool is a lot more subtle than WGA tool for Windows Vista. Microsoft seems to have learned from their mistakes. Although they are being slightly sneaky, they aren’t forcing this down the user’s throat and they aren’t even disabling the system if it’s determined to be pirated. WAT tool appears to be a balanced approach to the problem of piracy and as long as the execution is good Microsoft will be spared the brickbats.

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10 Responses to Pirated Windows 7 Users Watch Out For Windows Update KB971033

  1. Rabbi March 2, 2010 at 6:58 pm #

    I use a pirated version of Windows 7 64bit and i got this very update from microsoft installed.I have no problems what so ever till now.And nothing happened to me as you described in ur post after the update.

    • Pallab De March 2, 2010 at 7:27 pm #

      I guess you got lucky. Possibly the patch/loader you used isn’t in MS’s database. Anyway, toos like RemoveWAT have already been updated to take care of this update.

  2. Karthik Prabhu March 6, 2010 at 12:34 pm #

    I do not support the use of pirated operating systems.. People if you want a good OS with good security then please buy it.. Do not use pirated version.. If you want an OS for FREE then you can use Linux, Ubuntu or so.. These are really good Operating Systems..

  3. Ovais Mirza April 6, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    I am using pirated version of windows and when microsoft update it my desktop image lost and it start showing black screen..however, the icons are still there on the desktop and the system still working properly..

  4. santhosh August 3, 2010 at 1:17 pm #

    you are using pirated version please buy the original one

    or un install your windos 7 and try linux

  5. jitu November 28, 2010 at 7:22 pm #

    There is nothing bad in using pirated os for Home Users and students.microsoft doesn’t dislike it that much,they know these are future carporate users and in this way they maintain popularity of their os.software manufacturers and developers are intended towards commercial users only,they earn a lot from them.
    just keep the practice to read details about update and then download………keep it up

  6. andy December 4, 2010 at 11:59 pm #

    i sometimes assume that microsoft doesn’t even care about piracy , and from time to time they give users some annoying things to fork with
    i think they win enough money from all the windows preinstalled computers ..
    I use Linux Ubuntu , right now being in a virtual machine of windows 7 because i’m installing microsoft office because they teach me ms powerpoint and i will have a test.

  7. Gary December 8, 2010 at 9:29 am #

    Okay i am using what people call “pirated” version of windows 7, for people who don’t know, Microsoft leaked their own software via torrents, that’s how half of us got it. The software is actually ORIGINAL just the activation key is false, so once again it is original software. I won’t go annoying people online telling them to spend their hard earned dollars on things that can rip you off in ways, for eg, ultimate’s bit-locking service,is also incorporated in home premium. Hmm i thought they said one of ultimate’s “extra features”

  8. james April 8, 2011 at 10:35 pm #

    i just started working for MS and they gave me a pirated copy of windows 7 64 ultimate on my first day!

  9. anonymous March 21, 2013 at 8:27 pm #

    Just turn off your updates completely (multiple locations possible) from a fresh installation. That’s what I did after using my utility. Everything still runs smooth. Stay away from conveinent antivirus programs like McAfee, Avira, AVG, etc. Only use MalwareBytes, CCleaner, and/or Spybot Search and Destroy. Also stay towards trusted sites. If you must venture out to unknown territory use VirtualBox and Ubuntu. NEVER FAILS.

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