Microsoft has geared on the patch of “using counterfeit software represents a risk,” and has announced the debut of the Genuine Fact Files campaign designed to educate the consumer. Microsoft's take on piracy is an initiative meant to inform users of the dangers that are associated with buying, downloading, deploying and using pirated software.
“We want to enable customers to make informed decisions that are best for their business by providing them with the facts that they need,” said Cori Hartje, director of Microsoft's Genuine Software Initiative.
According to data released by Microsoft, the Windows Genuine Advantage process was applied to in excess of 512 million users, since July 2005. While the vast majority have validated the fact that they are indeed using genuine Microsoft products, a staggering 22.3% of those users have found their software labeled as non-genuine. “If you do the math, with a company the size of Microsoft, that's a lot of money,” Hartje added. “We're trying to protect Microsoft's intellectual property and shareholders.”
Non-genuine is of course a Microsoft euphemism for pirated. The Redmond Company cannot use terms like pirated or counterfeit due to the fact that the WGA tool has also generated a number of false positives. Out of the 114 million times when the software has been identified as non-genuine, less than 1% is the volume of false positives generated by the validation process. The Redmond Company failed to reveal the exact number of the false positives.
Microsoft informed that 56,000 reports of counterfeit software have been submitted to the company and that the customers that have been tricked in buying bootlegged products will receive genuine ones from Microsoft, at no charge or with a discount.