Microsoft increases Office anti-piracy measures

By Justin Mann on August 26, 2009, 12:11 PM
Year after year, Office turns out to be Microsoft's biggest software cash producer. Beyond Windows and any other single suite, Office is what makes Microsoft scads of dough. Given the relative high cost of the suite, it's no surprise that Office is also one of the most pirated pieces of software in the world. Hoping to curb losses incurred from rampant piracy, Microsoft is introducing some new countermeasures to the newest versions of Office.

The new anti-piracy measures aren't aimed at single users, however. Microsoft isn't losing sleep over the people torrenting Office or pilfering a burned copy from a friend - instead, it is the counterfeiting involved. The software giant is concerned about knockoff copies in cloned packaging. As pirates get more professional, black market copies of Office look more like the real thing - preventing people from determining whether or not a piece of software is genuine.

To accomplish this, Microsoft is expanding "Office Genuine Advantage," a branch of the same anti-piracy arm that most Windows users are familiar with. Primarily, they are increasing how far OGA is available worldwide, and will pass it off as a Windows Update. While at first that may seem like a small act, it's actually a pretty large one - since counterfeiting is a worldwide issue, and Microsoft has largely focused on only certain regions of the world.

Whether or not nagging users with duped software is effective, Microsoft doesn't say. However, their anti-piracy efforts have increased exponentially with time. How much farther will Microsoft (or any software vendor, for that matter) go to prevent their code from being stolen?

User Comments: 5

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TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

As long as their anti-theft mechanisms aren't intrusive to legitimate owners, I could care less how annoying they make it for counterfeiters and thieves.

Algoz Algoz said:

TomSEA said:

As long as their anti-theft mechanisms aren't intrusive to legitimate owners, I could care less how annoying they make it for counterfeiters and thieves.

and... they don't make any mistakes in penalising legit owners.

Still think if they dropped the price it would alleviate (though not eliminate) the problem!

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

I saw this in my "New Updates Available!" window, I right clicked and chose "Hide Update" that will probably prevent me from being able to get certain updates in the future...

Mine is a legal copy, I got it from going to the Microsoft Launch event for it and Vista, I don't like that I have to install something just so Microsoft can verify I'm not pirating it.

OneArmedScissor said:

Oh darn, now I'll...uh...keep using Open Office and preferring it?!?

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I skipped upgrading to Office 2007. The price was too high. I didn't even look for a pirate copy, wasn't interested. And honestly, there wasn't anything wrong with Office 2003.

In reality, I would be just as happy on-line cloud applications like Google Docs or free to use applications such as OpenOffice to fill my needs. I've recently started using Editor to replace my needs to buy PhotoShop.

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