"Beginning in February, the company will require users of Windows XP in Norwegian, Czech and Simplified Chinese languages to participate in the pilot program, which verifies the authenticity of a copy of Windows before releasing any updates to it."
Microsoft is treading on unstable ground. They know the effects of this program. It could cause general havoc with the internet. If a nasty virus is let loose, and only those who have paid for the software are able to download the update (which it is estimated that one third of the people do not have valid licenses), you are going to have a permanent problem on you hand.
I would guess that Microsoft knows exactly how many updates they have sent out and exactly how many windows disks they have sold. I think Microsoft might be trying to send a message to countries that it is time to crack down on theft of their software.
I for one am proud of Microsoft. Though, someone who things that Microsoft is important enough to be considered a public good, might try to force Microsoft to give them the updates for free. I have no idea how they would force Microsoft to do that, but they could try to hack the process somehow after Microsoft has released the update to non-pirated versions.