Joined: 18 September 2004
January 26, 2005: 8:30 AM EST
SEATTLE (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp. will combat piracy of its flagship operating system by requiring Windows users to verify that their copy of the software is genuine in order to receive timely updates and security fixes, the world's largest software maker said Wednesday.
Under a new verification program, users will have to prove their copy was obtained legitimately to receive "greater reliability, faster access to updates, and richer user experiences" from Windows XP, the latest version of the operating system running on over 90 percent of the world's personal computers.
Users of pirated copies of Windows will still be able get some updates, such as security patches, but will not be able to get other add-ons for Windows, the Redmond, Wash.-based company said in a statement.
The new initiative, called Windows Genuine Advantage, will start in mid-2005.
Microsoft (Research) said it will expand in February a trial authentication program it began last fall for English-language users to include 20 more languages. In order to attract more users to the trial, Microsoft is also offering downloads of add-on software and discounts on games and online services.
Authentication will become mandatory in mid-2005 for all users seeking to access software updates, downloads and security fixes for Windows, Microsoft said.
Microsoft is also targeting software piracy in China, Norway and the Czech Republic, where the use of pirated software is more widespread, by offering discounts to users of pirated copies of Windows.
"These customers will be offered a genuine version of Windows at a reduced price," Microsoft said.
Microsoft said it was trying to boost the value of Windows, which still fuels a large part of the software giant's revenue. Microsoft said software piracy has cost the company billions of dollars in lost income.
Joined: 06 November 2004
Joined: 14 September 2004
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