Monday, 02 February 2009 10:20
By JO TIMBUONG the staronline
Microsoft Corp is ramping up its antipiracy campaign but this time it is taking a slightly different approach — it wants to be gentle.
The software giant calls its new non-intrusive approach Office Genuine Advantage (OGA) and claims that it’s mainly intended to protect users from becoming victims of pirated software.
“We want to help users who have inadvertently installed an illegitimate copy of Microsoft Office,” said Annabelle Co, Microsoft Malaysia senior product marketing manager.
Microsoft expects to go live with OGA on Jan 27 in 27 countries including Malaysia, Indonesia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and Spain.
Its previous Windows Genuine Advantage antipiracy initiative caused users’ desktop to turn black if they were using pirated copies of Windows XP.
The OGA notification, on the other hand, will display a dialogue box prompting the user to buy a genuine copy of Office.
Microsoft said users have unknowingly purchased pirated copies of Microsoft Office because they have been fooled by the packaging and price which is similar to the original.
OGA will be rolled out through Window’s automatic update service and users will be given the option to not install it. It will verify the authenticity of Office 2003, 2007 and XP.
However, OGA will not stop the user from continuing to use Office.
“The dialogue box will pop up twice a day for a period of 30 days if the user chooses to ignore it,” Co said.
After the 30-day period is up, there will be a permanent star icon on the toolbar to remind the user that it is an illegitimate copy of Microsoft Office.
Because it doesn’t interfere with the functions of Office, some users will continue to ignore it, Co said.
“Some may even think it’s cool to have a star on their toolbar but I believe they would be embarrassed if they were to do a presentation and the audience spotted it,” Co said.
Microsoft even claims that if a customer had paid a large sum of money for a pirated copy of Office, it will replace it with a complimentary copy of Office Professional regardless of the edition of the illegitimate copy.
Users will have to fill up a form online, which they have to print and mail with the fake CD and receipt to Microsoft’s headquarters in the United States.
Also, the CD must bear the Microsoft hologram. “If you send a CD-R with the words Microsoft Office on it, you won’t qualify for the complimentary copy,” she quipped.