Microsoft The Continuing Fight for Genuine Software

Discussion in 'spyware news and general information' started by NICK ADSL UK, Apr 25, 2006.

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    NICK ADSL UK Administrator

    May 13, 2003
    REDMOND, Wash., April 24, 2006 — For those outside the software industry, it can be difficult to appreciate the scope and impact of one of the industry’s biggest problems, counterfeit software. The Business Software Alliance has estimated that 35 percent of all PC software used worldwide is counterfeit or otherwise illegal, and the recent IDC Economic Impact Study asserts that if the piracy rate was lowered by 10 percentage points over the next four years, this would contribute 2.4 million new jobs and US$400 billion in economic growth to the global economy.

    The negative impacts of counterfeiting and other forms of software piracy extend from the companies who wrote the software through the ecosystem of local resellers worldwide who depend on software sales, down to individual consumers. Counterfeit software can even expose consumers and businesses to spyware, viruses, faulty code and identity theft.

    Microsoft is committed to protecting consumers and software resellers from counterfeit software and other forms of software piracy. The company recently announced an expanded focus on those efforts through creation of the Genuine Software Initiative (GSI).
    As part of the Genuine Software Initiative, Microsoft will expand a pilot of the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) program that provides notifications to consumers using non-genuine Microsoft Windows XP. Most customers will experience no change, but, for customers who are running a non-genuine copy of Windows, the new feature will enable notifications directly to their desktop that the copy of Windows they are running isn’t genuine. The Windows Genuine Advantage program was launched in July 2005 to provide an improved experience for consumers using genuine Windows XP and to help Microsoft address software piracy. To date, the owners of more than 150 million PCs have participated in the program. The first phase of the notifications pilot was launched in Norway and Sweden in November 2005, and in February 2006 in five additional countries. Today, Microsoft will expand the pilot to customers in the U.S., United Kingdom, Malaysia, Australia and New Zealand. In addition, Microsoft is piloting Microsoft Office Genuine Advantage (OGA) this week to help customers determine if they have a genuine installation of the Microsoft Office system of productivity applications. The program will initially be piloted in seven languages: Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Greek, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Russian and Spanish.

    According to Cori Hartje, director Microsoft’s Genuine Software Initiative, “The best way to protect consumers is, first, to educate them about the issue, then to equip them to spot counterfeit software, and finally, to help them understand what they should do about it,” she says. “That’s why we are working to build new tools such as the WGA notifications feature that can help consumers be confident that the software they are using is genuine.”
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