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August 24, 2009

Microsoft beefs up anti-piracy features in Office

Extends OGA program to 13 additional countries

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft has expanded its Office Genuine Advantage (OGA) notifications program to 13 additional countries and territories to help customers confirm that the copy of Office installed on their computer is genuine. The newly served countries and territories that were included in the program are Austria, Brazil, Finland, Greece, India, Ireland, the Netherlands, Peru, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Taiwan, the UK and the US.

Customers in 41 countries now have the option to install OGA notifications, available through Microsoft Update, and learn whether they are running genuine versions of Office. By validating their copies of Office, consumers can take advantage of all the accompanying capabilities, support and upgrades. If the copy is found to be non-genuine, users are directed to a customised Microsoft Web page to view validation results and learn about the steps to secure their PCs.

Debbie Walsh, director of emerging markets and license compliance in information worker product group at Microsoft, said: “When customers are misled into buying non-genuine software, they forfeit access to technical support, upgrades, user manuals and bug fixes. Even worse, they are forced to deal with incomplete software code and increase the risk of exposing their PC to debilitating viruses that could destroy data and steal personal information.

“Through programs like Office Genuine Advantage, Microsoft is determined to protect customers from the pitfalls of non-genuine software.”

According to a recent study conducted by the Business Software Alliance (BSA) and market research firm IDC, 41% of the software on PCs around the world in 2008 was either counterfeit or used without a license. Microsoft said that it has been continually working with governments, enforcement agencies and industry associations such as the BSA to protect customers from the risks of non-genuine software.

Mr Walsh added, “The only way to protect consumers is by educating them about software piracy, enabling them to make discerning purchasing decisions, and then providing solutions when they are unwittingly defrauded. The OGA program not only helps customers to differentiate the value of genuine Office products, but more importantly, it bolsters their confidence while shopping for software. Only then can they can enjoy the full range of Office capabilities and anticipate continuous system improvements.”

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