On Wednesday computer business Microsoft announced it would offer free copies of its Office suite software to those that downloaded counterfeit versions as long as the users can prove they intended to buy the real version of the software. This announcement comes after the computer business began an Office anti-piracy pilot program called Office Genuine Advantage (OGA). The program is directed towards users running versions of the Office software in Brazilian Portuguese, Czech, Greek, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Russian and Spanish.
The OGA program will initially be optional for users, but Microsoft states they will be allowed to later make it a requirement as they have done with the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) drive.
The Office counterfeit counter uses ActiveX control, a system that checks the program for the known methods of falsifying the software. These methods, according to the computer business include stolen volume licensing keys, which is a common way that many will pirate the Office software.
Even though the OGA website does not provide details about the way Microsoft will penalize users that are caught with pirated versions of office, a company spokesperson stated last week that the information is clearly presented to users once the ActiveX control notices the copy of the software being used is fake. The spokesperson added that there is a specific process for obtaining a complimentary replacement of the software that requires the OGA user to submit a proof of purchase, the CD with the counterfeit Office programs and a report, which details the circumstances of the purchase. The free Windows program is similarly only offered to those that did not knowingly download the counterfeit copies.
Computer business Microsoft has already put notices on many of its Office downloads, including a new add-on toolbar that allows users to put international characters from 26 languages into Office 2003’s software.
Added By: Computer Consulting Kit