Microsoft plans to release an update to Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) notifications in Windows XP. The worldwide roll-out begins this week and will continue over the next few months.

This update, which affects Windows XP Professional systems only, reconfigures the notifications experience to mirror notifications in Windows Vista SP1. Customers with non-genuine software can expect a black desktop to appear every 60 minutes of use, as well as a persistent desktop notification in the lower right corner indicating that the user may be a victim of software counterfeiting. For new notifications installations in Windows XP Pro, customers will also have a simple EULA to accept rather than an installation wizard. This EULA has been modified to allow the anti-piracy validation control to auto-update itself for future releases, reducing the number of interactions customers with genuine software will have with the tool, ultimately improving the user experience.

Microsoft is making these changes to simplify the installation process (making it easy for customers to stay up-to-date), to increase the effectiveness of these notifications, and to align experiences across Windows XP and Windows Vista.

If you discover that you are using non-genuine software, itís important to note that Microsoft has a flexible option to convert to a genuine version.