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Microsoft Denies ‘Kill Switch’ In Office 2007

Reports that Office 2007 will sport an anti-piracy “kill switch” that can disable the upcoming application suite after it’s activated are incorrect, a Microsoft executive said Monday.

As with previous versions of the productivity bundle, Office 2007 does include an activation scheme that requires users to authenticate the product key either online or by telephone, said Ashim Jaidka, the director of Office Genuine Advantage. OGA is the umbrella program for Office product activation and validation.

“Activation technology isn’t new to Microsoft Office,” Jaidka said in an e-mail. “It’s important to note the distinction between activation and validation.”

Under Office 2007’s activation rules, users can launch a suite application up to 25 times without entering the product key. Once that launch allowance is exhausted, however, the applications slip into what Microsoft dubs “reduced functionality mode,” under which the user cannot create, edit, or save documents. Viewing and printing of documents, however, are allowed. Office 2003, released three years ago, gives users a grace of 50 launches, twice as many as Office 2007 will allow.

“In reduced-functionality mode, 2007 Office programs function more like viewers,” stated a support document posted last week.
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Denies, Kill Switch

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