Microsoft this week released a plug-in for the rival Firefox browser so that users can validate their Windows systems prior to downloading software from the Redmond, Wash.-based developer's Web site.
Before the plug-in's release, customers were forced to use Microsoft's own Internet Explorer to run the ActiveX control required by Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) validation. Microsoft uses WGA to ensure that the copy of Windows running on the PC is legitimate; validation has been required since mid-summer to access any program from the Redmond, Wash.-based developer's Download Center.
The plug-in, which can be installed from here to any Mozilla-based browser, Firefox included, does the duty of the ActiveX command.
Customers told Microsoft that "We want to make sure our PCs are running genuine Windows and have access to all the content on the Microsoft Download Center," said Brad Graziadio, the head of the WGA team, on the Internet Explorer blog site.