Q&A: Cori Hartje, Worldwide Director, Microsoft Genuine Software Initiative, discusses Microsoft’s continued investments to help customers and partners realize the value of genuine software.
Computer users have had their share of challenges with software piracy. Which is why, over the past two years, Microsoft has conducted a worldwide effort through its Genuine Software Initiative (GSI). This initiative program focuses the company’s many activities and investments on combating software counterfeiting and other forms of software piracy into a single initiative – protecting customers and partners from the risks and losses associated with counterfeit software.
This month, PressPass had a conversation with Cori Hartje, director of the Microsoft Genuine Software Initiative, to discuss the steps Microsoft is taking to address this problem, and for a two-year update on the progress of the GSI.
Press Pass: What progress has Microsoft made with the Genuine Software Initiative in the past year?
Hartje: Investments that we have made in protection efforts that benefit customers and partners are paying off. In the past year, we designed new packaging and developed new distribution models that make it harder for software pirates to counterfeit Microsoft products. Additionally, enhanced technologies built into many new Microsoft products like Windows Vista have made it considerably harder to pirate and profit from counterfeit copies of Windows Vista. To learn how to tell the difference between genuine and counterfeit Microsoft products, our customers can visit www.howtotell.com.
Press Pass: How has the piracy and counterfeiting landscape changed in the past few years?
Hartje: One of the major trends we’ve seen is an uptick in the amount of pirated and counterfeit software being manufactured and distributed overseas. We’ve seen sophisticated criminals that have manufactured high-quality counterfeit software for international distribution. As a result, we have been working closely with law enforcement globally to shut down these criminal organizations. One major success was the dismantling of one of the largest international counterfeit syndicates in history in July 2007. This syndicate was allegedly responsible for manufacturing and distributing more than $2 billion worth of high-quality counterfeit Microsoft software. This success was the result of a cooperative effort on the part of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and China’s Public Security Bureau, with support from Microsoft. Additionally, hundreds of Microsoft customers through Microsoft’s Windows Genuine Advantage technology, and scores of Microsoft partners played an active role in providing data that contributed to this investigation.
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