The update will be distributed on Microsoft's Genuine Windows site on February 16 and will be available from the Microsoft Downloads Center on February 17. Joe Williams, Manager of Microsoft's Genuine Windows team, confirmed the update will also be offered through Windows Update as an ‘Important’ update later this month.
Williams stressed that the update is voluntary and will not jeopardize users privacy. "Although the update contacts Microsoft’s servers to check for new threats...these checks do not include any personally identifiable information" he added.
The update will check for 70 known activation exploits. If any activation exploits are found users will be notified their copy is not genuine and the desktop wallpaper will be switched to a plain black desktop. Periodic reminders and a persistent desktop watermark will also remind users that their copy is not genuine.