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Microsoft Goes on the Anti-Piracy Offensive
Windows Genuine Advantage 1.0 Goes Live to Counter Unlicensed and Pirated Software

Microsoft yesterday announced the transition of the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) pilot to a version 1.0 launch with worldwide availability. WGA is part of what Microsoft calls its "ongoing commitment to protecting...customers from software counterfeiting and to helping support partners through education, engineering, and enforcement of policies and laws."

WGA, says Microsoft, is designed to differentiate the value of genuine Windows-based software from counterfeit software and enable Microsoft customers "to enjoy the capabilities they expect, provide them with confidence that their software is authentic, and deliver ongoing system improvements, including approximately $450 in software offerings available only to genuine users."

"During the 10-month pilot of WGA, we have been very encouraged by the large number of customers - more than 40 million in all - who chose to participate in WGA because they were concerned about piracy and wanted a way to determine whether their Windows software was genuine," said Will Poole, senior vice president of the Windows Client Business at Microsoft. "It also became clear that customers want to take advantage of special offers reserved for genuine users, with the peace of mind that their software will deliver the features, options and performance they need."

"Counterfeit software poses a very real problem for system builders and resellers because it creates an unfair price advantage for distributors that sell their counterfeit products at artificially low prices," said Tim Klan, president of Expert Computers Inc. "Windows Genuine Advantage helps businesses such as mine because it levels the playing field for honest channel partners. What's more, the software offerings and access to Microsoft's download tools help us differentiate the genuine product we sell from the counterfeit products we compete with."

With the release of WGA 1.0, Microsoft has made a number of enhancements:

  • Validation via WGA will be required for all customers using Windows Update, Microsoft Update for Windows content, and the Download Center (DC). Security updates remain available to all Windows users -- with or without WGA validation -- via the DC or Automatic Updates.
  • Microsoft has provided ongoing added-value software offerings for genuine users throughout the WGA pilot as a way of providing these customers with richer Windows experiences. Microsoft has augmented its initial offerings with additional offers for a total value of approximately $450 (U.S.).
  • Microsoft has enhanced and simplified the validation process by automatically checking participants' PCs to determine whether they are running genuine Windows software. All Windows users will no longer be required to enter their 25-digit product key to validate their software.
  • Two offers of genuine software will be available worldwide for Windows XP Professional and Home Edition for customers who unknowingly acquired counterfeit software. Qualifying customers who fill out a piracy report, provide proof of purchase, and send in their counterfeit CDs may receive a genuine copy at no cost. Qualifying customers who submit a piracy report may receive a genuine copy of Windows XP Home Edition for $99 ($U.S.) or Windows XP Professional for $149 ($U.S.). The latter offer will be fulfilled online and via CD through postal mail to help customers get genuine Windows as quickly and conveniently as possible.
About Jeremy Geelan
Jeremy Geelan is Chairman & CEO of the 21st Century Internet Group, Inc. and an Executive Academy Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences. Formerly he was President & COO at Cloud Expo, Inc. and Conference Chair of the worldwide Cloud Expo series. He appears regularly at conferences and trade shows, speaking to technology audiences across six continents. You can follow him on twitter: @jg21.

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Microsoft Goes on the Anti-Piracy Offensive
Microsoft announced the transition of the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) pilot to a version 1.0 launch with worldwide availability. WGA is part of what Microsoft calls its 'ongoing commitment to protecting...customers from software counterfeiting and to helping support partners through education, engineering, and enforcement of policies and laws.'

Microsoft Goes on the Anti-Piracy Offensive
Microsoft announced the transition of the Windows Genuine Advantage (WGA) pilot to a version 1.0 launch with worldwide availability. WGA is part of what Microsoft calls its 'ongoing commitment to protecting...customers from software counterfeiting and to helping support partners through education, engineering, and enforcement of policies and laws.'




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